I had no qualms about turning thirty. I was ready, am ready, to enter into a decade of love and adventure and family and security so much I cannot even begin to describe it. I won't try. All you need to know is that I left my twenties behind without nary a tear shed.
For my birthday this year I did not plan any special celebrations aside from the general Fourth of July merriment. It occurred to me, I guess, but I was busy. Also, I had a pretty good idea that Husband was planning something on his own.My suspicion was based on that he told me 'I am planning something' and that I had to take a day off of work the week of my birthday. There was a surprise afoot and I didn't want to ruin it.
(Once, when I was leaving PA, my group of friends at the time were planning some kind of going away for me. Naturally I did not know about it [as it was a surprise]. Nearing the day of my departure, I announced to one of my friends that I was thinking about throwing a going away party. Furious, she replied "Well we were planning a going away party for you but it was supposed to be a suprise! God Juliet, why do you have to ruin everything? Since then I have been very careful not to interfere with anything that might resemble, possibly, a surprise.)
The day of my birthday I worked
off my hangover from the day before and spent a low key evening grilling at my friend B's house down the street. We had a couple of beers and grilled vegetables and steak and watched B's friend's baby giggle and play in a bowl of water to keep cool, all of us deeply envious that we could not strip down to a diaper. It was a lovely evening and we were in bed by nine thirty.
The following day I woke early despite being able to sleep in. We had to do laundry but it was surprise day. What would it be? Pack a bag? Where are we going? I was like an eager child bothering their parents to have their dessert right up until three o'clock when Husband said we could get in the car to go.
I rode silently, waiting for a hint while he tried to remember the route without putting up the GPS. (Husband goes almost nowhere without his GPS.)
"Shit, I don't know where to go," he said, dismayed. "How to I get to the airport from here?"
"EEEeeee!" I squealed, "We're going to the airport?"
"Yes, just tell me how to get there!"
I directed him and off we went - to the airport.
|Blindfold plus headphones plus hands over my ears going 'lalalala' equals difficult in a busy airport.|
Would you believe that the whole thing was totally successful right up until landing? I just couldn't block the pilot out when he said "We're beginning our descent into Denver."
Denver. I may have thought we were going to Texas or to Las Vegas maybe but when the pilot said Denver I fell in love with the man next to me all over again. (Thankfully Husband was seated beside me.)
I haven't been back to Colorado in ten years.
This is not totally, entirely true. I was in Denver once for work in 2007 but it didn't feel like a visit. Even visiting the Denver Zoo hadn't made that trip feel like anything but work. It didn't feel like 'going home'.
This time, though, I was with someone I loved and I knew before he told me that I would be seeing my two best childhood friends (at very least). This time I was really going home.
In the airport he tried valiantly to throw me off the trail, saying that my friends were both busy and that he and I would be on our own for the weekend. I almost believed him when he told me he thought we were going to take a cab from the airport but I knew he'd been planning amongst my friends since for some time.
Regardless, when J showed up with her two children in tow I was elated to see her.
"Hey pretty lady, can I take you home?" she asked.
|J and her babies|
It struct me as wildly bizarre to see my childhood friend as a mother. We'd quite literally grown up together - our mothers had met when we were in diapers. And though I had seen her since she had her second child it wasn't with them in tow and somehow I didn't really connect them to her. It was so real now. Unavoidable, I guess. We had become adults.
J kindly took us to get something to eat and then deposited us at our hotel for a good nights sleep. In the morning I woke to see the mountains.
|See the mountains? (And the dirt in my camera?)|
After a breakfast and some chatting with the friendly locals (read: anyone we spoke to), we decided that with our very limited time we would drive to the mountains. We stopped by S's house and were on our way.
|All the pretty horses...|
"We're talking about it," she said, blushing.
God, when did we become adults? I thought. And I felt least like an adult out of the three of us though I am sure if you asked any of us fifteen years ago who would be married with children first it would have been me.
|The Stanley Hotel. Not so scary after all.|
"Do you remember that time we were going to Vegas," said J, "And we had to borrow you're mom's car because you wrecked yours? I cannot believe she let two seventeen year old girls do that. Your mom, of all people!! How did we convinced her to loan us her car???"
"And then we lost the hubcaps!!" I laughed. "I chased them down the middle of the highway! There is a picture of that somewhere."
"Oh my God, remember the gold pants?" cried S. "I hated those pants."
"No! I loved those pants!!" I replied, hysterical.
"And you would only ever where it with that huge oversized shirt?" S laughed.
|Aren't we cute? MOUNTAINS!!|
And on and on.
We drove to Estes Park. If we'd had more time we would have drive all the way to Grand Junction - I haven't seen my home town in ten years - but we were limited by the hours in the day. A trip to the mountains was the next best thing.
|And more mountains!! It was so good for my soul.|
|Who's that creepy guy? I don't know.|
|Roses in a beautiful garden.|
|and more roses in a beautiful garden...|