Alright! I’m home, settled and have completed a full week back at work, post Christmas in
Colorado! I thought I’d post a “how our Christmas went” type of blog, since Lauren took the time to do so too!
We started Christmas Eve with Mitchell’s family. Breakfast, and stockings, and a little bit of time just hanging out. It was low-key and drama free. 4 pups, 9 people and Christmas Cheer.
After we had finished celebrations with them, we decided it was time to finish up packing, and spend some more time with Kitten before we left her for the week. (This was the longest we’ve ever left her, I was feeling really guilty.)
We had an uber come pick us up, and we nervously, and excitedly packed all our luggage in the back of her explorer, and headed on our way to the airport. I don’t fly very often, and actually, the last time I was on a plane was 2009 when my stepdad passed away. I was a little nervous and unsure how quickly we’d be able to get through security, and even more worried about how my anxiety would be on the plane. I don’t have a normal and rational fear of the plane crashing (and honestly I personally would never be afraid of that…) My anxiety about flying is ridiculous and silly, but it’s very real.
Mitchell and I decided to get to the airport early.
It’s been ages since I’ve flown, and even longer since I’ve flown on my own (those of you that followed me from LiveJournal will remember the last time I flew alone was 2007 to Texas.)
Last time I flew things were a little different, and being three and a half hours early for your flight was no big deal.
So Mitchell and I thought nothing of getting to the airport a little early, put our anxieties at ease, and have a little time to relax before hopping on a plane full of complete strangers.
Imagine our surprise when we got there and our airline had a sign saying no one was going to be at the counter until 2 hours before flight. We had 2 checked bags, which meant we couldn’t go through security or anything until they were at the counter. So we had a long 1.5 hour wait… we sat, and talked, my anxiety rose, people stared at us.
oh, pause! I forgot to tell you! We went to the airport in our Christmas PJ’s (Mitchell’s Christmas Pikachu PJ’s and my Bumble PJ’s) wearing our Pikachu hoodies and a santa hat, and I had antlers and Mitchell had Pikachu ears on top of our santa hats! We both had these fabulous christmas light necklaces that I found on amazon.
Once employees showed up at the counter, we lined up (took a good 30 minutes to get through the counter) and we headed off to security! Everything went smoothly, and the photo above was us celebrating finally making it through security! We wondered down to our gate, found it, and then decided it was time to find a place to get some food and a drink or two.
We stumbled across this place called Africa Lounge. We sat in the bar, Mitchell ordered a
“large” beer (which to our surprise was HUGE) and I got their alcoholic coffee. It was super delicious, we sat, ate some food and gushed about how excited we were to be on our very first vacation!
After our meal at the Africa Lounge, we continued on to the nearby bookstore, picked up a bottle of water (mitchell has to take some congestion meds when he flies, and we both felt we needed to hydrate.) We picked up a few fun souvenirs for Lauren and Elisabeth, and headed to the gate. We got t
here just in time for boarding, and loaded on the plane. We got settled, my anxiety went down a little, and we sat back and relaxed.
While on our 2.5 hour flight to Denver, we goofed off, closed our eyes, and made friends with the girl sitting next to us (bless her heart, I may have accidentally caught her in the background of some of our selfies.
Mitchell played some games on his phone, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Audible and we both took turns watching out the window.
We didn’t fall asleep at all, but we did close our eyes, our flight left at 7, and landed at 10:30. We had been up since 8am, and with a mixture of holiday stress, and traveling stress, we were exhausted!
About 15 minutes before landing we turned off our music and chatted about how excited
we were to get to Colorado and see our friends. We also looked out the window and guessed what we could see.
We came to the conclusion that we could see Colorado Springs, which is where Lauren’s parents live, and what we assume was a bunch of other nearby towns.
Our flight was pretty uneventful, we had some turbulence, that the flight attendants were spooked by, but honestly it wasn’t bad at all. It did cause one of the bathroom doors to fly open, but I bet it wasn’t closed all the way.
Once the plane had landed they told us we could turn off airplane mode, and we texted Lauren to let her know we had landed.
We got off the plane, and Mitchell went to the bathroom while I explored a nearby gift shop.
I looked for snacks but decided to just wait until we left the airport.
While walking to baggage claim, we found this guy, so we both decided to pose with him, I don’t have a copy of the photo of me, because it is on Mitchell’s phone, and I’m too lazy to ask for it. 😀
We wondered our way down the escalator, to the train, and then to baggage claim.
Once at baggage claim, we heard several people pointing and saying “They were on our flight!”
All day people were snapping photos of us, pointing, and cheering us on. The flight attendants, and everyone we came in contact with loved our outfits and Christmas spirit. How else would one travel on Christmas eve?? 😛
Our bags were the first off the plane (WIN!) and we headed out to get in the car with Lauren and Sidney!
Once we got to their house, we had a snack and went to bed, we were exhausted! We woke up the next day to a delicious breakfast cooked by both Sidney and Lauren, and enjoyed their company.
We all had agreed that we’d spend the day at home just relaxing. So we did, and it was wonderful. We opened stockings, ate yummy food and played games together.
later in the evening, Lauren’s parents came, we had dinner, opened some wonderful and
thoughtful gifts, and enjoyed the company. It truly was one of the best Christmases we’ve had, ever. Good food, good company, lots of happiness, and love. I am so grateful for Lauren and Gene inviting us into their home on such a major holiday! We are so lucky to have such loving and caring people in our lives!
Ken and Kathy (Lauren’s parents, two people I have always adored) brought some gifts for everyone, and some delicious Christmas dinner!
After Christmas dinner we hung out a bit more and went to bed. We didn’t have any solid plans for the week, but I think the plan for Monday was to go into Denver and look at the Capitol building, get brunch and explore a little.
We woke up Monday morning, and Lauren told us that the Capitol building was closed, but we could still go into the city if we wanted, we ended up deciding to not do so, but we did go to the COOLEST museum Mitchell and I have been to.
Lauren took us into Denver to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Boy was it busy there! So many people had the same great idea we had, but that didn’t stop us! We spent a whole 5 hours at the museum and still didn’t see everything. I’ve included some of the photos we took there, below.
We came home that night, and relaxed, played more games, and enjoyed good food.
Tuesday, we went into Denver, saw Lauren’s work, and went to the 16th Street Mall and
went into the cutest little store called I (heart) Denver and bought souvenirs for Mitchell’s mom and our friends Katy and Adam.
Then, we went to REI to rent snowshoes, for our snowventure the next day! The REI we went to was MASSIVE. As a Seattleite, I honestly have never seen an REI as huge as this one. It was amazing!
We came home after a very long day out (another 5 hours) without lunch, starving, and exhausted. We ate dinner (Noodle soup made by Lauren.)
After dinner, we sat down and worked on our D&D characters with Elisabeth and Lauren.
Lauren, Gene, Sidney and Elisabeth have been playing D&D for quite some time, and Lauren has been inviting me to play for just about as long as she’s been playing.
Mitchell and I discussed it and decided we wanted to give it a try while we were in Denver, so that night we sat down, created our characters, and played the first half of our very first D&D adventure!
We were off to a rough start, both rolling 1s, but I ended up having much better luck the rest of the game and kicked major butt.
We played for about an hour that night, and had a blast, but by the end of the evening, we were exhausted. I went to bed after we finished D&D for the evening, Mitchell stayed up and played video games with Sidney.
The next day, Wednesday, We woke up early, layered up, and took the snowshoes up to the Rocky Mountains.
It was just Mitchell, Lauren and I, but we were all super excited to snowshoe together!
We packed up, got in the car and headed toward the mountains. Lauren took us to Estes Park. It was a little bit of a drive, but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed looking around, we drove through Boulder, and even drove past the hotel that inspired The Shining.
As we climbed higher we saw our first snow flurries (first for the entire visit, Denver didn’t get any snow, it was colder here in Seattle!)
We pulled into the park, only to have a ranger tell us it wasn’t safe for her car. He directed us to another area (Devil’s Gulch) to snowshoe. So we turned around and headed there. Sadly there wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe, but we did hike! We saw some amazing sights, and several elk! It was all around a great time!
We came home that evening, and went out to dinner at a vegan restaurant called Native Foods. (There’s one in Oregon, and I plan on visiting it!) The food there was DELICIOUS, and I wish we had one locally!
we came back, finished out or D&D, I made butterbeer and then we headed to bed.
Thursday, we woke up, hung out, and Lauren and I went to return the snowshoes that we sadly didn’t get to use, and we came home, relaxed, since it was our last day there, and played games. I went to bed around 9pm. We had to be up and out of the house by 3:30 am.
We packed everything up that night, and said our goodbyes to Elisabeth, (Sidney was already in bed) and set our alarms for our early wake-up.
We sadly woke up, loaded up the car and headed to the airport before anyone else was awake for the day.
Gene came with Lauren to drop us off. We said our goodbyes and headed in. The atmosphere in the airport this time wasn’t quite as chipper, and the lines were longer. We
waited 45 mintues to check our bags, and then 30 minutes through security. Then we had to ride the train to our flight. We got some breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts, and then we got to the gate with just 5 minutes to spare before they boarded us.
Our flight home was uneventful, I slept most of it, and woke up just in time to see this beautiful view!
Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend our Christmas. Mitchell and I had a great time, and definitely plan on visiting again! We both agree that this was the best way to spend our favorite time of the year!
Below, are some photos I didn’t include in the post, mainly Lauren’s cat Pippin.