Friday, October 26, 2007

Hello from Highlands Ranch, Colorado!

Well, well, well! I've made it safe and sound, had a good night's sleep, some meals I don't have to unwrap or remove from aluminium foil pouches and a nice long shower, and I am feeling settled enough for some internet time. I was the definition of crusty by the time I got here to Aly and Jay's house in Highlands Ranch, Colorado at about 6pm last night. All those hours sitting on planes and in transit lounges do not lend one's self to stringent hygiene. Ewwwww!

The trip was pretty low trauma, though I could have used some more sleep than I got. Qantas are very good with their service, they kept us all well fed, entertained and pretty comfortable considering the space restrictions. I would have loved to sleep but between the toddler who ran up and down the aisles for about 5 hours straight, and the crusty couple beside me trying to join the mile high club, it wasn't really possible.

LA was fine, boring though as there is nothing there until you get into the terminals, and they really don't want you in the terminals until just before your flight. Passed the time reading and mooching. I mostly asked directions and help from African American ladies, and as soon as they heard my accent I was Honey, Gorgeous, Baby, Doll. Very nice ladies.

I crashed out completely on my flight from LA to Denver for about 2 hours of the 2.5 hour trip. I was actually asleep before we took off, woke when they brought the beverage cart around so I could gulp some water, and crashed right back out again until the pilot announced we were flying over the Rockies. WOW! Talk about stunning. Huge mountains with really high contrast of snow on rock, with a kind of purple tinge to most of the place at that time of the day.

Landed and was heading to baggage claim when a girl asked me "Is this the way to baggage pick up?" The first Aussie accent I had heard since getting out of the customs line at LAX. We hung out together and caught the little shuttle train (mega clean, prompt with clear voice over messages to tell us what stop to get off at and to hold on, and cute country music bits to announce a message!) to baggage claim.

I was just standing at the conveyor belt waiting for the baggage to come out when I saw someone who was unmistakeably Jay! Can't miss those dimples anywhere. Apparently I had walked right past him and Aly. Blind as a bat me and deaf to boot. They have been so welcoming and when my bag came off the conveyor with a huge rip in it, Jay took me to the American Airlines office to report it, and AA gave me a brand new bag... worth about three times the price I paid for mine!! And best of all, it's red! Bigger than mine too, but the same principal, a duffle bag on wheels with a handle. Yay for Jay!

Drove back to their house, aobut 45 minutes pleasant drive through the plains of Colorado. You don't think of CO as being flat, but it is before it gets to the mountains. It reminds me of the Black Hole Sun music video by Soundgarden, those kind of treeless, rolling hills. The sky is beautiful her, so big (even bigger than back home, and that's big!) and the colours are quite stunning. Very strange being on the right hand side of a car as a passenger. I may even brown up my right arm to match my left!

The weather is fairly mild, about 22C here today. Though it gets very nippy through the night and it's only going to get colder.

Aly and Jay have been SOOOOO welcoming and have spoilt me rotten so far. Gave me some "Burts Bees" products (lip balm, cuticle cream, hand cream and rescue cream), a purple scarf and matching gloves for my birthday, and Jay had got me the biggest, gooeyest chocolate fudge birthday cake, which was DELICIOUS. My first birthday cake in some years. They have both made me feel very much at home and relaxed, and I feel like I've found some kindred spirits in them.

One thing I am noticing about Colorado is the very, very low humidity is actually affecting me a bit. Nothing dramatic, but my lips and cuticles are cracking already, and I did have to have a humidifier on to sleep, as Aly was concerned I would get nosebleeds because I am used to a much more humid climate. She was right, my sinuses are very dry and cracking. Luckily she gave me the Burt's Bee's products. But in the positives, my hair loves the low humidity and is shiny and pretty, and so does my skin generally! And the air is very clear up here, it's great.

Today is a bit of a mellow day, both Aly and Jay are working, so I've had a sleep in and some online time and when Jay gets home he's going to take me to downtown Denver, the first stop is the Denver public library!

Hope everyone is well, if you read please do leave comments so I know you've been!

Take care all!


Poohgal79 said...


great to hear you're safe and sound, well rested, fed, and cared for! Sounds like Aly and Jay have set the bar high for the rest of us! Have a great time in Denver. I can't wait for the next update!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it okay! Isn't Colorado pretty? I was in Colorado Springs in September at the army base there and I wish I could go back... If you have a layover in Lincoln NE or Omaha NE with the train let me know... We could have coffee. :)

Anonymous said...

Kath!!! I can't believe it's all happening! I am pleased to hear that Aly and Jay are taking such wonderful care of you. I hope I can come close when you're at my house, lol!

Anonymous said...

Glad you made it safe and sound Kath, sounds like you are having a great time so far. xxx

Kristie Lee said...

so glad to hear you're hear safe and sound in the U.S. of A and have such nice people taking good care of you! Fingers crossed for your first snowball!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Colorado!! You lucked out to get some nice weather this week. I can not wait to meat you this weekend. Me and Aly will work something out!
Until then...

Roberto Alvarenga said...

Hola Kath:

Feliz cumpleanos!!!! Hey you made it, I'm happy you are having a great time. I'm very busy at work with all that is happening. Peter Jackson is here to help with your work and we will get the replacement person the week of the 5 Nov. Have a great time. I will be in touch.

djbobble said...

Glad to know you've landed safe and sound and are having a great time already. I was starting to miss you. Right! Off to check my email, hoping there's one from you there! Hope you had a great birthday :D Then again, how could you not?

Sensational Mom said...

I am so glad you are safely in Colorado! I wouldn't have expected any less from Jay and Aly for your birthday!

Unknown said...

Hello sweetie heart.....
Sooo good to hear from you.
Happy dance... :)


blackmercedez said...

Hey Miss Kath,

Hey first time on this blog thing took me a while to leave you a comment. But finally worked it out. Glad to hear you arrived safely. Sounds like you are ready to run a muck.

Hey I laughed when you said the comment about the African Amercian Ladies calling you doll and gorgeous. Trust me it gets worst as you go down south, my experice with them while over there is they love fussy and mothering you. But I tell you after couple of days of it you so get over it. But beside that your have a great time it's what you make off it. Just make sure you keep in touch. And look after yourself. Cant' wait to hear from you again.
luv layne

Anonymous said...

Hey Kath,

Didn't expect to hear from you so soon glad to hear you arrived safe. Looking forward to further updates.

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad you made it safely and with not too much trauma! What an awesome way to spend your birthday! Happy 35th hun!!! Enjoy every minute of your hiatus!

Anonymous said...

Kath glad you had a super birthday with Aly and Jay! It is just so exciting that you will be here is 89 days!!! Cant wait for the next instalment of the trip!

Amy said...

So glad you're being well taken care of. Colorado is a great place to start your stay in the USA. Have fun.