Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Split List

How many of you out there have seen "The Bucket List"? Those of you who have, you already know what a fantastic movie it is. Those of you who haven't, you REALLY need to see this movie. It was one of the best movies I saw all summer. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I'll give it to you in a nutshell: It stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nickelson, who play two old men who come up with a bucket list- a list of all the things they want to do before they kick the bucket. Fabulous movie!

As most of you already know, Aaron and I are planning a huge move back across the mountains to be closer to family just as soon as he finishes grad school. We are both super excited about being back "home", (although not so excited about the moving part). However, it occurs to us that we live out here on the front range, where there is TONS of great stuff to do. Stuff that you can't really just hop in the car and go do when you live 250 miles west of Denver. Yet we are taking advantage of none of it. I mean, really, we have been here a year and the only thing we have really taken advantage of was the Budweiser Center last spring. (Aaron took me to see Finding Nemo on ice, but don't tell him I told you. He was so embarrassed to discover we were the only people there above the age of 5 that didn't have a kid in tow.) Knowing that we have limited time left on this side of the Rockies, we have decided that it is time to start taking advantage of the wonderful area we live it.

Okay, by now you are probably wondering how in the heck "The Bucket List" and moving back to the Western Slope are even remotely related, right? Well, my friends, I give you ... (drumroll)...

The Split List!!!( all the things we want to do before we "split"- or leave the front range)

1. Estes Park
The last time I went to Estes Park, I was a little kid. My parents used to take us there. Honestly, there are only two things I remember about Estes Park. There was the BEST toy store there, full of hand-made toys, and they sell the world's best salt water taffy. (Yes, Mom, I will get you some when we finally go. What's your favorite flavor? I'll mail it to you if I have to.) Oh yea, and that creepy hotel from "The Shining" is there, too. My husband loves the outdoors, and there is so much more to Estes than shopping and taffy, and really, it's just dumb that we haven't gone- it's less than an hour from where we are.

2. Casa Bonita
Casa Bonita must be one of the best Mexican restaurants around. Not necessarily because of the food, but because of all the stuff they have there: an arcade, a haunted cave, cliff divers, dinner shows...My last memory of going there was when my Aunt Bev brought my uncle and cousins down for one of their Colorado trips. Leslie and I must have been about six, and they had a pinata there. When it finally broke, we each only got one piece of candy, and we cried and cried! Then, Leslie went through the "haunted cave", and when she got done, she told me all these terrifying things about it- eyeballs and a bottomless pit. Of course, none of it was true, but I actually remember her version of it better than I do my own experience. She was quite the story-teller!

3. Ocean Journey
This is the new aquarium they built in Denver. They built it one year after I left for college, so I have never been there. My first and only experience with an aquarium was in Maui on my honeymoon, so I have been dying to get to Ocean Journey since it was built. It would just be heartbreaking to live an hour away for two years and never go.

4. Denver Zoo
I think I went to the zoo on a field trip when I was in elementary school, but I hardly remember it. I do know that many of the pictures I posted on my old blog were taken at the zoo when my sister and I were very little, but I have few memories. But as a lover of penguins, how can I not take the time to go visit them while I am here? Krissy wants to bring her kids to the zoo someday. Maybe we can talk her into making that someday be in the next 11 months. Preferably one of the warmer ones.

5. Camping in the Poudre
I am not a big fan of camping. I typically don't like bugs. I don't really enjoy sleeping on the ground. I especially don't like large animals that want to eat me. But, my husband loves camping, and thanks to me, he hasn't gone in four years. We live, literally, right by the Poudre Valley and the Poudre River. It would break his dear, sweet heart if we didn't go camping- or at least hiking- while we are here. I suppose if he can stomach people skating around in sparkling fish costumes, I can stomach camping.

6. Broncos Game
I have never been to a professional football game. My husband has never been to a professional football game. We were both born and raised in Colorado. Do I need to say more?

7. CU vs. CSU Game
I guess if you are not from Colorado, or from the Eastern slope, maybe, you may not know about the rivalry between CSU and CU. Or maybe everybody knows about it, and I am just the sweet, oblivious girl. Either way, I had no idea. Apparently there is a huge rivalry between these two schools, and this is one of the biggest games of the year. Actually, I think it is the biggest game of the year. I don't know- I am really just pretending to know what I am talking about. Either way, it's supposed to be way fun, and way wild, and we have tickets to go at the end of August.

8. Dave & Buster's
I had never heard of Dave & Buster's until we moved out here. It is a bar and grill, and it is a lot like Chuckie Cheese's, only it's for big kids. Like the over 21 kind of kids. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I know they don't have them back home, so we figured we should check it out while we can. Surely we can round up some big-kid friends to go with us.

9. Skydiving (Aaron only- so Mom, calm down! Jan-help! Talk to your son about this!!)
Okay, there is no way I would ever jump out of an airplane. Maybe if it was on fire and about to crash into a very big mountain, but even then it's iffy. My husband, on the other hand, would love to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. It turns out, my friend Stephanie's husband would also love to do this insane thing. Even better- he got a gift certificate for his birthday. From Stephanie. (Her and I will talk about this later!) Who should her dear husband invite to go with him? My dear husband! I, personally, wonder about my husband's sanity. But who am I to break his heart? Besides, I figure he'll owe me big time! I sense a HUGE teacher store shopping spree in my near future. Unless some more disney characters decide to slip into some ice skates!

10. Armadillo
The Armadillo is a Mexican restaurant in Longmont that I practically grew up at. This is where my parents took us when we were kids. This is where my homecoming dates took me when I was still a kid but didn't think I was. This is where my date's parents sat on the other side of the restaurant at Homecoming, because they were our ride. This is where we went on Senior Ditch Day. There are so many memories at this restaurant- I just have to pay it a visit before I go.

11. Avalanche Game
I am really not all that interested in hockey. But my husband wants to go to a NHL game, and what better time to do it? Krissy and Andy usually manage to make it out to at least one game a year, so we are hoping to coordinate with them.

12. Rockies Game
Last year would have been a good time to go to a Rockies game, but the tickets were like a million bajillion dollars and totally sold out. So maybe we can make it this year when they are playing more like themselves. Rockies games can be way fun- I went to a ton of them in high school, so why not?

13. Breckenridge Brewary Tour
Of course, I am hoping to be pregnant soon, so I assure you that this is not about the free beer. It is about the learning experience, really! Almost all of my friends have done this tour, and they said it was way fun.

14. Budweiser Factory Tour
I just want to see those horses! I swear that's why I want to go. (See above paragraph if you doubt me even a little).

15. Cheesecake Factory
This is where all my prom dates always took me. I wouldn't have put it on the list, but my husband and his mom went to dinner here a few weeks ago, and he loved it so much that he said he HAS to take me on a date there. Who am I to turn down a romantic dinner?

16. Boulder Dinner Theatre
When I was a teenager working as a lifeguard at our little rec center, we went here for our staff Christmas party. We saw "The Will Rogers Follies". It was the very first time I had ever seen a stage production, other than those put on by our high school drama club. I fell in love with theater. I also came here with my parents when I was home from college once, but I don't remember what show we saw. Mom- do you remember? We went with Mike and Mike, if that refreshes your memory at all. Anyway, the only theater Aaron has been to is the Cabaret in Grand Junction. Don't get me wrong- it's a great theater, but I am dying to take Aaron to the first theater I ever went to. Now, if they would do "Annie" sometime in the next 11 months, I would think I had died and gone to Heaven!

17. The Denver Museum of Natural History
Okay, so this isn't on our list, but I am adding it now. (I'll tell my husband later). Writing about the zoo and field trips reminded me of our field trip here. And it was the coolest! They have the best dinosaur exhibit!! We gotta go here.

Okay, I take full responsibility for being the second biggest dork on the face of the planet (my husband being the actual biggest- the list was his idea). But this was fun, and it gives us stuff to look forward to, and stuff to help pass the time until we can get back home.

So there you have it- the "Split List". I promise to do my best to actually accomplish the things on the list. And I promise to give you updates every time we check one off! If anyone out there is from the Front Range of Colorado, please feel free to add suggestions. I am a little worried we may get bored with only 17 major events planned in the next 11 months!


Judith said...

Mandy, So glad you're back. Love your split list. I don't know if you and AAron saw Phantom of the Opera, but if you ever can, do not miss it. I'm so glad Aaron got your mind off the storm. Learning how to play those games would seem like a storm to me.

If you care about Colorado history, try getting to Idaho Springs and/or Georgetown. One of them has a train ride that shows you a lot of the beauty of Colorado, and there's real mines you can go down in, and see real Silver veins. Not sure about gold. But there are places you can pan for it.

Bev said...

First, I've seen Bucket List, and already put it on my Christmas wish list. Fabulous movie! Let's see - Casa Bonita - fun, fun - bad food that is worth it for the fun. I've never been to a pro football game either, but maybe you can find tickets on Ebay, Uncle Don attended both CU and CSU, and yet he's a die hard CU fan, so thanks for the warning about the game. Sounds like you have a great list, and good for you for making it while youre still there rather than having regrets of all the stuff you didnt do while you lived nearby. Sounds like such fun!

Tracey said...

I love Colorado. My brother and sister in law are at the AF Academy (sister in law is a Lt. Colonel and teaches and brother stays home with twin girls.) right now and another brother with his wife live in Littleton. I come up there often.

Barb said...

Ocean Journey is awesome. Dad took me there while you were away at college.

This is a great list and such a good idea. All of these things are doable from Grand Junction but every single one of them would involve a five hour drive and probably a hotel room, so doing all these things while you still live over there is a great idea.

If Aaron's interested in Colorado history, I'd recommend the Molly Brown house. Very interesting.

And I think the one thing I miss more than everything, from you list, is the Denver zoo. We took you and Krissy there a lot when you were little. It's one of my very favorite places, especially in the spring when all the new babies arrive.

Great list. I hope you and Aaron do every single thing on this list before you split. xoxoxo Mom

Rob said...

Great idea this list. The show we saw at dinner theater was "Fidler On the Roof"

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Whew!! I'm exhausted and broke after reading your list, LOL! ;o)

Hope you and Aaron get to do them all. If you do you'll certainly be busy for the next 11 months.



August said...

I have been wanting to see the Bucket List, but after hearing that you really liked it.. I really want to see it now! :o)

Gretchen said...

Oh Mandy! What great memories for me! Let's see...I grew up near CSU; went to CU (grad and undergrad), lurrrved the Boulder Dinner Theater, lurve the town of Breckenridge, and remember going into all the cheesy/cute shops in Estes Park as a kid and younger adult. If you don't want to camp on the Poudre, I highly recommend going to the YMCA of the Rockies and renting a cabin--it's near Estes. Elk walking across the tennis courts. It's beautiful! Also, if you get preggers, no offense, but you probably will want a toilet for (ahem) puking, if such a need arises--not a pit potty.

I remember taking my son to Ocean Journey when he was 3, and also enjoying the Molly Brown House.

If you can swing it, I also recommend a carriage ride in DT Denver. My hubby proposed on one, but also 2 years ago, on the night after Thanksgiving, all 4 of us were in Denver and Hubby surprised us with a moonlit carriage ride in downtown. Soooo cool. All the Christmas lights were out.

Okay...last recommendation/musing before you throw me out of your comments forevah! Take a picnic up to Chatauqua Park in Boulder. Too beautiful.

Gretchen said...

P.S. GO BUFFS!!!!!!!!

Dawn said...

YOu are definitely going to be busy fitting all of this into Aaron's second year of grad school! But I hope you do as many as possible. BTW, there's an Armadillo right there in FC - unless you just really want to go to Longmont.

Have fun doing these things, and you're right that you need to take advantage while you're here!