We have been here many times before...but this time, it's different. No actually, this time is more like our first. The first time Joe and I came up to Estes together, we were newly married. It was just us. The last eight times we have had a child/children in tow. It feels strange being here without them, almost guilt-ridden, as this is most certainly our family vacation destination. It is amazing to witness, through the eyes of babes, the majesty of the Rocky Mountains...see their expression when up close to an Elk...try to imagine what they are thinking, what's going on inside their little heads at these new sights, sounds & smells. But I must say, it is nothing short of amazing this time around as well. Only having to pack for two...this getaway is healthy for us as a couple, will make our marriage happier and in-turn keep our family strong...plus, I can once again, see through my lens this glorious part of the country. The last few trips, just about every photo taken had a person/baby or two in it. Which makes sense right? Vacations are about people right? But this time, I am taking the focus off of a person's "reaction" to nature and focusing rather on nature itself. It's a beautiful thing. :). When you don't let someone get between you (the camera) and the scenery behind where a person usually stands. Hehe. My dad joked a few months back after a recent visit to our local Zoo (Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is among the nations finest, largest and best I might add). I shared photos online and how many of the 100 or so would you think were actually of the animals? Ummm, not many. Maybe two or three. SERIOUSLY?? Who does that? I am not ashamed to admit...me I guess. It was awesome to be at the Zoo with my girls. I have been there probably 20+ times in my life. I must say, for me, it is much more enjoyable to see the animals and various wildlife through my child's eyes rather than my own. At least in "this season" of my life anyway. A giraffe, a lion, a tiger, a bear...big deal, they all look the same to me...but a child's response to some silly animal antic has a uniqueness all it's own. :-)
The eight (with kids nine+) hour drive usually makes for an enjoyable roadtrip. But this time, we landed a good deal through Frontier and flew in style. Joe's sister Gayle parked her 2nd car (which just happens to be a kickass red sports car convertble) at the airport for us. What better way to take in the sight, sounds & scents of the crisp Rocky Mountains than in a convertible. (this type of travel is not possible with the girls as this particular vehicle has no backseat - hehe)
Upon arriving (around midnight) I did the usual...dropped the bags at the front door, cracked open a cold beer from the fridge, settled into the couch (snuggled in one Great Grandma Harnisches many quilts) and got caught up on the "Harnisch House" journal. I LOVE reading all the past visitors entries!!! I have a whole year to catch up on.
We are diggin' the cabin remodel. NICE! Due to a frozen pipe bursting, Gayle was forced to clean-up. A huge mess I might add. :( Many upgrades later, paradise has been restored and dare I say improved even? Thanks for going through all the trouble Gayle and for sharing this peace of Heaven with all of us (your family & friends). Your generosity will NEVER go unappreciated!
I slept in till 9am the last two mornings. And arose to MY internal alarm clock (rather than that of a toddlers whine down the hall). Mission 1 - accomplished!
We have already enjoyed a few peaceful meals, where my main goal was to eat slowly and savor every bite (rather than put every third bite in my mouth and not have to hush the littles and hurry myself along as to not allow boredom, which can quickly turn into restlessness, settle in). Mission 2 - accomplished.
Mission 3? - Golf! At Lake Estes Golf Club. The weather could not have been any more perfect. It was fierce competition, but in the end...we TIED!
Not bad, considering Joe golfs all the time, and I haven't stepped foot on a course since well before Macy was born.
Mission 4? - hike!! At "our" pace. :-). Seeing the sights through "our" eyes. :). Accomplished. Bear Lake & up to Alberta Falls. It was a lovely day even a bit chilly, which was awesome. I'm not gonna lie though, I'm beat. Those upward stretched did me in!
Mission 5? - Roadtrips through the Rockies!!! In convertible (not the family truckster). Listening to adult music (not the melodic whines & moans of littles).
While enjoying adult conversation with my husband (not negotiating and trying appease the minds in the backseat). Nice.
Mission 6 - frolick through the quaint shops on Elkhorn Avenue in search of the perfect souveniour tees. Check!
An unplanned mission? - we stayed up late last night watching "The Shining"...thanks to whomever purchased and left this at the cabin. Now, I'm a little freaked out up here at night...as you know there is a bit of Estes Park connection to the Stephen King film.
Jack Nicholson is Crazy with a capital C.
Mission 7? - we'll set out to accomplish tomorrow...drive all the way through Trail Ridge Road (which is usually closed during most times of year due to snow & storms occurring in the high elevations. Up past Alpine Pass (which is as far as we've ever been able to go so far. Continue on through Grand Lake and end up at Copper Mountain to watch Joe's sister, Gayle, compete in some sort of "Warrior Dash" competition. Go Gayle Go! You rock. :-)
Mission 8? - read a good book (or 2). I am so very excited about being able to escape in this capacity without constant baby interruption. :). I'm gonna finish blogging so I can get back to that right now. This porch swing on Gayle's back porch is very peaceful. Might even close my eyes for a little mid-afternoon nap. Who knows. :-). Awesome timing as it is beginning to sprinkle...but have no fear, the porch is covered!
Oh and pay no mind to that deer eating the flowers 15 feet in front if me.
Can you see it in there?? :)
Disclaimer - after reading this post, one might get the impression that I enjoy being away from my girls. That I desperately needed a break from them. This is NOT the case. I love them dearly and genuinely enjoy spending ALL my time with them. THEY are my WHOLE world. But - I have been given this opportunity to escape "typical life" with my husband...and I simply want to soak it in and enjoy this as MUCH as possible. :-). I do miss my girls, but I know they are being very well taken care of in the hands of family (Thanks Lisa & Erika)! This is as much their vaca as ours. :)
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