Randy’s 50th Birthday: Hosted, Toasted & Roasted!

Randy’s 50th Birthday has come and gone. We HOSTED a family gathering at resort destinations in Southern Colorado, Randy was TOASTED in person and via notes gathered in a special scrapbook, and we all enjoyed ROASTING in a series of hot springs. It was a lovely, weekend-long celebration of a special man. (It took alot of preparation–which was supposed to be my “monthly focus” for September, but since I am the Queen of Procrastination, I spent the past two weeks scrambling to complete everything.)

Festivities actually started last weekend with our church family. “Old Randy” was asked to sing Happy Birthday to “young Randy” at the end of the service. We brought a gooey chocolate birthday cake as dessert for a pot-luck dinner. Celebrating special occasions together is building deeper relationships with our new friends.

"Happy Birthday" from Old Randy to Young Randy

Gooey Chocolate Birthday Cake

Roger arrived on Friday in time to join us way back in Largo Canyon. We picked up Jakob from Mustang Camp and took a hike up to a mesa-top ruin behind the property. After a false start, we finally found the proper trail. The views were amazing, the hiking was invigorating, and the family time was priceless.

a steep hiking trail to get up the mesa

ruins with a view

It was late when we finally got to the hotel in Durango. And later when Randy arrived with his folks, who flew in to join us for the weekend. And even later when Rob and (girlfriend) Elise finally arrived. (They could have driven from Denver faster than all the flight delays.)

We all took our time getting up and moving on Saturday morning. We enjoyed chatting over breakfast, Anna took a swim, Jakob played electronic games, Jill read a magazine article or two, and a few smoke breaks were taken. Rick and Val (Randy’s brother and wife) joined us for wandering the historic area of Durango which includes quirky boutiques, wonderful art galleries, and traditional tourist traps. Poor Rob had a horrible migraine but was able to join us for crepes at Michel’s Corner, our favorite restaurant in the area. Randy received the scrapbook with comments, memories, cards, and best wishes from far-flung family and friends from across the years. A big THANK YOU to all who contributed!

Historic Durango is beautiful on a crisp fall day

Michel makes WONDERFUL crepes

After lunch, we piled into vehicles and drove through beautiful mountainous scenery from Durango to Pagosa Springs. Along the way, we waited for the narrow-gauge-train to cross the road in Durango, and enjoyed watching a real-live, gen-yoo-ine, cattle drive along (and across) the highway.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train

a gen-yoo-ine cattle drive...

We enjoyed soaking in the wonderful hot-springs for a few hours in the afternoon, before getting ready for dinner. We didn’t end up where I had planned (long story), and I didn’t think to call ahead for reservations (another long story)…but when we finally got seated and placed our orders, the food was wonderful. Randy was overwhelmed with the gift of a good laptop computer–another big THANKS to those who helped purchase it for him! A few toasts were made, and Randy made a speech (or at least shared a few comments).

Randy shares his heart...

More time was spent together back at the hotel–visiting, more hot-springs-soaking, on-line game time for Anna, early bedtimes, late bedtimes, and more. Late night and early morning reflections in the steaming ponds and hot springs were beautiful and cold crisp air makes soaking in the hot water even more relaxing.

Pagosa Hot Springs--historic bath house

Pagosa Hot Springs -- along the San Juan River

Goodbyes were finally said on Sunday morning—it was sad to see everyone scatter back to their far-flung homes after an enjoyable weekend spent together…