July 6, 2010

Wyoming: a Picnic, an Accordion, and Zillions of Hummingbirds

We drove to my grandparents' house this past weekend, to spend the holiday with them. The drive from Denver to Jackson (well, almost to Jackson) is eight hours long--six of which consists of dirt, railroad tracks, cows, and land so flat that Mother Nature wishes she could stuff her bra without anyone noticing.

But hey, the sky sure is pretty out there.

My grandparents' backyard is a resort for birds. They are protected from predators and given a neverending supply of food.

Look at the two hummingbirds playing nice, sharing a feeder. Now look just past them to where a Rufus is about to scare the sugar water right out of them. I have a special place in my heart for those mean, little boogers.

After these messages, we'll be riiiiiiiight back.

(Psst...that's your cue. Click on the link to see more soul-inspiring photos.)

My grandparents' house is also a resort for grandkids. They are protected from predators and given a neverending supply of coffee.

After gabbing and gambling, we went outside to take pictures and to try our hand at feeding the thumb-sized birds.

Almost immediately, they were swarming around us.

With my red shirt and yellow hat, I looked like an enormous flower to them.

One of the best things about my grandma is that she is full of surprises. Upon reading my bucket list, she said, "Why haven't you ever asked me to teach you the accordion?" Umm, huh? Not only has she has played since she was nine years old, but she still has the instrument on which she learned: a bright red, mint condition Accordiana.

(Don't be fooled by the sunlight sweetly washing over her or by her harmless-looking little frame, she has an appetite for bad children and adults alike.)

In between drinks, she patiently taught me some basic lessons and I stumblingly started over (and over and over). While difficult, it was a lot of fun and I can't wait to pick one up again.

After two relaxing days of crocheting, solving the world's problems, and eating delicious food...

...and Keene obsessed about the hummingbirds a bit more:

...we headed south to meet my dad, sister, niece, and brother-in-law for lunch:

The weather was perfect: a little sun...

A slight breeze...

Too few hours and much too little snark later and it was time to head home.

So we drove and drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. And drove.

(I'm setting the mood, putting you in the mindset of this road-trip. I bet you're getting pretty bored now, right? Yeah, that was the ride home. Even the sky couldn't muster enthusiasm from us at this point.)

As the time neared eternity o'clock, we reached Cheyenne and stopped for dinner. Neither of us had spent much time here, aside from a highway jaunt to Starbucks. The capital city surprised us with its historical buildings and interesting street-side art.

After eating and getting caught up in a slow-speed game of road rage with cowboys (I don't care how big your pickup truck is, it doesn't scare me when you ride on top of my car: it just makes me vengefully playful) which made Keene question his undying commitment to me, we were on the road and back home in no time.

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