“There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.” 

― Nora Roberts, Rising Tides

As we touched down in Colorado Springs, having been routed away from Denver’s thunder and lightening, the young woman beside me woke from the fog of a 30-hour journey back from Europe. As we waited, impatiently, for the storm to clear, she asked me what we planned to do in Colorado.

Vacation I said. I told her my husband and I would be visiting our grown children in Boulder. We also hoped to do some hiking and relaxing. We planned to return to Denver on Saturday for the Lacrosse World Championship game and a visit to the Denver Art Museum. She said “Oh, you should check out the ‘Chihuly’ exhibit at the botanic gardens.”

I wasn’t aware of the Chihuly exhibit. There was a poster exhibit at the Denver Art Museum I hoped to see and a photography exhibit. I’m glad she made the suggestion on the runway in the rain in “the Springs.”

The Chihuly Installation at the Denver Botanic Gardens was a feast of color and form—an Easter Bunny surprise in Alice’s botanic Wonderland. I took tons of pictures and posted them to my flickr.com photostream. The sun that bleached the midday sky did not dull the glistening glass forms that sprouted among the lily pads nor fade the flaming hues of fragile orbs planted beside dainty flowers and everyday herbs.

Eventually we made our way to the museum and then watched Team USA lose to Team Canada in the World Lacrosse Championship. Earlier in the week, we heard the Colorado Symphony and Devotchka at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

In addition to much-longed-for time with our kids, we were transported out of our work lives and our regular routines long enough to experience the mental and spiritual “reset” that a vacation promises—a summer vacation.

Sitting beside a pristine lake high in Rocky Mountain National Park, sharing granola bars with chipmunks; admiring cloud formations and roaring waterfalls; and sliding into the cool spring water of a century-old swimming pool are memories that will sustain us through the next round of deadlines, the next pile of bills, the next load of laundry.

The most cherished moments, however, will be of time spent sipping coffee and sharing ice cream sandwiches with two Boulderites we call our “kids.” I miss them already.

Here is a link to a 2010 article by  Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. on the importance of downtime. Enjoy.

And here is a link to more information about Dale Chihuly at artsy.net.

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