Friday, August 19, 2011

Hiking in Flip Flops and Skirts and Other New Adventures

My time away last weekend was AMAZING!!! Really, it came at just the right time for me. The stress and transition of the past year has taken a toll on me and being away with these women was so life giving.

Before last weekend, all three of us had never met each other in person. Carrie(on the left) and Melanie(on the right) had spent time completing their adoptions together in Africa, but I had only spoken to them through the phone and emails.
That can be a bit tricky. I wasn't sure how the weekend would go. What if we didn't connect "in real life?" What if we didn't really like each other. I can safely say that was not the case!! I never imagined I could feel such a connection to 2 women that I have never met. We have so much in common. We are all moms of large families. 17 children to be exact(Carrie-5,? Melanie-6, and me-6). That was the joke all weekend. We have all adopted sibling groups from Swaziland. We all love the Lord. All of that accompanied with our other likes and dislikes were a great fit for friendship.
The girls flew into Denver from Oklahoma and Hawaii
and we headed to Crested Butte, CO.
We discovered along the way that Melanie is the only one with a sense of direction and the ability to deal with technical equipment out of our group(by technical equipment, I mean anything that plugs in). Carrie and I were each strongly encouraged to stay away from all of those items throughout the weekend. I couldn't even figure out the alarm clock in our hotel on the last night!!
What girls' weekend would be complete without caramel apples?
One of the things I loved about these women and this weekend is that they challenged me to try new things, things that I would normally avoid. Before kids, I was much more adventurous. Now, I am just tired and stick with what I know. My first adventure was on our very first night. We ate at a "hole in the wall" restaurant that served Nepalese, Tibetan, and Indian Food. I would NEVER have eaten there on my own. We knew it was going to be authentic when we walked in to the 4-table restaurant and saw real Tibetan monks eating there(honestly, I thought they worked there!). Here is our meal:
This was a MEGA bowl of soup. It ended up being enough for 3 people!!
On Saturday, we slept in, and headed into town. The power was out throughout the whole town. Thankfully, that didn't last long. We sat down to eat at a Greek restaurant(once again, something I would not have done). It was yummy, too!!

Melanie really wanted to find some water to sit and read by. That sounded fabulous to me. We found a map of hikes and thought the one that we were taking would be a nice 1/2 mile stroll to a waterfall.
We knew we might be getting into more than we were prepared for when we pulled up and saw all these people wearing all kinds of hiking gear and we had on flip flops and skirts. I am convinced they were laughing at us as we headed up the hill.
It was not an easy stroll. It was a mile mostly going up on pretty rocky terrain.
We were a bit encouraged when we saw this guy coming down the mountain.
He had all the hiking gear, but was wearing flip flops, too!!

Finally, we made it to the waterfall.
It was kind of far away and not really what we had envisioned for our "relaxing reading." There were several people coming and going and wanting to talk. We did get a group pic. If you look to the right of us, you can see a small part of the waterfall.
Nonetheless, Melanie was determined to get some reading in.
I can't say I blame her. She earned that reading time.
They were both not used to elevation and were real troopers about it. We did have quite the sense of accomplishment when the 2 miles was complete. We also learned a lot about each other's stories during that time. That was the best part.

We got really adventurous on Sunday and went whitewater rafting. I have never done that. I was very nervous about falling in the water. It was also a chilly day. We made it through, and I will share a whole post about that when I get the pics to share.

After all of that hard work, we had to try a restaurant that has only one menu for the night. That menu included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade biscuits. They bring it out "family style."
This was our platter of fried chicken!!
Really? There is no way we could eat this much!
Monday morning, we had a great breakfast before heading out back to Denver. We ate at this place that served Breakfast Latkes and homemade bagels. It was delicious.
I texted this pic to Rick of my breakfast.
Breakfast Latke with pepper jack cheese and eggs over easy
He replied, "No offense. Doesn't look tasty to me." After looking at the pic, I agree with him. It tasted way better than it looked.

After our yummy breakfast, we headed to Denver. We had to make a Chick-fil-a run on the way. Carrie does not have them in Hawaii. That is one thing about Hawaii I would not like.
We got pedicures in Denver
I laughed so hard during this time. A Celine Dion concert was on the TV. I am convinced that the lady doing my toes was not happy with the mess that my feet were. This all led to some funny texts between the 3 of us throughout the time.
We got to stay at the Brown Palace for the night!!
Fancy Schmancy!! I am not used to that.
They both laughed at me when we walked in the room and I exclaimed,
"They have real beds with headboards that aren't attached to the wall!!"
Let's just say that I don't stay at fancy hotels very often, especially not with children!!

All of these activities made for such a fun weekend, but I have to say, the best part for me was the connection and deep conversations that I had with these women. I just felt known, and that felt really good. We swapped recipes, shared how we run our households, talked about the struggles we face with our kids, listened to some awesome sermons together, challenged each other spiritually, and laughed out loud over and over.

They both flew out early Tuesday morning, and I headed home to dive back into the craziness of school starting this week.

While I was gone, this is what was going on back at home:
Cody got a new bike
Which means Sam and Isaiah got the hand-me-down bikes.
Exciting stuff!!
Laila spent her weekend being cute!
We are already talking about our next girls' weekend. We have another adoptive mom in Rwanda right now getting her girls. We prayed for her and talked about her throughout the weekend and hope that she can be a part of our next time together.

Melanie and Carrie, Thank you so much for everything. Your friendship means so much to me.

1 comment:

  1. This is so awesome Laura! I'm so glad you 3 got to get some mama time! Love the pics. too!