I love traveling with my friend Beth because we were cut from the same fabric. I don't have a sister and she doesn't either. So for several years now we have called each other "sis". (Although I think we might even get along better than most sisters I know.) Now, through the gift of marriage, I have three sister-in-laws, who I adore. But that hasn't changed the special connection I feel to my Sis, Beth. When we travel, sometimes we are in a hurry and we travel accordingly. And sometimes we're in no hurry. That was certainly how Monday was. Good thing, too, because our "birthday lunch" stop at her folks in Kearney ended up lasting 2.5 (lovely) hours. It was a delicious meal and fabulous birthday cookie. A great start to the weekend.
We made it into Denver in time for dinner. We asked our hotel hostess for a good Italian restaurant and she clued us into a great Italian place right down the street. It was fantastic. We had all asked around for good restaurants in Denver and this was on none of our lists, but it couldn't have been a more perfect fit. In fact, all weekend things just kept falling into place. Beth and I split a plate of pasta with white sauce and Lobster. It was so good!
Tuesday we somehow came to the knowledge that the Lilith Fair music festival did not start until 2PM and we knew we didn't have to be there when the gates opened up. So after a great trip West and fantastic dinner out, we had a lovely morning in the hotel pool (which may or may not have included alcohol at 10AM). Later, we got showered up and headed to the mall just across the street for a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant. The mall was swanky and gorgeous, super high end. We enjoyed the Gap and Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. So lovely! We headed down to the "Fiddlers Green" around 4:30.
This is a picture of us just before lunch. I think I look genuinely happy, which I was:
The concert was full of fantastic music and people watching. I found a few things interesting. To begin, the concert was a celebration of women artists. As it would be, this attracted a lot of women attenders. In fact, I would say about 99% of the audience was women, save a few very dedicated husbands and boyfriends. The absence of a lot of men = the loss of a lot of competition and worry. That was fascinating. Suddenly, we weren't worried about shaving our legs ("Who do we have to impress?") or if our skirt made us look fat, or pregnant. (Which I am not). There was a large homosexual showing, which was also a bit of a people watching experience for the three of us largely conservative and sheltered women. In the end, I'm not sure if it would have been so worry free had we been trying to impress other women or if we were more "local" and might have ran into people we knew. Nevertheless, we were in "who cares?" heaven, not worrying about if we had sweat through our dress, or if our make-up wore off, or if the way I was laying made me look fat, and we devoured a huge pizza.
So I am writing this post during naptime and I kinda want to go lay down myself. But I just can not end without telling you the end to this story. The beginning was great, the middle was great, and the end was stinkin fantastic, too.
We left Denver in great time Wednesday. We got to Kearney and switched cars with Beth's mom. We had enjoyed her CRV for the trip while Beth's car got some repair work done. We dropped off Niki in Grand Island... and her dad said we would run into weather, which we said "oh well" to. Well, between Aurora and York on I-80 we started to realize that the storm brewing was major. We called Lindsay's dad, who suggested we "ride the storm out" in York. We called Dave and he agreed. He sent us this picture of the radar at the time:
Since we had been eating way too much all week, we opted out of a leisurely dinner and decided to walk around Wal-Mart instead. The storm on the tin building was so loud. We ate Tums out of the container before even buying them. We checked our blood pressure and learned about the arches on our feet. We tried on new shoes. We laughed until we almost, well, you know.
Sure enough, within an hour the storm passed and we headed out for a rainy final 120 miles. We made it home. And even though I wanted to be home so bad, and see my husband and squeeze my boy and sleep in my bed, I was still sad that the trip was over.
The trip that started blissfully with donuts and coffee and birthday lunch and cookie, ended with laughter and a beautiful sunset and a breath-taking double, full rainbow. God. Is. Good.
And the same husband that encouraged me to "go have fun" was waiting for me when I got home. Here is the picture text I sent him. If a picture speaks a thousand words this one starts with, "I am having a ball. But my thoughts are never far from you. I love you."
On the journey,