Late Thursday night I flew into Denver, CO. I would be surprising my friend Arielle the next day, but first I got to spend time with Mallory and Megan Happ, twins from Session 2 CILTs this past summer. Their mom picked me up at the airport and brought me back to their house where we met up with the girls. We were ecstatic to be reunited and stayed up late talking after getting a tour of their house. The real adventuring began Friday morning.
Mall and Megan both went to school for their hardest class and then their mom called them out for the rest of the day. First we grabbed some coffee and then went to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe with muffins that fell straight from heaven.
We knew we wanted to go hiking but weren't quite sure where we would end up. Our first stop took us to Waterton Canyon.
The "hike" was more of a long walk but the scenery was gorgeous. We walked along a trail/road that wound through a canyon and over a river. We spotted this matching couple and told them we loved their outfits. They told us their kids aren't fans of the matching but they still do it every day. The Happs and I also happened to be matching today in our Varsity FBC shirts and best friend necklaces.
As if their natural biological matching wasn't enough, they were just such TWINS today. It was liking seeing double every time I looked at them. I got pretty good at telling them apart in person but now looking back at pictures it's pretty tricky.
The girls took me to a city called Castle Rock that has the Barn, their favorite spot. The inside of a barn has about 30 different booth areas that are each filled with the crafts and merchandise and knick-knacks of different people. It made me want to have a spot of my own.
And I've really got to try doing some needle point...
Since we were right there, we decided to climb Castle Rock-- you can see the giant rock in the distance with a metal star on top. Several of the girls' friends had been there before but they'd never done it themselves. There is a steep path the winds around the hill but once you get to the big rock you have to actually scramble the rest of the way up and find your own path.
There is a special star lighting ceremony each year for the star on top but right now all the light bulbs are missing.
The view from the top was amazing and we could see so far in every direction.
There weren't too many other hikers up there with us so it was pretty easy to have our own photo shoot. Megan and Mall kept switching who was in the pictures with me-- their tennis shoes are the biggest give away.
The Happs are both Varsity cheerleaders so I made them pull out some of their skills together.
The next hour was super busy-- hike back down Castle Rock, gobble down chips and quac from Chipotle, grab some poster board and markers, prom haircuts for the girls and then meeting up with their mom for dinner and one of the best chicken cobb salads of my life.
Then the next phase of the Colorado surprise started rolling.The Happs and I drove to the airport to pick up Ellyn and Smooney who had just arrived from Indiana and Wisconsin.
We'd been planning this caper for months and were so excited to finally be together in Colorado. The next stop was the big surprise.
We'd been planning this whole surprise with Sam Wolf Dancer, Arielle's boyfriend, so that they'd be free this weekend and we'd be able to find them when we arrived. The five of us piled out of the car and when Sam came outside to greet us Arielle was only seconds behind.
We went inside where Arielle was still quite flustered and confused but so happy to have all of us there.
The Happs headed back home to the suburbs and our crew walked to Vodoo Donuts to check it off our to-do list for the weekend. We'd seen Arielle post a picture of these crazy donuts before and we all wanted to try them ourselves. Even at 11:00 at night the line was out the door.
Nothing beats eating donuts and walking home through Denver with some of your very best friends.