Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stanley Hotel & Estes Park Photos

So here are some shots from our stay at the Stanley

This is a mini Stanley Hotel from the 1995 television series of The Shining.

For any Ghost Hunters fans, the photo of the bed and table is the room where Jason stayed at the Stanley when they did their investigation. This is where the glass spontaneously cracked onJason's bedside table.

Room 217 is the famous room where Stephen King stayed when he conceived the story of "The Shining".

Also, the famous tower where kids are often seen playing even though the door is padlocked and has been for years.

And now for some shots from Rocky Mountain National Park.


Friday, June 27, 2008

I've Been Everywhere, Man

I've always like that song that Johnny Cash sang called "I've Been Everywhere." Basically it's about a guy who has traveled every road in the U.S. I wouldn't say it inspired me to want to travel and visit every state in the U.S., but I think it's a nice song that sums up that desire.

It all started when I was born in Tennessee and then moved to Virginia within about a year. From then on, throughout my childhood I basically covered the old Confederate states of the deep South. Then, after a lengthy college career I moved over to Texas and from there began work to basically hit all the other states within about a 10 year span of time.

I was in Philadelphia this week for work and drove down to Delaware to complete the 50 state journey. I celebrated with some lobster and called it done. It's kind of ironic that the 50th state I visited was the 1st state to form the U.S.

So, since lists are always fun, I figured I would put down my top 5 favorite states:

  1. Alaska - This place is just incredible. I would totally live here if Ashley and employment would allow.
  2. Colorado - The place that Ashley and I worked so hard to get to and where I currently live and hope to stay. Great weather and beautiful views.
  3. Oregon - Kind of a lucky break to get a chance to move out there and an unlucky break that caused me to leave. Absolutely beautiful place that has it all: mountains, ocean, high desert, etc.
  4. Wyoming - Really just the western part where Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons reside, but those places make up for the flatness of the eastern part.
  5. Virginia - I struggled between Montana and Virginia for this part. I have enough mountain west states and Virginia has some mountains of their own, plus beaches, plus a history that is the history of the U.S. itself. Very cool place for the history.
So, now that I've wrapped up the U.S., I guess I should move onto the world. I don't think I will ever have a chance to visit every country out there (and some I probably don't want to), but I have a start with Canada, Mexico, Curacao, France, Holland, Israel, Greece, and Germany. It's a decent start, but I have a long way to go.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer is here!

Finally, Summer is here. My moods so often reflect the weather and I'm thrilled that the sun is here to save those around me. :)

So much has happened since my last post, I have been far to scattered to sit down and blog it all. In a nutshell, Chloe's leg is 10% longer than it was 3 months ago; Kieran is now a 4th grader; I planted a garden; we had an anniversary (11 years of being a Barr for me); I'm starting school in August to pursue my Master's Degree in Art Education. So yeah, a lot has happened.

So to clarify a little, Chloe is doing fabulously! She is walking around - her gait reminds us a lot of Frankenstein but she is continues to amaze us with her tenacity and strength. She starts therapy this week but is far beyond where we thought she would be by now. She is riding her bike, swimming like a pro and is determined to walk just about everywhere. Dr. Dahl's orders were for "light activity".... uh, yeah....right.

Kieran last day of school was June 20th. So long 3rd grade! Unfortunately Kieran was moved from Track B to Track D which means that he switches schedules and starts 4th grade two weeks after his last day of 3rd grade. That totally bites. We have decided to take a few weeks for family vacation in July, he'll just have to miss a little school. We are heading up to Yellowstone for a few days then over to Idaho to meet up with Ron, Christie and the other members of the Stagg Party Machine. We are doing a covered wagon ride and authentic cowboy dinner and are hoping to go horseback riding and rafting while we are in the wilderness. God help the person who tries to get in Chloe's way. I'm sure she'll be a pro at horseback riding before we know it. Is that considered light activity??? Anyhow, we're in the clear for a while. Her next lengthening will be when she is 7 or 8!

I've finally decided to pursue my dream of going back to school to teach art. I've wanted to go for years but our moving around really made it hard to enroll. I know the classroom is where I'm supossed to be and I'm anxious to go back. I've got 9 months of courses and student teaching ahead of me but by this time next year, I should be graduating or very close to it. I'm focusing on gifted and talented as that was the program that got em where I am today. It feels so good to have a clear vision of what I'll be doing when both kids are in school full time. I'm just not cut out to be at home in a big house all by myself all day. I am way too social for that. The thought of going back to working as a Graphic Artist depresses me, so here I am! Filling out forms, registering for aptitude tests and writing essays to beg them to let me into the University of Denver.

For our anniversary, we traveled a few hours north to Estes Park, home of the infamous Stanley Hotel. We took the ghost tour there and stayed the night! No real incidents though, just some orbs in our photos and some crazy foot steps all night above our room. Oh, I did feel this bizzarre gust of cool air on my back for a long time when Iwas in the "vortex" on the bottom floor. Supposedly there are many mediums and ghost hunters that love this particular area of the hotel. I just thought it was oddly cool, but only on my back. No matter which way I turned, there was a cool breeze behind me. Weird. It was a gogeous hotel and I would love to go back with the kids. Kieran would get a kick out of the hotel. He is reading all sorts of ghost books and gets a little freaked out now and then. Some mornings we wake up to every light on on the entire top floor.
We hiked Rocky Mountain National Park the next morning in the darned snow. I hate hiking in snow. Jason loves it but that is because his feet are as large as snowshoes so he doesn't sink like I do.



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Number 49

Posting this from my hotel at Bally's in Las Vegas. Nevada makes state number 49 on my road to visit all 50 states. Was 105 degrees outside when I landed, which seems hotter than it feels. The interesting thing about the heat in places like Las Vegas or Phoenix is that it doesn't feel all that hot and yet you start sweating. Still, I'd take it over Louisiana any day.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Number 48

Forgot to post about this last week while I was there, but I hit state number 48 out of 50 when I went to Arizona. Very pretty state and even though the thermometer was showing 105, I still prefer it to New Orleans and the humidity. In fact, I am in Atlanta right now and getting a nice reminder of why I left the South. I hate sweating when I don't even move.

Anyway, I should be picking up the last two states I have never visited, Nevada and Delaware, by the end of the month. I don't get a prize for visiting all 50 states, but I still think it is pretty cool, especially when you hear that there are people who have never left the state they were born in.