“Life is either a great adventure or nothing” ~Helen Keller
Early, early Friday morning we put our two suitcases into the trunk, pulled out of the garage and headed for the airport.
We have a lot of memories at that airport. It’s where we met for the very first time. It’s where I realized “there’s something different about Matt”…and that I really didn’t want him to fly back to Seattle. It’s where I waited impatiently for my flights to visit him. It’s where I picked him up the weekend he asked, “So, how long do you think two people should date before they get engaged…?” It’s the airport we flew out of for our wedding in Florida and where we flew back into after our honeymoon.
Lots of memories.
We grabbed a cup of Java Dave’s (sorry, but it’s no Starbucks) and waited for our flight to start boarding. I love airports (after I get through security) and I especially love them when my husband is sitting next to me and we are embarking on another adventure. Together.
We landed in Denver, got our rental car and headed for Eldora Ski Resort. Yes, we stopped for Starbucks on the way. And, yes, it made everything that much better.
Friday was beautiful, crisp and overcast in Colorado. Perfect for being outdoors because there wasn’t a lot of sun glare. The boys went downhill skiing and us girls went cross country skiing. Although I have to say there was a lot more “downhilling” on our cross country course than I thought necessary. I got going just fast enough in those tracks to make it slightly terrifying. I probably would have fallen less if I had downhill skied instead 😉
And if I wasn’t hurling downhill at breakneck speeds, I was pulling myself uphill with all the strength I could muster (it’s a good thing I’ve been doing the Shred). Haha. The three of us laughed so hard we cried on several occasions. Like the time Lydia slowed down in the track and I couldn’t stop in time. I ran into her and then Mom ran into me and the three of us were stuck together in the track. Yes, that’s us. Pros all the way.
But – on those rare occasions when we were on level ground – I had a chance to really take in the quietness of the woods, the deep, thick whiteness of the snow, the “only in the mountains” freshness of the air…and I was in Heaven. Really, I was in Heaven the whole time – it’s just a little harder to see it when you’re flying into snow banks 😉
We took a break at lunch and got a table in the lodge bar. We decided to make the break permanent while the guys finished up the afternoon of skiing. The three of us haven’t spent alone time together in a while so we just talked. And talked some more. It was so nice. And I feel so blessed to count my mom and sister among my very best friends.
That night was dinner at our favorite restaurant – Poppy’s – in Estes Park. Two large pizzas to share and a lot more talking and laughing…followed by desert back at the house and an episode of Downton Abbey. That equals almost 22 hours of awake time and a full and wonderful day.
And this is what mornings looked like for us on our weekend escape. Family time at the table, plenty of coffee and plenty of amazing food courtesy of Mom. It was lovely. Like a little slice of paradise – to be all together, to be warm and cozy, to be relaxed and rested.
I wish it could have gone on forever. There is nothing I would have changed. I just kept thinking, I’m so glad we were able to do this.
After a hearty breakfast we put all our gear on and headed for the Rocky Mountain National Park. Saturday was a gorgeous day – crystal blue skies, cloudless, bright and sunny. It was still cold and super windy in parts, but so fresh and exhilarating.
We snowshoed a 4 mile trail past Nymph Lake and Dream Lake, both frozen solid, up to Emerald Lake. It was also frozen solid and windswept. It was like we were standing in a giant sugar bowl. The wind would spray the snow into the air, making it dance like a thousand tiny diamonds in the sun.
I have to admit: I was cold. Everyone who knows me is shocked right now 😉 Sitting by Emerald Lake, eating some snacks we brought, re-hydrating, Matt put an extra coat over me and I huddled down underneath. So glad one of my life goals isn’t to climb Mt. Everest. Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake was good enough for me 😉
That night “Mountaintinis,” (my name for the drinks Mom made) relaxing and Mom’s Guinness Beef Stew were on the menu. We were tired but that made the cozy evening and the good food that much better. There was lots of visiting and story telling around the dinner table. My uncle came with his fiance and we had a wonderful time catching up.
We watched “Rio Grande” that night – my favorite John Wayne movie by far. I love the cast, the cinematography (can’t beat Monument Valley) and all the one liners: “Get ‘er done, Johnny Reb.”
Fell asleep fast and deep.
Sunday morning we made multiple cups of coffee and ate another wonderful breakfast by Mom. We listened to a sermon by Tullian Tchividjian. We headed downtown to have lunch at our favorite spot: Penelope’s. And we bought some candy at Laura’s. Then we went back to the house and relaxed on the couch. Three of us ended up falling asleep and it was lovely.
We didn’t want to leave, but we had to. It was one of those weekends you just don’t want to end (isn’t that every weekend though?). It’s the kind of weekend I used to dream about having “someday” – spending time with a wonderful husband, with family, making memories, telling stories and reminiscing, talking and fellowshiping, just enjoying each other. Now the dream has come true. And he’s not just any wonderful husband – he’s my wonderful husband.
We drove the hour and a half to DIA, returned our car (I almost forgot my wallet in the console, but God helped me remember it), checked into our flight and found a place at the Timberland Grille. We talked, we laughed, we reviewed the pictures from the trip…and we said, We’re so glad we were able to do this. Memories were made to last a lifetime. And those are the best kind.
Adventure is always my cup of tea. It’s always a “yes.” And when it is coupled with family time and making memories and holding the hand of my very best friend in all the world, it is also an “Amen.” It will never be turned down or regretted. It will always be embraced and celebrated.
Here’s to the next adventure – wherever, whenever.