Hey, we're back! Hi! And boy, do I have nine million pictures to share with ya'll. Seriously, I think we might have hit some sort of record, some picture-taking-while-on-vacation record. Caleb is fiddling with a few of them right now, but honestly, we're not going to have to do much. See, we spent the trip determined to figure out the manual mode on the camera. And when I say we, I mean I. I mean Caleb spent the entire trip forcing me to learn how to set the f-stop and aperture settings and hey! It makes a difference! Go figure!
But first things first. I need to tell the story of the first day of our vacation, our travel day, or really, The Day From Hell.
First though, I'd like to just say that none of this comes as a shock to anyone that knows Caleb. He is infamous for having these sorts of things happen, this terrible bad luck. He's had his car stolen and / or broken into 9 times all before we got married, and that's just the beginning. His business partner said he had to seriously weigh the pros and cons of going into business with Caleb, based on his history of ridiculously bad luck. I know the feeling, as I had to think about this too when I decided to marry him.
It started out just fine, the getting up at 4 am, the last minute packing, the crazed cab driver (not quite as bad as the last one, though), the long line at the airport (who knew 5:30 am was a popular flight time?), the two and a half hour flight to Denver, which, I'll have you know, Caleb spent at least two of those hours asleep while I stared bug-eyed at the tv on the seat in front of me.
So we're in Denver and we head to the gate to catch our connecting flight to Grand Junction. I'm immediately on edge, because these planes are considerably smaller, and I've been a little leery of small planes these days. I swear I read about one crashing every week, and it's getting a little frightening, don't you think? Anyway, we board the plane, climbing up the stairs like a bunch of celebrities, and start to head to the runway. We're waiting for our turn to take off, and the pilot announces they're going to run some "routine tests" on one of the engines (these planes had propellers on each side), no big deal, they were going to do it right there on the runway as we waited. One propeller slowed and stopped, and we waited. Fifteen minutes later they started up the engine and off we went down the runway. Just as we hit the speed we needed to lift off we heard a funky noise and the pilot slammed on the brakes. We came to a screeching halt and the pilot got on the intercom system and told everyone very sternly to remain in their seats.
At this point, I'm freaking out in my own way. I don't get all weepy or hysterical, I go silent. I stare ahead, I don't talk, I don't make eye contact, I don't respond as Caleb tries to make jokes and fool me into thinking he's totally cool with this, that he didn't just almost pee his pants as well. I wasn't having any of it.
At first they said no worries, we just didn't get a signal from the tower. I wasn't buying this lie though, there's no way they'd go barreling down the runway without getting a signal that it was okay, first. After a few minutes they informed us that a maintenance crew was coming out to take a look at things, no worries, hold tight.
A half hour later they said wait, no, sorry, we're going to taxi back to the gate and maintenance would fix things there. By this time we're all hot and cranky and more than a little nervous, and the promise of opening the doors was enough to calm people down. We arrived at the gate and sat there for another half hour or so, until they decided to de-plane us. We were to wait in the terminal, they'd fix it in 15 minutes and we'd be on our way.
An hour later they announced that maintenance had taken a look, fixed a few things, and then taken a test run and they "hadn't liked the outcome." The flight was then officially canceled and we were all bumped to the next flight out to Grand Junction, which conveniently wasn't going to leave until 5:45 pm. It was 12:30 then, already 45 minutes past the time we were supposed to be in Grand Junction, and on our way to Telluride.
We were given $200 for another flight and some money for lunch. Seeing as how we also had to drive an additional 2 and a half hours once we landed, Caleb and I spent the next hour trying to figure out if it would be worth it to drive from Denver to Telluride, if we could get a rental car, and how long it would take. Sadly, it would have put us into Telluride much sooner than if we were to wait for the flight, but there were no rental cars available. The 5:45 flight it was, then.
We spent those four hours eating lunch, very slowly, lounging in the terminal, me with my legs up to combat the crazy travel swelling, sleeping in an empty gate, and making a million trips to the bathroom.
We did eventually get to Grand Junction, but I think all of us were a little on edge the entire flight. There was to be a lot of turbulence, so the beverage services were canceled. We made it though, and so did our luggage, so we couldn't complain. We picked up the car (the guy gave us a free upgrade once he found out I was having a boy, three cheers for the bump!) and off we went.
We were staying in a tiny town near Telluride called Ophir, but first we had to stop at a larger town about an hour before, to pick up groceries for the trip. Ophir doesn't have a grocery store. They also don't have street lights of any kind, so finding the cabin was a little tricky, especially so because they also don't have street signs. We did find it though, around 11:30 pm. We let ourselves in (no one locks their doors in Ophir) threw our stuff down, and hit the hay, mentally and physically exhausted. I wish I could say I slept like a log, but the Diet Coke I'd had to keep me awake during the drive was still coursing through my veins. I lay awake for hours, wishing for nothing but sleep, while Caleb slept soundly next to me.
Thankfully this was only day one. The rest of the trip was fabulous, maybe more so after having such a terrible start. We were so grateful to be there, in one piece.
Pictures and lovely stories to follow tomorrow. You'll want to check it out, it really was an absolutely gorgeous place to vacation. I highly reccomend it.