It has been a very short trip. I arrived on Friday afternoon and leave at 4:30 today. My father is not feeling well, recovering from two surgeries this summer. All of our running around yesterday wore him out, so we will likely stay close to home until it is time to deliver me to the airport. (Likely 2.75 hours early, which is my father's style, he is even more neurotic than I am when it comes to -God forbid- missing a flight.) But that is okay. I like DIA. And DIA without children, it's like a vacation in and of itself. Read a little People Magazine, eat a little TCBY, I'll be okay.
So rather than give you the blow by blow of my vacation, here are the highlights:
- I boarded my first flight sans children in I believe four years. Amazing how easy air travel is without squirmy little tyrants to look after. One small suitcase, tucked neatly in the overhead bin. My purse under the seat in front of me, book in my lap. No diaper bag. No arsenal of snacks. No spilt milk. No "I have to pee" just as the Pilot issues the fasten seat belts command. Bliss. I sat for the first 1.5 hours peacefully reading my novel, until miss chatter box, a 20-something tattoo covered rebel starts babbling endlessly. "You look great" "For 36" she informs me after I tell her my age. Great. Thanks a whole-heck-of-a lot. Bimbo.
- I took the train on the George Town Loop. Funny how, now as a visitor I am doing all of the touristy things that I never experienced during my eight years of actually living in Colorado. It was breathtaking. Simply beautiful. The train ran a short loop through the mountains over Clear Creek. The sun warmed my vitamin D deprived shoulders and the mountain air felt clean and good. After the ride and a quick lunch at a quaint tea house in Silver Plume, we headed to Erie, for my nephew Kristoff's birthday party. We drove the familiar route, past George Town, Idaho Springs, Evergreen, the drive we once took on a regular basis, usually with our feet stuffed into hiking shoes, and the dog in back. I felt a strong surge of nastolgia and longing. Why did we have to move away? When can we come home for good?
- I attended my nephew Kristoff's first birthday party. I must say Kristoff is truly a happy, beautiful rolly-poly one year old. I was thrilled to be there. Of course my sister's three year son, Finn, was also there, and be still my heart, referred to me as "Auntie Rachel". For some reason this warmed my heart until I thought it might just boil over. Auntie Rachel. I am someones Aunt.
- One of the guests at the party was my sister's grade school friend, Danielle. I had not set eyes on her in years and yet, she looked almost exactly the same, only taller. She confessed some things that my sister never shared with me. She told me how she and my sister used to sneak in my bedroom and go through my belongings, thinking that I was cool. Cool? But I thought they dispised me. After all I was a goody-two-shoes who never smoked weed. Go figure. She remembered the care package I put together for Erica when she was graduating from high school and heading off to Boulder for college. I could hardly believe it. She told me she was jealous of that gift, how she had wished she had an older sister like me. Flabbergasted. At least I impressed someone. Thank you Danielle, for making my day. And, don't worry sis, I know you have grown to love me.
So I am finishing this post back in my Berkeley living room, eating salad at 9:00, boys tucked in bed, dog at my feet. The weekend now gone, and I feel sad knowing that the next time I set foot on Denver soil it will be a different season. Instead of getting easier, over the past few months in particular, it feels as if it is getting harder.
I know the feeling will fade over the next few days, as the recent events turn to memory and I resume my daily activities. The boys start preschool tomorrow. I have work. My in laws arrive for a (a-hem) ten day visit on Friday. Life-goes on.