TGIF: From Denver With Love (and Tears)

red-rocks-denver

Please excuse the radio silence this week. It’s been one heck of a week of travel, and I’ve needed all the downtime I could get. On Friday morning, I caught an early flight to Portland, where I had just a 35-minute layover before my second flight left for Denver. My first flight was delayed, which should’ve caused some panic, but our pilot got us to Portland with 25 minutes to spare. Phew! Well, for me to spare – it wasn’t enough time for my bag to be transferred from one plane to the next, which I discovered only after watching the carousel spin for 45 minutes at the Denver International Airport. I was told it would be flown in later and delivered to my hotel sometime between 10pm-1am (which it was), but thoughts about never seeing the bag (or clothes, shoes, wedding gift, etc.) again distracted me all night. Even though I have insurance to cover the loss of that stuff, being in a city with nothing more than your purse, keys and electronics is a strange feeling.

Fortunately, the bag showed up around midnight, so I had workout clothes to change into Saturday morning. My friend Kayla picked me up and drove us into Morrison, where we grabbed breakfast then headed up to Red Rocks. We parked at the base, where you first exit onto the street (not up at the parking lots), and walked all the way up to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I have to admit, I felt the altitude almost immediately. I’m from an island and have basically always lived at sea level, but Morrison starts at 5,800 ft. above it. So, while the walk up wasn’t actually that intense, it took a few minutes for my head and lungs to get used to the new elevation. After walking back down, we went into Denver for lunch, then I had an epic 2-hour nap and just called it a day.

Sunday was Clare and Drew’s wedding day. I’d spent Friday night with them + their friends at a house party out in Boulder, but their wedding was the reason for my trip – and it was awesome. The venue was unique, the food (and salted caramel cupcakes) were delicious and their vows were so beautiful. You could feel the love in every corner of the room that night, and I’m so grateful I got to be part of it. Also, their friends could not have been more welcoming. Have you ever gone to a wedding without a date in a city where you don’t really know anyone? I have, and it’s not exactly easy. Take every possible cause of social anxiety and put it in one 5-hour event. Fortunately, Clare and Drew’s friends made me feel extremely welcome, as we sipped sparkling apple cider and danced the night away.

Well, danced the night away until 10pm, anyway. I had to wake up at 2:30am PST to leave for the airport and start my trek home, so I went back to the hotel early to get a few zzz’s. I’d booked a super early flight home, so I could travel to Victoria after and get there just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. The first leg of my trip out of Denver was fine, but then my flight from Seattle to Vancouver was delayed, so my 2-hour layover turned into a 4.5-hour layover. When I finally landed in Vancouver, I got in my car and drove towards the ferry terminal, then discovered there was a 3-sail wait, which meant I wouldn’t get to my parents’ house until 8:15pm PST. At that point, I’d already been travelling for 14 hours, and was so exhausted and sad about not being able to see my family that I burst into tears. Not my finest hour, lol.

So, I went home, got a good night of sleep in my new bed, then headed back to the ferry the next day and have been spending time with loved ones ever since – hence the radio silence over here. Despite the temporarily “lost” luggage and the fact that I couldn’t make it home on Monday, I had an amazing weekend in Denver. I’d been to the city once before, and I’d happily go again any day.

The low of my week was watching my investments drop by… a lot. I’ve slowly watched the balance of my portfolio drop over the past 4-5 weeks, but this past week was a freaking doozy. Fortunately, I’ve become a much more confident investor lately, so I know there’s no point freaking out about it – and I actually invested more money during that time – but it still hurts to see my new balance!

The high of my week was finally meeting Clare and Drew, and their friends and family. Denver and Boulder are full of good people. <3

A blog post I loved was Can We Pay Off $70,000 in 36 Months? Catherine mapped out an aggressive debt repayment plan for the next three years, which includes specific monthly goals and has numerous deadlines. If you’re just starting to consider getting serious about your own debt repayment journey, Catherine’s plan may serve as inspiration. (And congrats again on the raise, girl!)

The best money I spent was $18.50 on a reservation to catch the ferry home on Tuesday. I haven’t paid that in years, but I was not willing to miss another boat.

My plans this weekend include going to spin class with my best friend Emma tonight, going to a wedding tomorrow, then hanging out with the family on Sunday before heading back to Vancouver.

How was your week, friends? What are you up to this weekend?