After a 6-hour car ride, we pulled up to the front of the hotel, ready for the staff to open our doors and show us to our rooms. But instead the place was swarming with secret service agents. Literally swarming. There were probably 13 cars behind us along the curb, and then two-by-two all these FBI-looking people wearing ID badges made their way to the entrance, some from cars, and others looking like they just popped out of the bushes.
You'll be shocked to know that all that security wasn't there for us. It turns out that the president of Colombia was scheduled to arrive there right when we pulled up. My brother-in-law went inside to check us in and he bumped into Bill Gates. Yikes! This place is even swankier than I thought. Side note: We're not big fans of Bill Gates. In fact, for years my husband wouldn't even allow any microsoft products into our house. But the fact that he was there at all says something about the accommodations. Location, location, location.
The weather was a perfect 72 degrees (roughly) every day, complete with a gentle breeze. The sky was a deep blue with perfectly fluffy white clouds. The mountains were beautiful, the wildflowers were glorious. If it weren't for the simple fact that Bill Gates was there, I might have thought we'd all died and gone to heaven. Instead we just went to Sun Valley, Idaho.
None of us were actually interested in spending any time with Bill Gates or the president of Colombia. Because there was someone way more important we were there to see:
Cousins! (And can you imagine more adorable ones?) And of course they come with a complete set of aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
My amazing sister-in-law pre-cooked and brought along dinners for every single night, so all we had to do was pop it in the oven and make a salad. It was delicious. She is brilliant. So organized. So generous. All we had to do was tag along and enjoy.
We rode bikes (I nearly died), played tennis (I nearly died), and went for long walks through the wildflowers (I nearly died). So THIS is how they burn off all that delicious food, huh? The kids also went fishing and shooting (cringe), rode paddle boats, swam in the pool, and went diving for golfballs in a small-but-very-cold pond (brrr!). We saw an amazing ice show featuring Brian Boitano, complete with fireworks at the end. But the best part of all was just being together. Conversations that went on long past dinner was over, dice games that everyone of every age could play together, enormous feelings of love and support.
My sister-in-law summed it up so perfectly: What greater joy could there be for a set of grandparents than to spend time with sons (and daughters-in-law) who love each other, and watch all those cousins adore being together? It was, in a word, fabulous.
I wouldn't trade places (or hotel rooms) with Bill Gates for anything in the whole wide world.