July 17, 2016

20 Jul

We went to mass this morning at St. Patrick’s  in the town of Minturn. I mention this as the pianist who was also the singer/ cantor had a beautiful voice and was a very gifted pianist. In such a small town ,it is not that common to have someone with so much talent.  So nice! We returned to Vail for the lovely brunch that Lisa and Dave Cicchenelli hosted for everyone! Again what a gracious and generous gift. We were able to get a Menendez Family picture with many of the family but we still missed 8 Menendez who were there at the Wedding just not at the brunch when we took the picture. Wish we could have gotten everyone! 

After saying goodbyes to some of the family leaving,Manny,Eric and I did walk down to the Solaris place courtyard to hear a Jass quintet play. They were good and we listened to 3 of their songs but felt the 3 songs were very similar. With this area in full swing for the Sunday Market Day,we did buy 3 fresh Colorado peaches and then at the Left Bank restaurant tent purchased a peach cobbler, a vanilla scoop of ice cream and a scoop of peach sorbet.  Finding a shady spot to sit down ,we shared the 3 choices and found each of them to be fabulous! The peaches we actually had later and they were juicy and perfect! We headed back to our car,packed and ready to go,said goodbye to some more family,and headed East towards Denver. Eric came with us and being the good sport he is figured out a way to be seated in the back of our van now converted for traveling. The traffic heading out of the mountains was just like the Jersey  shore traffic heading home on a Sunday! Packed,slow and stop and go! When we  finally were able to get off I-70 we took a short break from the traffic. After stretching,a bathroom stop, a cold drink and switching drivers,we were finally doing the last 8 mile descent to the flatlands heading into Denver.Eric goggled a great restaurant in The North field shopping area,called Salati Italian Street Food. It was super good and all fresh ingredients!  We walked around outside at this shopping area (set up very much like Exton Main Street) just alot more stores. We then had ice cream before we headed onto the Denver Airport to drop Eric off for his flight back to San Francisco.  Unfortunately, Eric had a long haul to get back. His 9pm flight was delayed to 11pm. He never got home till 3am on Monday morning! Ugh! We did not want to stay at a hotel at the airport as it was only 7pm.so we traveled on for another hour to Fort Morgan,Colorado where we pulled into another Hampton Inn. Too bad we did not know Eric would be so delayed. We would have taken a hotel room at the airport so he could have at least hung out in our hotel room. The joys of airplane travel. Even the hour further east in Fort Morgan,we noticed a good deal of lightning which is what delayed Eric”s flight. We are very glad that he made it back to San Francisco safely!  



July 16,2016

19 Jul

This morning,Manny and Eric did the Berry Picker hike,which was 3 miles up the mountain right from our condo in Vail. My leg is still being bothered by phelbitis and I needed to organize and pack clothes so I took the gondola ride up to the top and met Manny and Eric there. We strolled around on top for an hour and took in the views below.

The picture above is taken on top as well but is where Eric came in after running 26 miles on Thursday. 

The big event of the day was our niece,Jessica getting married to Erik Anderson.  The outdoor setting was lovely and the reception after was a big party with much dancing as the band was terrific! A beautiful day from beginning  to end!

Manny and his 4 sisters. 

Jessica  and Erik entering the reception. 

Father,daughter dance.

A great time was enjoyed by all!



July 15, 2016

18 Jul

Today Marsha relaxed at the Vail condo and sewed Jessica’s initials on a handkerchief to be used during her wedding ceremony. This is a long standing family tradition. Jessica’s initials were added to a long list of previous brides in the family. 

After a day off yesterday, I (Manny) joined 10 others in the family for a hike to Booth Falls and beyond to Booth Lake. This was a strenuous hike and rate by Lisa as a “Black Diamond ” hike. The hike followed Booth creek up the mountain through Aspen groves and alpine meadows.

Two miles up the trail we came to Booth Falls which were really a series of water falls. The upper section is pictured below. 

Here we had some snacks and the majority of the group decided it was time to turn around and head back down the mountain. Four of us  (Eric, Jacob, Elisabetta, and I ) continued on up the mountain to Booth Lake. The scenery and wild flowers high up on the mountain were fantastic including this backwards view of 14,000 ft Mount of the Holy Cross.

Indian paint brush was in full bloom on the mountain and we learned that this flower grows in a symbiotic relationship with hummingbirds which were also frequently seen.

Finally we reached Booth Lake at an elevation of about 11,500 ft. The lake and the surrounding snow packs made an awesome view which the picture below only catches a glimpse. 

This was an awesome hike which truly displayed the splendor of God and I felt like I was walking through Heaven. I am thankful for the opportunity to accompany these young people in my family on this hike. All in, it was 10.2 mile round trip, 3200 ft of climb, and just over 6 hours in duration. 

Love M&M

July 14, 2016

14 Jul

I know I am relaxed as I am having to look at my watch to know the day and date! Yesterday,we rode the 40 miles from Breckenridge to Vail. Once again over Vail Summit via the bike path. It was the easiest summit ride of the 3 we have done. The elevation climb is not as great as Breckenridge ‘s elevation is 9,600 ft  and  the Vail Summit is 10,600.The bike path does a gradual climb for the 8 miles from Frisco to Copper Mtn and then jusr 4 miles from Copper Mtn to Vail summit. We enjoyed the Vail Summit more this time as it was warmer!  Able to take more pictures (see below) and enjoy the views on the 16 mile descent into Vail even with the wind which did kick up!  Our Colorado Bike adventure covered 3 mountain passes ,262 miles,1 uhaul -plan B, 5 towns, and countless stunning views of this beautiful area!  We are tired but glad to have completed the journey!

Today,we dropped Eric off at the Vail Summit for his 25 to 30 mile run back to Vail. He is training for his 100 Mile run on August 7th in Cleveland. We continued on by car to Breckinridge .  Polly and Carol wanted to ride their bikes from Breckenridge to Vail today. So we came to drive their car back to Vail as well as pick up some gear we had left behind so as not to ride loaded over the Vail pass.

Love M & M 

July 11 ,2016

13 Jul

Sorry for being a day behind in writing the blog! Eric,our oldest son,joined us in Vail,Sunday night. On Monday,all three. of us rode from Vail over the Vail Pass at an elevation of 10,600 ft. to Breckinridge. It was beautiful but certainly a challenge! 

We stayed in Breckenridge last night.This morning 10 of the Menendez Family joined Lisa on a hike up to Mohawk Lake here in Breckinridge . It was an 8 mile round trip hike reaching 12,000 ft. But I will confess that I stopped at the waterfall at about 3 miles up,so doing just a 6 mile round trip.Manny’s sister ,Claire,decided to stay with me and we enjoyed nice conversation and relaxation till the rest of the group returned. Again beautiful weather and just gorgeous scenery!

Still here in Breckenridge tonight and tomorrow our return ride to Vail,doing the Vail Pass one more time.

Have a great night!



July 10 ,2016

12 Jul

Yesterday,we rode from Glenwood Springs to Vail, a 64 mike trip with 3300 ft of climb. The ride out of Glenwood Springs was very interesting as the trail followed the Colorado River and I – 70 thru the Glenwood canyon. At times we were very close to the river and below I-70. 

As we came out of the canyon, the valley opened up and the ride continued on US 6. The road was very quiet and peaceful with a steady rise toward Vail.

US 6 was a great to ride on! Nice shoulder,super courteous drivers,beautiful scenery! In  Eagle, we had our traditional second breakfast! A shout out to our biking friends, Carol and Steve who gave us this thought. When you are riding ,breakfast settles really well on the stomach!The route continued to follow US 6 sometimes on the road and sometimes on a bike path.In Edwards,we stopped for a cold drink and had a great conversation with bikers,Nancy and Doug. Biking talk certainly makes the conversation move along easily. It turns out they will also be riding RAGBRAI,this July. It will be their 8th time! We agreed to keep an eye out for each other,although the number of riders will make the odds not all that great that we will actually see them.But you never know! The ride continued to climb but we were doing pretty well. The last 4 miles in to Lion Square Lodge were the toughest! By then we were tired,we had to keep stopping to check the route as the many paths provided too many choices, and the foot traffic also increased. Nonetheless we made it in and were glad to get off the bike!



July 9, 2016

11 Jul

As we had hoped the bike ride today from Aspen to Glenwood Springs was beautiful!  The scenery all around was inspiring! The 45 miles went easily as it was all downhill. Also riding in the morning is so much cooler!  The Rio Grande Bike Trail was full of bikers ,since it is Saturday, till we got to the Basalt turnoff.  After that much less bike traffic but still used nicely by those communities we passed thru.

Here are some pictures of the views today.


M & M