Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Florence Rose Bed and Breakfast and the Royal Gorge Railroad

We arrived in Florence just in time for lunch at a local bakery. Then headed up to the Florence Rose B&B. It was delightful. The house was over 100 years old, full of antiques. We checked in to our rooms, Johnny & Ellen in the Rose Room and we had the Asbury .

http://www.florencerose.com/

feathered benchOne of the many Antique Shops in Florence

B&B KitchenThe Kitchen

B&B Patio

The Patio

After the train ride we came back to share a bottle of wine in the hot tub. It felt great!!! In the morning we had breakfast there, which was fantastic.

The train ride was awesome! We were on the dinner ride, and sat in the dome dining car. The booth we sat in was done in burgundy velvet, it felt like dining in a car of years gone by. As we rolled down the tracks we were able to watch the sun set while have an amazing dinner. We all had prime rib except Ellen who opted for the salmon. All of our meals came with an appetizer, great salad with blue cheese and candied pecans with raspberry dressing on a bed of baby greens, the entrees had baby white potatoes, and a vegetable medley.

Train along the river
Train along the river
Gorge Bridge
Gorge Bridge
Dome Car
Dome Car
Outside Viewing Car
Outside Viewing Car

 

The Dinner Plate
The Dinner Plate

After we ate we went to the outside car to enjoy the magnificent views. At dusk we came back in to have a wonderful dessert, a  version of a cream puff with a caramel sauce and nut topping. Amazing is the best way to describe it.

The memory of this trip, and the time we spent with Johnny & Ellen will be in our minds  forever.

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Bishop Castle

On our way to the Florence Rose B&B, we stopped at Bishop Castle, an amazing castle in the mountains of Colorado built stone by stone by one man’s efforts,  Jim Bishop!  Construction of the castle began in 1969, and today it is approximately 160 ft. tall and weighs over 50,000 tons. He is still working on the Castle today. http://www.bishopcastle.org/

Jim Bishop
Jim Bishop

Steve

As we entered the castle grounds we were greeted with a voice of someone ranting, at first I thought it was someone causing trouble, it was actually …Bishop playing to the crowd. It seems that working on this castle since 1969 has made him very eccentric. We decided to enter the castle.  As I started to climb, already at 9,000 feet, I started to feel great, smelling that crisp clean air. If you are afraid of heights, this may not be your place. I toured all the rooms I could see (I’m sure I missed some) and kept climbing to the top. At the very top there is a bridge to nowhere which also leads you down again, if you care to step down a ladder, I decided not to but I needed to at least cross the bridge (see Photos).

While atop the bridge you had an incredible view of all the Valley and surrounding area. All in All it was an amazing example of one mans obsession.
Close up Photo

Close up 2
Close up 2
1 of many signs
1 of many signs
Ellen, Johnny and Linda
Ellen, Johnny and Linda

Inside GlassView from the Bridge 2 View Atop of bridge

View Atop Bridge
View Atop Bridge
The Bridge
The Bridge
Linda in Giant Chair
Linda in Giant Chair
Thats me on Bridge
That’s me on Bridge

Sadie’s Photo Shoot

Steve

Early Friday morning before our  our trip to Bishop Castle, The Florence Rose and our Dinner Train ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad  Sadie (Johnny & Ellen’s Dog) and I decide it’s a good time to get in a photo shoot. Marley, Susan’s dog, who stays with Johnny and Ellen sometimes, sees this going on and promptly, adds her two cents!    Sadie Setting Up

The Photo Bomb
The Photo Bomb
Sadie Undeterred, Always the Professional
Sadie Undeterred,
Always the Professional

Photo shoot Done. On to Bishop Castle. More Later…

We’ve Been Busy

Tuesday:  Went to Taos ans Santa Fe.   We took a brief tour of the center of town. We have been there before, last time we visited Johnny and Ellen we toured Taos Earthships the Ultimate in Green housing and had lunch over the Rio Grande Gorge with food we had gotten from the local Health food Green Grocer it was fabulous.  Our Green Grocer Lunch from last visit
So it was off to Santa Fe. We stopped (of course) at The Buffalo Thunder Casino and had lunch.
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Our Lun at the Buffalo Thunder Casino

We Gambled a little, Some of us won, some of us didn’t play you guess who did what.

We were in Santa Fe NM and of course we were deciding what to do. So we did what most people do, shop for souvenirs. I had recently found out that Johnny didn’t have any Apple products we had been discussing them since we had been quietly and  subtly  showing off ours to him,  and showing him the outright wisdom of owning such a all empowering device.  HE WAS SOLD.  Yes we had converted another  PC owner to The Apple World.

So it was off to Best Buy for the sale. Our work was done. We then headed back to Raton, for an evening of Apple Glory.

Wednesday:  Today was a day of rest and hanging around Raton and Trinidad. We Visited the Shuler Theater a local landmark that has been around since opening April 27, 1915. We even got a tour.Shuler TheaterInsideOne of the famed Original Curtains

We were off to Trinidad Co just o few miles north of Raton

We got to see Susan’s House (Ellen’s Daughter)

Back of Susan's House

We had a nice visit then it was back to Raton for a Great Dinner. Linda was the Chef that Night  it was a trade off.  We Get Dinner at Rinos Reastaurant the best food in Trinidad, Co (We are headed there tonight)  http://www.rinostrinidad.com/

Linda Made her Famous Arroz Con Pollo with (sweet peas picked from the garden), with Salad Fresh from the garden and warm Italian bread.  Johnny picked salad greens from his Garden. If you don’t know Johnny’s garden happens to be the best garden this side of Heaven. He has rows of  Carrots , Squash, Cucumbers, Sweet Peas, Watermelon, corn,  Onions, Potatoes, Italian Green Beans and many others to, many to mention.  He had sent a soil sample to the University of Nebraska for analysis, they said it wasn’t possible to grow anything worth eating. We strongly disagree. (see Photos)

His face is hidden, so that others won't guess the exact location of his garden
Johnny, His face is hidden, so that others won’t guess the exact location of his garden

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It was another terrific night, Linda’s dinner was accompanied by Van Morrison “Avalon Nights” one of my favorite Van Morrison Albums.  (Yes I do believe  a have another couple of satisfied converts to the heavenly sounds of one of the most astounding Musicians to have ever graced our ears.)

So tomorrow we are off to Florence Bed and Breakfast and the Royal Gorge Dinner Train Ride.

The House?

Linda

On Monday after a great lunch at a wood fired pizza restaurant in Trinidad we went to find the house that most of you know I have been very excited to see. I saw it on line, a gorgeous house in the mountains with 360 degree panoramic views!

Let the story begin. First we had the address not quite right, so we traveled to the site where there was nothing but a vacant lot. When we realized it was wrong, we reset the navigator to the correct one and found we were off by 28 miles. Who made the mistake is still up for discussion, we won’t talk about the outcome, but it wasn’t me. We reset and off we went.

We turned off the highway at the exit the the navigator told us to and got on to a dirt road, we went for what seemed like the better part of an hour, in reality it was about 7 miles. Then we were off the map, but kept going up and up on a windy dirt road until we finally reached our destination about another  3 or 4 miles at the end of the road last house. Only one way up and one way down to this place. What if a fire came up in the middle of the night? Or you needed to get to the hospital or … you get the idea.

When we got out of the car I was sure were once again at the wrong place. It was a half finished house, filthy dirty with crap all over the yard and way way too much wood. My brother in law was right, it needed dry wall! I was overwhelmed by how much work would have to be done to this place . The view, still gorgeous, but not gorgeous enough!

So, we are still looking for our Utopia.IMG_0513 IMG_0503

Arrived in Raton

Sorry for the delay in writing when you’re having fun with great company it’s hard To say got to stop now,to write my blog

I know There are hundreds of people waiting with baited breath for our next post. Okay maybe none. A man can dream.

We arrived in Raton around 3 PM
Ellen made a terrific to tilapia and pasta dinner for us which was terrific. We had a fresh lettuce salad salad picked minutes before from their vegetable garden

We sat on their patio with Hummingbird birds humming and birds chirping around there many feeders. Later we had Pumpkin Bread fresh peanut butter fudge And some of New Mexico’s finest Cabernet
It was really a terrific dinner and a beautiful setting.

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Happy Mistake

We were on our way to Johnny and Ellen’s and went to eat at Harry’s Roadhouse touted to have some of the best food in Santa Fe. I had decided to get something with the famous hatch green chili’s on it. So the breakfast burrito seemed like the perfect choice. Somehow when the waitress took my my order I said omelet.
So my order was taken, Linda ordered the same, which I thought was odd.
When my Breakfast Burrito came it looked a lot like an omelet.
Linda said that’s what I ordered so I decided there would be plenty of chances for a Breakfast burrito smothered in Hatch green chili’s.

And wow was I lucky to have ordered the omelet.

Menu item:
Omelet with Extra Sharp Aged Cheddar, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Tomato and Scallions $8.50

It was simple looking enough, sure it was fluffy and perfectly cooked, but an omelet just the same.
I’ve had apple wood bacon once before, it tasted like bacon. This bacon actually tasted like the apple wood had been smoked with apple wood. The tomatoes tasted like the tomatoes my Granda Ma Warren had grown in her garden. The green peppers tasted, well like green peppers are supposed to taste like. Scallions tasted Like they were supposed to taste like. It was a perfect omelette with All the flavors melding together, yet each ingredient having it’s own presence felt.
We were seated in a corner of the room, not the best spot, my back to the room and in front of a passage way leading the room. normally this wood have been annoying, however with each passerby of people being seated at there tables a whiff of Santa Fe magic air was wafted into my nose and mind, thus the perfect omelet was enjoyed.
We were off to Raton for what turned out to be a perfect evening with Ellen and Johnny.

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Headed Up to Raton

We are leaving albuquerque and the Route 66 Casino. headed up to see Ellen & Johnny Should be there by 3:00 PM
Here are some shots of the casino.

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Early Morning
Early Morning

Yesterday on the way we stopped in grants and ended up on their main street, for what seamed to be the better part of an hour.   Got caught up in a Motorcycle rally.
On the way out just had to try a Dilly Dilly

Pickle from Grants NM
Pickle from Grants NM
Bike Rally
Bike Rally
Bike Rally 2
Bike Rally 2

Trip To Raton and Denver   “We’re Off”
We left yesterday at 2:30 and ended up in Holbrook for the night. Arrived at 12:40 AM

We stayed at the Travelodge

 

Here are some quick photos of Holbrook early morning

Holbrook in the Morning
Holbrook in the Morning
Holbrook Panorama
Holbrook Panorama

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Linda

We are ready to begin Day 2. Hope it won’t be as long as yesterday. After over 10 hours in the car, I could use a shorter day!

We are off to albuquerque this AM

We have reservations at the  Route 66 Casino/HotelnmRoute66Photo2 get-ur-kicks

 

 

 

The Countdown Is On!

Linda

Only 4 days until we leave. I am getting very excited!

We made reservations at the Route 66 Casino/Hotel in Albuquerque for Saturday night. I decided today that I should practice gambling or a “Money Making Opportunity” as I like to call it.

Most people would like to call gambling a risk, but not for me, Opportunity  is a better word.

I got a call from a machine, that asked me to play it today. Here is what happened.

Jumpin' Jalapenos
Jumpin’ Jalapenos
The Payout
The Payout

Since I am not a risk taker, but an Opportunity Seeker, wish me luck at Route 66!