From August 1st to August 5th, (technically 4th, 5th was just for travelling), I was on vacation in Colorado!

We stayed at the Aspire Hotel, which is an offshoot of the Stanley Hotel. For those unaware, the Stanley Hotel is the hotel that Stephen King stayed at that inspired The Shining. Stanley Kubrick never filmed there, but the miniseries was filmed there. As a huge horror fan, I was obviously very excited.

Oh, and Dumb and Dumber had a lot of scenes filmed there for the hotel scenes. If you're into that sort of thing.

Anyways, it was kind of a perfect vacation. I was very nervous about it for a number of reasons, the largest of which being that I had never flown before this! I have a very bad fear of heights so the idea of being locked in a confined space for a few hours while we're thousands of miles up in the air was not my idea of a good time. However, it ended up being fine. It just felt different, I guess, than being on a ledge and looking down. I was the window seat both times and really enjoyed the sights.

Anyways, vacation. We went out to eat quite a few times and I was very pleased every time except one, which was just... not great food. It was a chicken place that is apparently famous enough to have been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives? But I found the food mediocre as hell. Everything else was awesome, though.

We had a few activities planned, with one being last minute: We had two tours of the Stanley, one being a general history tour (I ended up staying in the room for reasons I will explain later) and another being specifically the Caretaker's Cottage tour. It was really cool, learning about the history of the hotel along with some of the creepier elements of it, and there was an entire room in the cottage dedicated to the Shining! They had a prop axe in a safe, the one used when Jack Nicholson is going through the hedge maze towards the end of Kubrick's The Shining. They had a few other props from the mini-series as well, but I haven't seen it. I hear it's pretty bad.

The highlight of the trip to me was the jeep tour we took through the Rocky Mountains. It took us up one of the mountains and back down and holy shit, was it amazing. We saw a lot of animals: Some pika, a marmot, some chipmunks, but the real amazing part were the elk. Towards the top of where we were, we saw a small herd of male elk. It's hard to describe how amazing these animals are in person, they're huge! You definitely get the impression they don't give a shit about you, both because they're used to humans, but also because they're just large and know it. Giant animals. We saw a few more herds later on, one of which was on/near the road we were leaving on! This one was all cow elk and they were very timid but still amazing. A few were resting underneath a tree while the rest just sort of watched us. Being able to get up close to animals like that is just an experience that I'll never forget.

Oh, and I got really really high the entire time I was in Colorado.

That was pretty sick too. First time smoking and I see why people like pot. Alcohol is not even a blip on my radar anymore. I felt so relaxed and chill while also being aware of my body in a way that bordered on uncomfortable but was mostly fascinating to me. I remember a moment where I just sat there wiggling my eyebrows for a little bit because I got caught up in the motion of the muscles on my face. Food tasted better. I slept like a baby and had cool dreams. I felt way less anxious. Seriously, I don't know why this shit isn't legal everywhere. Well, I know why, but it's a dumb reason. I was worried for a long time that pot and I wouldn't get along because I have anxiety issues but it really just took the edge off of everything. It was hard to focus on my anxious thoughts when my mind wandered easily. I laughed a lot, probably harder than I ever have at some points. It was incredibly refreshing. I wish it was legal in my state because I would never not smoke, I'll say that much. Being a stoner has never made so much sense to me.

I first noticed I was high when I tilted my head and felt my lips on my face. It almost felt like they were made of jello, moving in waves due to the movement of my head. It was pretty fucking sick. Highly recommend if you're comfortable with it. I had someone to babysit me as well in case things went bad, so I can't recommend that part enough either. It's easier to not be anxious when you can ask someone if what you're feeling is just the pot. It usually is. Both of my parents were fairly avid stoners in their day, so it wasn't like I had to sneak off anywhere and do it, which made me feel a lot safer too. As I'll always say, removing the mystique from drugs makes people a lot less likely to one to try them. I never felt like I needed to rush to get pot at any point because I felt like I knew what it was like.

I want more though. I definitely want more.

10/10 vacation. Colorado is a beautiful place, pot is pretty sick, and I miss the air. I know it's thinner but it's always so crisp and fresh feeling. If you can go, I highly recommend it. That John Denver was, in fact, not full of shit.

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