I love Colorado. Colorado is called "God's Country" for a reason. Sunsets on the water, at the beach are wonderful (don't get me wrong) but if you have never seen a full blown, absolutely gorgeous Rocky Mountain sunset, you my friend, are missing out on one of God's most beautiful creations.
We moved here while I was in high school, at quite possibly one of the worst times in a person's life to move. Right smack in the middle of high school. Just when you're finally finding your niche in things, WHAM, everything gets upended/uprooted and you start all over again, only to find that everyone else has already settled, and squeezing your way in to the already established grooves is a lot harder than you think it will be.
We moved here as a family in 1994, from the great city of Seattle. We have gone back for visits, my mom still goes back to go to the Washington State Fair every year, my sister went to college back up there, and I've been able to keep in touch with many people from those 16 years of my life. I have now lived in Colorado (basically the Denver area) for the last 16 years. I have said before that I would have missed out on a LOT if I hadn't moved here with family (there was an offer from friends to let me stay with them and finish out high school where I was). I am about 99% sure I wouldn't have gone to college where I did, which means I never would have met my amazing friends that I still have from that experience in life.
In the 16 years I've been away from the Emerald City, I've only gone back for fun, one time. To see my fellow graduates from the class I would have walked with as well as three of my best friends graduate from their local high school as well. It was so much fun, it was also fourteen years ago.
Since then, I have been back for funerals, weddings and the like, even one Christmas and a couple summer trips with the fam. I have never made a trek on my own for fun. (As a matter of fact, I can't say as that I've ever been on a vaca by myself before.)
This summer, I have been the most homesick for Seattle I have ever been (outside of the summer we moved to Colorado). I can't explain it. I have this weird pull to go back. I've been wanting to go for a while, but this summer, something intensified that feeling, and I can't put my finger on it as to what it is. For the longest time, I pushed off the thoughts only because lets face it, I just can't afford a plane ticket, hotel room and rental car it takes (which by the way, are all complete rackets I swear) to go on vacation. Then, I discovered how many frequent flier miles I had stored up. The day I figured out I was less than 300 miles from flying for free, I started crying I was so happy. Then, a great family friend said that I could stay with her. (CHECK, no hotel cost!) All I had to do was pay for a rental car. At this point, I said screw it, there are very few things I am willing to put on credit cards anymore, but this one was worth it. My plane ticket cost me $5, hotel is nil and the rental car...almost $300. Ouch...but still doable.
I had been dreaming of what I would do on this vacation of mine for months, where I would want to go, what I would want to do, who I would want to see (and not see), and let me tell you, I have/had quite the list worked out. Everything from exploring the towns I remember so vividly while growing up to visiting grandparents' graves, to visiting with a few old friends. What I can't figure out for the life of me is why every time I started thinking about this trip, I started crying. I think about the fact that I will actually be able to sit on a blanket at the waterfront area I grew up going to, and just relax and enjoy it. I have been talking about wanting to do this for MONTHS and now that I'm THIS CLOSE to actually doing it, my body reacted this way. This was especially bad for a few solid weeks. I can say though that since talking about it with a couple friends and my sister, as well as since I booked my actual ticket, it's stopped. Now, it's anxious anticipation of finally doing something for myself that I feel that yes, I deserve, but am also proud of myself for finally doing this instead of just talking about it.
Now, clear (dry) eyes, and 12 days to go. Look out Emerald City. Here. I. Come.