Well, this post is almost a week late, but I think you’ll understand why—at least by the next post. You see, the vacation didn’t go quite as planned. But we did our best to enjoy ourselves anyway. That’s the short recap. Here’s the long version.
We left for the airport later than I planned, which worked out just fine. The drive was easy. Getting in and checking our bags was easy. Much to my surprise, there was no waiting. Then, when we went to put our bags through security, we looked back and the line snaked all through the roped dividers. We made it just in time to walk right up to the counter. Lucky!
Getting passed security was almost as easy. There was a line, but only a few people deep. Willy and I went through the “old-fashioned” metal detector, because of his disability, instead of being subjected to the new-fangled contraption. But my mom had to go through the new one. Still, we made it through without incident.
Then, we found our gate and we waited. We got there early enough that there was at least one plane departing from our gate before ours. It was a long wait, but Willy handled it well. The flight itself was remarkably smooth and on-time—Willy did a wonderful job the whole way there!
We arrived, found our bags with relative ease, got out at the wrong exit, and then made our way to the correct one to be picked up by my brother. Again, relatively easy. Considering how many things could have gone wrong, we were very, very lucky.
Denver and Boulder were both incredibly, unseasonably hot—100 degrees + hot. We left Wisconsin in the 70s, so it was quite a jump. And my brother’s Jeep does not have air conditioning. Willy had little patience for the drive around for needful things before we headed up to the cabin. He was whiny and out of sorts, but that was to be expected. I didn’t think much of it, because he rarely enjoys shopping under the best of circumstances.
We arrived at the cabin, and Willy didn’t want to do much. He was tired and that was fine. It was a big day for him, so we let him take a nap. Then, he was up for a little while before going right back to bed after eating a cheese sandwich. We figured that we’d make up for it tomorrow, but that didn’t quite happen. That is an adventure that deserves its own post—actually, it’s long enough to be broken up into two posts.
The whininess didn’t stop. Willy missed his house and his family, in that order. He missed his routine and our efforts to prepare him were inadequate. He just wanted to wait in the cabin until it was time to go home, though we did take him four-wheeling (riding on rough, mountain trails in the Jeep). The landscape was dangerously dry, but beautiful and oh-so-steep! Otherwise, we spent time together and that was pretty much it—not bad, but not quite as adventurous as we had planned. But, after Friday night (next post, remember), Willy needed us to take it easy.
My brother and I got to take a walk, but there was less in the way of hiking and exploring than we’d planned. My mom wasn’t up to a lot of that and Willy wasn’t either. Still, we had fun. I got to spend some precious time with my brother. I don’t regret going. The experience certainly could have been worse. But it wasn’t quite the adventure we planned, either.
The flight home went relatively smoothly, but Willy really, really wanted to just get there without the in between stuff. It made for some aggravation on all ends. The return, however, wasn’t quite so smooth. Milwaukee’s airport had one baggage claim carousel open (out of five) for three arriving planes, which made finding our bags a hassle in a heavy crowd. Very unpleasant. Then, the way home was all under construction, so we had to drive around Milwaukee just to find a way onto the Interstate. All told, we were over an hour late getting home. Everyone was in bed and asleep, though Mark did wake up enough to say “welcome home” when I came up to our room and the little boys fluttered their eyes when I kissed them.
Of course, to top things off, some of the places we went four-wheeling are now in flames—like I said, “dangerously dry.” My brother is safe and sound last I heard.
After all that, though, Willy doesn’t want to go on vacation again “for a long, long time—maybe not then.”