From Grumbles to Smiles; Love the Great Outdoors 

Ah, this week started out a bit rough. Then it got a little more rough.  Then I went outside and the world felt that much better.

Monday I guess I was tired after all that weekend lack of sleep.  Even though time was designated to sleep in I still wake at 0500 and then only half sleep for any further time.  Anyway, Monday was an interesting one with all sorts of hijinks happening, mostly the project manager on the Sacramento job quit.  His replacement is a bloke who comes with his own project Engineer, so poor Chad and Stella arrived at Sacramento with their car and dogs that very day were told they’d be turning around and returning to Denver in a couple of weeks.  That would be horrible. So the list of meetings I had were somewhat messier with Mark disappearing for calls at crucial moments.  So Monday was a little manic.

Tuesday I headed to Minneapolis again.  I also had meetings all morning so that was a super productive day.  Luckily I checked the weather forecasts for Minneapolis and had made sure I had the right clothes with me.

That sure is Fahrenheit, bloody cold!

When we got to Minneapolis we had a dinner with the Gowan blokes.  Milt and Steve are a good pair, similar to Mark and I in that the elder is the boss and the younger smashes out the work.  The chosen location was a steak place, apparently rated quite highly in the nation for steak.  It was quite the awesome, and extremely expensive, $870 for the four of us.  I started off wondering how, then I realised that my small filet mignon was $53 on its own, plus sides, plus appetizer, plus drinks.  The rate that Milt and Mark were smashing the drinks down I’d guess over half the bill was grog.

It was a much later night than I needed, I guess I got to bed about 2300, that wasn’t so good.  Especially when the hotel put me in a room with falling down curtains so the room was super bright and I didn’t get much sleep.  Wednesday I was super glad that Minneapolis is mostly connected via skyways, it looked stunning but it was mad cold.

Found on my breakfast table, it was quite good.

Again, that was fahrenheit…

The day was uneventful thanks to all the meetings. Then off to the airport and the plane was delayed.  From a 1945 scheduled time to 2250.  Seriously, that is insane!  I guess they managed to find a shortcut on the way from Phoenix to Minneapolis because the plane actually landed about 2130, which is a huge help, but not at all welcome after the sleep situation.  Saving grace: Mark drove this time so swift home and I didn’t need to be awake.

Grumble grumble

Guess what greeted me when I got home?!?  Wet socks.  You know how fun it is to walk up the hallway at 0045 ish and get wet socks?  Not fun, not fun at all.  So I emailed the girls in the leasing office and went to bed.  Thursday was a tricky day. I didn’t have any meetings so I decided to turn off all alarms.  I woke at 0745 and replied to a message from Mark.  Two minutes later he called, I only answered because I knew he was likely on a plane or in queue to get on said plane to Sacramento.  He just wanted a meeting planned, easy done, I didn’t tell him I was in bed still, but I did tell him I hadn’t made it to the office yet.  So I walked back through that hall and the soggy carpet was worse. I guess the furnace was busted.  The maintenance guys arrived about five minutes before I left.  He quickly identified the issue, fixed it, then got the blowers out to dry the floors. I went to work where I had a day that wasn’t as productive as it should have been because everyone wanted a chat.  Then I headed up to Earls so I could have a sleep not interrupted by the drone of those industrial fans, and so Friday we could go for a hike.  I have to admit that I love coming home to dinner prepared and on the table, even if it isn’t my home, I have long said that I need a wife.

So Friday we got up and looked at the weather and changed our plans.  We’d intended to go up to Rocky Mountain National Park for some snowshoeing again, but there was a cool change coming in and they were going to be super windy.  So we headed over to the Golden Gate Canyon Park instead.  We thought we could get a good 13 miles done, I’m super glad that we opted for the shorter 9 mile loop.  The hike was srunning, a perfectly warm day with great views.  The wind was pretty special, blowing that change through, and the cobwebs out of my head.  I am sure we’d have survived the longer hike but with snow between 2″ and 12″ deep for over half the route (great bare ground the other half) the going was tough!  It wasn’t snowshoe worthy, mostly because we would have spent more time taking them off and on; it was just enough to make the going somewhat tricky.

From beautifully clear to snowy footing. We were postponing thru the second photo though being one of the peaks we got over that relatively fast.

Stunning views as always, damn you Colorado!

We were there, promise!

The other peak, yay! And the view again…

By the time we got home we were absolutely wiped out. We had a shower, cooked up some steak in the barbie, and crashed out.  Saturday we took it relatively slowly.  I had the chiropractor at 0900 so we got up, had waffles for breakfast, then headed to mine.  After the chiropractor we did a little walk up to target to get some errands done and also blood flowing through our achey legs.  Then headed downtown in the train to the days highlight, Monster Trucks!  Yep, the monster trucks were in town and I had to see this spectacle for myself.  It was great fun.  I kinda regret not having ear plugs, not because the whole show was loud, though it sure was, more because one of the announcers had this horribly shrill voice that just grated every aural nerve.

Scooba and El Toro doing jumps.

I thought only Aussies played basketball upside-down?!? I thought this was an odd statue. I guess I’ve never noticed it before but today we were waiting for drinks.

Some shots of the freestyle and the victory parade.

The cleaning crew ready to move in!

We returned to mine, fixed the speakers and watched half an episode of Vikings, then headed to 2 Penguins for a farewell beer with Errol.  That guy, seriously, he’s an absolute disaster.  Earl and I had plans for dinner so I’d told Errol that we would be there from 1700 to 1800 only, and if he was late we’d get no chat time.  I’d reconfirmed this many times and he was all yep, I’ll be there, no reason to be late, I’ll be there. He wasn’t.  At 1750 I sent him another text saying that we had to go.  He called at 1755, we settled up and met him outside for a hug on our way to dinner and they headed inside for a family dinner I guess.  Disaster of a guy.  I felt a little bad because it was a Greek dinner Earl and I had planned, but because I was tired I didn’t have the brainwave and energy to deal with that mayhem.  So I didn’t.  Dinner at Greek was just what we needed, simple, easy, cruisey, and great food as always thanks Renee. Oh, and it was quick! We got home, watched the other half of the episode, and went to bed.  I guess that walk wiped us both out more than we’d planned.

Sunday we got up, ate, went for a stroll up the creek to keeping legs moving then I headed to the airport to start the week of work.  I, very charmingly, was sat next to a bloke with terrible bo and a propensity for crowding me.  With a full (75 seat) plane, there was no escaping that charming hour and a half.  when we got to Fargo it was straight to a meeting, love a 3 hour Sunday afternoon meeting!  We are all prepared for our Monday all day meeting with the client, so that’s a positive.  I’m not looking forward to 9.5 hours of paying attention and taking great notes…yay.  On the plus side the next adventure is booked! We are going to spend 10 days in Ireland in July. Why? Because my dear mate Kurt is getting married in Dublin mid July.  it’s likely to be a bit of a shitty timing for me given the bid, but I’ll just have to do a little work on the road.  I can’t wait! Mark, who didn’t know but now does, decided on Irish for dinner to get me in the right frame of mind.

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