Chapter 12 – Our Colorado vacation Part 1

We have lived a charmed and blessed life.  But we have not taken enough vacations, so this is one of our best as we start to enjoy retirement! Our past has given us much time and perspective to look back on our lives as well as to look forward to how we can make the most of what time we have left on this earth. 

I am reminded of Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Heavenly Father, guide us!

As we began our trip, Bill heard about a man who was conflicted on attending the funeral of his ex-mother-in-law.  The man wanted to attend and thought it was the right thing to do even though there were many obstacles.  His new fiance, who was asking for the advice from Dr. Laura, asked if flowers and a card would be enough.  The response was that if the man thinks he should show up, as the newly beloved (the fiancée) she should make it as easy as she can for him to do what he thinks is the right thing. Bill liked the answer which included, “Help him achieve what he values rather than telling him what to value.”

If you love your spouse, you will help them do what they feel is right and then you will support them in their decisions even if you disagree.  And our postscript – if it turns out to be a bad decision, love them, please don’t say, “I knew it was the wrong decision.”  This is part of our BEST Principal (see Chapter 7 – RX for the BEST marriage).  But even better is to pray as a couple about what is right and what WE should do!  We do like to do things as a couple, what is best for our relationship, for our health, our safety?

This is where we are in our lives.  It has been a journey trying to figure out how to live happily ever after, let alone in these tough economic times!  How do we fully support each other in our hopes and dreams?  We started out young, dumb, naive but in love!  But we had so many problems early on (wanting our own way or neglecting to ask each other for our opinion) so it was hard to support each other.  Sadly, like so many, we did not really know or understand what love is.  (see Chapter 5, “Just what is love anyway?”)  We have now figured it out and are doing all we can to support each other!

Bill wants to travel to places he has never seen (that is just about anywhere) and I want to combine our travel to visit family (we have family all over this country that we need to see)!  Bill likes a slow pace, easy-going, no hassles, no schedules, no obligations.  I love life in the fast lane, so much to do in so little time and I am an organizational freak!  Give me a schedule and I flourish!

Do you see any possible conflicts? But after over 36 years together, we have learned to dance in the kitchen (he is the cook and I am the cleaner upper) and in our travels.  Caveat – I can’t keep tune to the beat of any music, so I am not talking ballroom dancing!  I just figured out how to pace myself to him, while keeping myself otherwise occupied or rather, out of his way as he whips up our dinner in 15 minutes or less!

This past week in Colorado was only our second really exciting trip in the past six years – since I retired. Until this week, one of our best and a rarity, was to celebrate our 35th anniversary with our daughter and new son-in-law on a cruise.  In fact, as we look back, we have not taken many week-long vacations!  We’ve actually only had about 5 one week vacations in all those decades.  We got into a habit of long weekends, three or four days.  Why?  Because we are workaholics and just did not feel we could “afford” to take more time off!

So on September 10, 2011, off to Denver we flew!  A week in the mountains – what could be more exciting?  And the bonus, we have a nephew in Denver and a niece, her 3 month old baby and husband in Colorado Springs.  More exciting is that I lived in Colorado Springs for six years, from ages 3 to 9 (or thereabouts).  Ah, the wonderful childhood memories I was able to relive!  Bill was not sure about some of the things I wanted to do, but he supported me.  So we danced together to make this a fabulous vacation!

Hadassah!If you know me, you know I love babies!  Upon arriving in Denver, we meet our niece, Rachel, her husband Fernando and three-month old Hadassah for lunch!  I snatched Hadassah from Fernando and began loving on her!  She is so beautiful and easy to love!  I held her as much as possible and only had to give her quickly to her mom when she was hungry!

Haddassah, Rachel and HannahSo to make things even more special, we were joined by Hannah, Rachel’s cousin. Hannah, a college student, is a gifted dancer!  She is using her talents to grow closer to the Lord in a dance troupe of like-minded students.  We missed her first performance by a few hours, but she sent us a link to watch it!  We are all so proud of her!

After we ate, we ventured downtown without Hannah. I don’t remember Denver being such a beautiful and clean city!  And I even forgot it was the Capitol – I think the elevation got to me!  We walked around a Memorial Park to Veterans and then strolled downtown.

Bill is musical and performed a sweet melody for me!  Then off we went to our hotel and had a great night sleep to prepare us for our journey to Beaver Creek, a very nice resort in the Rockies.  We had no idea how exciting the drive would be to our destination!  When we lived in Virginia, we enjoyed Shenandoah National Park, taking day hikes on the Appalachian trails.

We are trying to stop and smell the roses. On our journey there, I discovered I needed more gum to help my ears acclimate to the mountains. So the first exit we see is to Buffalo Bill’s grave and a museum on Lookout Mountain. Bill was hesitant to stop there, saying they did not advertise a store….How many times have we been to a museum and they did not have a store?  So he reluctantly took the exit and we had one of our most exciting times of the week!

Exit to Lookout Mountain. House on a hill. Water Carves Canyons.

The view up to the top of the mountain was breathtaking, as was almost all of the Rockies and the blue sky! It was a long, winding steep road up to the top. Amazingly, we saw hundreds of bike riders on the way up and down! That is what these people do for fun!

Anyway, at the top, we took time out to learn about the legendary Buffalo Bill (a scout, showman and visionary), saw the grave site he picked out (because he said you could see four states from the view) and visited the informative museum.  It was well worth the diversion from our trip to the resort.  And we were able to buy me some gum to help my ears in the elevation!

Later that day, we arrived in one of the most beautiful resorts we could imagine, Beaver Creek. It is nestled in Avon and just down the road from Vail.

Click here for the next blog with more pictures and details about our fabulous vacation. I will also be able to relive some of my favorite childhood memories!