Peaks and beaches


The family went on summer vacation to Denver a couple years ago. One of the best getaways we’ve ever taken.

Summer vacations — family summer vacations — are huge. Critical. I remember mine, and those were more than a couple years ago. My dad and mom threw all the kids, seven of us, in the family wagon and took us camping along the Skyline Drive in Virginia, took us camping down around Atlanta, took us all the way up through New England to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Seven kids (wait … one might have left the house by then) in a station wagon, 1,100 miles to Canada. Yet, somehow, I remember this as a good time.

Anyway, summer vacations are big. Something a kid can remember for a long time. We have only two of these left with our only son, Luke. And they’ll be hard-pressed to top Denver and the surrounding area for all-out awesomeness.


That vacation led to the “Mountains vs. Beaches” discussion, which prompted the “Would You Rather Sweat to Death or Freeze to Death?” question, which then begat the “You Can Always Put Something Else On, But You Can’t Always Take Something Else Off” argument, and that was followed (as always) by “But It’s Great When You Can’t Take Something Else Off …”

The picture at the top of this post is of a meadow we stumbled on, just off a dirt road somewhere in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve even been. We could have stayed there are day, just soaking in the stunningly blue sky and the clean water and the mountains and the flowers and the sweet, fresh air. I’m a lifelong beach guy who could see myself retiring, someday, to the sand and tradewinds. But, man, that day in the Rockies was awesome.

As I was compelled to point out, though, that meadow would have looked and felt a heck of a lot different in February than it did in July, when we were there. And putting on all the coats and scarves in the world probably wouldn’t have worked for me then.

Still. Beautiful, eh?


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