Monday, August 20, 2018

Summer Fun Summer - Colorado Trip

At the beginning of this year my cousin Jamie moved away from me. I miss her so badly but I totally understand why she needed to move because now her cost of living is lower and she can be a stay at home mommy, which was her dream! The benefit of her moving is that now I get to visit her in beautiful Colorado! Several members of Ben's family live in Colorado too and this was our first time getting to visit them! It was such an amazing and wonderful trip let me share some of it with you!

I don't think I've talked about this before but I made an intentional decision to keep Carolyn screen free until she turned 2. And it's funny even though she is now allowed to watch television we hardly ever turn it on because we're so busy doing other activities that we don't even think about it! So for this trip we decided to stick with our good habits. Some people might think we are crazy for doing a 16 hour car trip with no tablets (we actually don't even own one) or movies but we survived it no problem!

I did make a few investments for our trip though. I learned a neat trick from my friend and bought Carolyn a stroller fan that I could attach to the headrest so that she could have a cool breeze blowing on her as we drove through the desert since my car does not have air air conditioning in the back seat. I also bought her this lap tray. This allowed her to play with toys in the car seat. I intentionally reserved lots of small toys that would be new and exciting for her to play with since she does not play them everyday. We also packed lots of coloring supplies because that's one of her favorite activities.

Why yes that is Minnie Mouse kissing a cow! Oh the things a 2 year old will think up!

Traveling with a toddler did mean that we needed to take lots more pit stops and our stops lasted longer too (something I was not prepared for). Our favorite stop was just by chance when we saw a sign that said scenic views so we thought we drive through the parking lot and enjoy the view, well of course we had to park the car and check things out! It was so amazing seeing carolyn's reaction to the natural beauty around us!

Prior to the trip Ben and my dad gave my car a complete tune up! They even made her extra beautiful with the wax job! Check it out it looks like she's in a car ad! 

 We even had a happy accident when we pulled into a gas station and found a playground right next door! You would think after all this driving should be tired of cars but no all she wanted to do was sit and drive!

We spent the night in Grand Junction, Colorado and were spoiled with a king size bed! Even with such a big bed little Carolyn still manage to take up the whole thing to herself!

This drive was filled with such amazing beauty! If you haven't driven Interstate 70 I highly recommend it!  

On the first day that we arrived Ben's aunt through a barbecue to welcome us! All of Ben's aunts and uncles that live in Colorado came together to say hi! 

His cousin had this sweet German Short Haired Pointer named Jenny. Carolyn loved throwing the Frisbee for Jenny! 

Jenny love stealing Ben's hat! 

Carolyn had the best surprise when she woke up from her nap; Grandmo came to Colorado too! 

Ben and his brother Chris loved spending time with their cousins! 

Thank you aunt LuAnne for having us over! Carolyn looks a little nuts in this picture but I think it's from the crazy sleeping schedule and then running around and jumping on the trampoline...

On Sunday we went to church with Ben's family and then out to lunch. Sadly I didn't take a single picture during this time, although part of me is glad I was able to just be in the moment with them. 

The next day on Monday my cousin Jamie took us to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It's nestled right up against the Rocky Mountains with gorgeous views. 

One of the places you have to stop by and see is the Chapel! 

The stain glass windows create the most amazing lighting effect inside!

I love my darling daughter so much, of course she was attracted to the Bibles and sat down to read them! This was in the Catholic chapel.

The Chapel has four different sections for different faiths. Here is the Buddhist room.

And a Jewish room.

It was impressive to see this several hundred year old Torah that was smuggled out of the Holocaust.

Later that day, after a nap break,  we went to visit the Garden of the Gods.

Little Aaron wore the right shirt for lifting rocks!

I love this picture of Jamie with her beautiful family!

Carolyn is quite the outdoor, adventurous girl! She loved climbing over the rocks!

On Tuesday we were supposed to go to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo but unfortunately there was a big storm the day before and we did not watch the news. We were so proud of ourselves for getting up early and getting all the kids packed up. As we drove up the road to the zoo we kept seeing cars that look like they've been hit by golf balls from the local golf course. We thought to ourselves, boy those people are terrible golfers! Then as we approach the zoo we found out the sad news; the afternoon before there'd been a huge hail storm with hail balls the size of baseballs! All the cars in the parking lot were destroyed and we're getting towed down the mountain. And the zoo is closed because their exhibits were ruined! Sadly two birds even died. 

With a car full of disappointed children we quickly had to think of a Plan B. My cousin remembered that there was a children's museum down the road in the town of Pueblo. So off we went to visit the Buell Children's Museum! 

Check out the mural on the wall!

The kids had such a wonderful time exploring art and science!

Cousin time is the best! Jamie was the closest thing I ever had twist sister, as a kid I used to pretend that she was actually my sister, and she was even my matron of honor in my wedding! 

Carolyn and Alexis are only 4 months apart, to the day! Prior to this trip they didn't always get along very well. But this trip turn them into the best of friends!

With all these girls around Aaron loved the extra boy play time with Ben.

We left halfway through the day on Wednesday. Before we left my cousin Jamie took us to the YMCA indoor pool to help wear Carolyn out so she would take a nice, long car nap. Oh my goodness was I impressed by the facility that they have!

I think I want another one!

After swimming we grabbed lunch and dessert at this cute little ice cream shop called The Rockery and then we said our farewells and hit the road home.

This is what a week's worth of cloth diapers look like! I normally hang them out to dry on the side yard but we've had a terrible wildfire and ash was falling from the sky so I had to dry them inside. Good thing our garage is nice and hot! 

My little CRV is the best! We were actually getting 28 mpg but then as luck would have it we got stuck in horrible traffic on the way home because of yet another wild fire off I70! Not too bad for an 11 year old SUV! We put on just a few miles on her during this road trip...

Oh Colorado you are amazing! I look forward to coming back in visiting you, and more importantly my cousin Jamie, again one day!

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