We arrived with no problems at all, actually getting into Denver a tad early. It was such a joy to see our family coming toward us at the airport and greet them with hugs and kisses.
Beautiful downtown Estes Park. It's a quaint and charming place, with a very homey and quiet feel to it. I love it.
At this time of year in Estes Park, almost all of the shops close at 5, since it is still the "off-season". So, when things closed down and we were beginning to get a bit chilled from the brisk mountain air, we went to an early dinner at a charming Italian restaurant called Mama Rose's. I loved everything about this place: the vintage feel to the decor, the beautiful woodwork, our funny little waiter, the birch trees and stream right outside the window by which we were sitting, the fact that we were the only ones in there (again, off-season), the food. Oh, the food! It was to die for. I'm sure I gained 5 pounds that night, but it was well worth it.
Over the next few days we did some really fun things, such as taking a tour of the Stanley Hotel and going on a hike in the Rocky Mountains. Those shall be posts of their own. And while doing those sorts of things was amazing and memorable, I don't think they were any more memorable for me than the evenings we spent in our little suite, cozied up on the couch sharing a blanket, warmed by a crackling fire as we watched movies and hung out together, just the two of us. There is something so refreshing and much-needed in spending time with each other as JUST husband and wife, as two people in love, as best friends. I can so easily forget just how much I enjoy this man's company and the things we love to do together (even if it just to be goofy and carefree) in the day-to-day busy-ness and our roles as parents. This get-away proved to be a wonderful reminder. I love my honey-bunches more now than I ever have, and I love seeing how we have grown closer in these 5 years. Sometimes, on or near our anniversaries, I like to go through our "love-letter box" and read some of the things we have written to each other throughout our relationship. The other day I came across this little poem I wrote for Jeremy a mere two weeks after we were an official couple. I remember I was so excited that I could finally call him my boyfriend! We had just said "I love you" to each other for the first time, if I remember right. The poem is incredibly cheesy, especially when it comes to the poetry (gah!), but I love it because of the perspective. I was simply goo-goo-ga-ga back then, lovey-dovey and infatuated, and it so amazing that 6 years later these things are still true in an even better and more wonderful way-- a truer way.
"A Just-to-tell-you Poem" written May 16, 2002
One of God's greatest gifts is that of someone true
He's blessed me with that; Jeremy, I find it in you
Beauty has so many shapes, so many ways of showing
And one of its greatest is the way that we are growing
Everyday there's new appreciation; a deeper, true respect
And the care that you are giving is more than I could expect
I pray I will be worthy to look deep into your eyes
And hear you say "I love you" , at which my heart smiles and flies
Oh how wonderful it is, to know that you are you
And that we are together... I'm grateful for all you do
God has made you so good, and I always want you to know
Of my respect and love; May my joy for you always show
The future is there to anticipate, and whatever God may send
I'm so thankful and so glad... always, my blessing, my boyfriend
There, I will subject you to such things no longer. :)
Friday was our last day to ourselves, and we ended our trip by spending two hours riding horseback through the mountains. It was amazing!! The whole experience was wonderful, and I especially loved getting to ride horses. I'm not very good at it yet, but I could definitely get used to it. I thought of you, Ashley, since I know how you love to ride, and I decided I am coming to SF so you can teach me all you know and then we can go horse-back riding together.
This is the only shot I got of our guide. It's very difficult to take pictures while riding horse! But look at those mountains...
Meet Jay. He was very gentle and submissive, a fact I was eternally grateful for. See, Ashley, don't I look ready for our ride?
Ride 'em cowboy! This is Macaroni, out on the trail with my hubby. Don't all cowboys wear black leather jackets and baseball caps??
Thanks for an amazing and wonderful anniversary trip, darling husband. I love you. Now, which way is the sunset??