Friday, February 17, 2012

Vacationing in Colorado: Part 1

Today is Flashback Friday, so I'm going to share our Colorado trip from back in September.

Day 1: When are We Gonna Leave?

We were so unprepared for this trip. I mean, we knew it was coming up and all, but somehow we were in some kind of strange denial, I guess. For one thing, I had been utterly consumed with our new homeschool curriculum and with trying to get the school year started. So I'll admit--I didn't have much done toward getting us on the road when the time came. "Day 1" was mostly spent packing and cleaning. Which meant we got started waaaay later than we would have liked, but things turned out fine anyway. We drove as far as we could, stopping for dinner at a little diner somewhere along Route 66, where we sang "Happy Birthday" to Daddy. This makes two birthdays now he's had while ON our family vacation. We did manage to find a very, very nice hotel (because it was brand new) where we carried in a sleeping Atticus and his three siblings who crashed within seconds of hitting the bed!

Day 2: The Drive

Starting off so late on "Day 1" meant we'd have much, much more driving to do yet. Here are some scenes from the car during today's looooooooooong drive.

Not much on I-40 is interesting to see, but the wind turbines were definitely a favorite.

We got to our cabin (free to us except for our water usage) quite late, so we were all exhausted, which is probably why our initial reactions to the cabin were less than ecstatic. I guess I was expecting cleaner and nicer and had, by this time, quite forgotten that it was a men's hunting cabin. :) The kids--the poor things--were crazy overwhelmed with their very unfamiliar surroundings, in general. (Remember, it was a hunting cabin...) None of them wanted to go sleep in a bedroom...all by themselves. Everyone wanted to stay WITH (and right on top of) Mommy and Daddy. So, Paul built a much-needed fire in the stove, and we ALL bedded down on the very large sectional surrounding the stove. As little sleep as I probably got, this was actually my favorite night. It was just nice having everyone all cozied up together.

Day 3: A Day of Rest & Exploration

This morning a "daddy deer" stopped by to say hello. But I missed getting a good shot of him, because I didn't even have time to unpack the camera! See? Off he goes! (By the way, a friend lent me her Nikon D90 for the trip, because if you'll remember my camera was in the shop for repairs at the time. How amazing is that?!)

We had a simple breakfast. But not before someone picked some pretty wildflowers for the table.

And THEN I got out the camera.

The boys had a ball exploring. And I............I...tried not to think about snakes.

It was hard.

And glamour girl here posed for her mama.

Then Paul built the boys a campfire and let them help.

Later that evening, we hit the town of Durango for some dinner.

And, apparently, to pick the street flowers. *gasp!*

Day 4: We're in Durango, Y'all

I caught the three younger children playing "Little House" up in the loft, which is exactly what I would have done with such a play space at their age!

They were having so much fun, they didn't even notice the absence of Daddy and Noah, who had gone out hunting.

This is a picture of some of our surroundings as we're coming down from the cabin's mountaintop.

For dinner tonight we ate at Steamworks Brewing Company, as recommended by the New York Times. Food was just so-so. (I've always wondered what kind of people actually DO those reviews for publications.) Our favorite part about this place?? Gabe LOVED getting to draw with chalk on the floors!

Atticus joined in, too!

Then after dinner, we stopped off to see a Wild West Gunfight. It started in the saloon, of course.

And then they took it to the street.

Then we browsed some of the quaint shops along the streets of Durango. Including one very tempting candy shop. Yes, we succumbed. At least some of us did. I was on that very fun three-month sugar fast, you may remember.

Stay tuned next week for the rest of the vacation story...

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