Rocky Mountain National Park
John decided to take the day off, as well, which I was very, very grateful for as he did most of the momentous amounts of driving we did today.
So one of the things that Genevieve doesn't get in the U.K. are the thick American pancakes. They get crepes out there, but no pancakes or waffles other than a rather dry version of a more brittle waffle. So we had to do those two things before she left. There was a breakfast place in Longmont John and I had been wanting to go to for while. It's called the Egg and I, so we took off when everyone was up and went there first.
It's a great breakfast spot. All kinds of things on the menu that just made me drool. Biscuits and gravy with eggs and hash and meat, corned beef hash with eggs and toast, and, thank goodness, they had homestyle pancakes of various sorts. No waffles, so John decided he'd make waffles tomorrow. Since we were here for the pancakes I got the blueberry cashew single pancake with blueberry compote and butter and syrup if I wanted that, too. The pancakes were, thankfully, whole wheat as well. So I was getting fruit, nuts and whole grain, so I didn't feel at all guilty enjoying them. It was utterly delicious. Genevieve's banana walnut pancakes pleased her a great deal as well. John got a really spice Southwest skillet and cleaned up happily.
The pancakes were bigger than our heads. I was so glad I got a single one. It really reminded me of the servings available at the Brown Bag in Redmond and I was really, really glad to have finally found a breakfast spot that was actually really good instead of just passable. We'll have to come back here often. Neat to have the excuse of finding pancakes for Genevieve become something that we'll likely enjoy in the future, as well.
We then took off for Rocky Mountain National Park. John and I have been there enough times, now to know the way really well and be kinda used to the astonishing views. Genevieve just kept saying, "Wow." around every bend and curve in the road. I put her up in the front seat and I slept a lot in the back. Tired, high altitude, and everything and I mostly just slept, sipped water and grinned at Genevieve's comments. She and John had fun talking a good deal, and we stopped a few times, one a the lovely view of the backs of the Front Range, and then again up at the visitor's center/gift shop.
We used the running-water bathrooms at the visitor's center for the first time ever, and then wandered through the gift area there. Then we walked over to the big gift shop and I surprised myself by finding that I was really hungry. I got myself a chili dog with fries while Genevieve shopped. John and Genevieve were still so full from breakfast that they couldn't eat a bite, but I ate nearly the whole chili dog, which was warm, yummy and filling in just the right ways. I felt so much better after the first few bites, I realized that, yet again, I wasn't figuring out, very well, when I was hungry.
I went back to the car while John and Genevieve braved the little trail to the 12,500 foot altitude. I wasn't supposed to do aerobic stuff at high altitude, so I was even happier John was with us so that he could accompany Genevieve. While they climbed, I pulled out my notes and notebook and wrote up the second half of what I wanted to do for the wedding message. I hadn't even finished that when they were back. But I got down all the important ideas I wanted to touch on, so that was good. I wasn't entirely pleased with the wording.
Back down again, and I drowsed again until we stopped at a fruit stand in Lyons. Mmm... fresh local produce. They had vine-ripened cantaloupe and local peaches, so I bought some of those. I also got a quart of peach cider as I really liked the sample I tasted. Sweet and tart and redolent with the richness of peaches. Happiness. Genevieve got some locally sold coffee drink mix that intrigued her.
Then back to Boulder, where John and I got a bunch of beer and root beer from the cold storage at a liquor store, and then went to work and put on the Hawaiian shirts we'd gotten yesterday. I'd been sitting in my cubicle when Steve Wolfe and Loren wandered by with this gorgeous Hawaiian shirt of really red flowers, big tropical leaves all on a purple background with Xilinx on one sleeve and Foundation ISE on the other. It was the ISE release shirts!! Only people who had worked on the product could have one, was the new rule, to limit shirt orders within the company. They were just gorgeous and everyone at work was envious, some people even came by to ask for one; but we didn't have enough to give away. Steve and Loren wanted everyone who had worked on ISE to wear their shirts today and then have a little gathering at 4 for everyone to just sit around and have some beer and talk war stories for the last release.
Since John and I had taken the day off as vacation, we just showed up with Genevieve for the party. Just sat and talked and drank and talked and it was fun. The Tommyknocker Root Beer was actually quite good. And it was just fun to hang around with people and talk.
Also, from work, we kept trying to call Dr. Billings, Fezzik's oncologist, and just kept getting the front desk and no answer from her. So we left a message saying we'd get home around 6 and call when we were home, and we went home. We finally got her then and talked things over with her and her opinion was that the hind leg stuff was likely more that Fezzik's arthritis had moved into his spine, not that the cancer was doing something more. And given the slow growing nature of this problem, and the fact that he'd been showing smaller and lighter signs of it for the last few months, i.e. dragging his hind toes, even before the cancer diagnosis, it was a pretty likely diagnosis. The lymph node being large in that leg, however, did concern her and we'll be re-evaluating his chemo maintenance given feedback from the next treatment set.
So the good news is that it's not more cancer.
I couldn't face cooking and Genevieve had the marvelous idea of just eating all the leftovers. John took the opportunity to clean out the refrigerator, and we all ate whatever we wanted to. I had the leftover massaman from Sunday. Genevieve finished off the Chinese food leftovers and John had green chile stew. A pile of Tupperware was left from the feast, but we were all well fed and happy.
John popped popcorn and we went downstairs for one last video binge on the things we had in the house. The completely unsubtitled but still really fun Castle Cagliostro was first, and then My Neighbor Totoro, which we had a printed copy of all the translations for. Genevieve got to read that while John and I mostly followed by heart. She enjoyed that a lot as well. I was glad. It is a pretty peaceful movie, on the most part, not the blood and glory of some of the other anime, but I thought it representative of a number of things.
With all the absorption of anime and manga I've done this week, I'm, more and more, contemplating doing something silly like drawing an on-line comicbook or something. Doesn't help that I keep wandering through Scott McCloud's web site and keep thinking of more keen ideas for something that could be done this way. Visual plus verbal stuff in small enough packets it doesn't hurt to download. I'm thinking too much.