Ryan and I just got back from a few days in Aspen. We've been there before and I was again struck by what a fabulous place it is. To me it's pretty close to perfect - breathtaking natural beauty, focus on active outdoor lifestyle, nice downtown area, great culinary, cultural and intellectual offerings; perhaps a bit too moneyed-feeling for my taste, but you certainly understand why people with the money would choose to live there.
It was nice to have time to ourselves, eat amazing meals (D19 and Matsuhisa were particularly good), do some great hiking (great for the first hour anyway, until we both ran out of water), good yoga, and just generally be spontaneous with no particular agenda for the day. We had a requisite celebrity sighting (Michael Eisner at the next table over at lunch) and even ran into a friend from business school who we ended up having lunch with, which was a nice surprise.
But perhaps more than anything else on this vacation, I just enjoyed being able to sit or hike or read in absolute silence. Much as I adore Quinn, hanging out with a three year old all day can sometimes feel like a cross between a filibuster and the inquisition. His insatiable curiosity and intensely verbal nature are qualities I absolutely love (and I can certainly tend towards being a big talker myself) but I also sometimes really love and need (and am often sorely missing) silence.
Our first day back in town I had a bit of whiplash with all of the talking and questions, but I feel back in the groove on day two. This trip did confirm what I've felt on some other trips I've taken over the past year which is that my nature really just needs quiet time to fully recharge and re-center myself.