Holiday 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Denver to Heathrow or Bust! - 15/08/2008

us in the terminal at can see our airoplane behind us
The skies are grey & full of Rain.
It rained all night & the bad weather continued this morning & Ian had to pull the car under the Hotel awning to load our bags without drowning. The Roads were trecherous & we spotted lots of cars pulled over with State troopers in attendance. The windscreen wipers battled valliently with the deluge.
We arrived with our topped up gas tank at the Avis drop off, where we were greeted by Mao Tse Tungs elder brother who scanned the bar code on our car windscreen mumbled something & toddled off. We had travelled a total of 3480 miles during our stay... WOW, we opened our trunk ( Boot to you english folks ) and a part time santa look-alike avis employee , later identifying himself as "Gordon ",took one look at our mass of luggage & offered to drive us straight to the airport terminal, blimey what a bonus , we happily coughed up a $10 tip in recognition of santas kindness!
Denver airport cannot be regarded as one of our top attractions this holiday , However theres nothing wrong with their Panda Express.. chinese fast food ( especially when they forget to charge us for one of our meals :)

We are sitting at gate A37 we can see our plane waiting to bring us home , sardine style.
The grey weather continues here..Hope you guys have ordered us something better for when we get home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last day - 14/08/2008

Not the last day! we are not coming back (don't tell Ian tho!) Its too sad ;(

Today we took it easy.. We got up late, missed the complimentary breakfast much to Ians disgust!
Took a trip to the local mall trying in vain to find Bradley a Mexico soccer shirt "Dicks " Didn't have it , we looked in all the "Dicks" we could find, Trust me I don't mind lookin at "Dicks " but even their manager said " sorry, no we at Dicks have no mexico soccer shirts ". "Oh bugger ." said Debs.

Anyway we went shopping & stopped for lunch in a "New York " Deli. We shared a genuine hot dog, a gyro & a corned beef Reuben all genuine NEW YORK DELI foods.

Well, always worth trying something u only ever heard of in the movies!

This afternoon we swam in the pool & got caught out by a thunderstorm.. This evenings weather talks of extreme weather (kids a few miles away posing in snow!).

Tonight we had a farewell curry at a local curry house, they seemed to struggle with the concept of different strengths of curry.. Mild, Medium & vindaloo all seemed to come from the same vat of spices, so Ian got to eat most of the curry! We won't starve .. trust me!

Lovin all the comments we get back xx

see ya sooner than we'd really like !

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Drive to Longmont - 13/08/2008

After checking out of our best western in Lander. We began our 6 hour drive to Longmont.
Its truly amazing to watch the landscapes change, from arid desert where the cactus rules ok, to verdant grassy plains, snow capped mountains populated with stands of lush aspen trees reflected in sparkling lakes.

We stopped for lunch in a town called Centennial ( population 100! ) just inside Wyoming .This collection of buildings on a dusty road boasts no less than 3 eateries we chose “Old Corral“ a strange Saloon/hotel/restaurant complete with gift shop & large plastic cowboys posed outside. Once again we proved to be star attractions with our “ cute English accents”..

We stopped at some Antique shops known here as flea markets, we didn’t need any fleas but I am missing an expired licence plate for Montana so the search continues .

We arrived in Longmont for our last 2 nights boo hoo.. The hawthorn Suites has already demonstrated a smashing pool for min & a great room with spacious bathroom, Wish we’d brought Casper we could easily have swung him in there.

More later !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nice geyser - 12/08/2008

Well.. The Old Faithfull Snow Lodge won't be on our fave list, no air con, no peace & quiet either! However its a damned good place to go & watch Old faithful do its stuff.

From there we took another scenic drive through Wyoming, out of yellowstone, We encountered lots of massive tracts of roadworks

We stopped for a picnic up a dirt track. Ian engaged the warp engines ( 4 wheel drive) gave us all concussion..we ate our sarnies overlooking scenery you can only dream of.

We crossed country until we reached Lander, a town half way between nowhere & the national park of Tetton..tonight we discovered a gem of a chinese . We spent $39 on starters main course & drinks! (£20) They have probably never met English people b4 as lots of locals asked us where we were from & how we were enjoying our hols. We are local celebs they may erect a monument in our honour.

til next time....if they let us leave???

No bears again! - 11/08/2008

View through our front door this morning...

Well what can I say? the clue is in the title….. You guessed it NO BEARS!!!!!!

The bears were no were to be found we even looked by rivers, but still no bears.
The best part of today was swimming in the Gibbon river we (as in me and Ian , mum was too busy catching the rays before home) We did a currant ride as in we jumped into a seemingly bottomless pool struggled to keep our heads over water and floated through a tunnel of rocks. Pretty cool!!!!

We travelled through the famous arch of Yellowstone (We had no clue about it until today!)

Met some very friendly chipmunks (Alvin Simon and Theodore) who came up to us sniffed us, put their paws on us and……bit Ian.

Its state law not to feed the wild life in Yellowstone so mum thought it was a good idea to feed the chipmunks Cajun mix (spicy nuts).

Love Hollie xxxxx

= - =

Hollie of course missed out the “boring stuff”, We took Ian’s tour through Yellowstone & stopped at some more damned impressive Geysers ,some of which erupted seemingly to order.

The colours created by the various chemicals & minerals created a rainbow of colours in the pools & rock formations, We endured more of the horrendous pong ( not just Hollie!).

Tonight we are checked into the Old faithful snow lodge which is currently not very snowy at all!
Tomorrow morning we have a date with old faithful herself.

Still no bears : (

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Bears! - 10/08/2008

Today we went to Yellowstone…the drive was mighty scenic we stopped for lots of photo opportunities, At the various Geysers we took a number of hikes to points of interest.. the overwhelming aroma was of Sulphur ( Rotten eggs & Burnt rubber ).

At one point we left the car to visit a specific geyser & walked straight past a mighty Bison Warming himself by the roadside.

Further along we stopped at an overlook & witnessed a herd of Bison on the plains taking mud baths & fighting , Mothers were leading their young & teaching them.

Ian took a strenuous hike to view the water falls in Yellowstone’s own version of the grand canyon, When he reappeared we thought he might need CPR!

Sadly we were unable to find any bears. We did see Elk, Chipmunks , Canada geese, Mule Deer & of course the Bison.

We are spending the night in Gardiner near mammoth springs & are currently in diner style Chinese scoffing noodles.

Our Search for the elusive bear will continue tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Buffalo Bill @ Cody - 09/08/2008

We took a wonderful scenic drive through the mountains of Wyoming, Still with the company of the noisy bikers.

We arrived in Cody The town originally settled & developed by Buffalo Bill Cody during the 1880’s.

After depositing our bags in the much more ordinary Best Western Sunset Hills, we decided to explore the town & scour the gift shops.. My never ending quest for expired licence plates driven by vehicles in the states we visit continues, I found a box of dusty Wyoming plates & my life is complete Whoopee.

We boarded a Trolley bus tour & met our guides Chuck & Lorraine for a riveting 60 minutes of local history ( Lorraine in fancy dress was so HAPPY Ian wanted to knock her teeth out! )
We went out as far as the Cody dam, we saw many of the homes lived in by the Cody family Bizarrely transported here from across the nation by low loaders, Lorraine passed round random bits of rock & replica memorabilia for our enjoyment & education ( guess how HAPPY this made Ian ? )
Fortunately the tour ended .

We had a refreshing dip in both our outdoor & indoor pools, we like value for money!

We are now in “Cassies” continuing our Whore house theme . Cassie Waters a local Madam had her premises forcibly relocated to the outskirts of town after a primary school was built in the red light district. This is now a restaurant & bar we are about to order steaks yum

Chomp Chomp ( min is enjoying the live country music )


Well what can I say? We entered the Occidental Hotel only to be transported back to the 1900’s.
The lobby boasts a grand piano, Dusty Drapes , Dried flower displays & allsorts of curios from the hey day of the cowboy …No elevator for Ian ( & I don’t travel light ! ) Our Room The Bordello Suite was actually part of a working whore house til 1972. The rooms have been lovingly restored to their former glory by the current owners. Our room complete with brass frame bed & a chandelier had so many gilt framed mirrors it made all my cheeks blush, Min had her choice of 2 further rooms decked out in a similar style with “tasteful “ period nudes framed on every wall.. The bathroom with claw foot bath & separate loo with high mounted cistern completed the illusion.
Along the hall we found an ancient kitchen with Buffalo skin upholstered chairs salvaged from a 1930’s casino, allowing us the luxury of coffee. A few doors down we were astonished to find an enormous library stuffed with Fossils & genuine dinosaur bones.
Our entire experience was phenomenal, although somewhat spooky with creaky floorboards & pissed doors, one of which features the scars of being beaten on by the butt of a 6 shooter wielded by a disgruntled customer, who could not get the company of his fave girl as she was already “entertaining “.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bears (oh, and Mount Rushmore) - 08/08/2008

Bear causing a traffic jam

We drove to Mount Rushmore Via The crazy horse memorial ( The Indian version )
Mount Rushmore is stunning, Min thought it was smaller than she expected. We took the Presidential trail around the monument & read about the presidents Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jefferson & Washington,

The weather was beautiful & a giant Ice cream finished our visit.

Hollie convinced Ian and Mummy to take her to bear country USA its like longleat but with American animals.
We saw wolfs ,big horn sheep, mountain lions, reindeer and the biggest group of bears I have ever seen there were about 30+ of them.
Then we went to a part of Bear country USA where smaller animals live like otters lynx badgers foxes coyotes and the bunch of 15 baby bears they were born in January but are still cute little balls of fluff constantly playing or………… sleeping when we first saw them they just looked like a mess of legs how cute..See my video below... (click the play button)

Then we arrived at the Occidental Hotel…. More on that later…

Love Hollie xxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, August 7, 2008


This is custer....

A deer outside our cabin...
Another day of travel from The garden of the Gods 7+ hours Phew!

Last nights Indian had mixed reviews, Ian’s vindaloo can still be heard a rumblin now! My Jalfrasi sank like a damp squib : (

We Journeyed through Wyoming & into South Dakota , We have finally Sussed out why we see hordes of Harley Riding Bikers wherever we go, There is some type of Rally taking place over the last week or so focusing on the black hills. This town is Custer & without the bikers who have truly taken the place over, it would be a peach of a place to visit.

Our cabin is amazing Ian says it smells like MFI ( Pine). We have more space than we know what to do with & a massive veranda over looking the town, the bikers are a tad noisy but with Ian’s air conditioning on full pelt we shouldn’t be disturbed.

Mount Rushmore awaits us tomorrow ..some old dead presidents carved out of bits of rock I believe??

Night Night xxx

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our poke at Pikes Peak!

See the bear claw marks on this tree

Min looking for bears

At the top!

The weather was just perfect for our drive to the 14110 ft summit.
Discovered in the 1800’s by Zebulon Pike although the Ute Indians enjoyed the area for many thousands of years.
Ian struggled with the low gear climb and managed to get us up in one piece..The final mile was under construction, we shared the single track with diggers & articulated lorries, dicing with certain death over the sheer sides.
The Summit boasts 50% less oxygen than at sea level & altitude sickness is common, Min of course complained of every symptom listed on the guide CD but made a miraculous recovery at the gift shop. Ian ( The man you have to bully to take an aspirin ) said the altitude made him feel like he’d been on drugs ( What? Wine gums & calpol )
We took lots of photos of the breathtaking views which you can see attached.
We stopped at Crystal reservoir on the way back & our very own David Attenboro managed to snap some nifty Chip monk footage.
Made use of the pool this afternoon It gets cloudy in the afternoons here so no sun tan top ups L
Tonight we are dining in Indian Style at the Mirch Masala in Colorado Springs.. We will let u know our ratings!
See Ya Soon Lovin the comments guys keep it up !

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Choo -Choosday

Great day for a train ride! At 09.30 this morning we boarded the Royal Gorge railroad, for a scenic trip through the gorge following the route our raft took yesterday. The Engines & carriages ( including the “glass vista dome” carriage we travelled in ) are vintage and were built throughout the 1930s-50s in Canada they saw service in the Rockies and were restored in the 80’s..
The train ride was great but not a patch on the river ride!

An hour later we arrived in Colorado Springs and we visited “The garden of the gods” a natural rock formation cluster. We took a walk through the gardens & min made friends with a number of puppies & got her picture taken with a butt ugly pug thing.
This evening we are at Ruby Tuesdays American diner , Ian ordered a mashed cauliflower / cheese dish which resembles baby sick, he loves it! ( looks like we’ll be shaking hands goodnight, it stinks!)

Goodnight jim bob, good night mary ellen , goodnight john boy xx

(videos added to whitewater post below)

Bloggers at work

Must can wait! (taken at Windmill restaurant - Salida)

(Min hacking US defence network - we now know the truth - at Cattle Barron - Roswell)

Monday, August 4, 2008

whitewater class V survivors club

We met Ali our guide for the day at the Arkansas river tours center and went through the safety rules and how to hold on safely. We were driven in a mini bus to Pinicle rock recreation area were we got on the raft for our class 1-3 rapid tour. We saw a beaver and a beavers dam and a baby big horn sheep. Then we stopped for a lunch that consisted of cookies, build your own sandwitches and tortilla chips. Then we had finished and set off to Royal Gorge where the class 4-5 rapids were! you are supposed to be 16 or over to ride the harder rapids but because we had a guide that had 20 years of experience we were allowed to do it. Some of the class 5 rapids were called soda fountain, boat eater and lethal weapon!!!!!!! At this very moment we are at the Windmill resturant eating our appetizer onion rings and breaded mushrooms awaiting our meals, yum yum please post your comments.
Chow hollie xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, August 3, 2008

bbq at Cotopaxi

Today was our longest drive alone some very boring roads. We are going to ask for a refund on our TomTom because she didnt get to say anything for hours. Had lunch in a place called Springer at the Dairy Delice Diner run entirely by the over 80's. Arrived Cotopaxi at about 1700 and found our cabin (number 8). We are currently enjoying some incinerated sausages cooked over our very own open fire. Min will be toasting us some marsh mellows for desert. (Ian will then be looking for stuff to burn)
Early to bed and then whitewater rafting tomorrow!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns ( boy They are big !)

Carlsbad Caverns ( boy They are big !)
Nearly late for our tour of the Left hand tunnel, as its imaginatively titled..
Ian hanging around in his boxers & WE ARE READY TO GO.
We met our Guide Gosha at the 754 Ft below surface meeting point.
Gosha ( from Poland originally) explained to us that this was a demanding 2 hr hike,
Meaning its not poss to do it in your car says Ian.
We set off into the left hand tunnel carrying our candles ( YES CANDLES for an authentic pioneer effect)
We were told we would climb the” hill of death” which turned out to be a pile of small rocks, this proved hazardous for many elderly people in our team (mummy….half drunk ha ha)
We saw many stalactites and stalagmites . Rock pools , bottomless pits and fossils were frequent.
This was an amazing experience and towards the end of the tour we sat on a part of the cave floor and turned all our lanterns off. Wow it was dark when Gosha lit all the lanterns again it was a weird sensation.
Love hollie

This afternoon Ian drove us to Roswell Alien capital of the world & having visited the museum & research centre I can say “I still don’t believe in aliens”.
It was however great fun & we stocked up on kitch souvenirs.
I will say goodnight from the Cattle Baron Steak & seafood eatery..Ian has just demolished a massive steak!
Currently no mobile signal so not getting texts. If this is our last entry we may have been abducted & probed !!
Love Debs