Also this one from a few days ago. Forgot to post.
I got to do one of my favorite things on Friday: talk about the ADA to a bunch of disability rights advocates. Even better: the advocates were with the Southwest Center for Independence, and were in Durango, Colorado. I had the choice of six* hours of driving (each way) through the amazing Colorado countryside, or an hour (each way) bouncing over the mountains in a regional jet. I chose the drive without a second thought.
So Friday morning early, I lit out for Durango and because Holly still isn’t fully house-trained, and thus can’t stay alone with Tim, I brought her along for the ride.
It’s almost as if I bought the CRV with the dogs in mind! Oh, right. Turns out it has an added feature I hadn’t even known about. For those awkward moments when she poops in the middle of a scenic overlook that lacks a trashcan:
Always pack out your trash!
Anyway, I chose the southeastern route in the map above — down I25 and across Route 160 — because I’m not a big fan of pass driving. Google Maps helpfully sets out various routes, and then lets you choose your mode of transportation: car; bus; on foot. To accurately calculate our time, however, they need another option: traveling with puppy.
We stopped every hour and a half to two hours to find Holly a grassy spot. Besides that slight inconvenience, though, she was the perfect traveling companion.
Driving in Colorado: breathtakingly beautiful.
Breathtakingly . . . obvious?
Got to Durango without a minute to spare before the talk. That is, though I didn’t have any minutes to spare, I spared a couple, and ended up about 5 minutes late. It was my favorite kind of talk: with interested advocates who had great ideas and great questions.
After the talk, Holly and I set out to explore Durango a bit, and found a path by the river that was perfect for a post-driving-trip stroll.
Obligatory “Holly Posing Because She Knows Just How Cute She Is” photo:
Dinner was yak stew — a first for me! — and lamb dumplings at The Himalayan Kitchen, then back to the hotel, where Holly checked out the accommodations.
For the drive back to Denver, I chose the more direct route — in blue in the map above — that took me on Route 160 as far as Del Norte, and then Route 285 northeast through the mountains. There were a couple more passes, but either they were relatively easy passes or I’m finally getting use to pass driving. Or possibly exchanging the 1988 Accord for a 2013 CRV just makes the whole thing feel safer. But I also took the time to stop for photos. These first four were processed in HDR:
Uh oh! Better behave myself!***
I arrived home, tired and happy, yesterday afternoon, very grateful to live in a state of overwhelming natural beauty and kick-ass disability advocates.
* Actually, I have to confess, when I first learned I would be going to Durango, I thought, “it’s in the same state; how far can that be?” Having grown up out east**, I assumed that anywhere you had to go within a single state couldn’t be more than a couple of hours’ drive. Soooooo it turns out they make states bigger out here. So the six-hour drive was a bit of a surprise, but ultimately a pleasant one.
** I’ve been overthinking the phrases “back east” and “out west” recently. I use the phrases mostly because they reflect my path. I started life on the east coast, and I’ve migrated out west. But it occurs to me that these common phrases are not only sort of east-coast-centric, but also reflect a European-American-centric path (my peeps mostly entered the U.S. from the east coast and headed west) as opposed to an Asian-American path, as many Asians entered the U.S. from the west coast. So I thought I’d try “out east” for a while and see how it sounded.
We registered Holly with the American Kennel Club. When you register a dog with the AKC, you can’t just register her as Holly, or even Holly Fox, or Holly Robertson. We learned this a long time ago, when we decided to register our childhood dogs. When we attempted to register Jenny
the AKC would not accept “Jenny” as a name. So Jenny became “Jennifer of Little Falls.” (We lived on Little Falls Road.) When our next dog came along, Tasha*
became “Lady’s Natasha Samsonova.” (Her mother was Lady, her father was Sam, and Mom had a master’s in Russian lit.)
When we got Chinook and Saguaro, we got all the papers to register them, but never got around to it, so they were just plain old Chinook and Saguaro.
We got Holly from the same wonderful breeder, Linda Francis, who asked us this time to please register Holly for reasons related to the fact that Linda is now a Breeder of Merit with the AKC. And since Linda has brought such immeasurable joy into our lives, we would do almost anything for her. She also suggested that since Holly was one of a litter of 10 girl puppies, the litter theme was “girls.” “Holly” will be her “call name,” but she’d need a registered name that includes the word “girl;” it would go with the name of Linda’s kennel, Fly’n Hi. We thought of and rejected a couple. Riot Grrls seemed appropriately transgressive, but turned out (upon Googling) to be sort of dark. We had settled on Mighty Girl, which seemed cool but sort of obscure, when I realized that I was spontaneously calling her by what would become her AKC name:
So, everybody, meet Fly’n Hi Funny Girl, a/k/a Holly:
* Yes, I have better photos of Tasha, but I thought the Impeach Nixon hat was a classic!
My 2014 New Year’s resolution is to blog more. I was inspired by my cousin’s resolution to cancel her gym membership and my brother’s resolution to drink more. Why should resolutions be designed to bum you out? Start the year right with a resolution that will make you happy! So I’m resolving to blog more, play with the dog(s)* more, and eat more pasta. That first one may increase the down-scrolling and notification-deleting burden on you, my five loyal readers, but just think of it as additional exercise for your typing fingers!
In a move that is essentially burning through a month’s worth of good resolution-keeping material on the first day of 2014, herewith a photo dump from the back half of 2013, that is, random cellphone photos that entertain me without actually being worthy of an entire blog post.
From our favorite Denver deli, The Bagel Deli: cheesy jalapeño knishes. Just another reason I love the west!
More Denver/Jewish humor:
Behind the bar at Cholon which, besides having scary creatures in wine bottles, has amazing small plates like duck spring rolls.
Green tea chai latte fail:
Saguaro explaining that it’s time to stop vegging in front of the computer and start throwing the tennis ball.
A little light reading on my way to my cousin’s bridal shower in Portland, Maine.
When shopping for yard clean-up, I had to admire the attention to detail in the browser tab icon for Pet Scoop:
I know on some level I should be offended by this, but I found myself more amused, and admiring the entrepreneurial spirit.
We were very sad to say goodbye to our favorite tapas joint, Ondo’s, where we had a typically amazing meal last night, its last night before closing. Really hoping the owners will find a good space and reopen elsewhere.
Then we closed out the year in typical party-animal fashion:
Happy New Year to all and onward to 2014!
*New puppy coming later this month! Will make the “more blogging” resolution really easy!