July 27 and 28 – Briana and I woke up at 5:30am so we could try and be on the road by 7am for the five hour drive south to Aspen. But not before giving hugs and saying good-bye to the Potts. We sure do miss them!

The drive to Aspen was at some points extremely stressful. Not because of the winding roads but because of the lack of other cars on the road. Extreme isolation. The landscape made me feel like we were driving through the movie set of “The Hills Have Eyes.” We didn’t see a single car for at least an hour. What we did see was a ton of prong horn deer. Everywhere!

The landscape eventually turned from desert to very green with amazing views of the mountains. We were finally in Colorado… and getting close to Aspen! Briana’s cousin, Lynn, and her husband, Jay, graciously hosted us in their home at the foot of Aspen Mountain for two nights. They have a ski lift right next to their house and are within walking distance of the quaint downtown area of Aspen. Lynn’s sister, Maggie, and their mom, Leigh, who is Briana’s aunt, were also there. We arrived to a great barbecue dinner with some amazing wine. After dinner, we strolled around the mall (an outdoor shopping area, for pedestrians only). After spending time in Jackson, I figured Aspen would be similar.  But it is totally different.  Aspen is green!  Perfectly manicured grass, bright-colored flowers planted everywhere, and trees.

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Downtown Aspen!

We woke up to an amazing breakfast, then Briana and I took the girls for a short walk back down to the mall area of Aspen to do a little window shopping. I would recommend visiting the Flying Circus Emporium, a funky little store right on Main Street.

For lunch we took the gondola up to have lunch at the Sundeck restaurant.  The mountains were simply breathtaking. There was so much more for kids to do at the top of Aspen Mountain, swings and a giant chessboard. The temperature was much cooler at the top of the mountain. We could have stayed there all day!

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Eating lunch on top of the world!

Jay and Lynn made a delicious dinner of grilled shrimp, filet mignon, and chicken, with rice, corn and salad.  Jay is a talented chef, as is Lynn, who made the most wonderful gluten free chocolate cake for dessert and the best frittata for brunch the next morning. Delicious wine, amazing food, great conversation, and a happy birthday song for Briana’s aunt.  Excellent evening!

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After a slow morning, since we stayed up until 1am the night before, it was time to head to Boulder, to visit Briana’s roommate from college, Cindy, and her family.