Friday, August 15, 2014

the last days of staycation 2014

the final days of our family time in the mountains were much more relaxed. we didn't have to be anywhere at any specific time which was lovely.

saturday morning we decided to take the free gondola up to breck's peak 8. they offer lots of fun summer activities for kids - alpine slide, bungee jumping...we chose to play miniature golf. fun fact: the whole idea of a staycation came about because one day harrison randomly said "i want to go play mini golf as a family". jer and i looked at each other and began talking about all the things we'd like to do together as a family...he wanted rafting, i wanted hiking, the boys wanted a cave tour...thus, the staycation was born. we plan to make it an annual tradition.

another blurry gondola selfie

we had fun playing mini golf. both boys got a hole-in-one on hole #6!

 love these two and their knee-high ski socks worn with keens and crocs. i mean...

LOVE harrison's face and thumbs-up.

i'm posting this photo because my hair. i like my hair. i like that i grew out the grey. but gah! when i see it in photos and it's soooo salt and pepper it's always a shock.

due to lack of planning we ended up eating lunch at peak 8. i had three tiny street tacos, jer had a burrito, the boys had kid's meals and it cost upwards of $80. we were thankful for the reminder that we need to pack lunches during ski season because sweet baby jesus the ski resorts bleed you dry!

sunday morning we went for a very short easy hike along sawmill creek in breckenridge. it led up to an old reservoir,  a pretty pond that we walked around. the boys ventured out a little ways into the water but harrison was brave enough to walk all the way along the sandbar out into the middle of the pond. the water got shallower in the middle (doesn't it look like he's walking on water in the photo above?) but as he was walking toward the center it got up past his knees at one point. and it was COLD!

later in the evening jer wanted to swing by the outlet stores to look for a couple items so i took the boys to blue river trail to play around while he shopped. we made these...

graham and i saw this pretty little lady...anyone know what she is?

and then we made our near weekly stop at spooners, a frozen yogurt shop that offers dairy-free almond milk frozen yogurt for moi. i still put dairy-filled reese's peanut butter cups on my fro yo because hello? reese's!

everyone loves fro yo. it's a great way to end a great week in the mountains.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

on the third day of staycation...

my true love gave to me...

a trip to buena vista!

 jer took this photo of colorado's state flower, the columbine, with his phone on a hike in late june. 
it has nothing to do with buena vista,'s just real purdy.

we booked a 1/2 day whitewater rafting trip on the arkansas river for friday afternoon with the wilderness aware rafting company, the only outfit i was able to find that offered excursions for five year olds. we knew it would be an easy float trip (level I or II) but figured that would be perfect for the boys' first time.

on the way to buena vista (a 1.5 hour drive from our condo in silverthorne) we traveled through breckenridge over hoosier pass and down into fairplay. we stopped at the continental divide to snap a quick pic.

i packed a picnic lunch for us which was mostly eaten in the car and finished at a park we always visit when we are in buena vista. there is a great play area there for the boys to get some sillies out after the drive. then we headed to the rafting place...

our guide, mike, the one photo-bombing above was awesome. he let each of the boys have a turn guiding the boat, taught them how to hold the oars and steer. he brought along a water gun so the boys could squirt other rafters (and us). he was an all-around fun guy.

jeremy and i didn't have to do a thing. the boys sat in the front of the raft and both of them rowed the entire time (they called it oaring instead of rowing). jer and i sat in the middle of the raft and just chilled out. i tried to get some sun on my legs. mike sat in the rear and did everything.

i'd say we went through 5-6 white water "holes", only 2-3 of which really soaked us. the rest of the time we were just floating. both boys asked to get out into the river and float alongside the boat. they stayed overboard all of two seconds. cold water.

after we got back to the main office and changed into dry clothes we headed to k's for dinner. you can't go to buena vista and not stop at k's!

when you place your order they give you the name of a famous person. that's what you listen for to know when your order is ready. this time we were debbie reynolds but i also heard pick ups for diane sawyer and steve jobs while we were waiting. we always take our food to the park directly behind the restaurant to eat it.

after dinner the boys played for a bit, then we headed home. we drove back to silverthorne a different way - over independence pass, through leadville (the usa's highest elevated town) and past the twin lakes.

it was real purdy too.

and that's what we did last friday. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

day trip to glenwood springs, co

on our second day of staycation 2014 we drove 1.5 hours west to glenwood springs, colorado to spend the day doing touristy things. i'd heard great things from two friends about the hike to hanging lake and another friend mentioned good things about the cave tours. we also considered the hot springs but decided against that idea mostly due to the sulfurous smell (and a kiddo who is super sensitive to smells).

the hanging lake trail is a steep climb - the sign didn't lie - but i'd do it again in a heartbeat. we all had a great time. here are some photos we took on the way up.

and here we are at the top...

the waterfalls were beautiful. the boys walked around and stood under them.

harrison didn't want his photo taken (he usually doesn't). so he got behind the camera and took this one of graham and me...

graham made friends with a chipmunk. that was his favorite part of the hike.

and here's what my little magpie found along the trail...

i made him put them back. snips and snails...that's definitely what my little boy is made of.

blurry gondola selfie

we made it back to the car just past noon and drove to a park in the town of glenwood springs to eat our picnic lunch. the kids played for a bit then we headed to glenwood caverns adventure park for our cave tour. i was pleasantly surprised to learn we had to take a gondola up to the entrance of the park. here are my thoughts about this kitschy little "adventure park" - we did not spend the money to do any of the other activities they offered (laser tag, bounce house, panning for gemstones, a huge cliff swing) and i'm happy we chose not to. i would do the cave tour again (because the boys loved it) but my general feeling about this place was that it was a bit too folksy for my liking.

on the drive back to the condo we saw a TRAIN traveling along the colorado RIVER through the glenwood CANYON. every boy's dream!

Monday, August 11, 2014

end of summer vacation

jeremy took a few days off last week so we could drive up to the condo and stay for longer than just a weekend. all summer long there were things we longed to do but didn't have time to do and we wanted to rectify that. we made a list of potential activities, asked the boys for their ideas and eventually came up with a plan for the week - staycation 2014 was born.

our first afternoon in the mountains was spent riding bikes around lake dillon. we'd walked it many times but had been dreaming of bring our bicycles up to ride it. the past two times we've walked around the dillon nature preserve we saw a bald eagle and baby bald eagle. i was hoping we would get to see how the baby was doing, but we weren't able to find it this time. we parked at the dillon amphitheater and rode to the frisco marina - 6.5 miles. the path took us along a short stretch of heavily-traveled road. i earned 10 new grey hairs watching graham leisurely ride his bike with his head turned in one direction while in the opposite direction his wheels were veering across the white line into oncoming traffic.

jeremy had a vision that the four of us would bike all the way around the lake that day. i squashed that plan in my usual welcome-to-reality manner. we had to stop, park the bikes and chill out near the water for a while to come up with a plan b...

 this is a photo of what graham found on the "beach". 
i call him my little magpie because he is a collector of stuff. 
he always carries something in his hand and tucks treasures under his pillow.

the three of us would hang out at the park while jer continued on to complete the loop by himself. he got some water, ate a quick snack and set off. after an hour of not hearing from him i googled "bike path dillon reservoir" to discover jer's trek would be 13.5 miles and included a 1,100 foot climb up the side of a mountain...and the 1,100 ft descent back down. so thankful i decided to hang back and chill out with the kiddos!

we ended up playing at a small park near the frisco marina for two hours. i was so very happy for, and impressed by jer! completing that ride was no small feat!

it was just past five o'clock when we got back to the condo that evening and we were all starving. we quickly grilled and inhaled hot dogs and s'mores - the perfect finish to a great day in the mountains.