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Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

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This was the Brown’s last full day. I wanted them to see something really spectacular. Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is pretty spectacular. 

We left a little after ten. It is typically an hour and a half drive.

We decided to stop at the Air Force Academy because I wanted them to see the chapel there. 

We haven’t been to the Air Force Academy in more years than I can remember. I can’t remember what kind of security they had before, but we were not able to get in because Dave and Tessa did not have their passports.

The guard at the gate said if we went to another entrance they could look at the pictures they had of their passports and they could probably get in. We decided it was too complicated and wasn’t worth the time it would take.

As we got closer to the Garden of the Gods we decided to stop for some lunch first. I used Yelp to find a pizza place. We went to a restaurant called Duca’s. It was okay but not even close to as good as what we’d had in Estes Park. 

We went on to the visitors center at Garden of the Gods. We got a map and then drove a bit to a parking area. We got out and walked. It was hot and the map was very confusing. 

We did get to see lots of beautiful red rock formations.

 

Apparently some people like to climb on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove to see Balanced Rock.

 

 

 

The drive home was long because of heavy traffic. My car was still intermittently showing the Low Coolant warning so I called the Jaguar dealer and told them what was going on. The soonest appointment was not for three weeks. I made it but then I also planned to see if there was somewhere else to take it. 

We stopped at Whole Foods to get some things for dinner. Finally arrived home close to 6:30.

A final night of drinks on the porch.

 

To celebrate such a wonderful visit we opened up one of our better bottles of Schramsberg sparkling wine. (That’s a terrible picture of me.)

 

 

I made pesto with basil from the garden. I put it and tomatoes from the garden on the salmon I got at Whole Foods. I also tossed some linguine with the pesto.

We had a bumper crop of basil and I made a bunch and froze them. We have enough pesto to eat it every couple of weeks until the next crop can be grown.

After dinner we sat in the living room and had drinks and wine.

The next day there was one more thing I wanted to show Tessa — DSW shoe store. 

Zung made blueberry pancakes for breakfast. He said good-bye to Tessa and Dave and then went to work.

We went to DSW. Tessa didn’t find anything irresistible. I found a pair of sandals – silver with bling.

We had to drive past the Jaguar dealer as we drove home and I kid you not, right as I was driving past steam or smoke started coming from under my hood. I pulled over and popped the hood. There was a burning smell. I drove to the Jaguar dealer. They looked at it and kept it because it had a couple of serious leaks. 

Fast forward a few days. They fixed it quickly. When I picked it up he told me that if it hadn’t gotten fixed when it did it would have caused engine damage.

I was grateful they got it fixed so quickly but not very happy that they had originally told me three weeks. Shouldn’t car places have spots for emergencies, like doctors offices have spots blocked out for people who call and need to be seen right away because they are sick?

It was painfully expensive. But I have had the car for five years and this is the first time I have had any problem with it. 

Back to the day it happened. 

The Jaguar shuttle driver took us home. I called a Lyft so Dave and Tessa could get to the airport.

I felt terrible that they had to take a Lyft but there was not much I could do about it.

Zung’s car was no use to us because he used to race it and he had a roll bar put in and had to take his back seat out when he did that.

It was all too soon time to say good-bye. Tessa and I both teared up.

I have to say they were wonderful house guests and great travel partners. I was nervous about having company for two weeks. And pretty much everyone I told said they thought two weeks was too long. For Zung and I it had not been long enough. We really missed them when they were gone. 

And that concludes the story of the Brown’s excellent adventure to the USA.

 

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