The family settled in for the 67 mile trip to Winter Park, Co. Mason was heading west on I-70.
Cameron had on his headphones for his I Pod Touch. He liked rap much to his fathers dismay. Peyton had never really listened to it, she probably wouldn’t approve. He especially loved Drake, Eminem, J.Z., Little X…..the list went on. Skyler was working on an advanced word search. She had been doing them since she learned how to spell. She was quite good.
Mason had his Eagles CD playing and Peyton was quietly singing along. Of her many talents, singing didn’t happen to be one of them. This annoyed Mason but he was in too good of a mood to let it bother him and he was enjoying being on the road.
They were nearing the foothills and it was beautiful! Mason would take the Empire exit onto highway 40, up over Berthoud pass and into Winter Park. The roads would be clear this time of year and the Viking Inn shouldn’t be too booked.
An hour later, the family pulled up to the lodge. It was a rustic European styled structure, erected in 1972. They all got out stretched their legs and took in the mountain air, the smell of Pine, Spruce and sappy pinecones.
They checked in, unloaded their luggage, let Ellie roam around a little and then put the dog inside with some water and food. Fresh mountain air stimulated the appetite, they hadn’t eaten since breakfast. They loaded back into the car and drove the six miles to The Crooked Creek Saloon, the best burger place in the state.
After they were seated and had ordered, Peyton said,
“I’m so happy and lucky to have this precious time to spend with you guys,”she smiled and added, “Let’s make this the best vacation and strengthen our bond with eacother. ”
Skyler and Cameron rolled their eyes in unison. Mom could be so corny. Peyton just ignored their rude gesture. The four of them ordered gourmet hamburgers, they still served Peyton’s favorite. It was a large portabella mushroom, spinach and provalone cheese , no meat. It tasted even better than she remembered.
When they were done, Mason paid with a credit card and left an ample tip. The brood piled in once more and returned to their suite. The lodge consisted of 23 rooms and Peyton had reserved the largest one. It smelled of old polished wood, pine trees and the comfortable scent of a recently used fireplace.
The small apartment like suite had all of the amenities. Full kitchen with blender, coffee pot, dishwasher, cobblestone floors, two bathrooms, a main floor and a loft with two queen sized beds plus a steepled ceiling. The master bedroom had a king sized bedstead and a wall length oak dresser with nine large drawers. The couch also pulled out into a double bed.
There were several large windows with a gorgeous view. It was rustic, old, sqeaky and charming. There was a wooden hanging staircase and the heater ran across the floorboards. It had a hot tub, satellite TV and a balcony overlooking the towns main street. To Peyton it was crude but the others laughed and thought it was great. Oh… And the place was reportedly haunted. The kids thoght that was awsome!
Tomorrow they would explore. Take the ski lift up the mountain and hike down. Window shop and truly shop. Peyton wanted different clothes for her son and she wanted to find a bookstore. She loved reading in her spare time. A luxury she had not been afforded for a long time. She liked Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, Sandra Brown and unbelievably, hot steamy romance novels. The rest of the day they just relaxed, played with Ellie, watched satellite, napped and snacked.
Peyton googled town information to get some ideas of what they could do to occupy their time. She would buy some board games as well. Everyone enoyed those. Life, Scrabble, Battleship, Sorry, Monopoly and the newer trivia games.
Peyton went to grab her reading glasses for the TV schedule and discovered Cameron’s medicine. She had totally spaced it out! She felt guilty and like less than the perfect mom. She needed to dispense those now. Cameron took them without any difficulty or back talk. Dr. Deering must have explained it all to him the other day. Later that evening Mason and Peyton went to the grocery store, they needed to stock up. They returned with all kinds of food and goodies. The kids put stuff away while inspecting what they had purchased. After an easy dinner of fajitas(food tastes so good in the mountains), Mason expertly started a fire and they made ‘some mores’. After Mason cleaned up, with the help of the dishwasher, laughing to himself about Peyton’s ‘crude’ comment.
They all got into pajamas and watched more TV. It had been a relaxing calm day. Against Peyton’s better judgment, Mason told a ghost story by fire light. It worked and scared Skyler and Cameron both.
With that fresh on their minds it was late and time to turn in for the night. Kids love scaring themselves.
It had been an uneventful day, hopefully not too boring for Skyler and Cameron. Peyton had loved every blessed second of it. Now well rested she promised herself to make tomorrow a more fun filled day.
The kids were to sleep in the loft and their parents would take the room with the king sized bed. Peyton went in before Mason. He checked to make sure the fire had died down and checked the thermostat. It was all the way down and he set it on 72 degrees. He had an inkling that the temperature would get chilly at night, even in the summer months.
He was still hungry so he proceeded into the kitchenette. He flipped on the light switch trying to be quiet, everyone was in bed probably close to sleep. Mason grabbed all of the makings for a ham sandwich and started to put it together just the way he liked it. He softly walked back into the living room, parked himself on the couch, began devouring the hero and gulping down the glass of ice-cold milk. It tasted amazing.
Done, and finally full, he climbed the hanging staircase, peeked at the snoozing kids and went to join Peyton.
She was quietly laying there looking deep in reverie. He seemed to startle her out of her contemplation.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“I was just trying to remember the last time we made love, it’s been awhile Mason.”
He got naked(the way he always slept) and climbed into the crisp sheets and took her into his arms.
“I’m all for it!”he chuckled.
“Tickle my back?”
She rolled over and he started to gently run his nails softly up and down her beautiful, unmarred and baby soft back.
She got goose bumps,
“That feels so good honey. ”
This was always foreplay for them and he started getting excited.
When she turned back over he mounted her. They moved in practiced unison and eventually they were both sated. He clambered off briskly and she laid her head on his shoulder. Afterwards she always felt somewhat empty. It invariably seemed to her that they had just had sex instead of making love. This left her worried and wondering about her husband.
Peyton rose with the sun. She normally got up early and she guessed being on vacation was no different.
She carefully slid out of the knobby bed with a slight backache. She didn’t want to wake Mason…at least let him sleep in.
She got into her Philadelphia Eagles button boot slippers, Garde robe and headed out to make coffee. Usually Mason’s task but she didn’t want to wait.
She thought she’d start breakfast as well. Eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and English muffins.
The succulant aroma wafted throgh the suite and roused the sleepy heads. She had set the table with cheap stoneware, put the food in servig dishes and hollered that breakfast was ready.
They all joined her in an array of wakefullness.
After eating and thanking their mom, the kids grudgingly cleaned the kitchen. Although she was a fair cook…she left a wreck from preparing the meal.
Peyton was in a fantastic mood and it was infectious. The kids were teasing eachother while they were doing the dishes and Mason cheerily took Ellie out. She was such a good dog. It was monumental that brother and sister were getting along.
Peyton had not felt this good since she couldn’t remember when.
The four of them were lined up at the ski lift. This was going to be fun! Ride it half the way to the top and hike down. They could all use the exercise, sun and fresh air. It was a good thing they got an early start it was going to be a scorcher later on. Peyton was appalled at the fact the lodge had no air conditioning. Next vacation they were at least going to have air!
The ride up was beautiful. The trees, the clear blue sky and the scenery. The walk down had been tiring but exhilarating.
It was time for lunch and they had top rate restaurants in town. Peyton approved of this. The three nights and four days went by in a blurr. They had soaked in the surroundings, played, ate and most important of all…enjoyed their vacation immensely.
It was time to pack up, load up and head back over the pass towards home.
The ride home was full of fulfillment at the retelling of their trip. Peyton was so happy! She did not want to go home and put an end to a lovely time.