Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the 36th anniversary of the day Ben and I were married.  The weather was predicted to be in the mid 70's after yesterday's high in the mid 90's, and my hip and knee were not hurting so to celebrate all these things, we spent a couple of hours hiking up part of Flagstaff Mountain which sits to the west of our home.  A trail winding up it starts about six blocks away. 

Walking to the trail head was half the fun since there were so many interesting houses to see along the way.  All the homes in my new neighborhood are different from each other, and I love to check them out and see what I like.   

How about this red door?  Love the arch over the entry porch, the beautiful stone wall, and the welcoming bench. 

That same house has a lovely side garden.

Isn't this one a beauty?  The echoing pediment, the double pillars, the fantastic stonework, the craftsman lights and the landscaping all work together to say "Someone with style lives here!"

Some houses aren't so charming but are still interesting.  Often you'll see newer homes like this one which are sited lower than the ground they sit on.  You actually walk down a few steps to enter the house.  This is because people want to build bigger houses but aren't allowed to obstruct the "solar access" of existing homes.   If this house was built taller it would shade its neighbors, so instead they dug down to add square footage below the ground.

As we got closer to the trail head we saw several homes built right up against the mountain, like this handsome one.

As we started up the trail, the views west towards the Rockies were wonderful.

 After a bit the trail turned east and climbed up over a ridge so we could see great views of the city, especially our own neighborhood.  The big road you see is College Avenue, which is our street, leading east towards the University of Colorado, marked by the patch of red roofs.  The spread-out building in the left center is the elementary school across the street from our house.

Then the trail turned south, going up to Panorama Point on Flagstaff Road.   I thought that would be the highpoint for our hike, but it wasn't.  Oh, the heartbreak of a false summit! But my knee and hip were holding up and we were enjoying the perfect day, the sights, and each other's company, so all was good.  Once we did hit the high point we started down through a very rocky area and I was glad I had a hiking pole to steady me.

And then we were overlooking the beautiful open meadows of Chautauqua Park, which is about half a mile from our house.  

It's been a wet few months and many flowers are blooming in Chautauqua and on Flagstaff.  I particularly like this one, though I don't know its name.

After we got home and each drank a big glass of ice water we went downtown for a late lunch.  Being outdoors and eating good food; two of the keystones which make up the foundation of our marriage!  

Paul, of course, is another, but he chose not to join us for the hike or lunch, saying he wanted to give us time alone together.  That was nice, but later today we'll make a point of doing something together as a family in acknowledgement of the joy we found when we became not just a couple, but parents, almost fourteen years ago.   

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