The weather got better and we finally got the ‘typical’ sun for Colorado Springs. Just a shame we are heading up to Denver now. On our way, we managed the Garden of the Gods  (the red stone formation) after all – even if just from afar – and went on to the Butterfly Pavilion. The first of my attractions up until now that worked out the way it was supposed to. But maybe that is because Hass found this one for me.

To start with; we were allowed to touch starfish and a horseshoe crab which felt entirely different than I expected. I was informed that turtles feel the same when you touch the shell.

Then we went into the butterfly garden and I felt right at home. All the little creatures that fluttered happily around, the warmth and the light mist that made it so tropical, made me feel so relaxed.

We spend about an hour or more on photographing and marveling at the winged beauties. I was amazed how easy you had a new passenger on your shoulder and how effortless their flight looked. After a while we had to move on. If Hass wouldn’t have reminded me I probably would have stayed there till the Pavilion would have closed.

Now we only had the insects left to visit. While I was looking at a praying mantis Hass ran up full of pride to me: “I just had Rosie the tarantula on my hand. She was so warm! You have to try it!”  Entirely confused and horrified at the thought of a massive hairy spider I just stared blankly at him and not even noticed that he actually dragged me already over to the Spider and her handler. Next to them sat another volunteer with her cockroach friend. My mind just boggled. I am so afraid of these 8-legged freaks, that I really could not imagine to even get close to it. On the other hand, I am here and this trip is about broadening our horizons, fighting our fears and trying new things. And Hass kept encouraging me so I got in line.

That didn’t mean that I actually took my turn. I watched a few people first and let people skip me and take my place in line until I had collected enough courage to finally take my place on the seat.

“You look quite scared. What are you afraid off?” – I know she expected that I say, the spider could bite me  or some danger, but that’s not even it… “It has so many legs that move in that creepy way” I answered embarrassed whilst staring at ‘Rosie’. The volunteer first looked confused and then laughed “Right, I think I shouldn’t do anything about that”  and gave me a bright smile “but don’t worrie. She feels lazy today and wont move too much anyway” and in that moment my shaking hand had a new occupant.

My first reaction was fear and disgust and soon was overridden by my old friend and enemy: Curiosity! I might as well than take a peek at her. Rosie was – as Hass was so amazed about – really heavier and warmer than you would expect. And the paws (?) were so much softer than I expected. Not that I consciously imagined how a tarantula would feel in my hand anyway.

After a moment of fascination, Rosie got animated with a few friendly nudges to leave my hand. Reluctantly the spider moved and the spell was broken.

After I rescued myself into the spider-free arms of my friend, and he congratulated me, I started breathing again. I also realised that the Cockroach lady nearly didn’t get any attention at all next to the superstar Rosie. After that spider, I thought a cockroach can’t be that bad anyway and added that to the days events.

Now it was time to head to Denver and into our second traffic jam this vacation…

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