First Trip as Family of 3

One Cute Cowboy and I both grew up taking trips to Red River, New Mexico with our families. In fact, we probably passed each other on the sidewalks of the small mountain town, when we were just 10 or 11 years old, and never knew we were within arms reach of our future spouse and soul mate. We both love Red River and have gone just about every summer since we started dating.

This year we made kind of an impromptu trip up there when I decided to take vacation at the last minute. This was our first vacation as s family of 3!

“Red River you say? Very interesting!”

We loaded up Lil’ Cute Cowboy and all 90 of the different supplies we thought we needed! Haha! I really should have gotten a picture of the way the pickup was packed. We might have overpacked a bit, not knowing what we would, and wouldn’t need for this little turkey.

I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous not knowing what he would do going to a place with higher elevation. We live at 4,167 ft. above sea level. Red River is another 4,500 ft. at 8,671 ft. above sea level. But he was a complete champ and did amazing on the drive up!

We stopped at our favorite little roadside stopping place in Gladstone, NM for a bottle break. There was a nice, cool breeze so we decided to have our bottle outside. It’s the cutest little rest stop this side of the Mississippi, and has out of this world baked goods, every day!! We never ever drive by without stopping. We always end up leaving with at least one bag of oatmeal raisin cookies (One Cute Cowboy ‘s) and one bag of chocolate chip cookies (mine!). Not to mention she has homemade loaves of bread. *Swoon* One Cute Cowboy grew up stopping and eating here often. As a young boy he’d day work for people around the area and got to know the owners well, so he especially likes to stop so he can be sure to say “hi!”

Since One Cute Cowboy and I have been together, we’ve never stayed in the same place twice at Red River. Always trying out new (to us) places to stay and trying to figure out where our “spot” will be in years to come. Well, this year, I think we’ve found it! Hotel Ryland! This is a place neither one of us had ever stayed. The newly renovated room was perfect for our small family of 3. It was definitely a smaller room, but worked out great for us. It was clean, updated, and cute. Upon arrival an older gentlemen led me up to our room and told me he was glad for us to be there. He was so nice and sweet and Riley enjoyed talking with him the next day before we left too. He was very welcoming and sincere, and that just made us feel good, and definitely made us want to come back and stay.

Once we unloaded our things we decided to go across the street to my favorite place in Red River–The Bobcat. This place has been my turquoise sanctuary since I was 9 years old! The A-frame building welcomes you in, with its wind chime lazily dancing in the breeze. You walk in and can feel the warmth of the owner, Sherri. We’ve gone for so many years she knows our faces when we walk through the door, and she immediately greets us with a warm smile and a “You’ve added to the family!” She came over to see Little Bear and quickly says, “I have a gift for you!” She went to the back, with her sweet dogs following her, and she came back with a beautiful sterling silver baby rattle that she said to use when he starts to teethe. She said to just stick it in the refrigerator and get it out once it’s cool to soothe his little gums. It was such a sweet, and beautiful gift.

Then she told her helper, a woman I’ve never seen before, to get out the pawn/antique stuff because she knows that’s what I’m there to see. She has the most beautiful and unique vintage turquoise, not to mention a slew of other different stones. We start out looking at the rings, then the squash blossoms, then the cuffs. Most handmade by Native Americans. I ended up with a “Fred Harvey” cuff and ring set. It’s hard for me to ever leave without getting something.

Lil’ Cute Cowboy was fascinated with everything in the shop and I was so proud of how well he did! After that we decided to stroll down Mainstreet.

It was a little warmer than usual, but there was still a nice mountain breeze that made it perfect. It was pretty quiet in town, being the middle of the week, there didn’t seem to be as many people as there usually are, which was really kind of nice. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Little Bear absolutely loved it! We’d stroll around and he’d just look at all there was to see, taking it all in. Then we’d stop and hang out for a little bit in the shade and he’d just hang out and listen to the birds or the wind chimes clinging around town. He’s a mountain kid for sure!

We worked up quite an appetite and decided to try the brand new brewery that opened in town just about a month before. We’d walked by earlier and it looked fun and the food they were serving looked delicious! When we got there we could tell the music was really loud but hoped maybe there was an area where it wouldn’t be so loud, but we walked in the doors and Little Bear had a look of terror on his face, seconds from a complete meltdown. We quickly walked back outside and decided we’d better try some place else. So we decided to go to the nice little Mexican food restaurant in town, The Sundance. It was Lil’ Cute Cowboys first time in a restaurant.

He did pretty good as long as he could see all that was going on. He was completely worn out by the time we got back to our room. He’d had a huge day!

The next day we ate at our favorite breakfast place, T-Bucks, and did some more walking around and visited our favorite little coffee place The Way Coffee. I ordered my go-to, a London Fog, and Riley ordered himself a latte. They were so delicious! We just sat and watched passerby’s for awhile and enjoyed our beverages and breathing in the mountain air. It was so relaxing and peaceful.

“Best Seat in the House” by Kenneth Wyatt

One of my favorite places to stop in Red River is Kenneth Wyatt’s art gallery. Photos on the internet cannot do his incredible paintings justice! This is one of my favorites of his. He is truly gifted and I always enjoy walking through his gallery to see what’s new and to see the ones I’ve seen 100 times over again. He’s currently 88 years old, has painted over 9,000 paintings, and paints every single day. Did I mention he didn’t even start painting until his 40’s?! If you ever go to Red River, do yourself a favor, and walk through his gallery.

We tried out the Smokehouse before we left, and parked beside this pretty little stream to eat our chopped beef sandwich. Little Bear loved to watch and hear the small stream. It was finally time to head home. We said goodbye to the mountains, and pointed our pickup east, back to the flatlands. It was such a nice trip and went great for our first mini-vacation!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Check back in for the newest “Ranching on the Ponderosa” that will be up in the next few days!

*ASpottedHeart

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The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go

Every now and then, OneCuteCowboy and I get off the ranch and out of town. Last weekend my parents and the two of us went up to Colorado. Our destination was Steamboat Springs, CO, but we had a few stops to make on the way. We started out Saturday morning for Denver to go to a Rockies game. On our way up there, my mom realized we’d be going by the OSU “Remember the 10” memorial site. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, back in 2001 a plane went down near Byers,CO, where 2 players of the OSU Cowboys basketball team, 6 members of the coaching staff and OSU broadcasting team, and the pilot and co-pilot were killed. You can learn more about it here. You see, my family are all big OSU fans. My Papa Sam played football there in the 40’s, and my parents (and all their siblings) went to school there as well. My oldest sister, Kizzi went there, and I spent my Freshman year of college there, along with other cousins that have also gone there, so needless to say, we all bleed orange. Anyhow, we decided to stop and pay our respects. It was a very nice memorial site. It’s in the middle of nowhere, so much so that I was just sure we had taken a wrong turn and were going to end up lost, but we made it.

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It’s one of those places I have no words to describe it. I’m glad we stopped though.

 

Then we were off to make it to the Rockies game. My parents had never been to a professional baseball game before, so we were excited to take them. Riley and I have only been a few times, but we fell in love with Coors Field the very first time we went. We are now Rocky fans for life! 😉

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We love the atmosphere, the smell of good food wafting through the stadium, watching them prep the field before the game, the respect that’s shown when the red, white, and blue comes on the field, and just the camaraderie of it all. To be a part of something like this, is just plain fun. We really had a good time!

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We had pretty great seats

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Dad & Mom

Best of all, the Rockies won against the Philly’s 8-2. Since it was the weekend after the 4th, they were doing fireworks after the game. We thought that was pretty cool, but man, we weren’t expecting just how cool they’d be! That was the best fireworks I’ve seen all at one time. They shut all the lights off, and just left the Rockies sign lit up, and then they literally lit up the sky. It was awesome!

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Night games are the best

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This picture doesn’t even start to do the fireworks show justice

It was a really fun night and we can’t wait to go back and do it all again.

We were up the next morning to head to Steamboat Springs. Last summer, OneCuteCowboy and I made a trip up to Aspen and came through the cutest little town called Idaho Springs (I am incredibly sad I didn’t get a single picture in Idaho Springs, I was so excited to be there I completely forgot). Riley fell in love with an ice cream shop, and I fell in love with a little store called The Wild Grape. It just so happens, that Idaho Springs is just about 40 miles outside of Denver, on our way to Steamboat Springs. I was so excited! We decided to stop and grab some ice cream at Miner Decadence Chocolates, which I might add has the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever had in my life. If you ever go be sure and get a couple chocolate covered cherries as well, they are wonderful! After we got our ice cream, we wondered on down to The Wild Grape. It has all kinds of fun knick-knacks, kitchen gadgets, lovely smelling candles, outdoor whimsy decorations, and fantastic “selfish necessities” as it claims on their sign. I left with a new candle, a cute new tea rest, and finally had the chance to buy some of the Badger Balm, lip balm. I talked about another Badger product in this post. I was glad to go back and I’m in hopes of stopping by again near Christmas time.

Then we were ready to continue on to Steamboat Springs. As we were filling up with gas, getting ready to leave town, I had just gotten in the passenger side and we were all loaded up, when this guy, around my age, that had been in front of me in line inside the store had stopped and was pointing for me to roll my window down. I thought he was going to tell us we had a flat, or maybe we’d left the gas tank open. Instead he said, “I really like what your shirt says,” he then gave a a thumbs up and said, “good words.” You see, I was wearing my new, soft Bible School t-shirt that the leaders had been given to wear. On the front it has an arrow with the words “Be Something Bigger Than Yourself” with our church’s name at the bottom, and the back reads this,

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I actually had planned on wearing a different shirt that day, but for some reason changed my mind that morning and put this one on instead. Maybe that guy needed those words that day. Maybe there were others that read it without commenting, but it left them thinking. God works in wondrous ways, sometimes it’s a small nudge, and we may not even know it’s a nudge from God,  but I’m glad I changed my mind and I put on that shirt that morning.

So then we were finally off to arrive at our final destination. We drove through about 2 hours of beautiful mountain side country, filled with green knolls, evergreen trees, and small ponds and lakes. It was a beautiful drive up there, and even more beautiful when we got to Steamboat.

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This was out of my parents hotel window

We were pretty exhausted, and hadn’t eaten lunch by the time we rolled into town, but we wanted to stop at a few shops before going to eat or finding out hotel. Steamboat has a cute downtown, with lots of shopping, and little restaurants. Unfortunately we got there late in the day, and our hunger out-weighed our wanting to shop so we just stopped in a couple places then decided it was time to eat. But I want to go back sometime and really spend some time downtown. We found a Mexican food place called Fiesta Jalisco that definitely satisfied our hangry-ness. We spent the rest of the evening in our hotel and getting ice cream.

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The next morning was the livestock sale, the whole reason we’d made the trip up there. OneCuteCowboy is a Superior Livestock Rep, only one of the many irons he has in the fire. So we’d gone up there for their big Week In The Rockies livestock sale. My dad had some of his cattle in the sale that would be selling that morning.

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Superior Livestock Sale

It was a nice morning, high of 68 degrees, whereas at home it was more around 101. Talk about a nice change! It was beautiful out. It was an early morning, but it’s always fun to hear the auctioneer and see all the different cattle on video being sold. Superior is a way to sale livestock through internet and tv sales instead of physically having to go to a sale barn to buy/sale cattle. You can have buyers all over the country seeing your cattle from home and calling in to bid. It’s really pretty neat when you think of the substantial amount of ranchers and farmers that could be watching. I personally love how they always have a flag and the pledge of allegiance and a prayer before they start.

About 6 hours later and we were back in the car for the 7 1/2 hour drive home. It was a fun time, and definitely worth the trip! I can’t wait to go back up sometime to enjoy the mountains. For when the mountains start calling, the only cure is to head to higher elevation. 🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little story! What are some trips you’re taking this summer? Where are some of your favorite places to go?

Friday Finds

A few things I’ve been drooling over lately…

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These adorable cactus key chains from Pearls & Ponies on Etsy. I’m partial to the turquoise green one in the middle! Cacti makes me happy!

 

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I’m such a sucker for pretty stained glass. These stained glass mountains are gorgeous! I can’t wait to get one for my own to hang in my bedroom window. You can get yours on Etsy at The Gypsy Vintage Shop.

 

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I’ve been needing to get my pups new name tags, and these are beautiful. I found this on (*surprise*) Etsy! At the Sacred Geometry Silver.

 

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Over at the Dinabiju Shop, there are beautiful (and funny/cute) brooches and magnets. This beautiful Dalmatian brooch definitely caught my eye. There’s also a really cute Sphinx  in the shop I’ve had my eye on.

 

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Loving this shirt from Rockin A Design. There are several of her shirts that I’d love to see in my closet, but this is my current obsession.

 

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I can’t get over how gorgeous these are! I found them over at Savannah 7’s. In my books, you can’t go wrong with leather and turquoise.

 

So there ya go, my favorite finds for today. Most of these boutiques have great instagrams, you can follow them by clicking on their names below.

Savannah 7’s

Rockin’ A Design

Sacred Geometry

Gypsy Vintage

Pearls & Ponies

 

What are some of your favorite Etsy Shops or boutiques?