Colorado Trip

We were so excited to visit my brother in Boulder but since we didn't get to see Dave's parents in Florida, things were a bit up in the air. We ended up book in January for our February trip but everything came together.

Jon's house has plenty of room for all of us but they've recently gotten a cat so that was a no-go for Dave. He got a hotel nearby and just came back and forth but with the altitude, dry air and cat dander, he really couldn't be inside for more than 2 hours, his sinuses were just going crazy. We managed fine though. We survived the flight with C on my lap (we've always gotten the kids their own seats after a year old, but since we booked this flight so late, I thought we could save the money and manage for the short flight), but it wasn't fun getting all our gear loaded up and it seemed like it too forever to actually get on the road to Boulder. The cousins were anxiously awaiting our arrival though so everyone had fun playing outside and on the neighbor's trampoline before it got dark. Jon made a delicious dinner with ribs so our kids were happy.

The next day we lucked out with beautiful weather and decided to go to brunch and then a hike. Maris and her husband and 18-month old son joined us and we had a great time catching up. We headed over to the outdoor mall area for popsicles and let the kids run around some more before heading back to Jon's for rest time, which didn't really end up happening since C had dozed on the hike down in Dave's arms. The four adults got to go out on our own for dinner and we left the kids with two sitters. It was fun to really catch up without the kids around and we had a great dinner.

I've always heard about the crazy Colorado weather and we certainly experienced that. It was in the 60s on Saturday and Sunday, and the dropped down to the teens that night and snowed all day Monday. We went out for a bit in the morning but the kids weren't too into playing in the snow. So we drove over to an exhibit they have at CU Boulder and the kids had fun doing different activities. We all went out to lunch and then went back to Jon's to rest before heading out to the rec center that afternoon for swimming. The pool had a fun waterslide and a play structure so the kids had a blast. We settled in for one last night in Boulder.

The next day we packed up and stopped by the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver out of town. We were a little worried about how the roads were gonna be since it had been snowing for a day and a half, so we wanted to get on the road and the boys were thrilled to get McDonalds on the way. We also passed a thrift store so I ran in to see if I could get a few things to entertain the kids in the condo in Vail and lucked out with a castle, some cool characters, magiclip dolls and a pet store dollhouse for C. The roads were fine and we made it to Vail in two hours and luckily, were able to check into the condo right away. It was so nice to be totally unpacked and all together in one place. We stayed in Lionshead Village which was so great. We booked basically the only somewhat affordable condo left and were a little bit weary but it turned out to be great. Very comfortable, awesome location and the boys had a murphy bed they loved :) We went to Mexican food at the hotel that night and I took the boys to the hot tub after dinner.

The next day, Wednesday, was a beautiful, sunny day and the boys were signed up for a full day of ski school. They were excited and ended up having a great day. They didn't make a ton of progress, but I guess that's to be expected. Coco and I had a great day. After seeing the boys off, we walked to get a hot cocoa and then onto the library. They had a story time and craft day, not to mention a train table, blocks, etc., so we ended up spending 2 hours there before walking back for her nap. Understandably, the boys were tired that night and we just brought pizza back to the room after a dip in the pool, and a longer soak in the hot tub.

We asked the boys if they wanted to do ski school again the next day and they both wanted to, so we signed them up again. The next day was cold (though the day before had been in the teens as well), but it was also snowing so we weren't sure how they'd do. It sounds like it was fine, and by the end of two days, they learned to 'veer' (not quite turn)... Apparently they got mac and cheese and burgers for lunch, oreos and hot chocolate for snacks, so overall they had a good experience. Coco and I went back to the library for a bit and then checked out Imagination Station, which was awesome. It's basically a mini children's museum but they make great use of the space and have a ton of fun things for the kids to do. We got take out from a BBQ place for dinner that night and discussed what we would do the next day, which was supposed to be sunny again.

Our last full day, we debated doing sledding, and they have a great park right there where we were staying, but it didn't open until the afternoon and they had a height requirement we weren't sure William would meet for some of the tubing so decided to pass. Elizabeth had told us about the hot springs about an hour past Vail so we decided to do that and it worked out great. It had one really hot pool and another huge one that was perfect to spend an hour swimming around. The kids loved it and it was such a nice day. We had a pretty drive back to the hotel where we did a short rest before we all headed out to explore the town. They had a fun playground for the kids to run around, then I took them back to the library to return the books we had checked out and they played a bit before we headed to Imagination Station. Everyone had a blast checking out the different areas and the boys got to do sand art and virtual reality which was a huge hit. We headed back for BBQ leftovers and started packing up.

Saturday ended up working out fine, we had breakfast in town before loading up the car and heading to the airport. It had snowed again so you never know about the roads, but we made it to Denver early so stopped at a park for them to run around a bit before going to the airport. It was soooo cold! The flight home was uneventful, thankfully.

Trips to new destinations can always be a bit daunting but I think it went pretty well and we now know what we'd do differently. I think it's a great spot to go for our February break where we can see Jon and his family but also have a bit of a vacation. Dave enjoyed snowboarding and I had no problem missing out. Vail was such a great place for families and staying in Lionshead made everything easy. We were planning to take the kids out to a nicer dinner on Friday night, but it was in Vail Village so we would've had to drive, and they hadn't been great at restaurants on the trip so far so we scrapped it, which was fine. Maybe next year we'll get to try it but not holding my breath :)

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