Friday, July 8, 2011

The Incredible Melting Vacation

Why is it that vacations seem to melt like ice creams on a hot summer day? Ours is melting away right now; we are leaving on a jet plane tomorrow.  That's the thing about vacations -- you plan them out, look forward to them, and hopefully enjoy them.  Deep down, though, you never really expect them to come to an end, and you certainly don't expect reality to take hold once again.  Oh, but it does, doesn't it?

At least you know you had a great vacation if you are sad it's over.  I suppose the better the vacation is, the sadder you are when it ends.  So I'm pretty darn lucky to be so sad, right?

This the view from our place in Vail.  At least it is ours until 6 AM tomorrow when we head on out of here and back to reality.  We actually came out here two years ago and loved it so much, we decided to come back again.  Usually I'm not up for going anywhere a second time, but this was well worth the exception.  It actually made it more relaxing and more like a vacation because we already knew our way around and pretty much already knew what we wanted to do - rafting on Gore Creek, taking a jeep ride off-road, and heading back to the Continental Divide in hopes that Sam would actually get out of the car this time.  And, oh, we also wanted to take Sam back to the super-cool huge pirate ship and the amazing Betty Ford Gardens. Thankfully we managed to achieve these lofty goals without having to study the map! Yahoo!

Here we are with our windblown "jeep hair-do."

And here we are at the Continental Divide.  As you can see, Sam did get out of the car this time.  It doesn't matter that we had to bribe him with Oreos, does it?

Here we are all geared up for rafting.  I didn't realize until way too late how cold the water is.  It had only melted from snow 8 hours beforehand.  Ouch!

Here is Daddy Mac at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, some of the most gorgeous gardens I've ever seen as well as one my children's parks anywhere.  I just read that she passed away today.  She is leaving behind a wonderful legacy.

What a great place to play!  Thank you, Mrs. Ford!

Here's the super-duper-cool pirate ship. AAAARGH!  Pretty cool, huh?

We definitely fit in some goofy behavior as well....  Here''s Sam gettin' down (or something like that) on top of Vail Mountain.  In his own words, he said, "This is the life!"   It sure is, bucko!  It took me 40 years to get to Vail and he has already been there twice at age 6.

Well, I'm really melting now as I finish this up!  We are back in hot, humid Richmond, with rain pouring.  Even after the Rockies, there's still no place like home!  And there's nothing like a hellish flight home to make you really want to get home!


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