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Sunday, January 04, 2009

More Vacation Tales

On Christmas day, we opened stockings and presents at the rental house and then went to Nicole's for dinner. She made yummy hors d'euvres for us to munch on while she made biscuits, ham, turkey, and other delicious tidbits. We ate like kings!!!

Then we took a breath, unbuttoned our pants, got our forks ready, and chowed down on the most wonderful pies ever. LLB loves pumpkin - she was in heaven. Mom and I had apple and dad and Nicole went for the cherry. It was sooo yummy. I wish I had a piece of it now...

On Friday we took a drive to Colorado Springs. We wanted to see the Air Force Academy - which according to their website and the gentleman on the phone the day before Christmas - was supposed to be open. We arrived to find the weather cold and blustery and the Academy closed. That is not a very inviting atmosphere and it certainly does not make the kids want to attend. (#1 was not impressed and LLB is simply an Annapolis girl all the way.)

The campus is very nice, but it doesn't have the charm that Annapolis has. The chapel was open - it was really lovely. We took our pictures and headed back to the car where it was warm. From there we went to a coffee factory that turned out to be a tiny storefront with okay coffee. The day was turning into a bust, but we were making the best of it.

We decided to stop at the Cave of the Winds. (It was cold out so the Garden of the Gods will have to wait for a warmer day - like when we visit in the summer sometime.) The four of us and Gram signed up for the tour. We knew our luck was about to change when we read the sign:
At least there would be no obnoxious people or crying children to deal with down there!!
It was a fun tour with interesting caves and rock formations. My favorite part was the sparkling jewel like formations that looked like tiny diamonds. I like shiny sparkly things!! (Of course I can't find the picture...) We noticed that there wasn't a lot of color in the cave like there is here at Luray Caverns. That must have something to do with the minerals in the ground or something. It was a fun way to spend an hour!

The next day we did the tour at Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. When you get out of the car, there is a most wonderful aroma - seasonings and spices and tea and yummy.... I could have stood there and just breathed it in for an hour - it was so wonderful!
While you wait for your tour to start, you can taste all the teas you want. They were so good! They also make coffee - who knew?? The vanilla hazelnut is delicious! (I would have brought some home, but my suitcase was full. Besides, I think I might be able to find it in the grocery store here. When I do, I'll let you know.)

The funniest part of the tour is when they give you all hair nets. We all looked ridiculous, but unfortunately, we took them off before we remembered we wanted to take a picture. So - you'll just have to envision us with hideous white hairnets. Oh... my... we were a vision - a dream... okay, maybe a nightmare.

The tour was great. My favorite part was when they let you in the mint room. The smell is divine! My sinuses cleared in moments. (If I worked there, I'd never have to worry about a stuffy nose - ever!)

After Celestial, we went to the Dushanbe Tea House. It was a lovely setting on a cold and blustery day. Unfortunately, the staff left a LOT to be desired. Nicole called for a reservation and they put us on the list. When we arrived, they told us it would be a few more minutes. An hour and a half later, I noticed that our names were on the first page and the hostess was reading names from the second page. When I mentioned that, she didn't even apologize. That bad behavior sealed it for me until when she sat us at the coldest table around she said, "This table has a reservation scheduled in an hour and half. I think you should have plenty of time to eat." Excuse me?!! That was beyond rude. I will say that the food was nice (except for mom's cold potatoes and my overcooked polenta) and the chai was yummy. When we were getting ready to go, the hostess flitted over to take our money. She really wanted us out of that table. I asked for her name. It is Kathleen. I will be emailing the Tea House to tell them of my experience. Not that they care, but... if you go to Boulder, take your pictures out front and then go find somewhere else to have tea and eat.

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