Rietz family in the Rockies

In June, we were lucky enough to have my whole family out for a great trip out to our beloved mountains. My brother and his wife brought my awesome little nephew out, and my parents treated us to an amazing week/weekend in Grand Lake, at a home on a private lake that Anthony and I have visited a couple of times before. To be able to share with them a sampling of the views and activities that make up such a huge part of our life was priceless.

Obviously some time has already passed since this glorious week together, so I don’t know if I can even do a play-by-play at this point, but I will always cherish the highlights, including (in no particular order):

• Viewing local wildlife, including a group of several bull moose along with their wives and children (yes, I mean lady moose and baby moose).

• Sharing amazing meals cooked by the various talented meal-smiths in my family.

Breakfast time: Pass the bacon!

Breakfast time: Pass the bacon!

I saw this spread and thought it belonged in some kind of travel magazine. I couldn't let anyone sit down until Dad got a picture.

I saw this spread and thought it belonged in some kind of travel magazine. I couldn’t let anyone sit down until Dad got a picture.

• So many games, including cards, Scrabble, and bocce ball around the cabin.

• Enjoying a nostalgic ride on a rowboat, fishing with my big brother, (almost) just like the old days in Minnesota.

Craft beers and trout fishing with my brother.

Craft beers and trout fishing with my brother.

Caught a few and named them all, just like old times.

Caught a few and named them all, just like old times.

A slightly different view than the fishing trips of our childhood.

A slightly different view than the fishing trips of our childhood.

• General relaxation on and around the lake.

An evening canoe ride with Anthony.

An evening canoe ride with Anthony.

• Watching my sweet, sweet nephew exude his simple joy for life, and also witnessing how much he is learning and growing up before our very eyes.

Just try to keep this kid out of the water. Just try.

Just try to keep this kid out of the water. Just try.

Uncle Antho and Auntie Erin letting G take his shoes off and step into the river. It was pretty chilly, so the little water bug was quickly read to get back into some socks and have some cuddles.

Uncle Antho and Auntie Erin letting G take his shoes off and step into the river. It was pretty chilly, so the little water bug was quickly ready to get back into some socks and have some cuddles.

Uncle Antho with G

Uncle Antho with G

Gabe was completely intrigued by Olive, and couldn't get enough of her tail. Luckily, she was a pretty good sport about the whole thing and generally let the little guy be her best pal whenever they were in the same room. By the end, I'm pretty sure she'd filled her attention quota for the month.

Gabe was completely intrigued by Olive, and couldn’t get enough of her tail. Luckily, she was a pretty good sport about the whole thing and generally let the little guy be her best pal whenever they were in the same room, giving him many well-received face licks and also laying down submissively when she was tired and G just needed to play with her tail. By the end, I’m pretty sure she’d filled her attention quota for the month.

• Silly moments including our Pandora guessing game, bourbon ice cream floats (and other questionable frozen treats…), and stealing chunks of cookie dough as Mom attempted to bake.

• The long awaited bluegrass jam band session overlooking the lake.

We gave my dad (an excellent guitarist) a mandolin for his birthday in January, and he's already on his way to mastering it. Adam has picked up the banjo in recent years and never ceases to impress me. I barely managed to keep up on my much-neglected guitar.

We gave my dad (an excellent guitarist) a mandolin for his birthday in January, and he’s already on his way to mastering it. Adam has picked up the banjo in recent years and never ceases to impress me. I barely managed to keep up on my much-neglected guitar.

Gabe assists in the Rietz cover of "Wagon Wheel."

Gabe assists in the Rietz cover of “Wagon Wheel.”

• Fly fishing on the Colorado River. I was prepared to not even get a nibble, but with the guidance of a well-practiced veteran, I pulled in 3 trout!

Fly fishing - photo courtesy of my brother, Adam Rietz

Fly fishing – photo courtesy of my brother, Adam Rietz, who perfectly captured the flattering nature of hip-waders.

Fly fishing - photo courtesy of my brother, Adam Rietz

Fly fishing – photo courtesy of my brother, Adam Rietz. I’m pretty sure Anthony managed to hook the most fish that day.

• Seeing my parents truly relax and enjoy a well-deserved weekend away.

I absolutely love this image.

I absolutely love this image.

• Simply spending time with some of the most important people in my world.

20130615_0238 20130615_0231

Not the cutest outfit on my part, but kind of captures our life together perfectly.

Not the cutest outfit on my part, but kind of captures our life together perfectly.

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The people who make me me.

The people who make me me.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. It was a trip we will never forget.

* All photos, unless otherwise specified, were taken by my dad, of Park Meadows Photography. There were also some incredible landscape and wildlife photos that he will be offering for sale on his website as soon as his slacker daughter gets his newly-designed site up and running!

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