For Thanksgiving, a much needed visit to Colorado had been planned. Although I think I’d prefer the slow pace and majestic views of a train ride, time was not as plentiful as we’d have liked for this trip. It has been awhile since I visited with Mom and Pops, well over a year. The last time was the beginnings of a journey that I thought would last a lifetime. With all this on my heart, I knew the trip would be emotional, as road trips have always had an un-blanketing affect on the emotions of my past, present and future.
Despite knowing the trip would bring up thoughts and feelings of what might have been, moreso than I already deal with on a daily basis, one thing is and always will be true, it’s amazing what a road trip can do for me. This one was no different. The ups and downs, the yin and yang, the sunshine and the storm, the bittersweet experience that it was, was good for me. I am not sure why the bittersweet theme continues to run in my life, but it’s a good thing I like Sour Patch Kids.
Driving through someplace, gives you a chance to see first hand how the current state of the economy has affected so many areas. At the same time it allows you to see how it has not affected some people at all. There were a few things I noticed on the trip that could easily be results of the current economic state, the number of Wal-Mart shoppers seemingly homeless people begging for money in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and the number of people on the hillside skiing or snowboarding. Actually, neither of these things ever seems to change regardless of the economy. There is never a shortage of people in either place, although I try to avoid Wal-Mart so my numbers may be off slightly. For this trip, a late night headlight outage caused a much needed visit to the only 24 hour spot that sold the odd-shaped bulb we needed. Thankfully I got the last one on the shelf, along with some much needed Red Bull.
The weather on the trip was equally contrasting, from sunny and clear to the worst black ice I’ve ever seen. Only had to chain up once, although it probably would have been useful a handful of times. It makes it easy to stay awake for the 20 hour drive when you are so focused on the road that you can’t take your eyes off the road. On the other hand when I wasn’t behind the wheel it gave me an opportunity that is usually only found on the train, simply enjoying the beauty of this country. The variety of landscape is phenomenal, I am truly blessed to have been able to travel throughout this country on the road. If there is ever an opportunity for you to take a two of three day road trip, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. A plane ride is great, and in a time crunch it cannot be beat, but seeing how much more there is to the US is priceless.
One of the only things that wasn’t back and white was the food.The food as always was incredible. My brother’s Boston Cream Pie complete with Saint Brendan’s is worthy of being packaged and sold in the finest of Irish pubs. My sister made carrot casserole that I think I ate about two pounds of by myself, and my Mom, she makes the best of everything. It’s too bad the only thing I was able to bring home was 3 or 4 jars of the most incredible 4-berry jam I’ve ever had. I am having a hard time rationing it, butI’m still trying. A pit stop at Fazoli’s was a must, and it must have been heaven sent, as my meal and subsequent Twitpic landed me a spot on the most famous spaghetti website on the net.
Amidst all of the yin and yang of heartache and bountifulness of the Thanksgiving holiday, it was an incredible trip. Visiting with the family, the view of Rocky Mountains that is unparalleled, and an abundance of laughter made for an incredible balancing affect for my mental muddle. Despite it being incredibly rushed, it was also perfect that way. It really brought many things in my life full circle, and reminded me why I do what I do and have chosen the path that I have. Most importantly it reminded me of the many reasons that I have to be thankful.