Today I’m thankful for recalling past vacation memories while making new ones.
No doubt, this vacation was a great one! As I’m already starting to file away some of the awesome moments for future reference I couldn’t help but be amazed at how many memories from last vacations came up over the past handful of days. Amongst them were:
- Camping with Becky on our honeymoon at the Rising Sun campground in Glacier.
- Becky and I taking on a hike we really had no business going on in our first day in Glacier.
- Road tripping with my college friends to Mexico – after we’d changed our plans to go to New Orleans literally less than an hour before heading out.
- Hiking with the boys and Becky to get them to their first glacier last year.
- Driving to the Twin Cities with high school friends as teenagers – only to find that all the hotels were booked, having to drive back an hour, sleeping in the Chevy Celebrity at a truck stop, and then heading back to the Cities the next day to watch movies at the Mall Of America.
- Walking on a glacier in Canada with Becky and seeing the incredibly huge smile on her face that remains burned in my brain as one of the two iconic images of her smile (the other being the one at the wedding that made me fall in love with her).
- Driving out west with my family as a kid on our first long distance family vacation.
- Hiking with Becky’s sister Rachel and our family in Estes Park. I even saw the exact rock formation that was the first one that the boys (& I) had to climb.
- Exploring Mills Lake with Dominic while everyone else chilled by the side of the lake.
- Stopping at the Dinosaur wall in Utah, living out of one of my childhood dreams.
- Horseback riding with Becky and being completely sore afterwards.
- An incredibly humbling hike to and from Iceberg Lake when I realized that my weight and lack of physical fitness was potentially going to prevent me from doing many of the things that I wanted to do. I can still feel those tears rolling down my face and use them as motivation to stay active.
- Hiking through Zion with the guys while it was snowing and it was warmer and sunny in La Crosse.
- Playing poker in Vegas and how much the guys all helped me out with advice that I would’ve been absolutely crushed without.
- Drinking beers with Steve, wearing a helmet made out of a cardboard beer box, and watching Thor.
- Hiking up the Emerald Lake trail with Becky up in Canada.
- Holding Gavin’s hand as tightly as I could while crossing a slippery spot coming back down from the glacier.
- Getting stung in the ankle bone by a stingray in Mexico.
- Driving to Florida with Becky, listening to Ananasasi Boys.
- Driving back from Estes Park and enjoying the drive through the valley, only to see video and pictures of it, seemingly only days later, being completely washed away due to flooding.
- The feeling of sadness as we pulled over on I90 to say goodbye to the mountains one last time and having Dominic get out of the car and enjoy the moment with me.
- Seeing the smiles on the faces of Becky, Dominic, and Gavin many times on many trips, and how those smiles always warm my heart and almost being me to tears if I think about them too closely.
- And many, many others that were brought up from a random moment, comment, view, or experience.
As the sun starts to set on this road trip some of the new memories are sure to brought up in my head in a similar fashion on future vacations:
- Stopping the RV on two occasions to take pictures of the sunset over the plains and the moon over the Badlands.
- Learning that while everyone else can drive without issues, there’ll always be the one guy who hits a bird and misses a badger and a coyote by only a couple of feet.
- “Why don’t you eat your brat cold? That’s how the cavemen ate their brats!”
- Learning that bears can smell unopened cans of beer in coolers up over 7 miles away.
- Realizing that some coffee mugs have a metallic glaze on them that will cause sparks in a microwave.
- Almost stopping at the wrong place and missing something awesome.
- Driving by Carhenge… Which looked as incredibly boring as it sounds.
- Someone almost falling out of the top bunk, and being saved only by catching themselves by smacking their head against a very hard wall.
- Realizing it is entirely possible for someone to stub different toes of the same foot on the same thing multiple nights in a row.
- Chilling on a rock, in the sun, and staring at the mountain that was a missed goal, and not only being totally at peace with it, but enjoying the moment in a state of aloneness and presence that evoked happiness.
- All the fun that was had in the RV as we road tripped, the games, the jokes, the stories, and the quiet moments when we were all lost in our own thoughts.
- Finding out that thumbs are illegal in Nebraska.
- Being incredibly sore after hiking 25 miles in 27 hours.
- Sleeping in WalMart parking lots.
- Eating Cajun while killing time in Loveland, waiting for several hours to get our food at a Mexican restaurant, eating pizza after Longs, and Chick Filet
- Finally being able to understand the stories of Steve and Brian from their first trip to Longs.
- Watching Brian stare down a marmot.
- Waking up at 2am to be on the trail by 3:15 using headlamps.
- Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches.
- Having an incredible time with each other, always having fun and enjoying the moment.
- And many others that will continue to bubble up as we talk about the trip and have future vacations that bring them back up.
I’ve been smiling the entire time I type this, each of these memories bringing happiness of all different types. Today I’m so incredibly grateful to have so many memories of great times and so many wonderful friends who’ve shared in making them with me. As this vacation ends and eventually another begins I’ll always be thankful for recalling memories of past vacations while making new ones.