John had a trip planned with some buddies of his for quite some time. It just so happened that the date fell just after we moved into our new home! So while John was away, the kids and I slowly unpacked some more and went out exploring our new neighborhood. We checked out the local library (very quaint), visited Stauten State Park for a special kids craft and hike, dined out at the (yes THE) local bar and grill, found an actual playground about 10 min from the house (um... its the ONLY one around here except for the elementary school!), and our favorite, visited Pine Valley Ranch. All of these things were 10 min or less from our house. We also went down into Conifer, a 15-20 min drive to do some grocery shopping and explore a thrift store and then on to Evergreen where we found a skatepark. And finally, we went down into Denver one day so I could teach my two classes and have a fun play date at the pool with some friends. Still, in all of that, I was able to get almost all of the boxes in our house unloaded. They still aren't quite put where I want them or organized to my standards but at least the boxes are gone! It was quite a week.
But back to Pine Valley Ranch. This place is amazing! It is a Jeffco Open Space Park that I had never heard of before and it's only about 10 min from door to parking lot. It apparently used to be a real ranch that was donated to Jefferson County a while back. There is a large, beautiful, fast flowing creek that goes through it as well as a pond where people like to fish. There is also a great hike that takes you up on the face of a mountain overlooking Pine Valley. It's really very pretty. And a little nerve wracking for a momma with two little boys who love to climb! But it was worth it and that was the most fun we had all week. The boys still talk about it and can't wait to take daddy back with us.