|If this doesn't inspire you, what will?|
I wrote about Massachusetts last week. It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend hearing about my close friends' lives. I got to see that grass is just as green (or weedy) on the other side of the fence, when for years I would go to reunions and return feeling that my life wasn't measuring up. It was very freeing. Why are women so intuitively competitive with one another? Does seeing snippets of each others lives on Facebook make it worse? Sometimes I think so. There's nothing like getting down to the gnitty gritty over a lunch to make you feel more connected and in tune with your friends.
This weekend T and I headed West, sans kids. First we spent two days in Las Vegas with his colleagues. It was everything Vegas usually isn't: relaxing and rated PG-fun. Excellent food, the Beatles Cirque show, shopping (window, mostly) and hanging poolside. I went for a six mile run up the Strip at 7:30 am. Just me, the hobos and a few other runners. I also read 2 books in 4 days. (If you like historical fiction, I highly suggest Caleb's Crossing. Actually I preferred her (Geraldine Brooks') Year of Wonders and People of the Book. A couple of weeks ago I panned Fifty Shades of Grey - but I couldn't help myself - Vegas is the appropriate place to read the sequel. And I did... I liked it a lot better than the first book. A little more plot and a somewhat surprise ending that confirms that I will need to borrow the third book.
My favorite part of our trip (after five trips to Vegas I feel I've Been There, Done That) was driving to the Grand Canyon. It is simply amazing to see the difference in landscape between suburban New Jersey - even the underdeveloped areas - and the vast distances in the West. Here the colors are mainly hues of green. Reds and browns captivate the eyes in Nevada/Arizona. But the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. We walked for several hours along the South Rim but even then we only saw a tiny fraction of the entire park. Next time we will have to down to the bottom. And there will be a next time! I simply loved it! The colors made me want to design, draw or color something beautiful. And why shouldn't I run with the inspiration?
I've lived several places with Mountains. Not the rolling hills you find here in Central Jersey, but real mountains. I love being surrounded by their beauty. As I knit in the car, I kept peeking up to take in the vast mountain view. Sunrise and sunset (pictured here). I forgot how much I missed living near the mountains.
We drove back to Nevada, and had a few hours to witness Sin City on Saturday night. We watched the "Younger Crowd" in line for a disco. I felt old - in years past I would have longed to stand in that line to dance with my friends and "get wild". Now I feel disinterested in that sort of life.
I returned home happy to see my family and looking forward to a nice summer. America - it's just so vast....