When we found out I had breast cancer and would need to get a double mastectomy, our summer plans changed. We had planned a trip to Florida and to Richland, but had to cancel both of those. By the time my birthday came around, I was feeling pretty good, but I had started what would be 6 months of the reconstruction process. I had tissue expanders in (awful things) that my surgeon slowly filled with saline. Every week, I had a little more put in so everything could stretch properly over time. That meant every week, I went through 2-3 days of being sore and in pain. Good times. I couldn’t travel far because of the seat belt positioning and I was just uncomfortable all the time. I had a positive attitude and just went about my life, so those who saw me just didn’t have a clue anything was different with me. I knew my birthday was approaching and I was turning 40! I don’t care all that much about my birthday because I do not like any attention on myself, but this birthday felt significant with where I was in life. I was itching to get away for a couple days. I looked at the map and picked a state Novalie had never been in which was Colorado. Grand Junction was only 4 hours away, so I was certain I could handle that long in the car.
It was a good decision. It was a good getaway. My birthday was fabulous.
I picked a Super 8 which was cheap and decent.
Novalie at the hotel with her BOW! I told her she wouldn’t be shooting her bow, but it had to come. Just like she used to travel with a suitcase full of stuffed animals plus 20 more in the backseat with her. Her bow has replaced her stuffed animals.
We slept in on my birthday and then I had this little Café picked out in old historic downtown Grand Junction for my birthday breakfast. I love breakfast most of all. This Café was so good.
My french toast platter. Perfection.
Novalie got an omelet with those ginormous pancakes! It is the first time she has ever ordered an omelet for breakfast. She is practically a grown up.
Kevin got roasted red peppers, avocados and eggs in a hollandaise sauce. It came with asparagus, but he asked for it without it. The waitress was all like….whoa, what? No asparagus? I guess it is a Colorado thing.
I want to go back just to eat breakfast here, it was that good!
After breakfast, we wondered up and down their historic downtown main street.
I am 40.
We found a quaint used book store where we each got a book. I love books.
Some fun pictures of the cool things they had on main street.
T-Rex, her favorite.
We went into a old time candy/soda shop and eat picked out a soda in a glass bottle. Kevin and Novalie got different brands of root beer and claimed they tasted quite different. I stuck with my classic favorite, Dr. Pepper.
After our main street stroll, we toured the Colorado National Monument. It was rugged and the formations were beautiful.
At 40, my favorite thing in the whole world and the thing I am the best at and most proud of is being this girl’s mom. The sunshine is shining on us, but she is the sunshine to my soul every single day.
Kevin is flying his helicopter in this picture. I snapped this right before his helicopter was in the direct sunlight and Kevin lost sight of it for just a moment long enough to lose it. Sad. Also, I did NOT like how you could walk right up to the edge of the cliff. One wrong step and you were a goner. I was a nervous crazy person about it and didn’t enjoy this stop at all. I much prefer the fenced off areas.
Family selfie. My little family. My everything. No where I would rather be on my birthday.
The sunshine felt glorious. I took a lot of selfies because this trip was about me. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt like I was pretty much kicking butt at life. I was still me even though I had a double mastectomy. It does not define me.
I LOVE being 40! I GET to be 40!
It was dinner time by the time we got through the whole Monument, so we stopped at Old Chicago. My pizza was so so good! The atmosphere was loud and there were some kids that were running around which drives me NUTS in a restaurant. I wish we would have just gotten our food to go when we saw it wasn’t going to stop any time soon. However, my pizza was so good, it might have just be worth the misbehaved parents…that’s right, teach your kids to sit at a restaurant.
I never go for this type of cake. The chocolate just looked so shiny and fudgy. It was okay, but I won’t be fooled by shiny objects next time and stick to my white cake with buttercream frosting.
I enjoyed that cake while watching some Olympics. I was probably crying. I always cry when they play our anthem and I know how those athletes dreams just came true. I cry every single time.
That is a wrap on my 40th birthday! It was perfect.
The next morning, we packed up the car and drove through the Grand Mesa National Forest before heading for home. It has over 300 lakes throughout. We would drive a little ways and ooh and ahh at another lake. It was a beautiful drive.
Grand Mesa National Forest. It was peaceful.
We came across this little general store and some cabins where you can stay. It was adorable. We want to go back and stay there.
One of the many lakes.
We end on another selfie of me in front of a gorgeous lake.
I wasn’t sure if my little vision for this get away would come true. But, it did. It was relaxing. It was healing. It was fantastic.
~Happy Grand Junction, Colorado!~