....Christmas at The Overlook Hotel.
As I write this, it is 7:30 a.m. and we are at the Nashville airport. I was going to send this post, but the Starbucks Wifi is about a 20-minute walk and it's $7.95 a day to connect here. For an hour? Nope. So I am going to write this and send it when we get to...
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS!
Yep, that's the surprise! We are staying in Estes Park, Colorado, through Friday morning. It's a long story how I ended up with that particular location, but...oh, what else do I have to do while I wait for the Xanax kick in? The children are all eating their Burger King breakfasts, George Strait and Josh Turner and --someone too twangy to understand but I think I heard Diamond Rio maybe?--are making canned announcements overhead every so often, and my fabulous husband went off in search of something to eat.
OK, so back in September I was contemplating Christmas, and how we always overspend. I started thinking that what I would really like to do is take a trip. First I checked out cruises, but sweating at Christmas is not my idea of fun, so then I sort of asked myself what I would like from a vacation at Christmas. Snow, and lots of it. Maybe skiing? So that led me to the possibilities of Jackson Hole and somewhere near the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Jackson Hole flights were cost prohibitive, so I started focusing on Colorado. The Aspen-Vail-Breckenridge locations are sorta pricy, did you know that? After I ruled out a strictly ski vacation, I realized that what I really thought we would like was to see the Rockies. That led me to checking out Rocky Mountain National Park, which led me to Estes Park. I was checking out things to do there and clicked on a free classical music concert scheduled for this Sunday, and boom. There it was. The hotel from The Shining.
Sooooo, pretty much after that there was no question but that Christmas at The Overlook was the way to go. We are spending tonight and Christmas Day at The Stanley, and then on Friday morning we check out and head over to snow country. Grand Lake, to be specific. We are staying on a lake for four days over on the other side of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Here's how we did it: We decided it would need to be a surprise, so we let only the eldest child in on the secret. Packages started to arrive with increasing frequency. They were full of ski goggles, ski pants, ski jackets, boots, and all sorts of other things that were necessary to embark on this adventure. I wrapped everything and stashed it under the tree, and we told the children that that was the total extent of their gifts so that they would be prepared for a tree not brimming with packages. It was excruciatingly difficult to keep the secret, but we did it.
This morning at 3:30, we woke everyone up and told them it was time to pick up Aunt Tracie and Jonathon at the airport. Then we sat them down and had them start opening packages. They pretty much knew by the first one that something was up. The first round of packages was ski jackets. By the second one (ski pants, goggles, etc), they really knew. Then we had them open up the guidebook to Colorado and it was all over. There was quite a lot of screaming involved.
We were on the road by around 5:00 a.m. That left just over an hour for P&E to pack their suitcase and get ready to go. They were ready before I was!
We were not lying about meeting Aunt Tracie and Jonathon at the airport: It just won't be at this airport. We are meeting them in Denver and they will be sharing this adventure with us.
Wifi hotspots willing, I should be blogging quite a lot in the next several days. I am a little worried about our second location because it's very, very remote, though . Sooo, it's possible I will post my little updates until the day after Christmas and then not again until next week when we return. We'll just have to see.
OK, now we are AT the Overlook (aka The Stanley)
It is nothing short of glorious. But we are all very tired, so I'm going to say Merry Christmas and I will update again tomorrow!