A Colorado Thanksgiving, 2013

Hello in there! Thanksgiving was two weeks ago but I haven’t had a chance to share the photos so without further ado:

For the past five years, we’ve spent the holiday in the foothills of the Rockies at my aunt and uncle’s place. I always look forward to the change of scenery and relaxing with family—my grandparents live nearby too, so it truly is a whole family affair.

On the actual holiday, we ate like kings and queens. My uncle used to be a chef, so we are always filled to the gills with yummy eats when we visit.

Thanksgiving feastAnd even though he asked politely—look at those inquiring eyes!—one little boy didn’t get to taste any Thanksgiving fixin’s.

IMG_9397These two fellas had a lot of quality one-on-one time.

IMG_9393I only get to see my sweet grandparents once or twice a year, so it’s another highlight of  our annual Thanksgiving trip. I wish Colorado and Illinois bordered each other!

I also caught these two pups holding paws, and not for the first time. They are such buds.

IMG_9405As is our tradition, we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park the next day for a hike to burn off all those starches. We did a six-mile roundtrip hike to the summit of Deer Mountain.



Not to be a total downer, but I have to mention the flood devastation. On our drive to and from Estes Park, we passed through several canyons that were washed out by September’s floods. The roads were recently rebuilt, but so many of the homes were still in shambles, with furniture hanging out of their dilapidated frames. We saw cars smashed to smithereens, RVs overturned, bridges gone, and trees completely uprooted. Whole homes were whisked off their foundations and deposited in the middle of the riverbed.

It was so sad and surreal to see the damage up close. For some reason, it seemed like this natural disaster didn’t receive a whole lot of coverage nationwide. If you want to donate to help the Coloradans who lost their homes, here is the Red Cross donation page.



  1. wow so much beautiful scenery! that is so cool he was a chef, I bet you get some amazing food

  2. Looks like you had a nice Thanksgiving! :) I love the picture of the pups holding hands. So cute!! Also, I love the tradition of a day after hike! What a nice way to spend time with family :)

  3. I’m glad you had a good time with your family. And, thanks for mentioning the flood relief, it’s been so sad to see all these homes, roads and trails washed away.

    • Emily, I just couldn’t believe the devastation and the fact that it had received so little national coverage. It was really humbling to see up close.

  4. First of all, obviously I love everything about this because it takes place in Colorado. ;) Secondly, hooray for hiking in RMNP after your big meal! That’s always been my favorite way to burn off holiday calories, and it looks like the weather was perfect.

    Lastly, thank you for mentioning the floods. It didn’t get nearly as much national media coverage as I would’ve expected, and I initially didn’t think it was that bad when I heard it on the national news — it was only once I talked to my parents that the full extent of the damage became clear. Thank you for sharing the Red Cross link for the flood victims — every bit helps!

    • Lillian, I just couldn’t believe how little attention these floods received from the national media. When I saw the damage up close, it was truly unbelievable and extremely humbling. I feel so bad for the communities affected and wish them a speedy recovery.

  5. Looks like a wonderful thanksgiving Jorie!

  6. I’d love to get back to Colorado. What a gorgeous state! Glad you had a happy Thanksgiving, Jor. That photo of the home knocked off it’s foundation is surreal. It reminds me of a video I watched of the tornado in Illinois that leveled a neighborhood in about 15 seconds. Just everything gone. I can’t imagine going through something like that, and I agree that the floods in Colorado didn’t get a lot of air time. There have been so many disasters this year, it’s been hard to separate and give proper attention to each one. Thanks for pointing out that people are still rebuilding in CO. xoxo

    • Thanks, Kate! Surreal is the perfect word to describe the devastation in those canyons—cars wrapped around trees, RVs knocked over, homes torn open with clothes hanging out of closets and dangling into the river…I couldn’t believe how bad it was three months later. I couldn’t believe any of it, period!

  7. Also, good choice hanging with a former chef on Thanksgiving! Why didn’t I think of that!?

  8. The State of Colorado has had its fair share of natural disasters lately – WOW – so sad and little coverage too – thanks for sharing the donation link. Sounds like a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving – thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I love all the Colorado pictures, and thank you for highlighting the destruction as well. It hurts my heart that my favorite place in the world is still suffering, and they need all the help people are willing to give! P.S. I can’t ever get enough puppy pictures!

    • Definitely, Natalie. I like to donate a little bit each month to a charity and this is going to continue to be my cause for a few months!

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