Colorado 2019

It's always fun to go back and do a trip again, once you've gotten all the kinks worked out, and that's how Dave and I like to roll. There's not a ton of variety in our travel from year to year but for this stage with the kids, it's just what we need.

We spent the kids' ski week in Colorado again, starting with the long weekend at my brother's house in Boulder. Weather can be all over the place in Colorado, even in February, with a 65 degree day followed by snow (which is what we got last year). This year it made it slightly easier for packing that it was just going to be cold the whole time. We arrived in the late afternoon and spent the rest of the day playing at my brother's and making homemade pizzas. The cousins got along great thing year, though over William and George are just so much rowdier. They seem to constantly be roughhousing, even if they aren't actually fighting, so despite our best efforts to keep that to a minimum and definitely out of public places, it was a bit of a struggle on that trip.

Sunday we woke up and played for a bit before heading into Denver to meet my friend from study-abroad in Paris, Maris, and her family. We decided to go to Casa Bonita, a cheesy Mexican restaurant in a cavernous space with an arcade, caves built in with a twisting tunnel, and the star attraction, cliff divers (complete with a swimming pool of course!). Maris said she used to go to birthday parties there growing up in Denver but hadn't been back sense. It was a super-fun experience and the kids all had a blast. It was easy to spend several hours there, thanks to Dave being with the kids so I could catch up with Maris. We debated going to the children's museum after, but decided just to head home, which was a good choice since all the kids drifted off on the way home.

Snow was predicted later that afternoon and evening, so after a short rest, we walked over the library to get some new books. They're just a few blocks away which was great. We had dinner at home that night.

It had snowed a lot overnight and on Monday, it was still very cold. We drove over to a new museum nearby and the kids had a great time in the Wolf exhibit, as well at the stem area. Next we headed over to the rec center for some indoor swimming. They have a great pool and it's definitely a good way to burn off some energy when so cold outside.

That night we were able to get a babysitter so we went out with Jon and Liz. Both had an early morning, Jon getting Liz to the airport in Denver at 6am before heading over to his school there. I got the kids to school in the morning, George came along and we picked up a few things at the store for the next leg of our trip. On our way up to the mountains, we stopped at a trampoline park and jumped all the wiggles out for an hour before starting our drive. We stopped at great restaurant our friend Maris recommended, Westbound and Down, before making it to Vail around 3pm. We had another great condo, this time the boys were in separate double beds upstairs in a loft and Coco was in a crib with Dave and I in the bedroom downstairs. She's still perfect happy in a crib but not sure how we'll adjust once she's in a bed. We swam in the (outdoor!) pool and sat in the hotel tub before going to a fun dinner at the Mexican restaurant at the hotel.

The boys tested back into level 2 which was good, and after 2 days of lessons, got through level 2+. We'll see where they'll be next year. It's hard to make much progress when it's just once a year but I think that's all we're up for at this point. The boys had a good ski day and Dave had fun on his own. I stayed with C and we walked over to the great library first thing, and they had story time and crafts all morning so we spent over 2 hours there. Then we walked over to the children's museum and played there for a few minutes before heading back to the condo for lunch. We got bundled up and tried to take Coco out to do a little sledding and playing in the snow, but there wasn't really a good area right there by the hotel, and she wasn't really into it anyway, so we headed over to pick up the boys and then went back to the children's museum to play for a bit before dinner. Dave discovered a new grill on the balcony so I picked up some steaks to grill up for dinner.

Thursday was another ski day for everyone, but Coco and I drove an hour up highway 70 to Glenwood Springs to go in the hot springs. We went as a family last year and it was so fun to be in the really warm pool while so cold outside. This year Coco was a bit scared by the dark-bottom so not much swimming happened. We stopped at Northside Cafe on the way home for a filet mignon breakfast burrito and their famous donuts, yum! I picked up the boys and we played at the snow-covered playground for a bit before heading home for pizza.

The next morning we packed up and drove back to Denver for a 1:30 flight home, luckily without any delays. A big storm came in that afternoon and Liz, who was flying back to Denver from SF got back hours later than she was scheduled too, so we're thankful we missed that. It was a great visit with our cousins and we hope to continue the annual trip. I was definitely tired after the trip - the boys were tough, I felt like I was nagging about picking up stuff, getting off of each other, just generally begging for kindness and helpfulness which wasn't really happening so that was hard. Dave had been sick on and off for weeks and Colorado is so bad for his nose that even though he could stay at my brother's house this year, it's just so dry that combined with a cold, he just doesn't do well. I'm so glad we get to do it though, and that the boys seem to be enjoying and picking up skiing. We'll see what next year brings when Coco is almost 4 and could technically do lessons as well.

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