Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Vacation Part 3

Here I detail Leg 1 of our journey (Friday-Saturday), which was Webfest.
Here I detail Leg 2 of our journey (Saturday-Sunday). When I left off we were standing in a graveyard in Grainfield, KS.

I apologize that it took me so log to get this last segment together. I kind of thought I already did. Oops.

We hopped in the van in the middle of Kansas and started the final stretch, possibly the toughest, to our final destination: Estes Park, CO. I am a proud mid Western Kansaser by birth. Because of the people, the history, my own family, and the fun things that happen once we reach our destination. Traveling across western KS? My proudness waivers. Its a little slice of hell going and going and going. No fields, no trees, lots of windmills, and so much wind. Luckily we had Aunt Tammy riding with us, who helped with our kids, we were caravaning with my other sister Angie, and Max hopped in their car (he basically would like to join their family, its fine) and we gained Anthony, so changing things up always helps.

At this point, traveling was getting old. We could care less about nice meals like we had enjoyed at Char Bar, so we got food at a gas station and stopped only in emergencies for 6 hours. When we began to see mountains, things got so real. The Rocky Mountains are, baseline, beautiful.  When you have just trekked across Kansas, they are the most fan freakin tastic sight you have ever seen. When we started our trek around and up the mountains, the weather decided to throw us a curveball. More like slush ball sleet that steamed when it hit our window that, 5 minutes earlier, had been traveling in 85 degree weather. For some reason, I was driving during this point, and I'd like to say I handled this well, but........going from the neverending straight road to the curving mountain road with steamy slush balls coming at me? I didn't. Its embarrassing.

But it was all worth it. My parents hit a grand slam with their choice of house rental. It was fabulous.

The first night there, we had pizza and hung out with my Uncle Tony and his family that JUST HAPPENED to be in Estes Park at the same time as us. Sidebar: if you have 21 uncles and aunts and 36 first cousins, there is a good chance you'll end up in the same town as one or two of them at any given time. Having finally hit the end of our journey there, my butt fell into bed and slept for 8 solid hours.

We woke up to our beautiful house, that fantastic view and a week of vacation in front of us. We went to downtown Estes Park to shop and visit a traveling art show and have lunch. 

After visiting the town, we started out on our first hike. It was suggested to us as an "easier hike, good for the kids" by my extremely in shape aunt.  You hike up a mountain and come across 1-3 lakes, depending on how how you climb. Oh my Jesus, it was one of the most beautiful places I have been to in all my life. However.....we didn't really count on.....snow. Because it was June. And we live in Arkansas.And when you look at snow capped mountains, you don't really imagine yourself ever going up that high. No lie, Max was wearing shorts. Proud mom moment.

But, it was a fabulous hike, with fabulous views.Pretty much everyone fell at least once. My brother in law saved me from a certain death (still need to get him a thank you gift for that.....). But, we were in great spirits and ready to tackle more hikes. With more clothes, better shoes, and snacks. 

On Tuesday we took professional pics and then took the kids to a fun park as a thank you for smiling for an hour straight.

We hiked, toured a brewery, found more beautiful lakes, hiked, found wildlife, ate like kings(not the wildlife), rode horses, and hiked. It was so fun. And relaxing. And beautiful. Colorado has not been on my radar as a vacation spot, simply because I am somehow trained to think you need a theme park or beach for it to be a vacation. I am so thankful it was put on my radar for me.

This is the view when you get coffee at the little shop downtown. So ewwww.

Serious hiker

This guy can move mountains. 

Hands down, cutest creature, ev. Marmot Love 2016.

Glacier Falls

These Elk were about a block and a half from our house, just chillin and eatin.

I bought a Self Portrait Pole at Dollar Tree (not a selfie stick!!!!) Rob thinks its funny when I use it

Until next time, Colorado.

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