One year ago today, we returned home to Colorado after a 23,000-mile RV trip around the U.S. Oh, what a year it has been! I haven’t blogged about our trip for a while, so here’s a quick review.
In July 2014, we sold the house in Glenwood Springs, packed up and headed out in our RV. We didn’t know exactly where we were going, how long we’d be gone or where we’d end up. The open road called!
We traveled from Colorado to Oregon, back through Colorado and Missouri for visits with family. By October, we were eating lobster in Maine and exploring historic sites in Salem for Halloween. Next Virginia, West Virginia and back to Missouri for more family time. Late November found us back in Colorado for Thanksgiving with the kids, then we were off for four months in Arizona, where I had a knee replaced. While living in an RV. With an unruly 80-pound dog. That was…special. There are other words for it, but this is a family-friendly blog.
By March 2015, we were ready to come home. We set up camp at Rifle Gap State Park first, then moved to Glenwood Canyon Resort while we found and closed on a house in New Castle at the beginning of May. We hadn’t spent much time in New Castle, but quickly grew to love the small-town atmosphere, peacefulness, trails and wonderful restaurants.
In June, we celebrated our daughter’s graduation from the University of Denver. Both of our moms traveled from Kansas City to attend, which made it even more special.
Once we had moved in and unpacked, it was time to decide on Scott’s new career. He wasn’t sure what it would be, just that it wouldn’t be banking. Being self-employed was important. He looked at some franchise opportunities and checked out local businesses for sale.
One of those businesses was a liquor store in New Castle, less than 5 minutes from the house. We joked about it first, because we do appreciate a drink now and then, which you know if you’ve followed this blog at all. Then Scott took a closer look and, lo and behold, we bought a liquor store. That’s definitely not banking!
We closed on the purchase on September 1, and renamed the store New Castle Liquors, so we are just past the midway point of our first year in business. I have continued my work with Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs, but spend the rest of my time on store business.
I am in charge of the wine department, which we’ve completely reorganized and continue to grow. So far, we’ve added more than 90 new wines. Tasting all those wines is a tough job, but I’m willing to take one for the team when it comes to vino. Wine sales are on the rise, and we hope to start offering tastings soon.
Scott gets to the store at around 5:45 a.m. Monday through Friday to make and receive orders. It’s quite the puzzle to figure out what we need, when we need it and where it will go when it gets there. His organizational and business skills are put to the test! He’s done an amazing job of learning it all and making everything work efficiently. He gets to taste the new beers and liquors, so he’s been making a lot of sacrifices as well.
An added bonus for us was that our son was able to come back and help out at the store while one of our employees was out for surgery. He stayed for three months, and we not only enjoyed working with him, we loved having him back in the nest for a while. He even made a custom backdrop for me to use for taking photos of products at the store!
The new house feels more and more like home. We’re starting to work on a new deck, landscaping and fence in the backyard. Summer will be here before we know it. It’s been wonderful to put down roots again, and reassuring to know that even after visiting some amazing places around the country, this is where we want to be. It’s the second time we’ve chosen this area. It was 14 years ago next week that we moved from Kansas City to Glenwood Springs. Happy Colorado anniversaries to us!
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more Tales From the Empty Nest.