I'm lucky enough to have relatives everywhere. So after visiting Yellowstone, Lach and I headed to see cousin Rob, his wife Shannon and their three kids.
Our first night was a barrel of laughs. Considering we'd never met before, it's always great when you can instantly get along with someone. I personally loved Shannon immediately when she said "I stalked your Facebook to see what you like to drink. Lots of your friends send you things about Gin, so I got that."
Talk about American kindness!
Day two we ventured to the river nearby - being in Colorado meant spending more fun times outdoors. So we had a very relaxing day in the sun, followed by a touch of rain, a bit more sun and a bit more rain. But it didn't ruin the day. There was tubing downstream, which only resulted in one burst tube. A BBQ for lunch, Lachy and I working on our fading tans and lots of fishing. We even made trout ceviche for dinner with the fresh catch (and because I am now an expert* after the cooking class the girls and I had in Peru...)
The following day we had a boys day and girls day. The boys took Lachy mountain biking around the reservoir nearby. I think there were a couple of sore heads, but they survived. The 33 mile long track was mainly pink granite gravel (Lachy is giving you all the details you might want...) it was allegedly slippery and he only took one wrong turn but "wasn't lost".
While they were having their adventure, Shannon and the girls took me to a yoga class. Then we were going to relax in some outdoor spas. When we arrived, there was apparently a Yoga retreat on. We were told we could join in the class, but would have to leave at 10.30 before some other parts of the retreat took place. Well - it wasn't yoga. I'm no expert... But I've never acted like a bear, or flown like a condor or played with flashing balls in yoga. When Elise got the phone call to say she had to go to work - I think she was relieved to get out of there and as Shannon had to drive her, she was gone too. Alaina and I weren't so lucky... We had to stick it out until the end. The highlight was probably the moment we were handed a handful crystals and had to leave the building and walk across the park with these yogis** and throw them in the river with a prayer of some sort. Now - I don't want to take anything away from the people who like crystals, or the people who like yoga. But honestly - you had to experience it to understand it was the weirdest experience of the trip to date!
That evening we went to a local brewery with Shannon and Rob (none of the kids are legal drinking age). Lachy and I were pretty impressed with the fact Rob has his own mug at the joint. We did some taste testing and probably got a little silly before we had to go back and have dinner and smore's. It was our first smore experience and we wanted some more smore's. Insert the pun here.
The following day, while everyone had to work, Lachy and I drove up Pikes Peak. Well, Lachy drove while I got nervous in the passenger seat and used my imaginary brakes. We were missing out on being there for the famous race by just four days. Lachy was devastated. I didn't really care...
The drive (bottom to top) was around 19 miles (need to check that fact) and got to over 14,000 feet high. There was copious switch backs and ear popping. The views from the top were incredible. Though the "worlds best donuts" was definitely some false advertising. Lachy ate six...
We headed downhill and thought we would have just one beer at the brewery before going back to the homestead. One beer turned into two while we face timed with Milly and Frank. Then some blokes heard our accent, gave Mum a wave in the background and shouted us a third beer. We joined them for a fourth not long after and it was great to spend some time chatting with them and hearing their stories. They told us one that makes a Tasmanian family tree look easy! But I won't get into that...
We had our last dinner which was a sad affair before we headed to New York the following day.
* Not really - I'm still terrible.