Denver & South Fork, Colorado, A Journey pt. 3

Fying into Denver, seeing those huge mountains in the distance, it’s still so weird that we were there. I never would have guessed a few years ago that we would have made it out that far west, that far from home. Hubby hates flying, so his willingness to go out there for one of our longest known friends was the only reason we made it! And we just barely did.

After a near miss in midair freak out, we grabbed our rental car and started out on our five hour drive through the Rockies. In the middle of the night.

Denver seemed to stretch for miles in the valley beneath the mountain, and I felt a large familiarity as we sat in bumper to bumper traffic, but as the miles slowly slipped away, the mountains suddenly popped up and we’re right next to us as if we had only blinked. I swear the sun was more intense at that altitude as it descended below the looming mountains, and the night sky began to sprout sparkling light. I had no idea how much manufacturing was based out of Denver, but the Purina plant sticks out in mind the largest with it’s signature pet food smell. The skyline of Downtown sprawled across the horizon as the city passed us by just as the interstate gave way to the mountain pass.

Two things I realized about Colorado during this drive which may be exclusive to the mountain roads. One, whoever built the roads does not believe in guardrails, probably because if you’re going to fall, your gone regardless of speed. And two, streetlights are reserved for cities.

After a five hour plane ride, we drove for two and half hours in the darkest night I have ever seen on the windiest roads I have ever been on before we called it a night for sanity and safety reasons. We figured we’d finish the last half in the morning, so we pulled into the least spookiest hotel we could find. (I’ve seen too many scary movies to stay in a small hotel in a small town as a tourist.) 

Sleeping was another oddity at that elevation. Every time I tried to slip into a deep sleep, my breathing would cause we to wake again. My mind wouldn’t shut off, and my dreams sent me on wild rides through the dark mountains. I woke up many times through the night trying to catch my breath as my heart raced from my latest dream.

When we woke up in the morning, I dreaded getting back in the car and continuing the drive on those roads, but I wanted so badly to see my friend. With coffee in hand, hubby and I pushed on to South Fork, and our final destination for the weekend. We passed red rock mountain after mountain, but the last half of the drive was nowhere near as teeth clenching as the first. With the sun shining brightly, the land lit up in it’s vast array of colors of the changing leaves, rocks, and valley floors. It was beautiful! All apprehension melted away as the last two and a half hours melted away in gorgeous sights and breathtaking scenery! 

When we finally arrived in the sleep  it off South Fork, we checked into the hotel and before even making it to our room, we were out of breath! At 8,000 feet, breathing at what we knew was a normal rate was going to be hard!

Manners up in the air – Wedding in Colorado pt. 2

Moving on now to the wedding weekend festivities! This will be a multi-part series much like the Bachlorette posts. Hang tight as I go from start to finish on this second and final piece to a wonderful ride!

My girlfriend is getting married! I’m sure I’ve said that before, but have I mentioned how long I have known this incredible woman? 

20 years! She was a bridesmaid in my wedding, now I will be one in hers in three shirt days! I’m so excited and cannot wait to get to Colorado to get this long weekend, second time off the East Coast started!

I don’t travel much; mostly because my husband is terrified of flying, but I somehow got him on this plane! It was pulling teeth, but his love for me and our friend got him here.

I booked us on Southwest for a couple of reasons. One, in school I have completed many an analysis on the company at large and found their devotion to the customer and their employees to be admirable and worthy of my business. And two, they were the only nonstop flight with planes large enough to even be considered by husband to board. I purchased the tickets at a decent price, and their two free checked bags, one carry-on, and a personal item sealed the deal on my happiness.

And then we started the boarding process, and the gate attendants announce that with Southwest, you can pick your seat. Initially, this sounds great, but as we slowly make our way onto the plane, it’s clear my husband and I will not be sitting together. 

He’s scared if flying, I’m stressed we won’t be able to sit together, and here we are in the aisle of the plane looking for seats. We move past the first ten rows just as the flight attendant comes  over the intercom to say, “if you’ve passed a seat in the first fifteen rows, you’ve already passed your seat.”

Every seat we’ve passed has been a single seater. I look to the next five rows, and I find two center seats on either side of the row. I turn to the guy on my left and ask if he would mind moving over to the empty seat on the other side so my husband and I could sit together. He sucks his teeth and says, “I don’t want to.”

Now, I’m not sure if this I am just being emotional because I’m worried about him, stressed we won’t be sitting together, and just feeling deflated and defeated, but I started to cry right then.

I asked him to please let me in, so I could sit in the empty seat as my husband filled in a center seat across the aisle. If you know me, you know I don’t cry, like ever, but for some reason, my eyes welled up and tears ran down my cheeks.

As I sit in this aisle seat, there is a woman on the other side of me next to the window and every time I look out, she covers my view with her newspaper. 

And now turbulence! 

Is this a typical experience, and my Austin was abnormal? Or am I just making up the ease of that journey in this one?