Adventures, Family culture, Parenting-thing

The Springs to Granby

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Originally I had wanted to blog along the way during our trips. I mean, with an app and your smartphone you can do it anywhere, right? Theoretically, yes. With three small demanding kids, no.

Let me put it to you this way–in 12 hours of travel and a book I was so excited to read, I got to read…three pages.

So here’s the recap. The girls are pretty awesome at traveling. If we have a good sense of humor. Bennett is the queen of “want it–don’t want it.” Asking for things, tossing them away, then crying for them again. Tatum is all about listening to the Kirsten American Girl books. Kenna is happy if she has her Tinkerbell dolls or can color. We actually made it a couple days of traveling before we ever turned on a movie for them–so we consider that a win!

Friday, June 8th we got a late start leaving Edmond to Colorado Springs…and by late I mean we didn’t pull into our hotel until about 5 am. Tired, much???

The next day we got to explore Colorado Springs, get an oil change (hmmm…the shop that checked our car before our trip missed that), and then

headed up to the Garden of the Gods. It was hot, but a dry heat so it wasn’t bad at all–and the girls loved having their own cameras (old digital ones we don’t use anymore) to take their own pics.

Up through Woodland Park and Divide, we headed towards our next destination–Granby. We took the scenic route that was maybe 30 minutes longer (probably not when you consider Denver traffic), and it was one of the best decisions EVER. The sunset over the valleys and mountains was breathtaking! So beautiful we pulled over just to take some pics and enjoy it!!!

We stopped in Breckenridge for ice cream and changing into jammies before heading on.

We had a bit of a surprise when we got to Granby at 11:30–all of the lock boxes had been removed! After calling over a dozen hotels we were finally able to find one that gave us a great deal, and the girls got to spend another night in a hotel (which was so fun for them).

Even on the road we drink our Ningxia Red!

The next morning we walked around Winter Park, the girls were blown away by the mountains and the soft grass and just EVERYTHING. After climbing some stairs to an outdoor amphitheater, Kenna looked around, sighed loudly, and said, “I just LOVE it here!”

We were able to get into the condo, unpack, and the girls thought that bunk beds, a balcony, a giant bean bag, and a dog crate were just the best things to play with EVER. Who needs toys?!

The next day was Monday and Matt had to work, so after a leisurely morning I loaded up the girls and we went for a short hike along the Fraser River Trail.

I’m learning with most kid hikes, the first 10-30 minutes consist of complaining, and then if I get them distracted with something they’re all in. After we started trying to identify wildflowers they loved it. We took pics, used our book, ate snacks, and ended up having a good time.

I’ll post more updates later, but that gets us to the beautiful mountains of Colorado–which sort of feel like home. We’re not sure where we’re going in the next 6 months or even a year, but I’m so grateful for tidbits like this.

 

Adventures, Family culture

The Wind in the Pines

I’ve had a number people asking me what’s going on with our traveling plans and the truth is… It changes almost weekly.

We’ve had some family stuff going on that has put a delay in plans, and we are still hoping that when we move my parents and grandma can move with us (and maybe eventually Matt’s parents too–eh? Eh? 😉). As it is, everything is in limbo for the moment.

And in the meantime we keep moving forward with fixing the house up, replacing the porch light, fixing the toilet, and those little things we’ve been meaning to do for a while and are finally getting around to.

Thank GOODNESS Spring is finally here and the gray is giving way to GREEN again! Looking at pictures on Facebook from “On this day” years ago I can see lots of foliage in the background of pics…for some reason everything decided to leaf out late this year and honestly that got to me almost as much as the winter darkness in Seattle. This girl needs SUNSHINE and GREEN THINGS (I’m lookin’ at you evergreen forests…).

So these are a bit late but here are some pics from our quick little trip to Robbers Cave State Park.

At Van’s Pig Stand in Shawnee…Matt’s BBQ blows this out of the water…
No one makes her squeal with laughter quite like her daddy
Everything is brown and gray…
Since it was just one night, we opted to stay in a cabin instead of do the whole tent thing. The girls were VERY excited about our home for the night!
We headed down by Lake Carlton to explore a bit–we had the place to ourselves!

Honestly as soon as we got into our cabin and all was quiet for a minute I felt so relaxed. There’s something about the sound of wind through the pines. If you live by it you take it for granted most of the time. Even in Southern California where I grew up, the center loop of our neighborhood was ringed in pines, and in Seattle we definitely had no shortage of evergreens. But living where most of the trees are deciduous, during winter when the leaves are gone it’s a different sound. So too, is the sound of the wind through broad leaf trees. Call me crazy, but there’s just something relaxing about the sound of the wind through pine trees. And I drank it all in.

These girls are pretty fearless and were more than eager to set off exploring!

After a LOT of attempts with damp wood and a smokey fireplace we finally got enough flames to roast some marshmallows

Tatum is a bit of a stickler for the rules…
They were excited for cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
Even if it was just a tiny bit, bouldering was so fun and felt so good!

At the Visitors Center there were fish, snakes, and lots of hands on things for littles to explore–and we had the whole place to ourselves!
Bennett loved the snake and wanted it out…ummm…nope…

It’s a little odd to me that state parks have playgrounds, mini golf, Frisbee golf, and snow cones…but when you’ve kinda done all there is to do and have some time to kill why not?
This baby handled hiking in the carrier like a champ! Except when were were a on a high lookout and she suddenly wanted down…not happening…

It may have only been a small oasis of mountain-y wilderness surrounded by Oklahoma plains, but we drank it in!
On the way home we stopped at a couple of state parks so the girls could get their state park passport stamps…

It may have not been the most scenic place but the girls had fun and it was a good stretch of the legs.