Growing up, we didn't have a ton of money to fly on fancy vacations. We drove every where we went. Some of my fondest memories are my dad showing up home from work, looking at me and telling Mom and I,

We are taking a trip, pack for 4 days!

We would do just that, sometimes it was East, others it was west. In fact, my first time to ever fly wasn't until I was 36. Mom and I would make sandwiches for lunch in the back of the van while Dad just kept on driving. We wound up at some place in Texas with swimming pigs and mermaids one time, no idea what that was, but I had a blast.

Fast forward to the past few days. Long story short, a close friend of mine is from Colorado and moved down to Louisiana, but then back up to Colorado a year ago. Well, he realized SWLA was his new home, and was ready to come back down. The problem? He has a good bit of stuff to move. The answer? Road trip boys! We grabbed a trailer and headed North. Until this past week, the furthest North I had ever been was Nashville, TN.

We left out at 8:00am Sunday morning, and arrive Monday morning in Colorado Springs at 4:30am. The drive up consisted of everyone saying "Wow" a LOT! We got to see the giant windmill farms, canyons, and then we saw mountains! We woke up after a short nap and drank coffee on the back porch in 71 degree, no humidity, air. It felt like Fall in SWLA. I should mention that at 6,000 feet, the air is super thin. To the point that just rolling over in bed felt like I had run a marathon! Our tour guide was my friend's dad. He came outside and said "we are going to Pike's Peak". My first question was "how far is that". He smiled and told us to go look out in the front yard. THE DANG MOUNTAIN WAS RIGHT THERE! 30 minutes later, we were taking a shuttle bus to the top of the mountain! Getting out of the shuttle at over 14,000 feet was a bit of a struggle. My lungs were on fire, like I had just run the mile in school. The view made up for it. I finally understood the term "as far as the eye can see".

After not passing out on a mountain, we went back down and toured a few more places, including the "Balancing Rock" and the "Garden of the Gods". We ate lunch at an old school that had been turned into a brewery and eatery a few years back. We got to see the National Fireman's Memorial and the Olympic Training facility. We packed a ton of touristy things into a single day, and I loved every second of it.

Dear Reader, if you haven't had a chance to get out of SWLA, I encourage you to. You don't have to make a 16 hour trip, but get out and see the world. It is something that I learned these past few days. I love SWLA, but going to other locations helps you grasp how small we are on this Earth. It also helps to remind you how special SWLA is (and the amount of Oxygen we have).