Monday, November 23, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

This weekend, Neil and I headed west because he was asked to lead worship for the Colorado State Youth retreat.   

One of Neil's best friends from college, Justin Brown, was the director this year, and Neil's other friend (and Justin's brother-in-law) Tim Jones was the speaker!  So it was like a mini reunion.  We headed out Thursday after work and drove to Kansas City.  We had booked the hotel there months in advance for a king size room.  Well when we arrived they were completely booked and only had double beds left.  This may not sound like much of an issue for us normal people, but when you are 6'4", a double bed hits you and midway down the shin.  So the hotel said they would send us a voucher for a free stay!  Score!  So, we spent the night there and flew out the next morning to Denver.  

The retreat was being held at the YMCA of the Rockies at Estes Park.  It has just snowed the week before, so all the mountains and grassy areas had a beautiful dusting of white.  The campus was really nice and rustic and when we drove up there were several elk there to greet

We had a really great weekend and we got to interact with a lot of the kids.  Neil even joined in on the talent show when he, Justin and Tim had an impromptu Kaleo concert!

(I'll try to post a video of it here when I can get it from Justin)

I thought they did great, considering they haven't sang together in 6+ years, they didn't have the lyrics and the hadn't even practiced!  

On Sunday we headed home.  Justin and Sara took us back to their house for a few hours before our plane left, then we borrowed their car and headed to the airport.  We ended up leaving their home at 5, it took an hour to drive to the airport and our plane was taking off at 7.  So we were cutting it a little close, but it was fine.  Then we remembered we had to stop and get gas.  So we did that then drove and drove.  We were gaining time, slowly, and found the airport, then started looking for the economy lot where we were so posed to park the car for Justin to pick up.  Well we took a couple wrong turns (their directional signs were terrible!) and by the time we found the lot, we were way to late to park, wait for the shuttle and get to the airport.  So we had to park in a closer more expensive lot!  (sorry Justin!  We left you some money in the console!)  So at 6:20, we flew out of the car, and ran like mad people towards the terminal.  I was carrying Neil's big guitar, and Neil had his huge backpack, my rolling bag, and his big duffel bag.  Let me tell you, that would that have been hard in Missouri (an elevation of 1, 299"), let alone in Denver (at 5,318")!  

We could hardly breathe!  So we rocketed into the airport, headed for the checkin and waited and waited in line.  We finally got to the counter and an alarm went off!  The man said that since we were checking our bag less than 45 min before our flight, they were not guaranteed to make it on that fight.  great.  

We flashed through security (not literally flashing them, more like The Flash) and made it to the gate before they even began boarding! sweet!  Then we found out we were the very last people to board the plane.  not sweet.  I found a spot on the front row believe it or not.  Second to last person on the plane and I got to sit "first class" (if there were a first class section on this plane which there wasn't).  Neil had to cram into the back, poor guy.  

When we got off the plane we found two of our bags, but not the duffel.  So we waited for the next flight that was coming at 10:25.  We finally left the airport sometime after 11 to start our 3 hour trip home and finally get some dinner.  

I was dreading getting home so late and having to go to work the next morning.  Neil was so sweet, he told me to sleep on the way home.  Then when we got home, I was really dreading having to wake back up and unload all the luggage.  Neil said, just go on and get right in bed, I'll take care of all this!  He is so wonderful!


Kenny and Karen said...

Awww, cute pictures!! I like the one of Neil and Justin playing the guitars, it looks like Neil is really rockin out! :)

The video at the end is really cute too!!

Whew, those airports are always stressful! I'm glad you made it home in one piece and had such a wonderful time reuniting with friends!!

Matt and Lori said...

How incredible! I wish there were wild animals roaming the camps we went to as youth. I guess they would probably overheat though ;)

Looks like a beautiful place to vacation and talk to kids about God.

Randy+Karen said...

Julie, Thanks for giving us so much detail about your trip. Even a video! We love it!