When you are on vacation, time is finite. You have this small window of opportunity, this brief escape from the daily grind, and you want to make the most of it. You carefully select the perfect time of year and plan activities for perfect weather. If only nature was so easy to arrange!
They say — when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what do you do when life gives you rain? Or snow?! And it’s your vacation?! That wasn’t in the travel brochure!
My husband and I got married on Halloween 1998 (I’ll wait while you ponder this and maybe chuckle. Side note — I wanted to wear a witch costume. So later, I could say — “you knew what I was when you married me!”). All kidding aside, it was a beautiful fall day — until we left for our honeymoon. When it started to pour!
We didn’t go far from home. We lived in Colorado so we really didn’t need to travel far to find a beautiful place. We chose Garden of the Gods — an aptly named park in southern Colorado that is full of beautiful red rock formations. It wasn’t our first visit to the park but this trip was special. After all, it was our honeymoon! Life isn’t supposed to rain on your honeymoon, right? But rain it did! Buckets and buckets of it!
So, what to do? Fortunately, we aren’t rock-climbing enthusiasts or even avid hikers. Back then, my knees were a couple of decades younger, so we could have strolled one of the many easy paths that wind among the red rocks, stopping to rest along the way at one of the numerous benches. Perhaps we’d sit and enjoy the view, or stop to photograph one of the many unique formations like The Kissing Camels or Balanced Rock. The choices were really endless! At least, that’s what we thought when we booked our trip. But nature had other plans.
It could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. Instead of walking, we drove. The park has a network of roads, with excellent views and numerous parking areas and pull-offs. That’s the great thing about the mountains — you can see them from a distance. If you shift your perspective and adjust your way of thinking, you’ll be amazed at what you can see! The rain intensified the red of the rocks, making the mountains appear even more beautiful against the yellow of the fall leaves. Tree branches were stark slashes of black against the gold, leaves dripping with moisture. The whole landscape was vibrant and alive with color! It was nature, raw and freshly washed.
We also did some indoor activities that we hadn’t planned and found some unexpected treasures. We explored the visitor center and learned about the history of the park and the rock formations. It was fascinating! And we checked out the magnificent view from the observation deck at the center. We got a bit wet but that was ok. We also explored the nearby town of Manitou Springs — a quaint little village, full of unique gift shops and restaurants.
The lesson to be learned is this: life is finite. Each day, each hour, each moment is a one-time opportunity. There are no do-overs. So spend as much time being happy as you can. Don’t waste a minute of that time complaining about the rain. Learn to dance in it instead!
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Garden of the Gods — https://gardenofgods.com/
Manitou Springs, Colorado — https://www.visitcos.com/areas/manitou-springs/