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Old 01-15-2013, 03:40 AM   #16
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Lovely pics from Colorado. Looks like you have a great time visiting.

Where did you let that toad go? He looks like a friendly sort.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:37 PM   #17
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Lovely pics from Colorado. Looks like you have a great time visiting.

Where did you let that toad go? He looks like a friendly sort.
Glad you like the pictures! It was a really nice visit. A great break from real life

We brought the toad to the park across the street from Tracy's parents' house. There's a creek that runs through there so we freed him right next to it, hoping he'd find some bugs to eat. He looked up at me with those big toady eyes as though I was betraying him by taking him away from his home, so I had to look away. Then he hopped off into the sunset, and I really hope he found a new, safe place to settle down.
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:20 AM   #18
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I love the story about the cinema, how funny that no one used the seat in front of Tracey!!! It's always nice to come back to your home town after living away for a while glad you enjoyed being there. Looking forward to hearing the rest xx
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:54 AM   #19
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I love the story about the cinema, how funny that no one used the seat in front of Tracey!!! It's always nice to come back to your home town after living away for a while glad you enjoyed being there. Looking forward to hearing the rest xx
So many people were about to sit in the seat at several points. But the person sitting next to the empty chair would point out the sign and they wouldn't want to try it, just in case. The whole experiment was a rousing success!

It definitely was nice being home for a while. We got a little bored eventually, and not living on our own started to wear on us, but on the whole, it was a really good time. Hope you enjoy the rest of the stories!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:07 AM   #20
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Colorado looks so beautiful! We really want to visit there on our next trip over as Josh has some family there in Castle Rock... wherever that is.
Ahh it looks so beautiful though!

Your dog is SO CUTE!!! Was totally wondering about the name Stupey Doodle when it kept popping up on instagram. Makes sense though, she sounds hilarious.

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This is a rule for everywhere not just Chuck E Cheese. Good thing you will get your moneys worth from those cups. I see hundreds more Chuck E Cheese outings on the horizon

Good work to Tracy for matching her shirt with the pink elephant. High fives!
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:12 PM   #21
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You are a brave man. After attending on birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, I refused to attend any others (it's now my husband's task) unless they start handing parents a martini and a xanax immediately upon arrival.

Can't wait to see the new posts!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:57 AM   #22
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Colorado looks so beautiful! We really want to visit there on our next trip over as Josh has some family there in Castle Rock... wherever that is.
Ahh it looks so beautiful though!

Your dog is SO CUTE!!! Was totally wondering about the name Stupey Doodle when it kept popping up on instagram. Makes sense though, she sounds hilarious.


This is a rule for everywhere not just Chuck E Cheese. Good thing you will get your moneys worth from those cups. I see hundreds more Chuck E Cheese outings on the horizon

Good work to Tracy for matching her shirt with the pink elephant. High fives!
Colorado IS beautiful. No denying that one. I'm sure you'll love it when you visit! And bonus: we'll be going through Castle Rock in one of the next updates of this trip report, so you'll be able to get an idea what you're in for.

Glad you can understand Stupey Doodle now. Her hashtag on Instagram has consolidated all her photos in one place now, so we can click through whenever we miss her, which is OFTEN! Getting to have a pet again for a while was another one of the best parts of CO that I miss now that we're here (though we have a bit of a cat situation going on currently, which you'll be able to read all about when I get to it on here...)

I know you'll never believe it, but we haven't been back to Chuck E. Cheese even once since that birthday party! We've actually used the souvenir cup for water in the car several times, and driven by Chuck E. Cheeses with it in the car. Hence, we've almost been tempted to go in and get some free soda. But then we realize you're not even allowed in without a child...

I feel like we realized at the time that Tracy's shirt matched the elephant, but I had completely not noticed it until you pointed it out. Good eye!

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You are a brave man. After attending on birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, I refused to attend any others (it's now my husband's task) unless they start handing parents a martini and a xanax immediately upon arrival.

Can't wait to see the new posts!
I must admit, I certainly wasn't thrilled to be going there, but luckily it was the middle of a weekday, so it wasn't crowded at all. I think if there had been lots of screaming children on top of being Chuck E. Cheese, it would have been too much to handle. It's funny that you mention a martini, however, because I was surprised to learn that they serve beer and wine there. One of Tracy's cousins was wondering if we could have gotten that in our refillable cup.

Glad to have you reading along! Hope you keep enjoying
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:45 AM   #23
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This is so much fun reading about your adventure and move to CA! Each place you've lived have some fun interesting things (New York with Central Park and the raccoons and saying goodbye to your zoo friends and Colorado with the toads and Stupey Doodle). It's so fun living through you and your adventure I moved from Virginia to Central Oregon in Sept 2011 and we had deer coming up to our front porch where you could literally hand feed them. Then moved here to Culver City in June 2012 and have encountered a whole different breed of animals (the L.A. human form) I can't wait to read all about your transition from Colorado to California!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:04 AM   #24
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This is so much fun reading about your adventure and move to CA! Each place you've lived have some fun interesting things (New York with Central Park and the raccoons and saying goodbye to your zoo friends and Colorado with the toads and Stupey Doodle). It's so fun living through you and your adventure I moved from Virginia to Central Oregon in Sept 2011 and we had deer coming up to our front porch where you could literally hand feed them. Then moved here to Culver City in June 2012 and have encountered a whole different breed of animals (the L.A. human form) I can't wait to read all about your transition from Colorado to California!
I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Wait until you hear about all the animal friends we've made in CA... I'm jealous of your deer experiences in OR. I love deer. They're really beautiful animals. And I can CERTAINLY relate to some of the "animals" you've encountered in the L.A. area. We've come across the same thing ourselves...
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:15 AM   #25
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Chapter 3
Pills, Wings, and Automobiles


As September started, marking the fact that we had been in Colorado almost a full month, we started thinking a little more seriously about our future plans. Not that we had exactly been resting on our laurels the entire time we had been in CO so far. One of the main reasons we were squatting for so long was that I wanted a chance to see if modern medicine could do anything about trying to make me feel better.

I had found a doctor through a referral who was supposed to be good with hard to treat issues. He immediately showed his colors on my first visit by not claiming that my issues with dizziness and pre-syncope were all in my head (as so many doctors before him had in NYC). He understood the difficulty of dealing with the issue and acknowledged that there is not one tried and true path of treatment that works for everyone. That being said, he had a variety of different ideas for medicines that COULD help. Admitting that it was going to be a game of trial and error and that each one would take a while before we would know if it was making any difference, he threw his first drug at me. So while we were enjoying relaxing in Boulder, I was also allowing my body the opportunity to see if any of these medicines would tweak whatever’s slightly “off” and return me to stasis.

While all of that was going on, we still made the absolute most out of our time in CO as possible.

Tracy found this shirt at Target in their Disney Artists collection and had to have it.



We liked it because it was Bambi, but also because it was the spitting image of U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. You know, the one who’s not impressed.



Anyway, I think it’s pretty awesome. Tracy, however…? Not impressed!



Moving on! Over Labor Day weekend, Tracy’s brother Steve (who you might remember from my other Disneyland trip report) came out from L.A. for a visit. Both of the last two summers have featured a weekend when Steve is in Boulder at the same time as Tracy and me, so we’ve made it a bit of a tradition to load up the car and take a day trip into the foothills for the same petite adventure. The “kids” crammed into the backseat with Tracy squished in the middle, we passed the twenty-mile drive between Boulder and Nederland by playing the license plate game. It’s actually an extremely fruitful route for the game. The first year we found 34 of the 50 states. This year we were determined to beat that record. On the way up, I think we ended up with about 25 or so—well on track for a record-breaker.

Once up in Nederland, we stopped and took a short hike around the Tungsten Trail loop. It’s an easy hike, but it afforded us some great mountain views.





Since we were at about an 8000-foot elevation, even this easy hike was about all that we were fit to do. Don’t forget, after all, that Tracy, Steve and I were used to living at sea level for the last several years. As the trail wound around its loop, we ended up by a nice little lake.



We even took some time out to skip some rocks for a while.



In the parking lot for the hiking trail, there is this abandoned bus. I don’t know the backstory of it, but it must be absolutely ancient.



Every time we go on this hike, we all pile into the bus for assorted pictures. The whole thing should probably be relabeled as something of a death trap. I feel like tetanus must be lurking on every surface and the entire frame will probably collapse someday under the weight of people doing exactly what we were there to do, but we will continue to use it as a photo op anyway. Here’s Tracy driving the bus!



After our hike, we went to the restaurant that serves the BEST chicken wings I have ever had in my life. Seriously, they are delicious. If you’re ever in Boulder County, do yourself a favor and visit Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery for a plate of these bad boys.



On the way home, our license plate count made it up to a solid 36 states. Plus we also saw a few license plates from Canada. Not bad for about an hour total of driving.

Back in Boulder, we continued our family reunion Labor Day weekend by hitting a few more Boulder hotspots. First off, chai from the Dushanbe Tea House—a gift to Boulder from its sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.



Another day, a hike at the beautiful Chautaqua Park.



And we followed this up with a trip up to Tracy and my wedding location on Flagstaff Mountain. Yes, this was the view from our wedding.



Back home, Stupey was really into all the excitement.



To be honest, however, Steve’s visit was really just a nice distraction from what we were really focusing on at the beginning of September. The time had come for us to buy a car of our own. After Labor Day, we kicked our search into high gear. We knew we had a couple priorities when car shopping. Obviously, price was the first major consideration. We were in a fortunate situation because Tracy’s parents had bought Steve a car while he was in college, and in trying to keep things equal between siblings, it was understood they would put the same amount of money toward Tracy getting a car as well. The only thing was that by the time Tracy was about halfway through college and had the option of cashing in on this offer, she knew she would be moving to NYC shortly, where automobile ownership is frankly more of an inconvenience than a blessing. At the time, she decided to hold off, but the money stayed in her “car fund” for that day we never knew for sure would actually arrive when we needed a set of wheels for ourselves. Thus, we had a very decent down payment to work with. It wasn’t going to get us anything new, but we wouldn’t be stuck with a scrapper either.

A set budget in mind, we started to narrow down the rest of our wish list. Since Steve had been living in L.A. for a few years, we trusted his advice for the things that are handy to have in that metropolis. His words of wisdom: a car with decent pickup is a must. When you’re getting onto the freeway, as you have to do OFTEN in the L.A. area, you don’t want to be worrying about your car getting up to speed. Second, what he wished he had in a car was adequate storage space. His Elantra was good on gas mileage and had decent acceleration, but he really recommended looking into a hatchback.

These pieces of advice in mind, plus knowing that we wanted to find something that got as many miles per gallon as possible, we entered into the used car search. And let me tell you, car shopping is exhausting. Over about a week and a half, we test drove around seven or eight cars. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when each one is at a different dealership and you have to deal with each salesman’s pitch, it gets old. Fast. We had basically narrowed the search down to Toyotas, Hondas and Hyundais. It’s not a coincidence that these are the cars our families have had all our lives, so we knew that we (who aren’t the most car-literate of people) could trust them. Over the couple weeks when it felt like we were constantly at car dealerships, we test drove several years of Priuses, an Elantra, an Insight, and a Fit. We decided we were definitely fans of the Prius, but the price tag kept scaring us off.

Then one day, while we were still researching different cars, Tracy came across the reviews of the Toyota Matrix in Consumer Reports. Described as one of the best more affordable hatchbacks, we were very interested. We found one listed for sale at a Totyota dealership about 45 minutes away from us. It was a bit of a drive, but we had a feeling it would be worth it. Arriving at the lot, we quickly found the car, and everything about it seemed like what we were looking for. There was plenty of cargo space; it was in very decent condition; it was only a 2009 whereas most of the cars we had found in our price range were at least three years older. Obviously, we decided to take it out for a test drive. The salesman who came out to help us immediately seemed like the exact opposite of all the pushy, annoying twenty-somethings who would talk our ears off and obviously cared about nothing but their commission. This guy was older—probably early 70s—and was extremely laid back. Quite simply, he wasn’t a jerk, which made us way more likely to want to work with him.

Of course, none of that would have mattered if we didn’t like how the car drove. Luckily, that wasn’t an issue. It drove extremely well! It was the Sport model, which means that the engine was slightly more souped up, so acceleration definitely wasn’t a problem. Even more important than that, however: it just felt good to drive. It wasn’t until halfway through the test drive that we realized that the Matrix started out as the hatchback version of the Corolla—the car I had driven throughout high school and into college. Everything felt like a good fit. Finally.

The actual buying process… was not fun. I can’t pretend that I wish to go through buying a car again in the near future. Despite the occasional hiccups, however, everything worked out. We got a good deal on the car, we ended up the transaction still feeling pretty positively toward our salesman, and—most importantly—we had bought ourselves a car. We came out of the whole two days of negotiation, paperwork and stress feeling quite accomplished.

It was also nice that the car dealership was located near a Popeye’s. Even though it was 45 minutes away, it was actually the closest Popeye’s to Boulder, and we love their fried chicken, Cajun mashed potatoes, and disgustingly delicious biscuits. I would be lying if I didn’t come clean to the fact that on the day we bought the car, we had both lunch and dinner at Popeye’s. Oops?



But anyway, back to the car. After hours of paperwork, we were handed the keys and were officially proud new car owners.





When we got it home, quite literally one of the first things we did was to install the license plate frame we had bought at WDW in May.



And here’s our car.



Of course, being the sensible, mature new car owners we are, we immediately set out trying to think of a name for the car. We wanted something Disney-related, and Tracy immediately thought of Dumbo. It stuck right away. After all, he’s big and grey and hatchbacks are always just a little awkward looking—just like our favorite elephant.

We officially branded Dumbo as our own by affixing two distinguishing characteristics. First was the customary “Disney people” decals for the back window.



And second was our own homemade Dumbo hood ornament.



Now he’s always there to faithfully guide us on our way. We’ve been extremely happy with our purchase so far, so the terrible car-buying process worked out for the best. Our purchase also signaled a very important milestone. Our temporary plates expired on November 5th, meaning if we were still in CO as of that date, we would have to register our car there and then again in CA. We really didn’t want to have to do that. Therefore, we were setting a date for ourselves to get our butts in gear and complete this move. It gave us 60 days. Would we make it?

Continued in Next Post
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:35 AM   #26
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AWWw...... What a cute car. I love the decals and Dumbo. It definitely has your touches to it.

Colorado looks great. I'm hoping to get out to Durango in September; and I know that's a bit away from where you are....but I can claim to be in Colorado.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:11 AM   #27
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AWWw...... What a cute car. I love the decals and Dumbo. It definitely has your touches to it.

Colorado looks great. I'm hoping to get out to Durango in September; and I know that's a bit away from where you are....but I can claim to be in Colorado.
Glad you like Dumbo. We're very happy with him! Literally the day we bought and applied the decals, we were parked at Target just outside of Boulder, and the car parked next to us had the Disney family decals as well. Just goes to show we Disney fans are everywhere!

Durango is beautiful! And I'm sure it will be great in September with fall foliage. If you get a chance, I highly recommend the Durango-Silverton railroad. It takes you through some great mountain views. The only time I've been through that area of the state was when I was much younger, and I'd love to go back sometime.
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:59 AM   #28
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We made our move to Orange County last year & I'm enjoying reading about your process & progress in moving here. Steve was right about the hatchback. I wish we had more room for hauling stuff especially when trying to find furniture bargains.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:52 AM   #29
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Glad you like Dumbo. We're very happy with him! Literally the day we bought and applied the decals, we were parked at Target just outside of Boulder, and the car parked next to us had the Disney family decals as well. Just goes to show we Disney fans are everywhere!

Durango is beautiful! And I'm sure it will be great in September with fall foliage. If you get a chance, I highly recommend the Durango-Silverton railroad. It takes you through some great mountain views. The only time I've been through that area of the state was when I was much younger, and I'd love to go back sometime.
It's on my list! I only hope the train is running when we are there.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:35 AM   #30
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We made our move to Orange County last year & I'm enjoying reading about your process & progress in moving here. Steve was right about the hatchback. I wish we had more room for hauling stuff especially when trying to find furniture bargains.
Glad to have another recent OC transplant reading along! Honestly, I can't imagine what we would have done without a hatchback. You'll see the way our car was loaded up for the move pretty soon, but we could NEVER have done it without all our storage space. It's also come in quite handy as we bought lots of furniture off Craigslist.

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It's on my list! I only hope the train is running when we are there.
Hope so too! I know it was spring the time I did it, so I have no idea when it runs in the autumn...
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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