Wrapping up our time here in Colorado…
Laura came to visit us and stay for a long weekend, which provided my soul with some MUCH needed adventuring and girl-time. I also got to head home for Thanksgiving and squeezed in visits with almost everyone I had planned to see. We signed a new contract, locked in an apartment for our time there, and have most of the kinks worked out for moving ourselves another 750 miles Southwest… See you soon AZ!
Laura’s visit was the reset my soul needed. We made zero plans her entire time here, went wherever the wind blew us, and spent almost as much time relaxing as we did adventuring. We hiked Garden of the Gods, spent an entire day adventuring down Gold Camp Road, got locked inside the back hatch of my Jeep, had drinks in Manitou Springs, enjoyed a wine tasting, played TopGolf and explored the Paint Mines with only one close call for an unplanned ER visit. Having a friend that you can just pack up a cooler, a change of clothes, hop in the car and chase the sunset with you is important. Everyone should have one. I’m so thankful for our friendship, I feel so much more grounded after our adventures.
I was able to sneak home for six whole days over Thanksgiving and spend some much needed time with loved ones. After visiting with my family, Dave’s family, the Sayles Family, Cody, Cortney, Emily, Laura, a stop at my old stomping grounds, three tanks of gas, two shifts in Oconomowoc, and a water heater that refused to stay lit/multiple cold showers later… the stress was absolutely worth it! I’m learning to just accept that my life is chaotic at best, and to enjoy the little things and time I do get to spend with loved ones. I make it difficult on myself to enjoy the moment by stressing out about future plans and a schedule to keep, so I’m working on being more present.
My contract here ended on Saturday, we had a send-off dinner with my Uncle Scott and Aunt Laura which was one of the most enjoyable dinners I have had. They got to come meet our crazy pups and we talked for hours over great food and drinks. I’m going to miss being so close to them and the convenience of just stopping over to watch a football game because I’m bored. However, I am extremely grateful for the time and memories we have been afforded.
Dave and I had an extremely lazy Football Sunday filled with video games and junk food before we left for Breckenridge on Monday. We spent two nights there, the first was wandering around (freezing, by the way… we’ve become total cold weather wimps) admiring the adorable storefronts and Christmas lights. We battled over a few rousing games of pool and foosball before heading home to rest up for our big day… Skiing in Breckenridge!
The next morning we walked to a small breakfast cafe (Mom’s Baking), the food was delicious and the people were straight out of a Hallmark Movie - SO friendly. Fueled up, we were ready to conquer the slopes! Initially we tricked ourselves into thinking that we could snowboard and were fortunately steered the other direction by friendly locals. We rented our gear and we were off!
Sidenote: this was Dave’s first time ever having skis on and my second; the first being well over 15 years ago.
Anyway, we declined any lessons because we were going to figure it out ourselves. As we were halfway up the ski lift, we decided to ask the girl next to us how to stop and go with skis - and thankfully we did because prior to this, I had the gas and brakes all messed up. Thinking back on it, this could have been the problem when I went the first and only other time for my Sophomore year high school gym class field trip. Though this advice was extremely helpful, it did not, however, prevent me from yard sale-ing down the side of a mountain the entire day. Video footage of said yard sale-ing can be found at the conclusion of this post.
By the time I got the hang of it, my body was so beat to h*ll that I couldn’t even appreciate that I think I may have actually figured out how to ski. I’ll just own up right now and confess that this beating I delivered myself is entirely my fault… shocking, I know. We made it down the easiest hill and I only fell approximately 8 times, really feeling like I got the hang of it by the end. We see another lift that goes higher up, doesn’t include any green runs, but has a couple blue runs. I decide that we can manage a blue hill and it was then, while taking the longest/steepest ski lift ride of our lives, that Dave swore to never listen to me again. Turns out, Colorado blue runs are not the same as Wisconsin blue runs.
Oh, Dave picked up skiing like it was Paint by Numbers and could have lapped me a hundred times over but I’m not salty about it at all...
Even though I can barely walk today, I don’t regret it for a second... It may have taken me an extra hour and 40 minutes to get down the mountain after the lifts closed, but all the time I spent sh*t whipping myself into the side of a mountain and trying to recover after knocking the wind out of myself gave me the chance to sit and admire the views while I figured out how to breathe again and stand back up. And let me tell you… THOSE VIEWS.
Our next contract is in Phoenix, Arizona! We’ve done the beach, we’ve done the mountains, time to check the desert off our bucket list. One of my Froedtert (Milwaukee) besties is currently on contract at the same hospital, another nursing school bestie will be nearby, my aunt and a handful of other friends are in the area as well. I’m excited to be near so many friends and can’t wait to explore the desert. Before we end at our new home for the next four months, we are stopping on our road trip to stay two nights in Santa Fe! This will be my first time to New Mexico and I’ve been dreaming about going since watching Christian Bale sing about it in the 1992 musical production of Newsies.
After Santa Fe, it’s off to our new home, settle in a few days, and head home for a short time to be with loved ones for Christmas. My new assignment starts January 3rd and I’m excited for this break. Even though I’ll be running around like a lunatic for all of it and stressing about timelines/our hectic schedule, I’ll be working on appreciating being in the moment.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
-Allyssa, Dave, Jamo & Rowdy