I just spent a week on vacation. Not my typical vacation. I mean, not the kind I wake up at 4 am to drive and hike before sunrise to take pictures.
Instead, this time I had vacations with my sweetheart and my mom and stepdad.
This time, we slept in a little more and had real breakfast at the table. Coffee, fruits, scrambled eggs, donuts, bread and butter.
We laughed a lot.
I visited stores and translated Portuguese to English with my parents. Mike nodded a lot and smiled. Portuguese has way too many more words than English. Sometimes I did the short version of the stories. Yet, we all laughed.
We drove over and over to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We saw Elks by the hundreds in town, everywhere. I have seen more Elks in town on this vacation than any other wild animal combined in my whole life in America. They walked by backyards, front yards, doorsteps and through the middle of the streets at their own pace.
I visited art galleries, met a couple of photographers and visited their websites.
I studied photography online and read a book. I rested and stayed offline, almost all the time. I talked to strangers at the park. I spoke in different languages.
I feel re-charged. I guess not all vacations need magic light all the time and 2000 pictures to be processed. This was a different one.
I feel inspired by the work of the photographers I met. I feel like I can do landscape and animal pictures in my own way and though my own perspective.
In this vacation, I ate well and slept well. I took pictures; I saw more things and rushed less. In no moment I felt like I was going to miss the moment. I was not too cold or too hot. I enjoyed the gift of time and stayed at the moment.
For a few days I even used the hot tub in the hotel while I looked to the mountains.
My brain is refreshed. I don’t wish I had taken more pictures. I have the ones I feel I want for memories.
This is the first time in a long time that I feel like I really saw the mountains and the animals and felt the spirit of the forest. I photographed water, and sky, and mountains and animals.
I ate ice cream and fudge and had healthy home made meals that only my mom and I can do together. I drank wine while cooking.
I had silent moments, hikes, stunning views, amazing food and company. I got caught up typing my book that now goes to the editor before being published.
I watched the sunset without taking a picture. Just sitting inside the car, and being thankful for such a wonderful time.
I know later I will wish I had taken more pictures, but right now I just feel so happy for the pictures I have taken, for the time spent with my parents and my sweetheart. I also feel very appreciative for God’s gifts to us and inspired by the two photographers I met this week: Erik Stensland and Richard H. Hahn.
I visited their websites and feel happy they can see the beauty around Estes Park every day.
Tomorrow we leave Estes Park, but Estes Park will never leave me.
April 8, 2016