Rocky Mountain High

Well, I finally did it again. What, you might ask? Got on an airplane to fly to and back from Denver, Colorado. Yeah, I know, that’s how it usually works. You fly to a destination and then you fly back. Well, that’s not always the case for me. We will get into that more later.

Break a Leg

My wife and I took a much-needed vacation to Colorado to see an old friend of mine, who, along with his wife, welcomed twin girls into their lives. We also made the journey to see a Broadway production that my wife wanted to see. The musical was entitled, If/Then, starring Idina Menzel. Broadway types would know her as the original green witch in the musical, Wicked, but most parents with young girls know her as the singer who sings the song, Let it Go, that they can’t get out of their heads.

The Stanley Hotel, which is supposedly haunted.

The Stanley Hotel, which is supposedly haunted.

For those of you that have not been to Colorado, it is a beautiful state with many scenic vistas to enjoy. We made our way away from the Denver area to start our trip, heading up to Estes Park, where the famous Stanley Hotel is located. For those of you not familiar with the Stanley, it is most notable for its place in Stephen King’s book, The Shining. The hotel also played a critical role in the 1994 New Line Cinema film, Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels.

After enjoying the historic Stanley Hotel, we ventured a short distance to the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. This was our first visit to the park and it did not disappoint. We were a bit concerned about the weather, thus we did not make it into the highest elevations of the park. We did, though, enjoy the lower levels of the park, taking in the beautiful mountain views, pastures, and waterways. We also encountered plenty of wildlife, including herds of elk in their natural habitat. An amazing sight to behold, that’s for sure.

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View toward the mountains outside the Stanley Hotel.

The outdoor beauty was just part of our vacation goal. My wife wanted to see this Broadway production in downtown Denver. I am not a huge city person. I much prefer the country vs. downtown life. Denver was no different. I was not a fan of Denver. Maybe it was just the area of the city that I was in or maybe the rainy, gloomy weather that had settled upon the metro area. Nonetheless, my wife was able to see the show she eagerly awaited. I will not even comment on the show. I am not a Broadway fan, nor musical fan, thus I will hold my tongue.

Making New Friends

I will say that I did not see the whole show. After intermission, I made several new friends, mainly elderly ushers and bartenders, who, also, were waiting for the show to end so they could go home. I must say that Denver has a beautiful theatre complex, which was very well designed with many venues in one area that included a covered area and ample parking for the patrons.

We were scheduled to fly out the morning after the show, thus the nerves, for me anyway, had already started. Our flight was scheduled to leave Denver International Airport at 10:10 a.m. local time, but due to a mechanical issue, we did not take off until after noon. Well, anyone that knows me knows that I hate to fly under ideal circumstances. This delay, due to mechanical issues, was not sitting well with me.

No Windshield Time

I had taken my usual Xanex to take the edge off well before our 10:10 scheduled flight time, but by noon, that pill had worn off.  In these circumstances, I think of a plane with a mechanical issue as a death trap. My thoughts turned to driving the 15 hours home instead of getting on the plane. Mind you, I did not want to drive 15 hours home. If it were about 8 hours, I would have driven home, but 15 is more than a day’s drive, plus the weather was still rainy. It would have been an awful drive. So, against my better judgement, I got on the plane. Due to the rainy weather across the U.S. on this day, the plane ride was one of the bumpier ones. I took an additional Xanex before I boarded and another mid-flight. Needless to say, I was a bit out of it when we finally landed safely back in Indianapolis.

Out Like a Light

I don’t remember much after we got home. I remember laying down on our daybed and falling asleep minutes later, awaking to darkness around 2:30 a.m. That Xanex is good stuff. I have always thought that as I get older, it would be easier to fly. You know, you have less life left, thus you would worry less about something bad happening. I have found it to be quite the opposite and I’m not sure why. My fear of flying has seemingly gotten worse. Unfortunately, that fear has now rubbed off on my wife, who used to enjoy flying.

We probably won’t be doing any more traveling until 2016. We have both decided that our next few trips will be within driving distance to give both of us a break from the friendly skies. With that being said, I think we both enjoyed Colorado and would consider the area as one of our retirement destinations when he get to that point.

I almost forgot. Colorado has legalized marijuana. Heck, that might have come in handy on the flight back. Who knows. It might be better than Xanex!

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