It has been such a great visit with Erin and Leanna! We have crammed so much into one weekend...
On Saturday morning, I picked Erin and Leanna up from the Denver airport. We met up with our friend Karla, who is working in Denver as a math teacher. We went to lunch with her at 16th Street Mall. I saw the Paramount Theater with Sufjan's name on the marquee. He is playing a concert tomorrow (my birthday), but we couldn't get tickets!!! Oh, well. Maybe we'll catch him next time he comes to Denver.
After lunch, we left Denver and headed south to Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family (Mom, remember Adventures in Odyssey?) and Pike's Peak. We picked up Beka and headed into the mountains to visit Lost Valley Ranch, the five-star ranch where Mary Ellen has been working for the past several years. We arrived just in time for the Halloween party, but Mary Ellen snuck in a quick tour. This ranch is legit. It is both a functioning cattle ranch and a resort where guests can stay. It is out in the middle of nowhere. The star-gazing is wonderful. I would like to stay there.
After the party, we left the ranch and drove back to the Springs. We spent the night at Beka's apartment. Sunday morning, we got up early and made pumpkin pancakes in honor of Halloween. Then, Beka took us to Garden of the Gods. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The rock formations are incredible. And so is the view of Pike's Peak. We had some fun playing here.
We had a nice picnic lunch, and then it was time to head back to Fort Collins. We got to take Erin and Leanna to church with us. I may have mentioned this before, but our church meets in the evenings, at 5 p.m., because we rent space from another church who meets in the morning. So, by the time church was over, it was dark out. As we were walking home, we were admiring the Halloween decorations and the cute trick-or-treaters. And then, true story, we saw a black horse with a headless rider emerge from the shadows. The rider was wearing all black. He carried a pumpkin and a sword. Here's the conversation that transpired:
Us: "Um. Are you by any chance the headless horseman?"
Headless Horseman: *Turns towards us and raises his sword*
Us: "Are you a nice horseman?"
Headless Horseman: *Silent*
Us: "Where did you get that horse?"
Headless Horseman: "Wal-Mart." *Rides off*
We later found out that Morgan, who came home separately, had a longer conversation with him. Nice guy, the headless horseman. Sunday night, we carved our jack-o-lantern and attempted to make snicker doodle cupcakes. They weren't very aesthetically-pleasing, but they tasted scrumptious.
Today, we spent some time exploring Fort Collins. We went shopping in Old Town. We went to Odell, where we had some beer and played Jenga. Then, we went to dinner at Coopersmith's, where we consumed more food than anyone ever should. I mean, I think we had ten courses.
Tomorrow, we have to take Leanna and Erin back to the airport :( But not until we have a delicious breakfast at Snooze. I can finally order their special birthday pancakes!