Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Visiting Daddy (Part 2)

John had to work on Monday so I had the kids all to myself.  We kept busy by going on a walk to the park that was near by.  With Ethan on my back and pushing Aaron in the stroller, I made it to a great little picnic spot.  The best part about this park was that there was a skate park right next to the playground with a picnic table for spectators.  Aaron was totally fascinated by the skateboarders.  There were also mountain bikes occasionally too.  He befriended two boys, 10 and 11, and as they showed off for him he would say, "wwwooooowww...!"  It was great!  Later that day we finally checked out the pool which I was nervous about since it was only 72 degrees outside.  Turns out it was heated!  From that day on we went everyday!  The boys loved it and we always had it all to ourselves.

Getting ready to swim in matching suits. : )  Ethan's is red with blue whales.  Aaron's is navy blue with stars and a red stripe.

Tuesday and Wednesday flew by so fast.  We spent one day piddling around in Winter Park and one day in Summit County near Keystone.  We went down to the village at Winter Park to explore.  We had heard there were some fun things for kiddos to do but it turned out that they meant a little bit older kiddos than our boys.  But no worries.  It was nice to walk around and look at the mountain bikers going up the lifts and down the slopes.  We also got to ride a lift from the parking lot down to the village.  It was free so we rode a few times.  Aaron kept saying, "I want to ride da ride!"  Later we swam some more and cooked in the Condo.  After dinner we went on a search for ice cream but the only place open was McDonald's and their ice cream machine was being cleaned!  What?  It was 7:30 and there was no where to get ice cream except for a grocery store.  Somethings wrong with a tourist town that doesn't have an ice cream shop!


We spent most of the day Wednesday exploring with the Jeep.  It was the boys first off roading experience!!!  Of course we didn't do anything too rough but it was adventureous none the less!  Aaron's favorite part was crossing the creeks.  He called them waterfalls.  He was our waterfall expert.  Every bubbling creek or actual waterfall was cause for joyous shouting.  We took Cinnamon Gulch, a road that went by an old abandoned mine with several buildings all the way to the top.  We ended up above the tree line and when the Jeep couldn't go any further, we got out and hiked to a big patch of snow so the boys could play in the snow in the middle of June!  It was exilerating and the boys slept almost all the way back to Winter Park.

That night we decided to celebrate Aaron's birthday.  We made an "airplane" cake as requested and let him open some gifts from us.  John had to work on Thursday and we were leaving Friday so it seemed it was the best night for us to focus on Aaron.  He knew it wasn't the actual day though.  He's so smart.  When we asked how old he was he kept saying, "Two!  I only two!  I not three yet."

Thursday was another mommy day and I decided to actually use the bikes that I toted on the back of my car all the way from Kansas.  I didn't have enough room to bring our trailer so I ended up renting one there.  It was super cheap and the kids were thrilled to go on a bike ride.  We rode from the town of Winter Park all the way to the Village at the Winter Park resort.  It was about 2 miles of winding pathways next to Fraser River - beautiful!  And up hill all the way! I huffed and puffed but eventually I made it on my old fashioned steely with a baby in the seat behind me pulling a trailer, a three year old and his strider bike which we strapped to the back of the trailer.  Aaron was itching to ride himself so I let him ride on the way back to town.  He coasted the whole two miles back!!!  It was a gradual slope so we took our time and he stole the hearts of everyone we passed as he greeted them and proclaimed, "I go waaayyy fast!"  We rode back to the condo and after lunch rode the other direction toward the town of Fraser.  Again it was downhill and Aaron rode about 2 miles.  And again, I rode the two miles back UP hill to the bike shop to return the trailer.  Then Aaron rode from the bike shop back to the condo for nap time.  You can imagine how tired this kid was!  We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool where Aaron taught Ethan how to jump in the pool!

Thursday night was the big boy bike revealing!  Matt did such a wonderful job fixing up ol' Red.  New tires, pedals, seat, and chain.  Plus a scrub down.  It looks almost new and Aaron LOVED it!!!

Friday was chaotic as we scrambled to get the condo picked up and the car packed.  We checked out and asked the birthday where he would like to eat breakfast.  Any guesses?  McDonalds!  I don't care if I never eat there again! : )  So we had McDonald's in Winter Park and then headed off to Denver where we had to say goodbye to daddy.  It was pretty tough saying goodbye.  The ride home was not as easy going as the ride there but we made it.  I stopped in Hays and got to catch up with a good friend of mine.  It was so nice to relax and let the kids play/burn off some steam.  We all needed it!  We got home around 2am and the kids slept the next day until 10!  That is unheard of for our early risers!

We had so much fun playing all week with daddy.  I can't wait to see John again.  I know it won't be for long but the days sure drag without him.  We skype every night and I talk to John several times a day.  Looking forward to our next time together. : )

Visiting Daddy! (Part 1)

Not having a computer while visiting/vacationing in Colorado was both nice and not-so-nice!  I didn't spend any time tooling around on the internet but rather enjoyed every moment with John.  On the other hand, I feel like I'm way behind on blogging now!  No computer = no blog posts.  My phone could do it but it's a little way too slow and maybe not such a "smart" phone after all so I didn't even attempt.

Well I made it there and back all by myself with two kids in tow.  I deserve a medal!  Ha!  Just kidding.  They did very well all things considered.  I couldn't find the DVD player (I might have given it back to my parents) so they had to deal with just playing with good old fashioned toys and books all the way there.  Oh and kids music... lots and lots of kids music.  On the way out, I left at 4am and the kids mercifully slept all the way to Russell before waking up for our first stop.  The way back was another story - they were a little fussy and didn't sleep nearly as much.  But all in all, I think we did pretty well.  I wouldn't mind making the trip again.  Especially since it means seeing John.  Preferably the next trip will be the move but one can only hope.

I think I may have to break this up into two separate posts.  We did a lot and I'm still debating how much of it is necessary to document.  But I like to talk/write.  And I have tons of pictures.  So if I bore you, just move on. : )

We arrived on Friday around 4:00pm and met John at Matt and Jacquelyn's apartment.  We were all so excited to see each other!  After saying hi to Matt in Golden and eating a good, but rushed dinner at a local pizza joint, (a 3 year old and 1 year old make it hard to eat out and often involves a lot of apologizing and shoveling of food) we entered the mountains and headed toward Winter Park.  We left John's Jeep in Denver so we could all ride together.  Aaron was thrilled to see the mountains.  I didn't point them out as we came into town (Denver) because I wanted to see what Aaron would say.  At one point he said, "oh mommy, mommy, look!  I see mountains!"  It was so cute and worth holding my tongue. 

 Making trial mix for the week

 The bottom level of our condo - plenty of climbing room!

The condo was great!  Thank you mom and dad for letting us use your time share.  It was a town home style with a living area and kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs.  There wasn't any air conditioning but we soon realized it was not necessary anyway.  The temperature was always in the seventies and at night in the fifties.  We did have a train very close by that came by at all hours of the night but it was livable!  We didn't care - we were just happy to be together.  The next morning we went grocery shopping and stocked up the kitchen.

Saturday was Jacquelyn's birthday so we headed into Denver to help her celebrate.  The drive was about an hour and fifteen minutes but the views were amazing so we really didn't mind.  John drove us around Lakewood a little and we got to see his new hospital.  It's VERY nice and "plush."  That's a good word to describe it.  It's only a year old and everything is new feeling and smelling.  We also looked at a house that we have had our eye on near Green Mountain in Lakewood.  We were not planning on buying a house right away but we really like the layout and location of this place.  The last time we checked it out (over a month ago) it was under contract, but the sign was still there and no one was occupying it.  Hmmm....

Sunday (Father's Day) we visited Red Rocks Church in Golden.  Yes we made the drive again! : )  This time we took John's jeep back with us because he had to work Monday.  The church was great.  I have been listening to sermons online since January so I felt like I knew the Pastors already and I really like their teaching.  The odd thing is...  it's in a theme park.  Yes.  It's a little bizarre.  I believe they actually own the buildings but it looks a lot like Silver Dollar City.  There are store fronts that serve as the various children's ministry rooms and the main auditorium is sort of like a barn.  You walk through gates at Heritage Park and go right under a train track that circles the park and if you look up you can see the Alpine Slide going down the mountain to almost the base of the auditorium.  It is an actual ACTIVE theme park with a Ferris wheel and other various rides!  It just happens that the church owns some of the buildings that must not have been used anymore.  The kids thought it was very cool and there is an ice cream shop right next to the kids area.  It was packed as we left.  Go figure! : )  All in all it was a great experience and we will go back for sure.  There are two pastors who preach on different Sundays and they went to school at KU so there are lots of Kansas jokes.  We felt right at home. We spent the rest of the day geocaching in Winter Park and going on a Jeep ride.  It was a great way to spend Father's Day!
  Entrance to Heritage Square
 Giving daddy his Father's Day gifts.  The boys made him a "picture portfolio" so they can send him artwork and pictures they create and he has a place to keep them.  It even fits in his backpack he takes to work. In fact, I think he's already shown it off to some of his co-workers!  (And we just mailed our first delivery!)
 Treasure hunting!

 A lot of the forest was has been devastated by the pine beetle which has killed tons of trees.  All over the mountainside you can see big areas of grey where whole clumps of trees have died off.  This was one area where they were clearing it out.

 Winter Park is in the distance..  Love this picture of daddy and his boys!
  Some brotherly love.  Awwwww....

  Along our Winter Park Jeep ride.  This is actually a county road but I wouldn't attempt it without a four wheel drive vehicle.
  Beautiful views.  Pictures will never do it justice.

We rode for over an hour on trails all across that mountain line.