A Love Letter to Colorado

Dear Colorado,

Well, it’s official. I am in love with something far more grand than any man I could possibly dream up. I’m in love. Head over heals love with you. I’m sure that every part of you is spectacular, but I’m specifically enamored with Colorado Springs.  I don’t even know if I can dredge up the words to explain why. But, I’ll try my hardest.

First off, upon landing, I found your Denver International Airport was fantastically clean and easy to navigate. The train that runs to all the terminals runs every two and a half minutes (unlike every five in Dulles), so even if you just miss the train (like I did, coming down off the escalator), another one will be around directly.  The signage was well placed and it took no time at all to reach the area that I needed to be. I was quite impressed.

Perhaps I just had a good experience, but all of your children who I encountered were was so incredibly good natured and helpful. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. People stopped to let you cross the street, for goodness sake! People don’t do that where I’m from; we’re too close to DC for people to be nice. And one of your children who works for the Denver police department deserves a big ol’ hug! Charity and I ventured into downtown Denver right after landing in The Mile High City, and naturally, we had no idea where we were going so, after driving around aimlessly for a bit, we came to 18thand Glenarm where the road was blocked and a police officer stood.  The officer told us that the Taste of Colorado was going on, and that the best thing to do was to park in one of the many lots on the side streets and walk down. He then allowed us to pull into a lot on the blocked off street to park and when we were ready to leave (this is the best part), he stopped traffic for us to exit the blocked street! Not only did he do this for us, but he did it with a smile and then gave us directions to get to the interstate, I-25.

Your time zone is fantastic! God, I love Central Time! I gained two hours by coming to visit you, Colorado. I had a full day to spend with you since you gave me two whole extra hours! And time seemed to loll by at a leisurely pace.

Garden of the Gods: Truly a place fit for the gods

Colorado, I’m going to have a really hard time putting this into words, so I’ll say it simply.  You are purely stunning. Your sky is the bluest blue that I have ever seen. It’s a crisp, deep hue that completely mesmerized me. Your plot of land known as Garden of the Gods is AHmazing.  Your sandstone formations are magical, almost mythical in stature. I was completely blown away; even after reading about the purpose behind the Garden of the Gods and the fact that it is free and to be kept a free park for all to enjoy (and being impressed by this immensely), all of my expectations were blown out of the water.  It was almost other-worldly: massive red (and gray) giants jutting unexpectedly out of the earth, stretching upward, almost seeming to be pulled upward into the clear blue yonder. Upon glancing out of the car window and spotting the Kissing Camels, I was overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, my heart felt more full that it has felt in the longest time. Overwhelmed to the point of tears. I actually cried with a great big smile on my face. I even found the view from the places where mankind has marred your body with a system of paved roadways, of your farmland stretching as far as the eye can see, seemingly only stopped by massive mountains projecting upward on the horizon to be unconceivable.

Another very small item that you have that I found enthralling? You have actual tumbleweed! I saw a tumbleweed ‘a-tumblin’! Rolling across a street!

Your weather and moderate climate is pure divinity. I come from a place where humidity is the law of the land: muggy, damp and uncomfortable are familiar descriptors of the Old Dominion.  Your hospitable summer temperatures are pleasant coupled with your cheerful sunshine; I could actually walk without feeling like I was walking through an invisible curtain of water (as is how I feel most summer days in Virginia).

In short, Colorado, I’m bewitched, bothered & bewildered by you. I’m enthralled. I crave more time with you to experience more of your charms. I’ll be back, Colorado. To breathe your clean air, to view your majestic landscape and to learn as much as I possibly can of you.

Rocky Mountain High: Part I, The Journey

Here I sit on the plane, bound for Denver.

The tensile fiberglass roof of Denver Internat...

The tensile fiberglass roof of Denver International Airport resembles the area’s famous Rocky Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I was so excited I could barely stand myself…mostly filled with anxiety about the plane ride.  So far, so good.  Evidently, the plane I’m on going to Denver is also continuing westward to Portland.  Needless to say, the cabin was totally filled.

Up since 2:20 A.M., I thought I was giving myself ample time to get ready and get to my departing gate by 6 A.M. Evidently, it wasn’t early enough.  I had to scramble to get where I needed to be and, by the time I got there, they’d already boarded my group.  I was lucky enough to grab an aisle seat, though!

I always like people watching at airports and on planes, as people of all kinds are represented.  This particular flight contained several very cantankerous old men, a hip looking young couple with baby (attached to the front of the woman’s body with one of those baby slings where the baby’s legs sway akimbo, slightly straddling the front of Mommy.  It’s my belief that a sadist invented these carriers; they look uncomfortable for babies. ), a couple Indian families with the prettiest children I’ve ever seen and an obnoxious woman who was constantly moving to adjust her laptop/book and/or find her glasses (she sat right in front of me, as luck would have it, not beside me).

I was very lucky to sit next to two gentlemen who, God love ‘em, are quiet, not engaging in idle chitchat and leaving me to my own devices.  I’m not sure if it’s because I have an eat-shit-and-die expression on my face (which I hope I don’t…I curse people who walk around looking like that), if they’ve left me be since I’ve been plugged into my music since given the okay from our good cap’n, or, if they simply feel the same way that I do:  flying is best when incessant small talk is left out of the equation. And, while it feels like time seems to have slowed down since I’ve been sitting here, I’m attributing that to the excitement I feel about reaching Denver and my friend, Charity whom I have not seen in at least six years.

I would like to lodge a complaint though.  It’s about turbulence. That God-awful, vomit and sweat inducing rocking, bumping and jarring of the plane as we sail ten thousand or more feet above the ground.  You’d think that with all of the technological advances mankind has made over the years, they’d find a way to decrease that dreadful motion, thus quelling my nerves.   Oh, and the second complaint I’d like to make? Plane lavatories.  I’m claustrophobic. The thought of shutting myself into an area smaller than any closet I have ever had to relieve myself is terrifying to me. And, even though my urge to pee is boarding on dire as I write this, I simply will not do it.

Our good cap’n just announced that we are over Kansas now. Wow. I’m flying over Kansas right at this moment!  I’m a small town, east coast girl and I’m over the middle of the country at this very moment. Did I mention I’ve never ventured any further west than Houston? Yep, this is big doin’s for me, boys and girls. Evidently wherever I am in Kansas (over Kansas?), its 457 miles to Denver! Uuuugh…457 miles to Denver? I have the urge to grab a flight attendant by the sleeve as she walks by next and whine, “are we there yet?” Perhaps I shall refrain; I think I look a little too old for that question to be answered with anything other than extreme annoyance.

I should be landing in the Mile High city within the next 20 minutes! I’ve actually been able to look out the window to the carefully plotted ground below with its squared and rounded patches of varying shades of greens and browns.  This is a first for me.  And, I cheerfully am able to report that my gazing isn’t inducing vomiting. Slight dizziness, but no vomiting.  I think I’m improving my flying skills as I write this!

I’ve just landed in Denver and have not been this excited in a long time.  The airport is big, but not overbearing and clean (you should take notes, Atlanta airport).  I made my way to the incredibly efficient train system to get to baggage claim and my long-time friend with no incidents (and by incidents I mean getting lost).

All in all, this first part of the journey has been nothing but pleasant.  I can only hope that my time in Denver and Colorado Springs is just as enjoyable! More to come!