2006-10-27

Blizzard Day

Wednesday was sunny and in the 50s. But there was talk of a blizzard.
It seems it was a rare case of a large amount of moisture coming up from the south at the same time as a cold from coming down from the North. Around 12" were expected in my area. But it was also supposed to be very windy - making that unusual amount of snow even more troublesome. Work sent out a note during the day that we should check the weather line before attempting to go into work.

Well, about 11pm, the wind started picking up, but no snow.
In the morning, I got up before 7. There was a lot of snow on the ground. The wind was blowing. It was still snowing. I called work's weather line. It said, work at 10, call again to be sure. Called later, the message said work at 12, call again to be sure. I called again - work was closed for the day.

I had slept a lot of the morning. Boy did I need it. I went out for a short walk during lunchtime, to take some pictures (see below). I was well chilled in just a few short minutes. It was at the edge of freezing. The streets, where they were plowed, looked passable - but treacherous. I heard of a number of people getting stuck just from snow being too deep under the car. So I was glad I stayed home.

I watched a bunch of TV. I even fell back asleep for more than an afternoon.

I watch 'In the Cut' Robin Williams. Then I watched a CSI. Then I watched the 'Butterfly Effect' - an interesting twist on time travel. I have the sequel to watch yet. I watched another CSI before going to sleep. I was a little depressed. Of the 3 TV stations I get from antenna, there was one that was off the air, probably due to the weather: CBS. Unluckily, that was the only station I really watch. My VCR was set to record 2 shows: survivor & the original CSI (the best of the franchise, IMHO). So I left my VCR on so it would not record dead air. I am bummed that I missed both shows. I hope the station is back in time to tape Numb3rs.

Tonight I go see Blue Man Group with some friends.

Tomorrow I have 2 Halloween parties. The first is geocaching-related, and I am getting the boys for a few hours even though it is not my weekend, to take them. Then after I drop them back at their house, I have another party I'll go to for a little while.

Hopefully I'll get some geocaching this weekend. 'Geocaching?' you ask. 'With more than a foot of snow?' Well, you see today is sunny and in the 50s, and that is the forecast for the next few days as well. So it should be well melted in most places soon. I'd expect the roads to be mostly melted - and dry! - by this afternoon.

2006-10-23

Trip to Vail

So about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I got a call on my cell phone. It was about a timeshare place up near Vail. It turns out some geocache friends had given them my name and number. As first I was going to be upset at the friends for giving out my cell phone number and just tell the timeshare people not to bother me.

But I decided to listen to the pitch. They were willing to let me bring the boys. So I thought, what the heck? It would be a change of pace for a weekend. So I let them come tell me about the setup and the deal. I talked about going through a divorce. It did not seem to phase the person giving me the details.

So the plan was for this past weekend. An overnight Oct 21-22. I figured we might get to see some bright fall colors up in the mounts and maybe even get a bunch of geocaches.

Friday - the highway to Vail got a lot of snow. That didn't bode too well - but I didn't fret it too much. Saturday morning, I checked the web-cams. Snow along the road - but the roads looked mostly or completely clear. So after a quick errand, we hit the road. I stopped for fuel in Castle Rock. On the road up from Castle Rock, my car started handling oddly. I pulled over. The right-read tire was most of the way flat. A quick change of tires. Then up to Castle Pines - to get air in the spare. It had enough air to get me to the next exit. Once it had air, it was fine. There was no place the whole weekend that I could get the tire fixed in a reasonable time - so I still have to get it fixed.

We had lunch in Castle Pines. At first it was going to be pizza - but I realized with the rate of service - it would be forever to do that. So I went next door to Subway.

Then we drove towards Vail. It looked like there was some snow going on North of us, as we threaded our way into the mountains at the outskirts of Denver. But overall we did very well. The weather varied from clear to snow-showers to cloudy and back.

I tried pulling over a few times to get a geocache - but none of the spots seemed very accessible. They all seemed like they were up a mountain.

The only place there was some accumulation was going over Vail pass - before Vail. We stopped at the rest area to stretch. The kids enjoyed finding some very large icicles hanging from the building. There was a small amount of snow-ball fight before we got back into the car.

Well, the place we were staying was in the next town after Vail, called Avon. We were being put up in a small hotel across the street from the tall timeshare. We were told that there was a pool, so I made sure the kids had bathing suits.

We checked in. The younger boys wanted to go swimming - even though it was an outdoor pool. But it was heated. But it turned out I forgot my bathing suit! My eldest loan me his suit for the afternoon dunk. He enjoyed a little quiet time while I took the younger boys swimming.

Dinner - we looked for a decent place - but wound up settling for McDonald in Vail.

The next morning, I get a call in the hotel room. It is the sales guy from the timeshare. First he admits they are overbooked. I am worried they would ask me to stay longer - as I'm already figuring it is as late as I am comfortable with. Then he asks if he heard correctly that I am going through a divorce. I said yes. He then said his lawyer told him that he could not buy anything when he had his divorce. I said, yes, I could not agree to buy anything this weekend, but would be glad to look and consider it in the future. He told me that I could look at the papers I was given. They would send me the stuff they promised. But that I didn't have to take the tour. I could tell the guy was disappointed that I'd been signed up when he would not have a shot at selling me something there and then.

This was fine news to me. A free night stay - and no pressure to make the tour and no pressure to resist for buying.
I drove over to the new Wal-Mart and bought a bathing suit. We went back and spent an hour or so in the pool. It was strange - as the air was right about freezing - but the water in the pool - was pool temperature. My nose and ears got a little cold a few times, but otherwise it was a lot of fun. Getting out was a little hard with that level of cold, but we managed.

We checked out and started back. I really wanted to do at least one Geocache before we left the area. It turns out the only relatively convenient one was one a short hike from the new Wal-Mart. A micro. And the log was soaking wet. But I manage to do a minimal log entry using an erasermate.

We kept looking for a good place to eat. We made very good time coming back from Vail. We would up driving all the way back to town before we stopped for a late, big lunch. The we had some afternoon left. Watch a video. Then we went out and played some sports until it got dark and late. We play frisbee, waffle ball, hula-hoop toss - and variations of games with all the toys we brought out with us.

The kids seemed to have enjoyed the change of pace going up to Vail. I got home, and had a piece of mail from a different timeshare place. Hmm - can I afford another flat tire? :)