Wednesday, April 25, 2007


JB and I have just returned from visiting our family in Colorado Springs. This is a beautiful part of America, surrounded everywhere by the Rocky Mountains. The trip takes us almost a day by plane, which of course triggers my distain for public bathrooms and my phobias about managing tickets and licenses and luggage at airports in general. This trip, however, was pretty pleasant. It is always nice to spend time with family you don't get to see often enough.
So this brings me to a mini travel report on Colorado Springs:
1. Here's what it looks like as you're driving to pick up groceries for dinner or going to the dentist. The snowcapped Rocky Mountains are always within view.

2. I'm a fan of the ocean, but can anything be more beautiful than this? The American West is as expansive as its stereotype. Yes, there are strip malls and buildings to close to each other but you always get this sense of magestic wide open space.
3. JB's sister lives in a regular neighborhood subdivision in Colorado Springs--nothing too unique except that deer--plenty of them--also live there. This sight is totally commonplace: sometimes you might see a dozen deer just hanging out or crossing the street. If you're smart, you drive your car attentively and s-l-o-w-l-y.....

4. This is Garden of the Gods. My brother-in-law promised me this one mile walk would only be a quarter mile, but I knew what I was getting into and enjoyed it thoroughly. I wish I could include shots of the dozens of rock climbers we passed all geared and tied up to these formations, but of course I still can't figure out how to change a photo from horizontal to vertical. Suffice to say this is a protected ancient public area and very much Colorado.

5. This is downtown Colorado Springs. Although it is a bona fide city, it has a sleepy small town feel to it. I spent a quick afternoon in a local Starbucks working on our household budget while jb visited her mom, and jb and I spent an afternoon having Mexican food for lunch and then strolling up and the streets and shops.

6. This is a just parking lot at the end of a non-descript street. Wow. Jeez.

7. JB and I had a rare opportunity to snatch a few hours for a mid-day movie matinee. This has always been one of my favorite things to do, and this movie and movie theatre did not disappoint. We saw "The Namesake", a modern flick about a family from India who had acclimated into American life and were trying to "fit" and hold on to their culture and traditions. It was a really good movie--I recommend it.

The theatre itself was awesome. It had a coffee and wine bar with comfortable seating and kind of an art deco meets the wild west decor. And really, isn't it nice to walk into a theatre at 4:00 in the afternoon, savor some buttered popcorn, and feel your eyes adjust to early evening when you finally walk out?

8. For 3 days we loved our time with JB's family, were relieved that her mother would be able to return to her apartment after a stint in rehab, ate good home cooking and my beloved Mexican food, leisurely read the Sunday New York Times, heard about my brother-in-law's return trip to Guatamala, where he was given the key to the city for his work there 37 years ago, caught up with our nephew's life and hopes for the future, and finally, headed home at 5 am on a dark rainy Tuesday morning.

I don't like airports, unless I can be passive and someone else takes care of all the arrangements. JB agreed to do this for me this trip, so I complained less than usual. We had a stop over in Minneapolis for almost 3 hours. I also don't expect much from airports. Minneapolis, however, was quite an exception. The food courts and restaurants and shops and services are top notch. Here is where jb and I had an organic healthy breakfast, I spread out my laptop, I happily chatted with Ces by cell phone and caught up on other calls. This restaurant, whose name I cannot remember!--was really cool. It reminded me, as so many things do, how lucky I am in so many ways. My life has ups and downs and all-arounds, for sure, but I am able to choose people and places that soothe and calm me. That is no small matter.

I'm home now. The sun is shining and the air is no longer frigid. I'm in pretty good shape. I hope you are too.....


  1. Welcome Home! Looks like a super trip -- those mountains knock me out. I'm a mountain girl, through and through. Thank you for these photos -- the Garden of the Gods looks spectactular. My brother-in-law is a rock climber and would *love* it there. Glad you're home safe and sound. :)

  2. Welcome back indeed. Ah, I know what you mean, I spent some time near the rockies in Provo Utah back in 1989. I remember standing still for some minutes and staring as those mountains every morning when I left the house. I loved climbing up to Timpanogo's Cave, with the Bridal Veil Falls along the way.
    Fond memories.
    Glad you enjoyed the trip, even though you don't like airports.

  3. I am so glad you are back. It is so nice to think that there can be a new post any time when you are in town as opposed to when you are away on vacation like the last time you went to Italy and took forever to come back. I was in Minneapolis in February and they do have a nice airport.

  4. Welcome home! What a beautiful trip. Thank you for sharing, i had never been there. XXOO

  5. Thanks for the tour, kj. The closest I've come to visiting Colorado (and I've always wanted to visit) was a layover in the Denver airport. I love the look of this small city. It reminds me of Vancouver in that you can see mountains in the background (depending on which way you're facing), but I detect a real western feel that we lack here on the edge of the ocean.

  6. Great that you had a good time, KJ...
    Beautiful scenery.
    Edinburgh is like that. Small cosmopolitan town feel and that's why I love it.

  7. A friend of Maria's and mine used to live in Colorado Springs before moving to Texas. I almost got assigned to this place for a month but the assignment fell through and I really regretted it.

    It looks like such a beautiful place.

  8. Loks like a great trip. As for the vertical photos, I think you have to do that before you upload them into blogger. But most photo editing programs (picasa or kodak or wahtver you use) have a little arrow thing you click on to rotate the photo. Then you just save the picture that way, before you load it onto your blog.