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.
The bottom level of our condo - plenty of climbing room!
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
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!
We rode for over an hour on trails all across that mountain line.