Last week was something. Just a mix of emotions, really. My friend, Kayla, moved to Oregon. The day finally came when she packed the last of her belongings, put her plants and her cats in her car, and said goodbye. I don’t know when I’ll see her again in person. That thought is strange, it feels wrong. I felt sad. I cried. I didn’t want to cry, but what can you do? A friend you love and enjoy being around is leaving.
Elisabeth and I got to have a final picnic with her and our friend, Shari, the night before Kayla left. I feel very privileged that she granted us that time. It was weird and sad but also pleasant. Turns out when you’re around people you like, you tend to laugh even through the sad moments. We got sushi and sat at the park until dark and then Kayla walked home. Life is strange sometimes. Or maybe it’s strange all the time, who’s to say.
I can happily report that Kayla has made it safely to Oregon and has already seen her sister and her niece, the two biggest loves of her life. I have seen pictures and a couple of videos and we’ve texted, it’s helped ease the transition. I think she’s going to thrive where she is, and believing that helps a little too.
I took Friday off from work so I could have a mini vacation! My first vacation since the separation, I’m pretty sure. I booked an airbnb in Pueblo for the weekend. Elisabeth and I started our Friday with breakfast at Snooze because, surprise, there’s one only 5 minutes from our apartment. One of the downfalls of trying to be vegan is that my breakfast options at restaurants are limited. I got to eat toast, hash browns, and tofu “eggs”. That’s not the end of the world, of course, because I like all those things, and I appreciate someone making me scrambled tofu, but I can also make them at home and sometimes I just want someone to make me a waffle. I still quit enjoyed the breakfast except for when a Japanese beetle decided to make its home in my hair. That was not very fun but Elisabeth was there to keep me as calm as possible as she shooed it away.
I painted my nails after that because I wanted to treat myself. I got a greyish purple color and I like it, although it basically got messed up almost immediately. That’s just how nail polish goes. I then did some grocery shopping and packing before Shari met up with us and we all drove to Pueblo together. That’s right, Elisabeth let me invite Shari! Pueblo was such a blast. We stayed in this cute house that had a really comfy bed and a neat chalkboard coffee table. The woman who decorated also really liked owls. Elisabeth had a giant owl candle on her bedside table. I’m realizing now I definitely should have taken a picture of it but I wasn’t really thinking about taking pictures this weekend, rather I was just enjoying myself.
We ordered in Thai food Friday night for dinner and played a few rounds of Concept. Then we hopped in the car and drove to the nearby state park to watch the stars. Because, it’s darker over there and you can actually see some stars. Um, yes please. Give me all the stars. All of them! We put down some blankets and watched the stars for an hour. We even saw some shooting stars. Shari told us that when she sees a shooting star, she makes a wish for someone else rather than for herself. I quite liked that way of wishing and will try my best to follow through with that (thus far I am succeeding). At 10:30pm, a ranger drove up to us and told us the park closed at 10pm to the public. Oops. We didn’t know and we also hadn’t been watching the time, but he was kind, and we left after another 5 or so minutes.
On Saturday, we made french toast for breakfast and then went back to the state park for a short hike called Stonehenge and Rocky Canyon. The rocks in the state park are really neat, they’re just layer upon layer of these thin rocks. I’m pretty sure Shari was telling us what kind of rocks they are but I can’t remember now. The hike we went on took us to a little stacked rock garden, that was called Stonehenge and was the main attraction. It looked nothing like Stonehenge, like, they didn’t even try to make it look like Stonehenge, but it was intriguing nonetheless and I really liked it. The area reminded me of The Dark Crystal.
After our hike, we got ourselves burgers and sat under the shade right along the river walk. We watched tourists go by and got to see a man in a sombrero riding a scooter and singing his heart out. Before heading back to the house we made a pit stop at the comic shop and then went “home” for games and dinner. We played Mario Kart and Shari taught us a new card game, Scratch. It’s a game of bidding and statistics, neither of which I’m great at, but I did okay this time because I won by 3 points. I would play again. 😀 We made fried tofu for dinner and Shari made us brussel sprouts to go along with it. The meal was delicious, as expected, and afterward we headed back out to look at the stars. I mean, come on, when am I going to get to see stars again? I don’t know, so I had to take advantage.
We found a place to watch the stars that wasn’t in the state park this time, so we could watch for as long as we wanted. We ended up on this dirt road and I was on the end of the blanket with the open road right next to me. For some reason I was a little skittish. and I kept thinking that there was going to be a coyote or a deer or a human coming up next to me. At every little sound I would whisper, “I think I hear something.” Elisabeth and Shari did a great job of calming me so I was able to enjoy the stars and be in peace for quite a while. It is so incredibly peaceful to lie next to people you like and stare up at a universe full of of stars and not think about anything. Or, to think about how insignificant I am. Or, to think about the life of the stars and the life of the planets I will never get to see. It’s really freeing and peaceful and I love it.
And then I heard a sound. And somehow, I knew it was closer than the other sounds I had heard previously. And I knew it was different. This was a real sound. And instead of me jumping up and fighting, I raised my hood so I wouldn’t see anything, I turned towards Shari and Elisabeth, and I whispered, “I think I hear a person.” Shari sat up to see what was going on with Elisabeth following soon after. The moment happened very quickly but all I know is that Shari grabbed her phone suddenly and shone a light into the night. Then she said, “It’s a deer!” I bolted upright and turned to look, but by the time I looked, the deer was out of my vision. I was freaked out. Bless Shari and Elisabeth for having the courage to face the darkness. While a deer probably wouldn’t have hurt us, it definitely was coming closer to us than any of us wanted. We laughed about it afterward, but we were all very scared in the moment. Thankfully I knew my two friends would protect me. Hopefully next time I can do the protecting too.
The next morning, we played a game of Sushi Go, packed up, and then got brunch at a nearby cafe. This time I got to have oatmeal and it was good. We drove to Garden of the Gods on the way home because Shari had never been there before and we thought it was a good time to introduce her. It was really packed with people and that was not ideal so we didn’t do as much hiking as I thought we might. But that’s okay, the area is only an hour or so away from us so we can always go again. And maybe next time we’ll stop by my parents’ house to say hello and have lunch!
The vacation was really wonderful and really needed. I wish it could have lasted another two days, honestly, but guess that means I’ll have to plan another weekend trip some other time. 🙂