Have you wondered where I’ve been?

I’ll tell you.

I’ve been off in Buena Vista, pronounced as specified in this post’s title, taking the waters at Cottonwood Hot Springs with MKL. (And no, it’s not MLK, though we did very much appreciate MLK Day as a good time to get away from a lot of work.)

I was dog tired on Friday night on our way in, so he was kind enough to drive, and kinder enough not to run over two coyotes who chased each other across the road. We did have a shared “ghost car” experience, that I’ll discuss later in a new planned Paranormal blog page. Getting into B.V. around 7:30, we stopped at Casa del Sol for dinner.

The photo is from our second date, which was a seven-hour mountain drive, in which we stopped at Casa del Sol for lunch.  Strangely enough, when we walked in on Friday night, the waitress said, “You’ve been here before, haven’t you?” Well, yes, once five months ago. How odd that she would remember – it’s not as if we terrorized the place.  I wasn’t impressed with the food, for the second time in a row, so I think we’ll only make it back for guacamole and tequila in the future.

We immediately took to the pools when we arrived at Cottonwood, as I attempted to achieve my customary state of bliss. However, it was freezing and the wind was vicious, so I only became moderately blissful. As is often the case in the pools at night, overhead conversations were odd and interesting, aided by intoxicants. (Ah, the memory of Cabbage Boy, who loudly proclaimed that this much-maligned vegetable should replace lettuce in all things.)  On Friday night, we had a girl discussing a) porn, b) stars (and I’m surprised she didn’t make the leap to porn stars) and c) what her boyfriend had been saying to his friends about her on the ski lift earlier in the day.  Sigh. Pool etiquette is lost on some people.

I was blissed out enough to feel like the corridor in the lodge was endless.

I made a fairly good effort at catching up on my lost sleep, and we slept in, then hit the pools again for a while. Cold again, and slightly windy but bright.

Cottonwood is a peaceful, spiritual spot.  Cathy and Dian, the owners, make little adjustments every month, adding new artwork outside, new touches inside, but always respecting the power of the place. Three of their pools were open: a cool pool, which was about 83 degrees (brrrr…I didn’t even dip a toe in), the “head” pool, which was running about 104 degrees, and the “elbow” pool, which was around 106 degrees. We would alternate between the head and the elbow, depending on the crowds.

A nap was in order after soaking, then a bit of shopping among the racks in Cathy’s Closet. She always has an interesting and eclectic selection.

We ventured into town at sunset to look for a better pillow for me than the bed had supplied, and were struck by the sunset and star-rise as we left the Alcoa.

Dinner was at Jan’s Restaurant, which is my favorite breakfast place.  Jan’s does a better breakfast than dinner, and we watched the Broncos get off to an inauspicious start before heading back for another soaking session, complete with constellation finding and falling stars.

Sleeping in again on Sunday, we coffeed up in the Great Room downstairs.

Then back into town for breakfast – which due to our lateness was actually lunch – which was at the Evergreen Cafe, home of the world’s worst reuben sandwich …

and some really cool bar stools.

Since I had never bought anything from a pawn shop, we stopped in at the pawn shop next to the restaurant.

And buy something I did!

Don’t be silly. Of course I didn’t buy that. We bought a very cool vintage cigarette lighter, to go with our exceptionally cool vintage cigarette stand – even though neither of us smoke. But now I can cross something off my list.

We went into town, hoping to get a chance to visit the incredibly interesting store that I have never been able to get into.

Alas, he was closed on Sunday and Monday. Something for the next trip.

We admired a version of the Turquoise Torpedo.

MKL fell in love with an old, abandoned BMW. He’s a car guy, specifically a BMW guy, and it reminded him of the very first BMW that he ever saw. By the way, if any of you readers know the identity of the owner of an abandoned blue BMW 2800 CS (plates last renewed in 1997) sitting in the parking lot by the railroad tracks near The Green Parrot in Buena Vista, Colorado, please let me know via comments.

I drove him by the amazing blacksmith’s shop, with its magical doors.

On the way back to the springs, we stopped at the sad site of a completely torched house. How devastating this must have been for the owners.

Winding up our day with a room picnic, we spent a very restless night, for no discernible reason, which, sadly, made me feel my sleep deprivation all over again.  We woke late to a light snow and bitter wind, in time to grab coffee and pack up. I took a few more pictures of the lodge’s adornments. Such as the adorable ram that I covet.

And the cautionary signs on the stairs – I can’t watch my head, hands, and fingers all at the same time.

Packed up and checked out, we went back to Jan’s for lunch, where the waitress said, “Weren’t you just in here for breakfast?” Apparently, we had doppelgangers, or else our strange sense of space and time that we frequently experience at Cottonwood had edged its way into town.

Our drive home was snowy but unremarkable.

It wasn’t as relaxing as my usual experience at Cottonwood, but it was a great little getaway, and I’d encourage anyone to check it out if they are in the Buena Vista neighborhood. MKL is a fantastic travelling partner, and we laughed and talked and revelled in each other’s company, hating for the weekend to end.

So now you know where I was. Tomorrow is another work day, and I’m hoping to get our Stock Show report up for your perusal.