Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 71 - Adjusting to Changes, Boulder to Broomfield

Sunday, July 31, 2016

We had breakfast in our little Airbnb Boulder "home" for the last time.  I laid out the plan to George.

We have to take our shoes off when we are enter the apartment.  So here is the plan:

We pack up and set everything outside the door.

Then we put our shoes on and put everything in the car.

Then we come back and take our shoes off and clean.

"Sounds like a good plan," he said. 

Packing and piling and stuffing the car went well.

We went back in the house and cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, and together we made the bed.  George was always a great kitchen cleaner, so he volunteered to do that.  He forgot to wipe off the table and the shelf, forgot to clean the fridge.  I did it, no problem.

The owner had washed the cover for the quilt.  So I had to figure out how to put the quilt back into the cover.  I figured it out and was quite proud of myself... George had a hard time helping me.  I had to redo his work on the quilt, I had to show him how to get the pillows into the cases.

He started to vacuum.  We only had one room to vacuum.  He vacuumed half of it and thought he was done.  I reminded him and he finished the job.

We were in our car and ready to leave and it wasn't even 9:30 a.m.!

"What are we going to do?"  I asked George.  We aren't supposed to arrive at our next place until 1:00 p.m.

That is when we unload our stuff in their garage and put some seats up in our van.  We are going to drive Arlene and Dick to the airport. 

"I don't know," is George's response.

"We haven't been to Celestial Seasonings yet,  lets go there."

"Good idea!" says George.

But it wasn't such a good idea.  I forgot it was Sunday.  It is closed on Sunday.

So we sat in the parking lot and I said... "How about we go get some coffee and figure out what to do."

We were headed for a coffee shop I had found on the ipad when I saw a Burger King.  So we pulled in there and got coffee and potatoes and I got an egg and cheese sandwich.

They had some comfy chairs and Burger King!  So we sat in those.  I was sitting in the tan chair, facing George.

He said, "I am not doing too hot am I?"

I hesitated... "Why do you say that?"

His eyes welled with tears.  "I keep forgetting things." 

I didn't know what to say.  He had noticed how he had forgotten to finish the kitchen cleaning and forgot to vacuum half the room.

He was looking at me so sad.  I kept looking away.  I didn't know what to say. 

"Yes, I can tell it is progressing," I say.  "We are powerless to do anything to stop it."

Emotions are getting too intense here.  It is ok to look at sad things and feel sad things, but....  I have always tried to swerve away, not dwell there too long.

"All we can do is enjoy the life we have," I say to him.  "We have seen some wonderful things on this trip." 

"And you are still nice to me," I said. 

George smiles through his tears.  I get up and sit next to him and hold his hand.  We just sit sipping our coffee and holding hands. 

George says, "I am glad I am still nice to you."

"Me too," I say and lay my head on his shoulder.  "I don't know how I would handle it if you were mean to me."

After a bit I study the map and we decide to drive up into a canyon again.  The guide on Banjo Billy's Bus told us to visit Nederland.  So I looked it up and we had time. 

Off we went...

We stopped the car at Boulder Falls and watched some people climbing the rock wall...

Can you see them???  Look in the lower right corner of the picture above.

The path to Boulder Falls was closed.  Loose rock was the reason. 

Two people had died climbing.  You know how tourists can be ...

A new kind of "NO" sign.  No drones...

Back in the car we drove up to Nederland.  Off in the distance were ski hills.  But the Nederlands looked like a small town without much going.    There was a library book sale.  We got out to investigate, but the door was locked.  It didn't open until noon.

The grow house had chives and mint growing outside.

Time to head to Broomfield.  We headed back down the mountain. 

Did I neglect to tell you that I figured out how to get into low gear for going down long hills?  I am pretty proud of myself. 

I saw a kiosk on the way down and parked to take a look.  I remembered seeing the bald hill on the way up.  It was bald because of a fire in 1986.  It takes a long time to grow back.

The sign said homes in the area should be made of fire resistant materials.  I looked around.  Most of the houses are made of wood.  Some are stone with metal roofs, the like house across the hwy from this sign.  But then... it had a tree growing through the middle of it! 

The mountain had recently had a fire.  We saw hand made signs thanking the firefighters.  In Nederland the fire house was the biggest and best in the whole town.  And we saw a poster for a St. Bernard that got lost in the fire.

Almost to Broomfield, we were hungry again.  So we stopped at Whole foods and got soups and cornbread and ate it there.

On the walls were photographs of bikes in awesome places.   A local photographer gets old bikes and takes them to neat places to photograph them.

We arrived at 12:55 at Arlene and Dicks.  She answered the door looking damp from running around trying to get everything done before their flight today.

George and I unloaded our van.  There was not enough room in their garage for our trikes, so we locked them up in the back yard. 

They have a sprinkler system so as we locked them I thought we would have to come up with something better later.

Dick is the gardener.  I am going to be taking care of his flowers and plants.  They have someone come in to do the mowing.  I hope they all survive!

At 1:30 we had their stuff loaded and were ready to go. 

Arlene told me not to use the Navigator because it will take me the wrong way.  She would give me directions.  Dick said he could give us directions and she said he can't give directions he doesn't know which way to go.

I pulled forward int he driveway and asked, "OK, so which way do I turn." 

And Arlene had to think it through a moment and then told me to turn right.  Then they both started talking about things. 

Right away I came to a T. 

"Which way now?" I asked.  More debate, then "Go left."

She then got on her phone and started making calls.  In the meantime, Dick is telling us of places to visit during our stay.  Stereo voices, such fun!

I am interrupting and saying, "Which way do I turn next."  

Such energy in that van!  But, you know what?  I didn't have to turn around once.  Smooth sailing into the airport.  They unloaded at exactly 2:10 p.m. which is 2 hours before their flight exactly.

Bada bing, bada boom!

I use the Navigator to get home.  It takes us much longer... and it is a lot quieter.

As soon as we got home we moved the trikes up onto the deck so the would be somewhat protected from rain and the sprinklers.

At home, I say.... this is our new "home" now as we will be house and cat sitting for several weeks. 

I went through the fridge to find out what items would spoil if we didn't eat them before Arlene and Dick returned.

I cut up a musk melon but it didn't have much sweetness to it.  So I had George take the pits out of our cherries and we added those and made a fruit salad.

Dick or Arlene must be a hunter.

Will the plants survive under my care?

After making the salad, I went to the computer room to log in to the wifi and work on the blog. 

Which one do I unplug so I can plug in my computer?

Dick collects things... half the garage and two rooms are full of things he collects.

In the computer room, George is sitting on the bed to be next to me.  So I find a chair and make some space for him. 

I send out the newsletter to our bike group back in Florida.  I check my email and I have a contact from Sylvia Halpern of a couple that flies overseas with their trikes.  So I have "friended" him on facebook and hope to get some answers.

I talked to George about this opportunity to go to England.  He just smiles.  I know it isn't something on his bucket list, but I think if we go and trike around he will have a good time.   Part of me wonders if I am just doing it now because it is my chance to do it with him.

At this point, I think he just likes being with me and doing and seeing different things.  I want to go for it.  I email the woman and tell her I am excited, that I learned we can take our trikes and bike from Liverpool to her town... Kingsley? 

After supper we take a walk to a grocery store and buy some chocolate and veggies.  It was a 4 mile walk round trip.  While we were there I checked on the price of a bullet blender.  I looked for a blender at Arlene's and didn't find one.  The cheap bullets are $20.

George did well on the walk.  He walked a good clip with no dragging feet or tilted torsoe.

When we got home, he seemed kind of unsure what to do and stood in the hallway a while. 

I was glad to see Gus the cat come out of hiding when we got home and let us pet him.  He is still skittish, but he will get used to us in a day or two.

George spent some years in West Minster, which is close to here during his early teen years.  So tomorrow I am going to map us a ride to the old part of West Minster.  He was there over 55 years ago.  So we will see if anything looks familiar.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 70 - Are the keys on Banjo Billy's Bus in Boulder, Colorado????

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wow, 70 days on the road.

After breakfast and blogging, George asked if I had found my keys yet. 

"No," I said.  "After I get done writing I will probably have to find a Chrysler dealer and ask for help."

After I was done writing I started gathering stuff up.  Camera, purse, books to give away, letters to mail, laundry to wash.  While I was doing that, George went out and moved the trikes from the back hard to the driveway.  Fortunately I had a tube of sun guard on the bikes.  The other tube was in the car.  We couldn't get in the car...

Then my phone rang.  It was a gal from Banjo Billy's Bus Tours.  I had called them last night and left a message.  Good news, they have my keys!  I can meet the bus the same stop by the Boulderado Hotel at 11 a.m.  After  I hung up I jumped up and down and cheered.  You'd think George would have figured out what the call was about, but he didn't know so I told them the keys were found and we can bike to get them now.

So off we went.  As we were waiting at a stop light I saw a woman lean over the guy driving this truck and take our picture.  Look at the huge camper space for this semi.

 We arrived way before the bus was scheduled to arrive on the corner of 13th and Spruce.

 We locked up the bikes and went to Pearl Street, the pedestrian mall of the downtown area.

 The time came quickly for us to go back and meet up with the bus. 

The bus was there already. 

As I introduced myself to the driver and explained that I had left my keys on the bus and that the office had called me to tell me they were found and in the box on the bus.

I was expecting him to grab them right away and hand them over to me.  But he began to look a bit panic-stricken. 

"I just got back from vacation last night, I don't know anything about any keys," he said.

I said the gal at the office said... "Who did you speak with," he asked.

Dang, I didn't get a name.  I told him it was a young bubbly woman.

He tried to help me out.  He looked around.  He called the office and texted the guide we had on the bus last night.

But it was soon time for him and his guide to start their show.  The bus was filling up with tourists.

He said, "Come back in 1 1/2 hours and we will search more."

Oh man!  I was so hoping to be celebrating right now.

George and I walked back down to Pearl Street.  I took his hand and told him this was a good excuse to go out to eat for lunch.  We went in search of lunch.

Lunch was good, egg noodles and veggies with ginger sauce for only $12 including a rice cake for desert to share.

I was pleased.  While we sat, I opened my ipad and researched how to change the battery in a Chrysler 2011 mini-van key fob.  Simple.  I wrote down the kind of battery I needed and researched where there was a Batteries Plus in town.  I found one on the google map and I felt relieved that if they didn't find my keys at least I could go there and repair the fob I had given George that was out of power.

After lunch we watched performers and the crowd for a bit.

The video below is very short.

I found us a bench in the shade across the street from where the bus stops and kiddy-corner from where our trikes were parked.  I was pleased.  We could keep an eye on both corners and be comfortable.

As we sat, I thought it would be good to have my phone in case Banjo Billy's office calls and also, I could call Chrysler and find out about what to do if my key fob really is lost.

So I told George to stay and I ran across two streets to our trikes and got the phone. As I was walking back across the street toward the bus stop, the bus pulled in.  And my phone rang.  I answered the phone and while I talked I was aware that George was up off the bench and watching me.  

It was the woman from the bus station calling me again saying that the keys were definitely on the bus and they were put in "the box".  

I heard a car horn and saw George with his eyes on me crossing the street in his zomby-like gait against the light! 

I said, "George!" into the phone and hung up to get him off the street.  He smiled.  I said, "George, I am right here.  You could see me!"

He just smiled. 

I talked to the bus driver again.  We looked in "the box" together.  Then he asked "Which box did she put it in?" 

"I don't know," I said.  They could not get a reply back from the woman who guided us last night because she was at a different job.

We didn't find them.  I was bummed.  

He said they might be in a lock box back at the parking lot.  I said I could meet them there on my bike and gave him my phone number.  He had another tour right away and then a tour at 4:00.  He was frustrated too.  He finally said, "Ultimately it is not our responsibility."

George and I got on our trikes and headed toward the Batteries Plus Store.  

We were almost there when my phone rang.  It was the bus driver.  

"I got your keys, come back," he said.  

"OH WONDERFUL!!!"  I hung up and turned around and George followed.  I don't even know if he knew I got a call or why I turned around.

I was pushing it to get back.  George kept up.

I arrived at the bus, I pulled a twenty out of my purse and plopped it in his had when he gave me the keys.  

"YES!  THANK YOU THANK YOU!  I am SOOOOO relieved!", I said.  I think I asked him his name and he said it was Gilbert or Gilford...

Thank you for your extra effort to find my keys, Gilbert or Gilford of Banjo Billy's in Boulder, CO.

I was so excited I forgot to ask where and how he found them. 

We took off for the laundromat.  I remembered we went to one on Folsom, so we went back to that one.


 When we got done we loaded up the laundry on the trikes and I saw a bee on my reflective triangle...

Now to celebrate finding the keys and our 70th day with our favorite treat... Ice Cream.  I had found an ice cream shop with Google maps.  This one makes it's own.  So we biked up Folsom to Valmont.

On our way we passed a neighborhood that looked a LOT like co-housing!  I know there is co-housing in Boulder.  I remember hearing about it when we were trying to organize co-housing in Wisconsin, years ago.

So I made a u-turn and we rode through the community.

 It has a community building.  This is used for recreation, meetings and occasional shared meals.
 All the homes had solar panels.

 And this u shaped neighborhood with the community center in the middle had a play ground for the kids.


 It was really good.  I had a scoop each of key lime and pb and oreo.  George had his preferred flavor of mint Oreo.

Then we continued to bike for a while exploring.

A bike shop with coffee, a great combination.

We rode through a very large prairie-dog town right by the trail. 

I think it was the Goose Creek Trail.  At NCAR we learned that a lot of the bike underpasses serve a double duty.  They help prevent flooding by allowing a larger flow of water.  Hence all the creek trails.

On a residential street in East Boulder we saw this huge... thing in the fir tree. 


I deposited our read and discarded books in a free library.

Back at home George sat on the floor watching "BONES" on his ipad.  He likes that show and with Netflix there are no commercials.

I heated up left overs for dinner.  We sat on the bench outside our door and ate with plates in our laps.  The owners two dogs came and watched closely and let me pet them.

Tomorrow we pack up, clean up, and in the afternoon we will officially have our first house-sitting and cat sitting gig.  I hope we do well.

Last night while looking at the house sitting gigs I saw a lovely Siamese that needed sitting and on a whim I responded.  I told her we would be finishing our cat sit in Colorado on the 23rd and then could fly to her.  She is leaving on the 25th!  I even told her that George has beginning Alzheimers and we are traveling. 

This morning I got an email back.  She is holding the position for me while I figure out flights and decide do we really want to do it.

"Where is it?" you ask.

Some remote village about 15 miles from Liverpool, England.  We have never traveled overseas together.  George saw places when he was in the US Navy way back when he was 18-21.

I will have to check if we have our passports packed...   Anyone out there a cheap tour director that could book us cheap flights????

Madison, Wisconsin, Bicycle Trails Everywhere

July 9, 2020 Hi there!  I made it safely to Madison, Wisconsin. I am sitting writing this in Kathi's den.  She has a separate window...