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Visiting Paul and Barb in Winter Park…yes Paul is furry but that’s not him, that’s Mojo. And that’s Casey behind us waiting to get yelled at for eating grass.

One of the beauties of living in Colorado is having amazing friends who like to share their mountain homes. It’s especially beautiful when Boulder is overrun with people coming to the Boulder Creek Festival on Memorial Day weekend and you wish nothing more than to get out of town for a little peace and cool mountain air…and someone who will cook your dinner.  Paul and Barb are two such friends and they have an amazing home in Winter Park Colorado, about 2 hours West of Boulder! Yea for me!

Two of the bazillion vehicles in the Ratay Reality fleet… mark my words, these two are going to rule the world one day. Photo courtesy of Erin’s Facebook Page

So Erin and I loaded the larger of the two Ratay Mobiles with road bikes, hiking gear and as much energy food as our activity packed plans would require (you probably know where this is going) and made it out of Boulder at the crack of 9:30 am. We arrived in Winter Park around 11:30 and immediately sank into the couches to spend a little time catching up with Barb and Paul and their two Golden Retrievers… I felt compelled to eat an energy bar at this point.

Because I couldn’t get a pic of the three of us riding this weekend I’m posting this from the 2009 Venus De Miles. L-R = Erin, Barb and Spice

Barb is currently out of commission with pins in her finger (one of the risks of being a savage adventure racer) so she was up for hiking but not biking. And Paul, well, he lasted through the first 5 min of estrogen filled “Oh M’God! Oh MY Gawd! Are You SERIOUS??!! Are YOU Serious??!” conversation before retiring to the garage to work on his motorcycle and then take a ride until it was dinnertime. How is it motorcycles always need work when women start talking?

Casey has a knack for flushing out angry Moose so she has to stay on a leash… not sure how that keeps me safe. Golden’s love water whereas white pants do not so we came up with a compromise.

We hiked to this amazing place from their house. Paul and Barb have a true slice of heaven!

Eventually the three of us got off our butts and changed shoes for a leisurely hike in the woods close to the house. After hiking we retired to the porch for chips and salsa and to wait for Paul to return and make us some dinner. I know you’re thinking “Paul is a very good sport to put up with that kind of attitude, missie!”, and he is, but in all honesty there’s no reason for anyone else to cook when Paul’s around, he’s that good!

Our hikes involve lots of stopping and talking. I include this one as an example of what it probably looks like when I’m apologizing to Erin.

Day two started with me (fully rested) apologizing to Erin (not so rested). We shared a bed in Paul and Barb’s subzero basement and sometime around 2 am (in an act of unconscious self preservation) I began a corkscrew move that involved winding all of the covers around my body and leaving Erin with a hanky sized piece of flat sheet that barely crossed the line to her half of the bed. Thank goodness I was sleeping with Erin, when I do this to Chris he takes all the covers back and then pushes me off the bed (one hand on my butt and one between my shoulder blades) to huddle on the floor; in this case it would have been with the dogs next to the space heater.  The rest of the morning was spent eating bagels in preparation for a 20+mile road bike ride along one of Winter Park’s most beautiful loops, The South Dowdy HWY Something Or Something.

Erin gifted me with one of her newly designed Ratay Realty cycling jerseys… does this make me one of the fleet? It’s my first jersey and I was tickled to death to look so professional.

South Dowdy HWY Something or Something in Winter Park is my new favorite loop

This is for anyone who thinks I’m not a dork

This is for anyone who thinks Erin isn’t a dork. KIDDING! This is a test to see if she really reads the blog.

Considering the amount of cream cheese I consumed during breakfast I should have averaged around 30 mph but Mother Nature delivered a 25 mph headwind (in both directions!!!) so we just barely managed to eek out 25 miles in two hours….thanks to all things holy we noticed Barb’s truck in the parking lot of the rec center and decided to bask in the sun on a bench (picture lizards in cycling helmets eating power bars) until she finished her workout and could drive us up the last, very STEEEEEEP, leg of the route. I’m typing this 4 days after the fact and my thighs are still burning… don’t even get me started on the condition of my sits bones.

Photo courtesy of Amazon – didn’t know I could purchase ice-cream on Amazon. Hmmm, note to self: Must find friend who qualifies for Amazon’s free shipping.

We returned to Boulder on Sunday afternoon just in time for me to, 1. Have a meltdown about being away from Chris on the holiday. 2. Drive to Whole Foods so I could medicate my sorrows with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake (yes, an entire pint). 3. Make it back home and onto the couch in time to watch the newest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians aired… oh PA-LEEZE, you know you watch them too.

By the end of the pint life was back to normal so I put myself in bed with plans to wake up early enough to see Erin and her gang run by in the Bolder Boulder 10 K… while I ate pastries. I would have raced but it felt as though they were discouraging Olympic level Jawking (jogging + walking) so I opted to leave the glory for those who need it a little more then me.

Wait til you see the pics from the Bolder Boulder, this place is exactly what my Great Aunt Thelma meant when she described people as “touched in the head”.

In the meantime, check out this new fancy gadget that will never be allowed into my house.

Please don’t ever show the Ben & Jerry’s Pint Lock to Chris