Friday, June 28, 2013

Road Tripin' Again, Off to Denver and Estes Park!

On Wednesday, we packed up, said good-bye to Colorado Springs and headed north on I-25 to Denver!  Our first stop was Golden and the Alpine Slides!  I love, love, love the Alpine Slides but man, you get high up!  I didn't realize how scared I was of heights until I had a clinging three year old with me on the chairlift!
Will and I on the way up!

Going up!

Papa and Molly, she got as close to him as possible!

Jack in the lead with Will and Papa close behind!  Molly and I were a way behind them!  Everyone LOVED the Alpine Slides!

After the Alpine Slides, we headed over to Casa Bonita, a quirky Mexican restaurant that puts on skits and the actors cliff dive.  Plus, there are caves, theme rooms, and an arcade, fun!

Watching the shows, he loved it!

Slowly warming up, Casa Bonita wasn't her favorite at first.  Maybe it was the ketchup on her burger or the monkey skit where a guy in a monkey suit ran through the audience...she was TERRIFIED!

Not the greatest picture but it works!  Cliff divers!

We left Casa Bonita with full bellies and ventured to Estes Park, with a stop at Wal-Mart to get all the essentials!  Sidenote:  we drove through Boulder, beautiful!  Almost wish I went there for school, such a cute, fun college town!  

With refreshed kids after sleeping in the car for almost 2 hours well, most of them slept, you take a wild guess who didn't sleep, the kids were READY to see our cabin!

Where we stayed, highly recommend our cabin!  It was exactly what we needed, a kitchen, multiple bedrooms and space for the kids!  

The front of our cabin, can you tell who took a great nap?!!

Our view from our deck!  See that path right there?!  A bear ran down that the next morning, he ran so fast that none of us could take a picture!

Our view on our walk!

After we got settled, we headed to downtown Estes Park, only one of the cutest, most quaint towns!  We walked around, checked out all the local shops, and ate some ice cream!  Only on vacation can you eat ice cream for dinner.  Two nights in a row.  The sea salt caramel was heavenly!

That's some good stuff right there!  
Yay for vacations!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Colorado Springs: Days 2 and 3!

**Caution:  there are A LOT of pictures of rocks.  Pretty, beautiful rocks.  And trees, lots and lots of trees!  Add a mixture of clouds with the rocks and/or trees too!  Just warning you!

Day 2 in Colorado Springs was spent in Garden of the Gods, one of the most gorgeous places!  The name is very obvious after a few minutes of walking around and, seriously, the place gets more pretty with each step!


So, so pretty!

We climbed up there but getting down wasn't quite as fun!

Two of the brave ones going up higher!

I could look at this all day!

The three of us braved this height and a nice guide took our picture!  Can we photoshop  Will and Molly in?!
At the balancing rock!
 After Garden of the Gods, we ate lunch in an airplane!  The kids were in heaven!  We sat on the airplane, and after we ordered our food, the kids were able to "drive" the airplane!  The food was so-so, but I'm so happy we went because the kids had a blast!

Afterwards, we went to the caves and we really wanted to spend more time there, but a thunderstorm came rolling in, so we weren't there as long as we had hoped or to get our moneys worth!

The homes in the caves!  Can't for some reason remember the name but super neat!

The main living area!

He thought he was so cool fitting through that tiny opening!

We ended the day with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, yum, a rainbow, and a swim in the hotel pool!

Our third day was super fun-filled!  We woke up early and headed to Pikes Peak Highway to make the trek to the top of the mountain!  There is a train but:  1)  it was super expensive for our family of 5  2)  no tickets were available until mid-afternoon and rain was expected around then  3)  motion sickness was more common on the train than driving.  Three obvious reasons to drive!

Making the drive to Pikes Peak Highway!  I could get used to the view!

Look!  Rocks and trees!

Pikes Peak!  At the first stop along the highway!

More rocks and less trees!

Looks like we're driving into the sky!

We made it!  Maybe our Christmas card picture?!
A view from the top!

Heading down!  All rocks, snow and clouds, but no trees!

More rocks and we're back under the tree line!

Can you just smell the yumminess?!

Last stop along the highway!  

After our fun journey, we ate lunch at the busiest Steak-n-Shakes in the world   Then, we rested up and headed back to Garden of the Gods!  Another hike, more beauty, and some firetrucks!  A very exciting afternoon!  We're not sure why there were fire trucks, but we think someone fell.  Not spreading rumors!  That night, more hotel happy hour and swimming!  The kids loved our Drury Inn!

We packed up our things that night to prepare for Denver and Estes Park!  More to come soon!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Road Tripin' to Colorado

Our family spent last week in beautiful, amazing, gorgeous Colorado!  The first Brew Crew vacation ever!  We usually spent vacations traveling back and forth between Kansas and Texas, or a quick weekend trip to San Antonio, Padre, Dallas, St. Louis or New Orleans!  Yay for growing up!  Be prepared for lots of pictures after today's post and a few days to recap!  

Day 1:  Driving from Kansas City to Colorado Springs!

We left for Colorado on Sunday, June 16th, yup, Father's Day!  The kids said we HAD to get Daddy doughnuts for his special day, so breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts in Lawrence it was!  I think I inhaled two amazing chocolate doughnuts in 0.36 seconds.  Hey, my first doughnuts in over a year, vacation, what's a girl to do?!  I will say, I was stuffed full, not in a good way, afterwards, so not really worth it in the long run, but oh so delicious in the beginning!

After Lawrence, we drove, and drove, and drove!  Yep, not much to report except we saw:

10 trains
5 Doritos trucks
Dozens of cows, horses, and sheep
24 different license plates
100's of acres of farms, fields, and grass
Miles upon miles of wind farms in Kansas
2 very long construction zones

Pretty fun times!  Here are some fun pictures of our exciting trip to the mountains...and let's be clear, you don't see mountains in Colorado until you're about 2 hours or so into the state.  There were lots of "Where are the mountains?"  From the backseat!

Three cute kids ready for the road trip!  This was taken right after we left our neighborhood and those smiles lasted all day!  Yay for awesome travelers!  At least on the way there! 

Wind farms in Kansas, very impressive!  

One very large thunderstorm in Colorado, look, no mountains!

Happy to be in our hotel room and ready for the vacation!  Please ignore the  no makeup, tired, bags under my eyes me and focus on my cute husband!

After we arrived at our hotel, which, we could see the mountains, we checked in, found Papa and Grandma surprise, they wanted to join the crazies, and enjoyed our hotel happy hour!  Drinks for the grown ups, hot dogs, popcorn, and chicken tenders for the kids.  Very well balanced!  

More to come tomorrow!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Anniversary Travel Dreams

When Eric and I got married in June 2005, we planned on taking an anniversary trip every year Ha!  My how our dreams changed!

1st Anniversary:  Baptized Jack on our anniversary, in the same church we were married in!  A wonderful day, wonderful memories, and all travel dreams were a distant memory!  We celebrated with our families at Old Chicago and tried to eat our freezer burned cake, and of course, watched our video!  

2nd Anniversary:  Took a trip to Vegas a few days before our actual anniversary!  It was a combined anniversary/brother-in-laws 21st birthday trip/travel with other couples type of trip!  We saw the O show, had a lot to drink, rode the New York, New York roller coaster, spent a lot of time in a piano bar, ate wonderful food, we had a great time that's for sure!

3rd Anniversary:  Got ready to move to Houston!  We weren't together on our anniversary that year, I was home alone with a 2 year old Jack and 3 month old Molly!  Well, my girlfriends came over that night and we watched the video together and cried that I was moving away, still a fun night! 

4th Anniversary:  Went to dinner with Jack and Molly to Chili's and then went to bed early, since I was pregnant with Will!

5th Anniversary:  Out to dinner with the whole gang, to Outback.  It was delicious but the knives really stressed me out!  What a weird memory!

6th Anniversary:  Finally!  A trip to New Orleans!  A wonderful, wonderful trip full of amazing food, lots of drinking, and lots of sleeping!  

7th Anniversary:  Last years anniversary was spent in Kansas City, we were in town looking for houses and had grandparents to watch our kids!  We went to the Melting Pot and walked around The Plaza!  An awesome night!

This year, we celebrate EIGHT years of marriage!  Wow!  We have a trip planned in July, so we're counting that as our anniversary celebration this year!  We celebrated with lunch at McDonald's and pork chops with my dad and brother!  We've been talking about next years trip and our trip for the BIG TEN, and trips in years to come!  Here's our list of future, I hope, trips!  And most of these explain how I want to eat delicious food, apparently I like to eat!  I'm OK with that!

1.  Italy!  Hands down, number one!  I want to go all over Italy, get fat by eating all the delicious food, drinking wine, and being with my main man!  I really want to eat outside and just watch Italy walk around me!  While getting fat!  The only time in my life, besides being pregnant, that I want to get fat!

2.  Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA!  I think this one is more realistic then our number one, so I'm planning on this one for next year or the year after!  Want to go to Savannah first, spend a few days there, and then go up to Charleston!  Had tons of friends do this and it sounds wonderful, relaxing, and fun!  And I really want to eat yummy southern food and hear tons of y'alls, is that too much to ask?!

3.  Napa and San Fransisco!  This is more on my list then Eric's, but just to drink wine, eat amazing food, and relax, sounds like heaven!  And then, go into the city, exploring and be a tourist in a fun city, full of awesome things to do...yes please!  

4.  Hawaii!  Eric really, really, really wants to go on this one, and I do too, but not sure why it's not higher for me.  I know its beautiful, relaxing, full of beautiful mountains, beaches and oceans...OK, sounds awesome!  I'm there!  Can I please just lay in a hammock and take a nap on one of those days?!  

5.  New York City and Boston!  We've both been to NYC separately and want to go together!  We have both seen things there the other hasn't seen, he went to the Empire State Building, I have not.  I went to a Broadway show, nada for Eric!  After some fun in the city, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing a few shows, going to the Empire State Building, you know, we want to take a train to Boston, where neither of us have been to!  Ideally, we want to take a family trip to Washington D.C., spend a few days there, take the train to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, spending a few days in each city.  

6.  St. Bart's or any Caribbean island!  Beach, drinks, and nothing else, yes please!

Take me here...NOW!
7.  Alaska!  Think this one will be a cruise, we've had several friends and family go on this cruise and loved it!  They also said it was a great way to see Alaska!

8.  London and Paris!  Really, do I need to say anything else?!!  A bonus:  to see fireworks in either city or have tea with Kate!

9.  Turkey!  I know it sounds weird, but we have friends that have visited there several times and rave about it!  Their pictures are AMAZING!  Not sure if its the safest place but I want to go there!  

10.  Australia!  Another no brainer!  I want to add New Zealand too, after watching several seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I have always wanted to go, especially on a zip line through the rain forest!

11.  Brazil!  It looks so beautiful there!  And I've watched tons of House Hunters International and Rio de Janeiro looks like the city to be in!  

12.  Austria!  This one will most likely be tied into Italy, but I've wanted to go to Austria since I was a little girl, watching The Sound of Music!  I'm such a nerd but so what!

13.  Greece and Croatia!  Not the safest countries currently, but so, so, so beautiful!  

Oh how I want to be there right now...Greece looks amazaing!!

14.  A yacht in the middle off a small island in the ocean somewhere!  Must be warm weather, hardly any waves, and fully staffed.  Thank you!  Or in Greece, I'm not picky!

15.  A hut in the ocean, preferably in Fiji!  Do I need to explain this one?!!

or I would settle for this room

I'm really not picky!

**A cruise used to be at the top of my list, but not anymore!  I have never been on one and after all the problems lately, not really rushing to go on one!  I'm sure they're fine, clean, safe, and those incidents are rare and few in luck, there would be worse the sewage, fires, and sinkage.  Not sure what is worse, but I don't want to find out!  Maybe someday I'll change my mind?!  I know I said above I want to go to Alaska on a cruise ship, but that's going to be years down the road, right?!

Where are some places you want to visit with your love?!