Let's start with Colorado Springs! We arrived at our resort around 2PM. Double D and I were very pleased with our room, but he was sorely disappointed in the view from our balcony. In order to see the mountains you had to lean waaaayyy over the side and possibly risk a fatal fall, so after some civil negotiations with resort staff, they arranged for another room with a beautiful mountain view that didn't require body contortions.
For our trouble, the staff gave us coupons for 50% off admission to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The first exhibit we saw was a tower of reticulated giraffes. They walked right up to us and let us pet them. I've never been that close to a giraffe before. They are such gentle, beautiful creatures.
After the zoo we drove around North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Country roads, take me home ♪♫ ♪ •*♪♫ ♪...
The next day we headed up to Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.
Garden of the Gods is spectacular! The rock formations were unbelievable. Magnificent. The mere thought of going back to Texas seemed like a sad prospect. I could see that the longer we stayed in Colorado, the harder it would be to leave.
Pikes Peak is 19 miles high and we were allowed up to mile 16 — beyond that it was too icy to continue. The sharp curves with no guardrails were daunting, but this didn't phase Double D! He was going too fast for my liking. As a coping mechanism, I pressed my foot firmly on the passenger side brake for nearly 32 miles — there and back. In between the moments of fear was the glorious beauty of the trees, glistening snow, and fresh mountain air.
As we arrived at mile 13, to my astonishment was a red fox! Slightly urbanized, but still wary of people, he stood patiently waiting for bits of granola that another tourist was throwing in his direction. I wanted to set up a tent and camp there the rest of the night, feeding my little friend all the granola his heart desired. But in the end, I realized that too much granola can't be good for a wild fox, and besides, I'm not a camping kind of gal.
For our last full day we explored the Royal Gorge. It wasn't as exciting as Pikes Peak, but we got to see moose, sheep, llamas, goats, and buffalo, even though they were in enclosures. Seeing wild animals confined makes me sad, but I think they are well taken care of and they do provide a learning experience for the public. We also walked over the suspension bridge several times. My poor feet! I also underestimated what the altitude and lack of oxygen might to do my aging, out of shape body. Oy!
On the morning of our flight we drove to Manitou Springs to see the cliff dwellings. I couldn't enjoy our time there because I was worried about missing our flight at 1PM. And once I learned these dwellings were replicas, I was no longer as enthused.
We made it to the airport on time and uncharacteristically dilly-dallied in an airport restaurant. We missed our flight by five minutes. So for Mother's Day, we sat in the airport for an additional, agonizing, 4-1/2 hours. My iPhone and I were really able to bond with each other during that time.
We sadly returned to reality and our jobs this week. I'm still pining for Colorado.
Last night was the family gathering for my birthday. Cards are my favorite things to receive and this year they were especially touching. I just wish I wouldn't cry! I'm not talking about eyes misting over. Oh, no. We are talking giant tears flooding my face like a geiser. Ugh! It's not a pretty sight. My oldest son gave me a funny card that made everyone laugh when I read it out loud. I was so relieved to laugh, then I got to his personal note which was so sweet it produced more Texas-sized tears. I needed windshield wipers for my face. :/
Despite my crying jags, everyone seemed to be having a good time. I love my family so much!
I have one more hurdle to overcome tonight and that is saying goodbye to my beautiful daughter as she embarks on her dream of living in Oregon. But that will have to be another post for another day because wrapping my mind around this next chapter has left me an emotional mess. A Sad Sack. A Weepy Wanda Wuss. But there's also a place in my heart that is so happy for her. As soon as I'm able to write about my daughter leaving, I'll spill all the gory details. Until then....