*March 10, 2016*

It has been a very, very long day, but I’m finally settled in at the Franciscan Retreat Center. After a busy day full of pre-trip errands and appointments I had scheduled before leaving town, I finally crawled into bed at 2 AM. I originally planned on waking up for the airport at 3:30, but that didn’t happen… I was beat so I pushed it to 4:15 and still managed to get ready, finish packing, take care of the dogs, and get on the road by 5:15.

Parking and security were super quick to get through and I only brought a carry-on so I was at my gate in no time.

I sat reading Beautiful Redemption by Jamie McGuire while I snacked on my airport breakfast – a mint chocolate chunk quest bar (delicious, by the way!) and a propel, which I actually didn’t even mean to buy. I was in one of the little airport shops and wasn’t paying attention. I just looked at the shape of the bottle which is the same as Smart Water, so I grabbed it and drank about half before I looked at the label. 

I was thrilled to finally get on the plane after about two and a half hours of waiting. I like to get to the airport really early just in case anything goes wrong. Better to sit and wait than miss your flight!

Michigan was dark and rainy when I left so I was happy to escape that! The beginning of the flight was great. Every time I fly, I’m like a little kid at take-off. After a while the flight was feeling much, much longer than it really was. About 15 minutes before the flight attendant announced that we were descending into Denver, I started to feel terrible. I’ve mentioned that I pass out when I’m ill, so it really freaked me out when out of nowhere all the noise on the plane sounded like it was miles away. Everything started to spin, and I went into full-blown tunnel vision. No matter how badly I tried to fight it, I just couldn’t shake it. I just wrapped up in my jacket, closed my eyes, and held onto the arm rests, really expecting to black out.

I don’t know if it was the elevation difference in Denver that threw me off or what it was, but thankfully the feeling had settled by time we landed.

My layover in Denver was about two hours so after I found my gate I went in search of food and something to drink. They had a little bistro and their salads and sandwiches looked really good, but the line was a mile long so I skipped it and headed over to Starbucks.

I grabbed my absolute favorite, Very Berry Hibiscus and a big water. I didn’t grab anything to eat because I’m trying to watch what I eat and the pastries are not the best option. Health wise, the last three or four days have not been the best so now is my chance to get back on track, but hey, it happens!

My Denver layover didn’t feel nearly as long as it was and the flight definitely didn’t either…

My ticket said it would be a 45 minute flight to Colorado Springs, so I settled in for the ride. I heard the usual spiel about powering down electronics for take off, then we went screaming down the runway (my favorite part). We didn’t even come close to the usual 30,000 feet. I could see houses, cars, and towns perfectly fine from the height we leveled out at. Less than two minutes (I swear) after leveling out, they announced our descent. The flight was less than 20 minutes!

I hurried out of the airport in search of a cab and headed to the one at the front of the line… best decision ever! My cab driver, “Taxi Bruce” as his regulars call him, was super helpful and I had a really fun cab ride. We exchanged numbers and I gave him my flight number so he is already scheduled to pick me up on Sunday morning to get me back to the airport. That was a huge relief, because I had no idea which company I should call for a ride back! He said that when he takes people to and from the airport, he keeps an eye on the flight to watch out for any delays or cancellations to make sure they get where they need to be on time which is awesome!

Now onto the Retreat Center…

I signed in pretty quick and got my room assignment. This building is 100 years old this year and absolutely beautiful. The entire place is so peaceful and tranquil.

And surrounded by mountains. I’m really hoping to go on a hike while I’m here.

On my way back from taking a few pictures, I ran into this fella. This was over an hour ago and he is still out there right below my window. I’ve heard the wildlife is amazing here and it’s proving to be true.

Now, I have two hours before I have to be at dinner, so I think I’m going to slip in a nap.

I’ll try to post everyday!

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