Two weeks ago, I was on a business trip in Puerto Rico.
This was my view on Friday, March 11th:
After flying home from a Caribbean paradise Friday morning, I quickly packed for the entire family, and helped Charlie load the car, so that we could depart on a 1,000-mile road trip to Colorado for Spring Break, once the children arrived home from school on Friday afternoon. We started driving at 7 PM and this was our view Sunday morning, March 13th:
While we've driven through Colorado before, I'd never been there for an extended period of time.
And after this trip, I can certainly understand the mass appeal. The hills were alive with the sound of music ... John Denver music that is, blasting the whole drive up!
In no time flat, the kids were singing along with us, "When we first came to the mountains, our lives were far away ... on the road and hanging by a song. But the string's already broken and we don't really care - it keeps changing fast and it don't last for long. But the Colorado Rocky Mountain high! We've seen it raining fire in the sky ... the shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby.... ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH!"
Our destination were the western mountains of Colorado, which is where Charlie's cousin - Johnny, and his wife Lis, and their four children reside, year-round. If my mid-life crisis ever comes to fruition, it is likely where we will reside, too. We just need to work out some minor logistics of where we'd live and what we'd do to support ourselves. I'm thinking a career as a ski-lift operator sounds promising.
This is Charlie and his cousin, Johnny, approximately 43 years ago.
The pin striped bathing suit cracks. me. up.
It was so great to see Johnny and Lis and meet their children.
The last time we visited each other was in October of 2001, when Johnny's younger sister, Stephanie was married. At that time, their two oldest sons were aged two, and a few months. Back then, Jack and Luke were sweet little tots riding around in carseats and strollers. Now these two strapping young men are 17 and 15, and were engaged in a near constant wrestling match with their 13-year old brother, Adam. It hit me like a ton of bricks that scene will soon be MY reality because teenage boys are prone to do this type of physical challenge thing?!
Our kids loved them. And they really enjoyed getting to know their second cousins - whose grandmother, Mary, is their grandmother, Jeanne's, younger sister.
On the last night of our trip, their youngest child, Annie, who is a year younger than the triplets, spent the night with us in our condo. Although they weren't yet out of school for Spring Break, Johnny and Lis graciously consented to let Annie miss school one morning, so she could ski with us.
It was St. Patrick's Day and everyone was sporting their green!
(Charlie and Annie picking out the routes for the next day.)
The children, who didn't go to sleep until past 11:00 PM, were in the hot tub just before 7:00 in the morning before hitting the slopes. Never underestimate the will of a child to get out of bed ridiculously early when a hot tub is involved...
Seeing as she learned to ski at approximately the same time she learned to walk, and she skis every Friday with her school gym class (how outrageously cool is that?!) ... it's no surprise Annie's an EXPERT. I did my best to keep up with her on each of the runs, and was in absolute awe at how she moved so effortlessly ... like her skis were simply a beautifully coordinated extension of her feet.
While our family was scouting out all of the green and blue runs, when I prompted her where her favorite places are to ski, Annie informed me that she typically skis the double black diamonds at the TOP of the mountain. For the record, since a green circle in Colorado, translates to a blue square on a mountain any where else ... I can only suspect that a double black diamond in Colorado, translates to vertical cliffs and instant death elsewhere.
Sorry Liz, until such time that you can stand up for a picture on a flat spot of the slope ... you absolutely CANNOT follow Annie down the mogul run between the trees.
I'll post more photos of the trip this week, but in short order - our Spring Break was wonderful and fun and perfect in nearly every way.
The only thing that could have made it better is if Annie had a twin sister, because she was in very high demand.