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May 27, 2014

Four years ago we had a mega dream Disney vacation.  We had the idea to replicate it, but also investigate the possibility of buying a vacation property in the area.  We stayed in a nice townhouse in a neighborhood off Disney property, but frankly did way too much driving around for the amount of time we needed to spend at Epcot.  So many places to eat . . .

Here's some pictures I took from this trip.  I can't get enough of Main Street architecture.  The Castle drives me nuts, I swear it's crooked, or else where I'm standing is crooked, because it always comes out off kilter.  I was also excited to see Beast's castle, and unfortunately I didn't see Rapunzel's tower until it was too late at night.

Main Street, USA - Second Empire Victorian Architecture

This view of the Castle is from the Swiss Family
Robinson Treehouse, which is shady and cool and
never has a line to go through . . . .

Animatronic Hippos from the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom

There's so many details that are hard to see on the Jungle Cruise.

Beast's Castle

A tributary statue of Gaston. This exists.  I love it.

The plaque under the Gaston statue, of course

While I LIKE mermaid figureheads, it seems a bit
morbid to tack Ariel herself to the front of a ship

Fantasia - The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Festival of Flowers

Dancing Ostriches from Fantasia

It looks prettier at night

China - Epcot World Showcase

China - Epcot World Showcase

Downtown Disney - you can go up and take pictures!

Maurice's Amazing Popping Machine

I was also determined to see a Florida gator, or at least an alligator in Florida.  We tried for a good old fashioned swamp tour, but a flat tire on our rental car made us miss the airboat.  So disappointing!  Fortunately we found a nearby alternative.  Gatorland!  It was corny but nice.

May 26, 2014

My in-laws came to Colorado for a week, and then we left for Disney World the day after they left for our own week.  Now I need a vacation from vacationing!  It will be nice to get back to a routine.

We visited Cheyenne, Wyoming, because it's really a nice little town, seemingly in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  There were several museums we wanted to see for ourselves and introduce to B.'s parents:  The Nelson Museum of the WestThe Cowgirls of the West Museum, and the Cheyenne Depot Museum at the train station, complete with a scale model train layout being built upstairs.

The Nelson Museum of the West wasn't the typical 'how they lived' museum I expected.  It was more an exhibit of fine artwork of the area, produced in seemingly everyday items.  I never thought of things like spurs or bits as being fancy, but there were some amazing examples.

These are spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle, and possibly honk.

This vest is decorated entirely in beadwork. Or possibly quills?

"Just" a sombrero?  I love it.

a detailed bar scene of hand-carved wood.

You can see this stained glass piece from the street!

The museum is quiet and unassuming, but with three floors to see, it's definitely worth the trip.  There is also a lot of quality taxidermy on display, animals from all over the world, which is a little weird for a western themed museum.  Most everything is behind glass, so I had a hard time with photos.

The Cowgirls of the West Museum was started by a group of ladies who felt such a thing should exist.  The museum is free, but has an attached emporium to help support it.  Be prepared for a lot of reading, as it's mostly plaques detailing stories of the hardy women who came out west!

There was also a display of women's clothing and accessories, which was exciting for me from a Steampunk point of view.  

I did not get any pictures from the train museum, as I had been there previously.  I'm pretty sure I took pictures then, but I haven't found them yet . . . 

Since they came to see Colorado, we took them to a place where we were sure they would get a pretty far-reaching view - Pike's Peak.  (We WANTED to take them up Mount Evans, but they hadn't opened for the season yet.)  First we stopped at Garden of the Gods, since it was along the way, and we were intrigued.  It proved to be a lot smaller than I expected.

I guess after visiting Colorado National Monument, most other places are going to appear tiny.  Still, it was a nice park, and next time maybe we'll attempt some hiking.

On to Pike's Peak!  We took the cog railway up, which sure beat driving up in the snow.  It was a LONG ride, part of which was just sitting while we waited for another train to come down.  
The view from Pike's Peak inspired the
words to 'America The Beautiful'

in Mid May, there was still a good 8" of snow up there.

Clouds got in the way of our view down!

We watched for wildlife, but I just got another fleeting glimpse of a marmot and some footprints in the snow.  It still feels weird to be travelling ABOVE the tree line.

We also visited  Buffalo Bill's Grave and museum, a must for fans of the idealized movie version of the west.  It was a tranquil scene, but an unnerving ride for those who hate switchbacks and curvy mountain roads.

Oh, look, there's the town of Golden! 

There was snow up here, too.

Buffalo Bill and his wife are buried here.  

Golden from even higher up. 

Apparently there was a bit of controversy about where Bill should be buried, but his wishes were respected.  After seeing the view and feeling the tranquility up there, I perfectly understand why he wanted to be up there.  It's a great site.  There's also a gift shop, museum, cafe, and slightly less harrowing route.

We went on to Georgetown, because we both love the place, but by then I was pictured out, and I think everyone was kind of exhausted.

Colorado is certainly scenic!