This post is more about exploring what’s in your own backyard and fostering relationships more than anything. I know many of you won’t make it to Colorado, but I’m hopeful you will get some ideas out of this post…
Covid, as painful as it has been in many ways, has also opened up doors – new hobbies, amazing new friends, new places to explore and plans for the future.
Case in point, back in July, some girlfriends I bond with over the Peloton bike invited me to make a trip to Grand Junction, CO. Essentially, a Covid escape weekend with some awesome women. Two I had never met before, but we turned out to be the PERFECT blend of personalities, interests, humor, confidence, life experiences, etc. We had lots of laughs and shared all kinds of good stories.
In honor of the event, I had wine glasses customized with nicknames – the stories behind them are HILARIOUS – Otis wins the prize. LOL. Mine is HAM. I was once in a dressing room – an attendant asked me for a name to put on the outside of the door. I said, “Pam”. Somehow she heard HAM. What American parent names their kid HAM? Did she bother to clarify in case she heard something incorrectly? NO. LOL.
Historically, Grand Junction has been one of those places I have always ‘just driven through’. Not a whole lot to look at from the freeway. This experience has taught me to not judge a book by its cover….dig a little deeper and I am SURE to find a nugget. And I did….several nuggets in fact.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
There are beautiful hikes in the red rocks surrounding the town. Like, unbelievably beautiful. It’s close to Utah so it makes sense there would be scenery like this. I just had no idea it was here as well.
The town has great restaurants! This little place below has a wonderful outdoor patio – perfect for social distancing. BONUS: It’s owned by a Frenchman with a flare for good food and wine.
We rented E-bikes and took a cruise through the wine country of neighboring Palisades, CO – it was SO.MUCH.FUN. The wine in Colorado is not like California, but the vineyards really are beautiful. This part of the state is also home to some of the best peaches in the U.S. In the fall, there is a super fun organized bike ride through the vineyards. At the end of the ride, you are rewarded with a really nice wine festival.
Downtown Grand Junction has improved 100% in the last 10 years! So many cute stores and restaurants to explore. I long for the day when we can actually mingle in crowds without masks like the image below depicts.
The icing on the cake was spending 2 days with these 4 ladies. They reminded me of what friendships should be like without girl drama! In the end, I left the weekend with life-long adventerous friends. I am forever grateful to Anna Banana for making the introduction.
“The great thing about new friends is that they bring new energy to your soul.” – Shanna Rodriguez
….i choose this….