Vacation re-entry



Vacation re-entry is a bitch. Especially when you leave the cool mountains of Colorado for the fiery urban sauna of home. Oh Austin, I'm trying to love you again but right now I'm deep in the stages of grief.

1. Denial. Noooo. This can't be that bad, can it? Sure vacation is over, but it's still summer. I like summer. I like home. I like real life. I like routines and chores. I like heat. Wait, what?

2. Anger. What in holy hell have I done? How did I get home and why is it 1,000 freaking degrees in the shade? Why are my kids asking me for meals or wanting to be taken to the pool? Why am I expected to open the bulging credit card bills that arrived while we were gone? Why do I feel so cramped? Are there suddenly more people in my family? We have spent two solid weeks together! How much more Together Time do they all expect?

3. Bargaining. Maybe if I don't unpack and don't do laundry we can just tack on another trip that leaves tomorrow. Maybe Hubs and I can alternate working while the other drives. We only saw a little snow in Colorado...we really should find some place colder this time. Alaska! Icebergs! I would cancel vacations for the next two years just to get a few more days of fun right now.

4. Depression. I will never be as happy as I was that one day last week, running down the mountain in long sleeves. Or that morning I drank 3 cups of coffee under a rainbow sunrise. Or that night of the outdoor concert when we stretched out at the base of a mountain, the sky changing colors every few minutes, the kids rolling down nearby hills, the wine and laughter with friends mingling into a perfect harmony.

5. Acceptance. If I can't be on vacation, I might as well be earning money toward the next one. School starts soon, and that means more hours in the day to work. Oh joy. But honestly, do I want to be the friend who complains about her vacation hangover? Don't we all hate that person? Ok fine. I'm home. I'm unpacked. I'm dealing. I'll just leave it at that.


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How are you surviving the last gasp of summer, my friends? I'm sending y'all strength and air-conditioned vibes!


2013.08.CB.lowerloopThe last gasp of summer. Wow, the month sure got away from me. Or did I get away from it? A little of both and I think that was for the best. I’m now pushing myself out of summer mode...even though here in Austin we are still applying sunscreen and guzzling water just to make the 4-block walk to our favorite pancake joint. So the last time I wrote, I was mere inches from my breaking point. It seems that the culprit was at his as well, and that all we needed was to escape the heat for a while. So we did just that and as you may have noticed, I left my blog behind to water the plants, pick up the newspapers, etc.

I'm happy to report that the plants and the blog survived. Let the reunion begin!

*     *     * Are you on Instagram? You can fiind me there! @peaceloveguac

Elbow room

Visual proof that the road trip temporarily known as Hell on Wheels was well worth the effort once we arrived. All we had to do was give each kid his/her very own mountain. (Click collage to enlarge.)

Happy End of Summer, y'all!!

High Higher Highest

We started the climb where the rivers divide, where the waters must decide if they are West Coast or East Coast material.

For more than two hours we hiked, crossing creeks like seasoned tight-rope walkers. We talked to scampering chipmunks, looked for elk scat, counted wildflowers in every color of the rainbow. To my surprise, the kids needed little more prodding than an occasional, “Ooh! Let’s see what’s around this corner!” More often, we were shouting after them to wait for us at the next turn.

We found a perfect picnic meadow, complete with smooth boulders that improvised as chairs. There was oohing and ahhing and even some off-key singing.

At the hardest part of the climb, the kids finally pulled out the “How much farther?...When can we turn back?” questions. Then Rascal, who was leading the pack and right in front of me, crested a steep hill and gasped. “Snow!!!”

­There, atop a rocky field high above treeline and unprotected from the sun’s rays, was a huge, defiant patch of snow. The big kids jumped the trail and sprinted toward it while Smiley twisted around in his backpack, demanding to be set free.

And without warning I found myself blinking back tears. I stood there on that rocky spot, looking down the mountain toward a blur of impossible greens and blues and up at my chattering, delighted kids and I could not have felt happier. I don’t say that lightly. It was truly one of the sharpest feelings of joy I can recall.

I was in my happy place, surrounded by my most important people, feeling the goodness of my life pouring through me with energy and abundance. It was absolutely electric.

And then…because life is what it is, I eventually had to get down the mountain. We all did. And sometimes that part is not as electrifying or gratifying or somehow even as scenic. But I shot photos. And I wrote this. Because if there’s one thing I want to hold on to, it’s that moment at 12,150 feet. I have climbed higher before, but I’ve never felt closer to the sky.