Colorado Family Vacation – Learning and Growing

Vacations and other commitments have contributed to my lack of blogging over the past 6 weeks.  Since the theme of this blog is supposed to be focusing on the positive, I want to share with everyone a very positive vacation experience I had with my family recently.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

In early August we took a vacation to the Colorado Rockies with my wife’s side of the family.  To be honest, in the weeks and months leading up to this vacation I was very apprehensive.  I like easy, relaxing vacations with plenty of time to rest, read, hike, contemplate, etc.  I am not a big fan of doing a lot of pre-trip planning when it comes to scheduling events.  My preference is to get where I am going and then schedule things according to how I feel at the time, with the confidence that everything will work out in the end – and it always does (for me anyway 🙂 ).  But my wife’s family approaches vacations differently.  They like to schedule in advance in order to make sure that they get as much fun, adventure, and experience in as possible.  Because this vacation was the idea of my in-laws, they were in charge of scheduling.  I could almost feel my blood pressure rising every time we got an email from them with more details about the trip.

View from hike at Snow Mountain Ranch

To sum it all up, I felt out of control.  I was worried about the altitude and how we would all react to it, especially given the busy schedule that was being planned.  I felt like I was the least adventurous adult on the trip, and while I was often assured that no one had to participate in anything that they did not want to, I grew tired of seeming to be the only one of the group that had any reservations about anything.

To make a long story short though, it all worked out and we all had a fantastic and memorable vacation.  Stepping outside my comfort zone turned out to be a good thing.  As so often happens, I learned from my discomfort, and by facing that discomfort I grew from it.  I do not always have to be in control. It is OK for me to say “no” to something that I am not comfortable with (zip-lining across steep canyons for example).  There was literally something on the schedule almost every day that caused me some concern, but in the end, every one of those activities that I chose to participate in turned out to be great.

Sunrise over the Rocky Mountains – Colorado

I am thankful to my in-laws for planning this trip.  They had the vision and confidence to know that this was going to be a great vacation.  I eventually just had to put aside my concerns, take a deep breath, relax and let it happen.  We all had so many first-time and/or peak experiences on this trip.  For me these included wildlife viewing experiences (moose, magpies, golden-mantled squirrel, etc.), crossing the Continental Divide, getting above the tree line, and so much more.  None of us would have been able to have any of these experiences without the planning and perseverance of my in-laws.

Above the tree line at Rocky Mountain National Park

I am thankful that all fourteen of us (6 adults and 8 kids) were able to have this experience together.  Watching my kids have so much fun with their cousins will, I am sure, prove to be one of the most enduring memories I keep from this trip.  I am amazed at how well everyone got along – adults and kids.

Finally, I am grateful for the many opportunities that this vacation provided for all of us to grow (as all experiences do).  For me, that especially means that I am thankful that this vacation provided numerous opportunities that allowed me to stretch past my comfort zone – to push a little past the edge of my envelope.  It was all worth it and it all worked out!

Stay tuned for another post about this vacation that I will post in a few days – Colorado Family Vacation By the Numbers.

The whole family at Red Rocks!

With Peace and Gratitude,

Steve Strother

**A special thank you to my wife, Kylie Strother,  for all of the great photography on this vacation – a very small sampling of which appears within this post.


About Steve Strother

I am a husband/father/human being looking for ways to move past the status quo. I strive to find solutions; to find the positive; to celebrate the joyous, the just, and the inspirational. Living peacefully and compassionately in the present is my ultimate goal. I love to write! To learn more about me please visit my blog at
This entry was posted in Gratitude, Thankfulness, Travel, Vacation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Colorado Family Vacation – Learning and Growing

  1. Robert Case says:

    Nice post Steve! Looks like it was an awesome trip! I love the pictures. See you soon my friend!

  2. julienmatei says:

    Nice to see you around 🙂

  3. Cyranette says:

    Family vacations are fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Cyranette! It was a wonderful vacation for all of the usual reasons and for some unexpected reasons as well. I am glad you enjoyed my blog post about it. Thank you for visiting StevesThinkingSpace!!

  4. tony says:

    I’m glad everything worked out and you enjoyed yourself in the end. I found myself in a similar situation on my last family “vacation”. It was a strategically planned trip to Duluth, MN, to visit in-laws. Ended up having a blast. The highlight of mine was an indoor water park there in town. The kids had a blast and I was able to revisit my youth and have a great time myself.

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