There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the wheel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. The teach the truth by living it.
Views from the road to Westcliffe. It was the first leg of a Southern Colorado mini-break and early birthday celebration for my favorite human ever (Greg is 52 today!), with two nights in Trinidad as our final destination.
We had a fine lunch and wander in Westcliffe, enjoying stellar sandwiches at the Sugarlump and a cinnamon licorice treat from their sister shop, Lollypop & Co. A fun time in a cool town.
On our way to Trinidad, we stopped along the Huerfano River Valley, where my Williams, Serna, and Casias ancestors were among the first permanent settlers. There’s even a creek named for the Williams side nearby. As is my wont, I visited the cemetery and brought some sweet decor. Handsome Louis is my Great Uncle times three.
The land in the foreground was owned by my family. The first time we visited, there was a house just down the road that was also on land they owned, and we considered buying it before deciding a forty minute one-way to the grocery or a hospital was not our jam. It was, however, quite tempting to imagine waking up to that stunning view on the daily!
Buried just outside Aguilar, Colorado (where Al Capone once lived) is Esquipula Maes, my Great Grandmother times four. We stumbled amongst a sea of Italian headstones in 100 degree heat to find her. Boy was I happy when we did!
p.s. the dates on her headstone were wrong, so I erased them.
Trinidad is just a hop, skip, and a jump over the pass from Raton, New Mexico, so we did just that. I do not recommend arriving on a Monday at lunch time, however, as the town is pretty much closed. The theater did look quite nice though.
My Great Grandma Tillie lived in Trinidad in 1900. She’s looking every bit adorable (that wisp of a curl!) with her equally handsome older brother, Henry. They lived on Convent street in a house that no longer exists.
Up until this trip, Trinidad was only ever a stopping place on the way to New Mexico. I am so happy to have spent more time here now, enjoying its beauty, both natural and architectural (with a little bit of cheek!), friendly people, great food, and fun shops.
Mutiny, in addition to a superb service and a nook of black light posters (!!), offers used books, comics, and music, along with every child in an adult’s body (aka Colleen and Greg) superb coffee, a sugar cereal bar, the ultimate selection of lunch box pastries, and pop tarts! We chose strawberry and a hardcover book about Mongolia.
So many sights for sore eyes! Many of these buildings were here when my Grandma Tillie lived here, which made my heart so happy to expereince it somewhat through her eyes.
Definitely not present during her time, but surely worthy of her approval were the Indian Fry bread delights at Three Sisters.
Same goes for the margaritas at the Las Animas Grill. History lessons from the kindly owner are also on offer! Also worth noting, but totally without a photo because we ate them too quickly, were the wonderful pastries from Colie’s. We had a sticky bun cinnamon roll and an almond croissant. Yum.
We literally chose the hottest day of the year to hike, and my red face shows it. Yowza!
In addition to wanting to see the streets where my Grandma Tillie toddled about as a child, Greg and I were keen on vising Colorado’s newest state park – Fisher’s Peak. It’s about a five minute drive from downtown, and could not be easier. Worthy of note is the fact that dogs are not allowed at the park. No fretting needed, Juniper napped in the security of her crate and the air conditioned luxury of our rental while we hiked.
This was our longest and most difficult hike in ages, the first section 900 feet in elevation gain in the first mile, so yeah, steep. Not gonna lie, our legs and my right knee did some complaining, but it was certainly worth the incredible views of its namesake, the Sangre de Christos, and Spanish Peaks. Most definitely!
There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world, I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.
Our resident guitar player is getting better and better (also cuter and cuter, just sayin’)! He just bought this 1982 Fender Bullet, with every intention of taking it up a rock and roll notch or two. Also, a funny aside. He wore the pictured t-shirt to the music shop, and the guy assumed he was there for an accordion. “I don’t know anything about them. I want a guitar.” He found a beauty!
Speaking of guitar, well, really just music, I have a couple recommendations for you. Strolling around the Youtube, we found Khruangbin, a lot of chill guitar and drums, very little singing. Pretty darn perfect for gazing at birds in the backyard. The only problem is that there wasn’t enough of that vibe for us, volume wise. So, Greg found some site where you enter a band or song you like, and it shows you something similar.
He starts reading off the names, all pretty unremarkable (sorry), until he gets to Tommy Guerrero. If you recall, I am a fan of the Bones Brigade, and so I wondered aloud, “Bones Brigade Tommy Guererro?” Greg has no clue, so we look it up, and sure enough, one and the same! I am one of the most punctual people you will ever meet, but dang, can I be late to a musical party, because Tommy Has been making music since he got his first Bones Brigade paycheck in the 80s. Let me tell you, it shows! We have now purchased a few of his digital releases, to our shared delight. Maybe yours, too.
My sister from another mister, Andie, came for a visit. A grand time was had by all!
Double Borg!! Back when there was snow on Pikes Peak, Greg wore his Bjorn Borg tee and jacket on the same day. We are nerdy enough to consider it worth commemorating.
More nerd vibes, depending on your persuasion. Greg and I quit our D & D group ages ago and rather missed playing. Little did we know we could scratch that itch with board game versions. We bought Legend of Drizzt and have played twice! Once with our board game homie, Jeff, of course, and once just the two of us. Heaven. No need for a Dungeon Master, lots of great action. I even revived my bad-ass character Kittra Gromdottir. All the D & D things!
My cousin Stephanie had a party to celebrate sweet Stella a couple weekends back. It would have been a truly awful day, had there not been such a huge gang in attendance. So many people! Stella had such a magical, whimsical presence, and every single person shared how she touched their life. It was a heart bursting celebration, so full of love.
While chatting to Stephanie, she said Stella was showing up in butterflies. I had even seen a couple that day, outside their house. So when this beauty of a swallowtail appeared in our garden, I knew she was with us, too. We love you, Stella!