Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colorado vacation 2011 part 2

After leaving Colorado Springs we made the beautiful drive to the western slope and my father's home in Delta. This is my other home town, it is where I spent my summers and every other Christmas growing up. Many memories of softball, playing in the ditch, riding my bike (which I earned by pulling weeds) and listening to my Dad's old Elvis tapes with my brothers. As we drove into town I noticed that many things have changed in the years since I have been gone but for the most part it is the same small town I remember from my childhood.

My Dad greeted us with hugs and a big pot of chicken and rice soup. We spent the first evening getting settled into his guest room and letting the kids get some rest after driving all day. Day 2 was spent having lunch in Cleland park and then Dad and I going for coffee while the kids took a huge nap before heading to Yvonne's for dinner that night. Yvonne spoiled us with my favorite dinner that she cooked for my birthday every year, fried pork chops and mashed potatoes with cream gravy plus the bonus of Olathe sweet corn. We spent some quality time with she and LaVerne before our kiddos had a small meltdown signaling the need for bedtime. (Yvonne, somehow we did not end up with you in our pictures... just LaVerne, you will have to email some from your camera).

Day 3 began with a trip to the farmer's market which was a stone's throw from my Dad's condo. We bought some great fresh veggies and fruit for dinner before spending the rest of the day in Grand Junction. We ate wonderful mexican food (Jeff said they had the best refried beans he has ever eaten) and the real treat of the day, getting to listen to my Dad sing at an Assisted Living home. Madeline had an absolute ball dancing while Grandpa sang, the video below only captures a fraction of the fun she was having! We ended the day with a simple meal of the fresh food bought that morning (Thanks for the pots Geri, we could not have done dinner that night without them).

Our last day was spent at the Box Canyon and in Ouray. I remember going to the Box Canyon as a child and, while the beautiful waterfall there is difficult to forget, my biggest memory is feeding the very fat chipmunks that mooch off the tourists. Well, we are no longer allowed to feed them but they are still there and Maddie loved them. It was such a fun day and it was wonderful to show Jeff and the kids something I remember so well as a child.

The next day we drove for 16 hours back to Billings. We had a wonderful time, thanks Dad for being so generous in every way, it was so much fun to spend time with you!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Colorado vacation 2011 part 1

We just returned from visiting some family in Colorado. We planned to leave on Saturday morning but Jeff ended up with some scheduling issues at work, so the kids and I pulled out alone and picked Jeff up in Denver 10 hours later. The kids did really well and we ended up in Colorado Springs that night instead of leaving an entire day later than originally planned. Our main reason for heading to Colorado Springs on this trip was a visit to my Grandmother. She is living in an assisted living home there and it has been 12 years since the last time I have seen her. I really wanted her to meet Jeff and our sweet babies. It was so neat to see her excitement at our arrival and to sit and chat with her for a while. She snuggled Si and enjoyed our very active Madeline for about an hour before treating us to lunch. It was special to see her and to introduce her to my family.

The rest of our time in Colorado Springs was spent exploring some local tourist traps. We attempted to drive up to Pike's Peak but were denied entry, apparently babies under 6 months in age are not allowed due to concerns about hypoxia. The fact that it would have cost us $12 per adult and $4 per child was a bit of a shock that lessened our disappointment. We ended up exploring Manitou Springs instead. We started at their coffee shop which served Mate espresso (good but not the replacement for coffee that they claimed it would be) and then headed to a very unique playground. They have reinvented a lot of the usual playground equipment in a really creative way. Maddie enjoyed it but in a few years this would be a blast for her. After that we wandered around downtown before stopping for dinner at the Sahara Cafe where we ate some amazing middle eastern food... just thinking about it has me planning fresh pitas and hummus for dinner tonight :) The next morning we explored a little of The Garden of the Gods before heading out to Delta.

Will cover our Delta fun in Colorado vacation 2011 part 2