I arrived safely in Denver on Sunday and hung out in the airport for about 2 hours waiting for the shuttle to take me from Denver to Estes Park. It wasn't long before I started seeing musicians popping up all around me - people with funky hair and cool clothes, carrying guitars and keyboards and violins and all manner of musical accoutrement. I started to feel excited but nervous, very similar to the way I felt my first few days Texas A&M. Of course, what I didn't realize as a college freshman (20 years ago - OUCH!), but do realize today, is that EVERYONE was feeling nervous. Even the ones who seemed cool and collected. So I tried to just chill and be myself and embrace whatever lay ahead.
Once I boarded the shuttle (which was actually a SWEET chartered bus), my nerves were quickly soothed, as I began meeting all kinds of nice people from all over the country. Everyone was so sweet and interested and interesting, and we all spent the entire 2-hour trip chatting away. I love hearing people's stories, and the stories I heard on the bus that day were the first of MANY that the week would have in store for me. More on that later...
The scenery during the bus trip was gorgeous, but only a sneak preview of what was to come. When we did finally arrive in Estes Park, what I saw literally took my breath away. The facility I am staying at is called YMCA In The Rockies, and it is literally planted squarely in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Any direction you look in, you are surrounded by the most exquisite and majestic beauty that one could ever imagine. I've always said I am a beach girl first and foremost - and I am - but I tell ya, these mountains do a soul some good! They are absolutely heavenly, as you can see in the above picture.
(Funny Side-Note: The YMCA In The Rockies isn't really a hotel, and it isn't really a resort, and I have been struggling to describe this place to folks back home. I was talking to my friend and 80's soulmate Brenda last night, and she said, "I'm kind of imagining it as being like Kellerman's from 'Dirty Dancing'." HA! She nailed it! That is EXACTLY what it's like...minus the hottie dance instructor and the 60's youth rebellion).
Anyway, I got all registered, checked into my room, had some din-din, and then headed to the first concert of the week, which was Michael W. Smith, the King of Contemporary Christian Music! I hadn't seen W in concert in about 10 years, and he was phenomenal. By 11:00pm, I was running on fumes and decided to call it a day. I lay my head down on the pillow, feeling very much like a big girl, feeling that I was exactly where I belonged, and filled with anticipation of what the week had in store!