A few months ago one of my favorite goal-getters posted on all the social media channels that her goal of hosting a book camp was coming to fruition. Jacki Carr is the founder of Novel Grapes book club, she is just an all around woman of many talents and so of course when I saw the book camp was happening, I had to inquire. Specifically my inquiry was, "How does one go about getting a bedroom by themselves so as not to disturb other guests with their incessant snoring?" Before you knew it, I was holding the spot to a queen sized bed in a private room in the coziest cabin one can imagine.
All summer long, work had been very stressful, and so needless to say I was counting down the days to my long weekend. I had a vision of exactly how it was going to go--- I was going to take a leisurely drive alone through the Rocky Mountains, I'd stop for coffee, I'd listen to Game of Thrones--- I would decompress. This however, was not how the beginning of the trip would unfold, lots of out of towners were posting in our Facebook group that they would appreciate a ride- it actually worked out perfectly that one of the book campers could meet me at my home- but there went my GOT plan and my instagramming my way through the National Park. I figured that was probably best because the whole point of the week was to unplug and connect with real humans, and my companion didn't disappoint, she was full of great conversation and in the midst of a big life transition, it was fun to hear of someone being so brave and living on the road until she and her husband found the place they wanted to be (it reminded me of that movie by Dave Eggers, Away We Go). I also knew that I was going to be missing the first night's festivities because I was going to be watching the opening game of the NFL season- Broncos vs. Carolina (Go BRONCOS!), so I figured making an early connection with one of the campers should be high on my priority list.
I still proceeded with buying my season pass to Rocky Mountain National Park, I figured we could still take Trail Ridge Road- I'd like to say that it didn't disappoint... but honestly after how some of my co-workers were talking about the road I thought it was going to be the most intense thing ever--- I mean even as a local I was hydrating and eating bananas so I wouldn't have muscle spasms. I will say it was definitely a road that I liked to go slow on and that I liked to keep my eyes straight in front of me. It will be nice to go back sometime later and make more stops and take some walks so I can see what all the hype is about.
Anyway, one short car ride later we were there! Check in at Grand Lake Lodge! And boy did it not disappoint.... check out the view from the front porch!
We got our keys and direction to our cabin and look how cute our greeting was! The amazing calligraphy was courtesy of Avo Ink, cute right? Not only that the gifted calligraphist, had wrote our names on the cutest bookmarks and journals that were on our beds as gifts from Jacki!
The whole cabin was so quintessential mountain getaway. It was cozy, and I knew we were in for some memorable times! Who doesn't get excited about books, yoga, fire pits, and wine?!?
There was TONS of down time to get to know all the ladies! There were about 20 of us there- a couple of moms and daughter combos, a group of friends from Texas, some solo travelers from North Carolina, and New Orleans, some Californians, and a bunch of Coloradans from all corners of the Metro Regions! You get that many ladies together, and there are some stories to be shared, needless to say we all bonded quicker than a cast of Big Brother housemates after week one.
We talked values on a screened in porch while Papa Dick (the crazy chipmunk) would randomly make appearances. We talked fertility, we talked Beyonce, we talked goals and dreams, places we'd traveled, people we once were... nothing was off limits except the mundane. No one wanted to know what you did, they wanted to know who you are.
We practiced yoga on the chilliest morning I'd experienced yet this season. Normally, as everyone knows, I am never cold but I still thought my toes might fall off from frost bite. Needless to say the next day our yoga class was in the afternoon. The second yoga class was followed by a vision meditation, those who know that I did Igolu level 1 with Jacki last December will recall how obsessed with this exercise I was! I love thinking 10 years down the road what all the potential possibilities my life might hold without any of the constraints of now. But, the lesson this year has taught me is: it's great to have a vision, but I actually have to implement the baby steps to get me where I want to be. Simply having a vision doesn't bring it into existence, I have to do the work. It was nice to remember the things that I dream of though... the things that before this whacky year happened that my soul is yearning for.
I don't think I've ever longed for a season to change as much as I have this past summer, I'm so very glad to be saying goodbye to it... and I am being very cognizant of all the meaning that comes with the transition from Summer to Fall. It's beautiful, and I am leaning into it full-heartedly. I'm so glad that this trip kicked off my new season; it feels healthy and vibrant.
The long weekend went insanely fast as you probably can imagine... We skyped with an author of one of our weekend reads, we wine tasted, we did a whole lot of LIVING. I know that if 2017 sees the second Novel Grapes Book Camp it will sell out quick... if you want to hear more, or learn more about the amazing Jacki click here!