Wednesday, August 23rd 2017



Colorado

May 29th - June 5th, 2010

May 29th: Took the Amtrak from Galesburg, IL. The train ride was enjoyable. Spent the night on the train.
May 30th: Arrived in Denver, CO in the morning. Picked up a rental car (Toyota Avalon). Walked through the City Park. Went to Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Drove around the city, visited the Botanical Gardens, and hit the 16th Street Mall. Went to Wynkoop Brewery for dinner. Enjoyed complimentary milk & cookies at our hotel - the Magnolia - and called it a night.
May 31th: Hit the Art Festival near the 16th Street Mall and bought a nice limited print. Traveled out to Red Rocks Amphitheater and hiked around. Drove to Vail, a small ski-resort town. Momentarily went to the pizzeria, where we picked up a pizza (because Ann's stomach couldn't handle the overwhelming aroma). Walked to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Headed back to the Sonnenalp Hotel and had more complimentary cookies and went to bed.
June 1st: Travelled to Glenwood Springs and toured the Glenwood Caverns. We arrived at our hotel, the Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge - a nice log-cabin style hotel sitting atop a mountain. We walked around Breckenridge. Hit the Breckenridge Brewery for dinner. Headed back to the hotel and called it a night.
June 2nd: Leaving Breckenridge, we stopped and hiked a trail near Frisco at Sapphire Point. On our way to Boulder, we travelled Loveland Pass over the Continental Divide. They were still plowing snow on the mountains - quite a sight in June! There were also people skiing near the top. On our way to Boulder, we pulled off the highway and spotted some Big Horn Sheep on the side of a mountain. Upon arriving in Boulder, we checked in at the Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites - definitely our least favorable hotel experience of the trip, and of course it was the only place that we stayed at for two nights. We walked around the campus of University of Colorado. Ann wasn't feeling too adventerous, so we went to Wendy's for dinner and took it easy for the rest of the night.
June 3rd: We toured the headquarters for Celestial Seasonings (the tea company). Got to see the tea-preparing process and sampled several of their offerings. Drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. We hiked around for several hours, including the Glacier Gorge Junction trail leading to Alberta Falls, and a stop at Bear Lake. We wanted to hike around Bear Lake, but it started to rain. It's amazing how many elk are in the park - it's almost too many. We saw at least a hundred elk, just from our car. There were mule deer all over the place, too. We also caught a quick glimpse of a turkey (Merriam's). Headed back to Boulder and went to the Pearl Street Mall. While at the outdoor mall, we hit BJ's Restaurant & Brewery for dinner.
June 4th: Headed back to Denver. Drove around town and explored a few more parks. Returned our rental car and dropped our baggage off at the Union Station. We walked over to the 16th Street Mall. After walking around for a bit, we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We then made our way back to Union Station to catch our train. It was hot in the station, and our train showed up about two hours late. Apparently a piece of equipment had broke down in a tunnel and held up our train. After finally boarding the train, we started a long, slow journey back home. It took a lot longer than normal because of some really bad flooding. We spent the night on the train.
June 5th: We arrived back in Galesburg and headed home!
See pictures here.

Alaska

May 24th - May 30th, 2009

May 24th: Flew into Anchorage after catching a connecting flight in Minneapolis, MN. Spent night in Ramada Downtown Hotel.
May 25th: Took the Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna. Had our first moose sighting from the train. Also saw a few black bear cubs from the train. Enjoyed lunch on a patio overlooking the Alaka Mountain Range with a beautiful view of Mt. McKinley. Took a jetboat tour on some of the local rivers through Mahay's. Spent night in Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.
May 26th: Took the Alaska Railroad to Denali. Saw another moose from the train. Went whitewater rafting through Denali Raft Adventures, rapids were class 3 and 4. Saw a Dall sheep on the edge of a nearby cliff while rafting. Spent night in Grande Denali Lodge.
May 27th: Took an 8 hour bus tour through Denali National Park. Saw a couple moose, several snowshoe hare, ptarmigan, a grizzly bear with cubs, and a lot of Dall sheep. Spent night in Grande Denali Lodge.
May 28th: Went for a bike ride on the Costal Trail. Got up close to several moose on the trail, including a mother and young one - about got charged by the mother. Spent night in Ramada Downtown Hotel.
May 29th: Went for another bike ride with the point of making it to the Flattop Mountain trailhead, though we didn't quite make it. Spent night in Ramada Downtown Hotel.
May 30th: Flew back to Chicago after catching a connecting flight in Salt Lake City, UT.
See pictures here.

Poland

August 17th - August 26th, 2008

Aug 17th: Started our flight from Chicago.
Aug 18th: Landed in Krakow, then caught a connecting flight to Warsaw. Spent night in Warsaw at the Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto.
Aug 19th: Drove to Krakow. Spent night in Krakow at the Hotel RT Rezydent.
Aug 20th: Spent night in Krakow at the Hotel RT Rezydent.
Aug 21th: Spent night in Poznan at the Hotel Stare Miasto.
Aug 22th: Spent night in Sopot at the Hotel Villa Baltica.
Aug 23th: Spent night in Sopot at the Hotel Villa Baltica.
Aug 24th: Spent night in Sopot at the Hotel Villa Baltica.
Aug 25th: Spent night in Warsaw at the Polonia Palace Hotel.
Aug 26th: Took a direct flight from Warsaw back home, landing in Chicago.
See pictures here.
More details to come (time pending).