Date - August 30th
Departure time - 9:30 AM
Departure location - North Platte, NE
The Western scenery really starts to kick in once you head into western Nebraska. The plains start rising, and you start to notice the changing elevation.
Celeste got to ride her first Sinclair dinosaur at a Big Springs truck stop. Fun for both her and her Webkinzzzzzzz (those little stuffed animals that she is hopelessly addicted to).
We stopped at the Colorado visitors center just off of I-76. I have to dig out the photo of Allie, Jupie and I stopping there when we made our first trip out west when we moved to Boulder in January 1997.
Finally, we rolled into Arvada to spend the night with our friends. I met Chris when we worked together years ago. Allie, Celeste and I also lived in Arvada a few miles down the road. Chris and Pam's son Jackson played with Celeste many afternoons when they were both toddlers.
It had been four years since we last visited Boulder, so we asked our hosts if they'd be gracious enough to take us up there for the afternoon and evening. Our van was down one seat as I had removed it to make room for the gigantic cooler.
Boulder's Pearl Street Mall didn't have this cool little kiddie fountain when we lived there. Who knows exactly how many dirty Rainbow Family hippies have bathed in it.
Of course Celeste and Jackson looked like little hippies themselves - running around the lawn of the Boulder County courthouse barefoot and Celeste in a tye-dyed swimsuit.
Jackson's little sister Carly had a good time as well.
Dinner was at Boulder's venerable Mountain Sun Brewery. When we first moved to Boulder, our crappy and cramped apartment was a few blocks away.
My friend and neighbor Ron and I used to hit the pub for their happy hour - grab a couple of half-priced pitchers of XXX Pale Ale or Java Porter and an enormous plate of nachos (kids nachos pictured). Much away and stumble back home. I'm happy to report that the nachos and the beer were just as good as I had remembered them.
Being back on the Pearl Street Mall on a warm summer night brought back a flood of memories. Here's a pic of the location of the "flying burger patty incident". My poor mom was walking with us one evening when, from out of the sky, a lukewarm (but cooked) hamburger patty came flying from a rooftop, smacking her in the head and knocking her glasses off. Thankfully she was a good sport about it. We never figured out how that happened. Aliens maybe?
We hit Ben & Jerry's for a nightcap. Celeste decided that gummi bears would make a great topping on her Phish Food ice cream in a dipped cone.
Thank you Chris, Pam, Jackson and Carly for the great accomodations!
Finish off the post with a sweet mulletino.
Arrival time - 2 PM
Arrival location - Arvada, CO
TOTAL MILEAGE - 272