Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, at last

We were at Coaltrain last week, and people kept asking whether the Venetucci had come in yet. I didn’t know what they were talking about. Sounded like a wine. But it was very clearly a Serious Thing, because there was a waiting list. And one guy said he just came from Bristol and there was a line out the door, so we figured it was some kind of beer.

Eventually, we figured out it was Bristol Brewing Co.’s Venetucci Pumpkin Ale that everyone was so agog over.

It’s kind of a coincidence because just a couple of weeks earlier, we tasted Halloweenhead Pumpkin Ale from Phantom Canyon and were surprised by how much we liked it.

We were also a little surprised that we had never heard of the Venetucci Pumpkin Ale before. What we’ve learned since:

  • Bristol brews the pumpkin ale only once a year.
  • The waiting list is two years.
  • This year, they sold out in 12 hours.

So we gave up. We were just too late to this game, and the Venetucci was already over. But then, through a series of cosmic coincidences, Adrienne discovered some at one of our favorite downtown places (we’re not saying where because we don’t want you going there and hogging all the pumpkin ale).

Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, at last. After a grueling two days of searching. What a treat. Smooth, creamy, pumpkiny. Adrienne says it tastes like pumpkin pie. At any rate, believe the hype — and get on that waiting list.

Venetucci Pumpkin Ale

At long last, we finally get to try the elusive Venetucci Pumpkin Ale. Worth the wait.

More about Colorado Springs breweries.

Halloween Weekend — what to do?

So much Halloweening to do here this weekend!  Here are a few things we’re considering.

Friday, November 29th:

Saturday, November 30th

Sunday October 31st

Sunday looks pretty bare as far as evening events,  but all the bars and clubs Downtown, in Old Colorado City, and Manitou Springs are open and people usually bar hop in costume (Adult Trick Or Treat! ) so that’s probably what we’ll do. Like on Saturday night, many of them are having drink specials, costume contests, and “mock rock” shows.  It’s supposed to be about 36 degrees so be sure to wear a coat over that sexy witch costume.

Sunbeam: A

Because we live in a drafty old house, and someone else who lives here won’t allow heavy curtains on the windows, it can get pretty cold at night. So last year, we bought a Sunbeam king-size electric blanket. The thing was a dream.There really might not be anything finer than crawling into an electric-blanket-warmed bed on a freezing Colorado night.

But suddenly, right around April, the blanket stopped working. No, that’s not quite right. It worked a little. And only sometimes. It menaced us. Were we doing something wrong? Was it not plugged in right? Did it matter which side was up? Was our larger cat too heavy to be laying on top of it? (Seriously, that question was considered.) The electric blanket is not the pinnacle of technology, so we were troubled that we might be doing it wrong. Also, since the problem was intermittent, we couldn’t ever seem to duplicate it, and sometimes it would heat only a little. Teasing us with very slight warmth.

So we put it away for summer and forgot about it. Till the most recent cold spell. Turns out that putting the blanket in the basement for several months didn’t fix it. (Fuckin’ blankets — how do they work?)

I dread dealing with any kind of company or calling any 800 numbers. After a lifetime on hold, someone will eventually not be able to help me. I’ll get frustrated and angry. My first impulse was to just go buy another blanket. But I called the number anyway and braced for disappointment.

Despite not having a receipt, the Sunbeam people were very polite and efficient. They gave me a service request number and an address to mail the blanket, and they said everything would be taken care of. So I mailed off the blanket, and a week and a half later, I got a new one in the mail. The old one had a part that was apparently obsolete, so they just replaced it with a brand new blanket. And it’s even better than the other one. And all it cost was the $12 to mail it to them.

Seriously outstanding customer service. It’s kind of sad that this kind of thing isn’t just baseline behavior for companies. That this isn’t everyone’s experience all the time. But it isn’t, and good service should be recognized. Well-done, Sunbeam. I’ll be sleeping much more comfortably now. Thanks.

Sunbeam electric blankets are totally worth it.

This is exactly how Adrienne and I sleep now that our Sunbeam electric blanket has been replaced. No drooling or snoring. No struggling for the covers. This is just what we look like.

Glenwood Springs and Rifle, CO

So when we picked up the RV on Tuesday we still didn’t really know where we were going to go. 
 
We sort of wanted to go up to Yellowstone but it seemed pretty far and a lot of driving for the time we had. It also was going to be pretty cold. In fact, a lot of this area was going to be cold.
 
We were unaware that when it gets to 32 degrees you’re not supposed to use the water or waste in an RV or the tanks could freeze. The RV people are very severe about this — of course they didn’t mention anything about this on the website or when I made the reservations … for Colorado … in October. There’s really no point to having an RV if you can’t use the sinks or toilet.
 
So we constantly looked at the weather on our phones and tried to skirt around any really cold spots.
 
At first Telluride and Durango were out because it was going to be raining and freezing. So we headed north and west. Our first stop was Glenwood Springs, CO. We got in really late and didn’t feel like fussing with a campground so we stayed overnight in a Walmart parking lot with three or four other RVers. Classy. Since we had no electricity and no heater, we both woke up at like 7:00 freezing to death! So we started the car and turned on the regular heat, drove to McDonald’s and had coffee and Egg McMuffins to warm up.
McDonald's breakfast in the Walmart parking lot, day one.

McDonald's breakfast in the Walmart parking lot, day one.

I had remembered that Glenwood Springs is an oldey timey spa town from Victorian times. They have these vapor caves there that the Indians used to use when they were up in that area.

We figured since the caves were heated naturally with 125 degree water from underground springs that we could probably get warm that way. It was reallly awesome. Like a steam sauna but in a cave. There were only a few other people there so we had a whole “room” to ourselves. One guy was sitting in a yoga pose in one of the caves. I guess he was meditating. You go down there for 10 minutes at a time, and upstairs to the deck or solarium and drink water in between. It really wasn’t that cold by then because in between we hung out on the deck.

Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs, CO

Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs, CO

Down the stone stairs and into the vapor caves, Yampah Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, CO

Down the stone stairs and into the vapor caves, Yampah Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, CO

Mike in the Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs, CO

Mike in the Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs, CO

 But before the vapor caves, since it was still so early and they didn’t open till 9 a.m., we took a bike ride. We parked in front of the caves and rode into the little town of Glenwood Springs, just a few blocks away. Stopped into a cute cafe called Sacred Grounds and had some coffees. At some point we’ll probably go back and stay at Glenwood Hot Springs and Lodge which is right across the street from the vapor caves.
A bike ride in Glenwood Springs, CO

A bike ride in Glenwood Springs, CO

A cool sign, Glenwood Springs, CO

A cool sign, Glenwood Springs, CO

Another cool sign, Glenwood Springs, CO

Another cool sign, Glenwood Springs, CO

The coolest old sign in Glenwood Springs, CO

The coolest old sign in Glenwood Springs, CO

We would have loved to go in here for a drink but it was not even 9 a.m. yet and that’s too early, even for us.
Coffee at Sacred Grounds, Glenwood Springs, CO

Coffee at Sacred Grounds, Glenwood Springs, CO

Glenwood Hot Springs and Lodge, Glenwood Springs, CO

Glenwood Hot Springs and Lodge, Glenwood Springs, CO

After the caves we drove an hour or so to Rifle, CO. We were still pretty much at a loss for what to do next. We had been camping at Rifle Gap before but I still wanted to go to Rifle Falls, which is way nicer.

We stopped and had some breakfast at the Base Camp Cafe then went to the visitors center.

Base Camp Cafe, Rifle, CO

Base Camp Cafe, Rifle, CO

Rifle, CO is a big hunting area. Not sure I'm fond of all the dead animals on the walls at the Base Camp Cafe, tho.

Rifle, CO, is a big hunting area. Not sure I'm fond of all the dead animals on the walls at the Base Camp Cafe, tho.

Basic breakfast at the Base Camp Cafe in Rifle, CO. It was about $4.

Basic breakfast at the Base Camp Cafe in Rifle, CO. It was about $4.

Mike had some sort of egg and hash brown scramble with peppers and onions that was really good. It was about $6. Base Camp Cafe, Rifle, CO

Mike had some sort of egg and hash brown scramble with peppers and onions that was really good. It was about $6. Base Camp Cafe, Rifle, CO

The Colorado river runs right thru that area, so Mike did some fishing.

Mike fishing on the Colorado River, Rifle, CO

Mike fishing on the Colorado River, Rifle, CO

Mike fishing on the Colorado River, Rifle, CO

Mike fishing on the Colorado River, Rifle, CO

The scenery is really pretty up ther so I took pictures while Mike went fishing. Rifle, CO

The scenery is really pretty up there so I took pictures while Mike went fishing. Rifle, CO

Colorado River, Rifle, CO

Colorado River, Rifle, CO

After the fishing we still didn’t have a clue about where to go so we went to that campground I had wanted to go to before. It’s right near some cool waterfalls and a rushing creek. The good thing about this time of year is that nothing is booked and you don’t need reservations. In summer that campground books months in advance.

Rifle Falls State Park Campground, Rifle, CO

Rifle Falls State Park Campground, Rifle, CO

Rushing creek, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Rushing creek, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Our campsite, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Our campsite, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

The falls are pretty much right in the campground so there’s no big long hike to reach them.

The falls at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO
The falls at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO
Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

PJ and Cookie Puss trying to relax in the RV

PJ and Cookie Puss trying to relax in the RV

Cookie Puss doesn't really like to travel

Cookie Puss doesn't really like to travel

But PJ is a really cool cat with traveling

But PJ is a really cool cat with traveling

Tommyknocker maple beer from Idaho Springs- yummy!

Tommyknocker maple beer from Idaho Springs- yummy!

PJ wants in on the home cooked RV dinner

PJ wants in on the home-cooked RV dinner

The next morning Mike went out and took some more pictures while I sat by the fire and had some coffee.

Caves at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Caves at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Behind the falls at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Behind the falls at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Drinking coffee by the campfire, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Drinking coffee by the campfire, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Third!

While we were gone on our road trip, the Independent named its best local bloggers.

We tied for third, which gives us mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s nice to be mentioned, and we appreciate all the votes. On the other hand, we tied for third with John Hazlehurst.

First place went to Carrie Isaac at Springs Bargains. Of course we can’t compete with Ms. Isaac. Who doesn’t love a bargain? So we congratulate her.

In second place, Kate Singh, who pens the In and Around the Springs blog. Singh and the blog work for the LAMESTREAM media, so it’s no surprise they beat us.

As for third place, Oinkety tied with John Hazlehurst of the Colorado Springs Business Journal — not quite lamestream, but pretty lame! LOL, no, we kid the business journal. Seriously, though: Hazlehurst doesn’t write about cats. How can that be any kind of winner?

We are honored to be mentioned, and we congratulate the winners. Except for John Hazlehurst. It’s clear we must destroy him.

Colorado Springs Business Journal vs. Oinkety

Oinkety vs. John Hazlehurst of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. There can be only one third-place blog.