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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.


Seductive Musings

Friday, February 15, 2008

We Rocked the Rockies

The Pump House may never be the same...

Every once in a while, life provides us with a moment so special that we know it's special even when it's happening. You know you want to savor it because it means so much to you. You don't want it to end, and yet it does, as all things in life must.

These past two weeks were one of those special times. And damn was it ever fun!

It started when Libby and I hopped in her Tony Soprano Wagon and drove through the strangest storm either of us had ever seen — snow with thunder and lightning — to the airport to pick up Joanie. Joanie had been on a plane for something like 24 hours straight and somehow managed to smile and be cheerful and fun. I swear it's an Aussie trait.

Joanie and Ben became "mates," with Ben mimicking Joanie's accent quite well.

Libby dropped us off at my place, and we spent a fairly quiet weekend, heading to Libby's once for dinner, where Joanie made a scrumptious feast and almost got knocked on her butt by Libby's lemoncello, and visiting one of my all-time favorite restaurants, The Med, where Joanie and I sat for 5.5 hours talking over tapas, wine, dinner and champagne. In fact, I don't think she and I ever ran out of things to talk about — ever.

Feasting and talking at The Med

On Monday, Ben and I got home from a hard day at work and school to find that Joanie had made some delicious chicken soup. I walked through the door and said, "Honey, I'm home!" which made Joanie smile because she'd figured I was going to do that. Part of the reason she was smiling was that she'd read an ARC of Unlawful Contact while I'd been at work and liked the story. YAY!

Aimee flew in on Tuesday, and this time Libby couldn't make it. So Joanie and I drove back to the airport to pick up Aimee, which resulted in a big group hug in the middle of baggage claim. Aimee and I have known each other online and via phone conversations for a few years now, and finally we met in person. Woohoo!

Then we drove to Libby's for another scrumptious feast, this one prepared by Liberty herself. The mango salsa was so good it defies description. Let's just say we snarfed that shit.

I had to work the next day, so Aimee and Joanie hung out at my place. That night we drove to the Pump House, the best restaurant in my town. It's a brewpub that makes awesome food and serves fantastic mixed drinks — like the Grey Goose Cosmos we drank several of. Ben came with us. There were some shenanigans and much laughing, but I've always believed in discretion, so I'll leave it at that... (That guy SO totally heard what was said... LOL!)

My favorite photo from their visit... I miss you all so much!

Or maybe that was Thursday night. Yes, I think it was. What did we do Wednesday night?!?

Thursday was supposed to be a shopping day, but ended up being largely a sleeping day. Which was great. I was tired. And then we went to the Pump House.

On Friday, we packed more crap than you can possibly imagine — four women do not need that much stuff unless they're heading off for a permanent trip to the Moon — and drove over the mountains through snow to a sweet condo that Libby had secured for us. It came with a sauna, a wine cellar (full of booze), three bedrooms, lots of bathrooms, surround sound (even in the bathrooms), and fireplaces in every bedroom. Total luxury!

Thanks to Libby, we all enjoyed a weekend of luxury in Breck — that's Colorado slang for "Breckenridge," yo.

I had what I called the Antler Suite up on the third floor, where I was in my own little world, if you don't count the bear plastered to the wall or the stuffed fox and all. And those moose antlers gave new meaning to the phrase, "What a rack!" I had my own bathroom with heated tiles, a fire place, a view of the beautiful, untrammeled forest and big, fat bed. I managed to get a bit of writing done. A bit.

The Antler Suite. Notice the bear on the wall and the fox and such. A great place to write about Colonial Rangers, no?

But only a bit because it's too damned hard to write when you really want to hang. We feasted on cheeses and wine and shit and watched movies and talked and talked and talked. Some of us had a bit too much, but I'm not naming names because we all agreed: "What happens in Breck stays in Breck."

Poor Joanie never made it to the ski slopes, While carrying luggage up the stairs, she nearly fainted from the altitude, which was almost 10,000 feet. So it was a total indoor weekend, which is cool.

Libby models the proper use of flannel.

Aimee and Libby made supper our last night there — steaks, asparagus and portabello thingy, and more mango salsa! Joanie and I sat on our butts while they cooked, watching the Transformers movie, which gave me nightmares. (Clearly, I am not old enough to watch scary movies like that.) No one really wanted to go to bed because we knew we'd be leaving the next day.

I love home cooking, as long as I'm not the one home cooking. This time, Libby and Aimee blew our taste buds away.

On the drive back, I got busted for speeding. While I cursed the cop, Aimee, who was stuck in the car with me at the time, reminded me that he was doing his job. Wish I could pay the $77 fine in pennies. Grrrr! I think Aimee took a picture of the State Patrol vehicle. LOL!

I had to work on Monday and Tuesday, but I did manage to get Aimee and Joanie to some outlet stores for a shopping extravaganza and dinner at another scrumptious brew pub.

And then Aimee tried to set my house on fire. Well, not really. She lit a big fire in my wood stove and it really made the house warm. I was just afraid it was going to burn the house down. But it didn't. She and Joanie teased me for freaking out about it, but remember last February my fire place did catch my chimney on fire... OK, so I hadn't cleaned the chimney in eight years. I'm really not at my best in the real world. I do much better in fiction or in a newsroom when the shit is goin' down.

I sneak in a hug. Gotta love this kid while I can. He'll be off to college soon. He loved our guests and did his best to make their stay comfortable.

As the hours ticked away, I was trying really hard not to think of the fact that Joanie and Aimee would be leaving on Tuesday. When it came time to say good-bye, I did my best to act like an Aussie and smile. I teared up a little bit, but I was trying hard for their sake not to act like myself (Sue and KrisTAY know what I'm saying here...). So instead of blubbering when Libby packed them up and drove them off to the airport, I bawled after they'd gone. *sniff*

What fun times!

I so enjoyed getting to meet both Joanie and Aimee, and of course hanging with my gangsta bitch LibBAY is always a treat. I love the heck out of her.

Now the house is cold and quiet and I have a book deadline that's about to bite my ass. So it's back to work. I've got two weeks off from the paper to write, so I probably won't be blogging or answering much email. Pray that the Muse stays with me! I need to write like the wind!

BUT, the solution to missing everyone is to... do it again! Next stop Hong-freaking-Kong, baby!

Coming soon... An excerpt from Untamed and contests galore for Unlawful Contact


Debbie H said...

Aww, sweetie, you really needed your time with your friends. That is so wonderful that you had the chance to spend time with them. You all look beautiful and happy! This will do wonders for your health. Ben is very handsome as usual!

Please do get that book finished! Don't make me break out the whip! Which do you prefer, pink or purple? LOL


Ronlyn said...

What a wonderful recap on a great week with friends! (and Ben of course)
Seriously, I'm going to figure out a way to make it down there. Of course, having a baby that won't sleep without you limits my overnight trips lately.
What great fun. I'm green w/ envy.

2 weeks til your birthday girlie! Any plans?

I'd better run. Work is impatiently waiting.....

Sue Z said...

I can't stress enough how important it is for us chicks to schedule time out for ourselves and to be with our best gals for "Chick weekends" (or weeks for you!).

I love the picture of the four of you and the one of you & Ben is adorable! You all look like you had a great time.

I think that I would have had nightmares in that antler room...good thing that "Morgan" was there with you!

Anonymous said...

OMFG, what fun you must have had. I'm so glad you got some relaxing time with some mates.

When my girlfriends and I get together, we say we're getting on our eating clothes. And Depends.

You all look great, and Ben is so handsome. I think I missed what happened with his scholarship?


Hi, Debbie, I did need that time. I think I realized how much only after they'd arrived. And thanks for the sweet words. I am trying to catch up. Got Chapter 19 off to a solid start yesterday, but lots more words to go. As far as whips go, I'm thinking black. *g*

Yes, Ronlyn, you need to find your way to CO. It won't be long before you'll be able to get away a bit more -- just a couple of years. As for my birthday, no plans. I'll probably be home writing.

SueZAY, my bitch! LMAO about the Antler Suite giving you nightmares. It is kind of odd and macabre that people put dead animals on the wall. I never quite got that. But the room was lovely and the view incredible. And you're right about chick weekends. My sista LibBAY and I need to find a way to make it to o-HI-o soon! We need a repeat of the craziness of last August when I nearly DIED laughing (and KrisTAY turned blue from laughing so hard).

Karen, so good to see you! And you are so right — women need to relax with their friends sometimes. I love the idea of getting your "eating clothes" on. I envision lots of stretchy elastic, no? LMAO! Thanks for your words about Ben. He didn't get the scholarship, BUT Yale was so impressed with him that they put him in for regular admission and if he gets in they'll pay his way. We're keeping our fingers and toes crossed!

Rosie said...

Wow, I loved reading your adventures, along with the great pictures. Looks like you gals had a great time. Of course you did!!! One of these days I really need to get my butt out of Nevada and start visiting people. *G*


Karen said...

Well, if you make it to Ohio, I need to know! Michigan is right next door.


Aimee said...

It was a wonderful time wasn't it? I'm so glad we were all able to be there and spend the week together :)

How's things? Vaca is officially started, yes?

Hon, please remove the capcha-thing, LOL

JennJ said...

Great pics and so glad you all had a great time. :)

Laurie D. said...

It looks like you had a great time - there's nothing better than spending time with friends!
You could always come to the Lori Foster get together in Cincinnati in June! It's a great time.
I've written a review for UC on behalf of Romance Junkies - it's not showing at RJ yet, but in the meantime it's posted on my blog - I hope you'll check it out!

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