Saturday, November 30, 2013

a telluride thanksgiving

this is my second year spending thanksgiving with my boyfriend, john, our friends, dan and kim, and john's family in telluride, colorado. his sister, brother-in-law, and adorable nephew, evan, live in rico, co, about 28 miles outside of telluride. sean and sarah (brother-in-law and sister) work in the town of telluride and evan goes to school there. each day they leave their awesome little town of rico and drive through amazing mountains to get to telluride - not too shabby. if you have never been to this part of colorado (or colorado in general), i highly recommend you find yourself there one day, any day of the year, it is truly an amazing place.

now, here's the best part: this year john's mom, jan, moved all the way from bayfield, wi to a little community about 7 miles outside of telluride called two rivers. you can imagine how much little evan loves this new arrangement - grandma all the time - luck!! she and her cat, amber, live in the neatest house you can find right on the river - you can hear it passing through from the living room. if that isn't enough, the stars are un-be-liev-a-ble at night. we were able to spend every day with jan, which not only made me happy, but i knew it made john's year.

okay, there's an even better part: one of my best girlfriends, nikki, joined us this year - heaven! she is from southern california and has lived in arizona for about 3 years now. i claimed her as mine as soon as i met her and not too long after she initially moved to arizona. mine. all mine. she made every day of our trip more joyous and of course she was loved right away. i sense a new 'nikki coming with us to telluride every year' tradition starting.

we got into rico late tuesday night - the drive from scottsdale is about 8 hours - sigh. dan and kim were already there, drinking all my wine (ha-ha), and evan was as bouncy as ever. we gave him his late birthday gifts (which was probably a bad idea considering it was a school night and auntie krystina gave him an electronic drum set and uncle john gave him a nerf gun - oops) and listened to him tell us about all the amazing things in the life of an adorable, clever five-year-old. he is 5 going on 30, i'm convinced. the rest of us played some cards and then shuffled off to bed for an early morning of driving into mountain village, the ski town just on the other side of telluride, where the single-family homes are as large as apartment complexes. 

nikki, john and i stayed in mountain village at condos called bear creek where we could take the funicular down to where the gondolas were, to then take over the mountain and into telluride - pretty awesome. when the snow is better, you can literally ski (snowboard if you're me) out onto a trail from where we stayed and down to a lift. magical. there were about 4 runs open and even though we didn't board this year, we were told there was some pretty awesome snow out there. of course, evan wanted to "hit the fresh pow" every day. 

we spent thanksgiving day on the preserve where friends cody, annika and rider live and play. they set up a large table in the barn (horses were somewhere warmer for the winter) which was such a unique and awesome experience. clearly, the food was perfection and the people even better. dan and kim were staying in telluride so we drove back with them and took the gondola back to mountain village. nikki was in awe of the lights from the town below. i was, too, but i played it cool (ha). the next day we walked around, ate more awesome food, and said hello to people we knew, which is a lot in a small town. friday night we all took nikki to allred's (go there, people, go there) which is at the middle of the mountain, only half of a gondola ride away. we sat through happy hour watching the sun set and the mountains change color. we could see the town of telluride below - pretty unreal. after happy hour we went down to dan and kim's, where they made us yummy tacos, and we all played a card game called up and down the river. i get a.d.d. when playing cards, but this has to be my favorite game. saturday was another day of wandering, eating, and enjoying great company. we ordered dinner, falafel and hummus (my favorite ever), to go from a little place called caravan in telluride and took it over to jan's place. we listened to the river pass by and laughed uncontrollably at the artwork jan showed us from john when he was little - "ps, i hope you still love me. love john, your son" - makes me laugh, still.

i don't want to end my play-by-play of our trip because that means it came to an end. but, if i must, i would have to conclude that i am beyond grateful for the family and friends i have accrued in my life and the amazing times i have had with them. i look forward to every moment spent with these people. i also might have convinced my mom, step-dad, aunt and cousins to join one year for thanksgiving soon. it is rather difficult for me to not be spending this holiday with them, even though they get me christmas (wink), so it would make my heart complete to be able to share the amazing town of telluride with them on thanksgiving with john's family. heart. explosion.

here is a little collage of memories from our trip...

and, of course, i had to find some time to capture some of the many amazing dogs of telluride...

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