I forgot how nice it feels to get away.

The sun was beginning to set directly in front of us. The clouds got darker in almost a tunnel-like fashion. We were about to drive through some rain, but there was light just beyond the dark. The whole time the rain splattered against my car, we could see where it would end and the sun begin to dip behind the mountains. The pale yellow light peaking through the billowing clouds cast a perfect backdrop to the incredible rising and falling of the Rockies.

So this isn’t the view described here, because I was driving when that was all happening and I didn’t think to ask AJ to take pictures for me. But this was still a nice view. Of course, pictures of this stuff never portray the real beauty of it.

This view instantly relaxed me and I thought to myself, “Ah yes. It’s truly vacation time.”

About two years ago, AJ and I moved back from China. On the way we went to Amsterdam to visit a college friend of AJ’s and we stayed with him and his girlfriend.

Holland is just amazing.

It was a week long break before facing the reality that I didn’t have a job to come back to in Iowa and I would quickly run out of the little stash of money I made while teaching abroad. It was a remarkable trip and it was the last time AJ and I had a break for the last 2 years.

We had talked about going on vacation last summer but I was working every signal day between all of my jobs. The only days I had off were ones that I specifically asked for and usually they were do to something else (weddings, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, a triathlon). So it just didn’t happen. Especially since even though I worked so much, I wasn’t earning enough to make ends meet.

So when this summer came around, we made the decision that we needed to take a break and get out of here for a while and voila! Colorado was a plan! And it was just the most perfect vacation I could have hoped for. It far exceeded our expectations and recharged us. I felt ecstatic and relaxed in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time.

Spending time with good people and catching up with a wonderful friend. Waking up to beautiful weather and intense views everywhere we went. Eating good food and breathing fresh, not-humid air. Having way too much coffee and being outside nearly all the time. I’m so glad we took this break and treated ourselves to a trip like this. I’m lucky to have friends and family who live in cool places to visit.