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Thunder, Lightning, Forest Fires and a Tornado

I'll admit that I do spin tales of fiction, but there is no way I could possibly make this up.

The clan and I recently returned from a family vacation in Colorado Springs, CO. For those of you who have never seen this beautiful state, place it on your bucket list!
As our flight traveled from Denver to Colorado Springs, we saw the raging forest fire below that destroyed thousands of acres in the Black Forest. Yep, you guessed it. The fires were in Colorado Springs.

Being from Pennsylvania, this type of natural behavior is not something that we're readily accustomed to and frankly, we were more than a little nervous. We said a silent prayer the fire wouldn't impact our vacation and it didn't, but our hearts certainly went out to the five hundred families who lost their homes. We were somewhat surprised that Colorado natives continued to go about their business as if the fires were a common occurrence. I guess they were. I suppose California natives act the same way about earthquakes.

Our travels took us to Garden of the Gods in which the name spoke for itself.

We also chuckled when we spotted the sign below since the signs in PA normally mention to clean up after your pet. lol

We took the cog train up to the very top of Pikes Peak. Yep, all 14,115 feet above sea level. They even sold oxygen at the train station.

That night, when we arrived back at the hotel, one of the hotel staff had asked me what we did that day. I told her that we had a great time taking the cog train up to Pikes Peak and a strange look crossed her face. She said, "Oh, please tell me your train was not the one that got struck by lightning today."
Thankfully, the Roberts family had managed to avoid the fires and did not get struck by lightning.
On another day, we traveled to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and we still hadn't had any rain. The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze in the air, a great day for visiting the zoo.
Yeah, well, let me tell you that mountain weather is totally unpredictable. Within minutes, rain, thunder, and it poured buckets! At least we saw most of the zoo.
We were stuck under a small roof for over a half an hour, but we were so thankful because we knew the rain would help the Colorado firefighters. As soon as the rain had quit pelting us, we made a mad dash to the car. Imagine our surprise when a huge crowd stood at the entrance to the zoo for tickets in the rain. I turned to my husband and asked him if they were nuts. We get in the car, I back out, and guess what folks? You got it. The clouds parted, the rain stopped, and the sun was blinding. Grrr...
During our vacation, I even managed to swing by two Barnes and Noble bookstores and both stores were sold out of X Marks the Scot. Woot! So I signed stock of Temptation in a Kilt. I found myself in the romance section in both stores and turned out the covers of my Sourcebooks sisters and "rearranged" them in a prime location.
When we arrived back at the hotel that night, we found out a tornado touched down at the Denver airport. Seriously. I didn't think Colorado was that dangerous.
The highlight of our vacation had to be the wolves. Yep, you heard me right. Wolves. Did you hear me, Terry Spear? My daughter has been forever fascinated with all-things wolves. Imagine her surprise when her awesome mother paid for her to get her picture taken with a wolf pup.
Through thunder, lightning, forest fires and a tornado, emerged a wonderful family vacation that I know we will always hold dear.
What about you? What is the best family vacation you have ever taken?
Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as "one of the most promising debut authors across the genres" and was also a 2012 Reviewers Choice nominee for Best First Historical for TEMPATION IN A KILT.
X MARKS THE SCOT (Bad Boys of the Highlands #2) was awarded a TOP PICK from Night Owl Reviews, and TO WED A WICKED HIGHLANDER (Bad Boys of the Highlands #3) is scheduled for release September 3, 2013. The first of Victoria's new Royal Rebellion series is scheduled for release fall 2014.


  1. Oh, my, God, Victoria!!! I was in Colorado Springs at RomCon this past weekend, and breathing in that smoke was awful. I feel so for all the homes they've lost, the beautiful forests, the people who died, the air breathability.

    Wolves?????? Where are the wolves! I want one! And if I can't have one, I want to be sitting on the other side of the wolf pup with your daughter!!!!

    Glad you had fun, but a tornado in Denver? What is the world coming to???

  2. Wow, Victoria! Maybe you shouldn't come to Houston any time soon. You seem to attract natural disasters. In all sincerity, I do feel awful for those dealing with the fires. We had a few small wildfires in Houston a few years ago (I know!), and it was terrifying. I cannot imagine them on a large scale.

  3. Terry, I couldn't believe all the natural disasters that happened while we were there. My heart went out to those families. We had some evacuees in our hotel and the ones we spoke with were fortunate enough to go home to their homes in tact.

    As far as the wolves, I knew you'd enjoy. We went to a wolf conservation. Here's the link:

    One of the black wolves on site was the nephew of the black wolf in Twilight. They had a really neat tour. We actually got the chance to hear them howl. I thought of you right away.

  4. Hi Shana. I was far more panicked than the CO natives. I guess it's pretty common, but we don't normally deal with these things in PA. I was totally out of my element, but the trip was otherwise fabulous.

  5. I've got to go there! Thanks, Victoria! I gave your books for contest winners at RomCon. They were excited to get them. I'll take the t-shirts to AAD. :)

  6. Wow, sounds like an exciting vacations and one that will be remembered! Petting a wolf would be a highlight for me too! I've been lucky to have had some nice vacations. Most were early on in our marriage. Every vacation was exciting for me but some on the top of the list were meeting my husband in Hawaii for R&R, a Carribbean cruise and a tour in Europe.


  7. *sigh* That sounds delightful. Hawaii is on my bucket list as well. The island looks beautiful.

  8. That sounds like quite a vacation! I am impressed that you were able to just miss all of the things that would have really ruined things for you. I actually went from Royal Gorge to Pike's Peak in one day...that was a bit of a mistake, lol.

  9. I was quite surprised at all of the natural disasters that happened. And yes, the fact that we missed them.

    We wanted to go to the Royal Gorge, but the fire was all around the Gorge. I can't believe you did that all in one day. I bet you slept like the dead.


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