Colorado Vacation: Days 1-3

So we started out at 4am, with high hopes of children falling back asleep after the initial “we’re on vacation” excitement turned into “it’s still too dark to do anything but sleep.” Notsomuch. Jack Henry did finally fall back asleep by 4:45 or so, and slept for an hour and a half, but the others were awake. The whole day.

Our plan was to stop and get breakfast somewhere in the Kansas City area, and we managed to stop at the grossest Steak ‘n Shake ever. Oh well.

best little travelers ever.

Onward to lunch at a rest stop in the middle of Kansas, which worked out really well. I’d packed a lunch the night before and brought it with us, so we ate and then the boys had a chance to just run around for a couple of minutes (in the blazing heat). Lunch at a rest stop totally reminds me of travel with my family growing up.

lunch at a rest area is fun! for real!

We made it to our destination, Colby, by mid-late afternoon. I was so pleasantly surprised by how nice our hotel was there…it wasn’t cheap, but it was clean and only a year old, and decorated really nicely. Also, the employees were exceptionally nice and helpful. If you’re driving from the Midwest to Colorado, make the Hampton Inn your stop…you won’t be sorry. Good breakfast the next morning, too. //commercial over.

Bennett managed to lose his first tooth that night, too, which will get its own post soon.

yes, i took a picture of the hotel carpet...isn't it funky and modern? loved it!

@the hampton inn in colby - pretty bathroom, but with a sink way too tall for B & JH. the cooler was a perfect stepstool!

On the road by 8am or so, we drove the boring part of Colorado, stopping at the visitor’s center, and then at Bennett, and then on to Denver, where you can at least catch a glimpse of the Rockies!

woohoo! we made it to colorado! and now i have to dig up a picture of my parents at this same spot.

We ate a good lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery (a place Matt used to frequent when he traveled to Denver for work), walked around with the extremely diverse crowd on the 16th Street Mall (um, wow…just. wow), bought a few Colorado Rockies MLB souvenirs, and headed for our hotel before attending the Rockies game that night.

Another plug: StubHub. I got a great deal on our tickets through their site! The game was delayed 50 minutes due to weather, which was a bummer. But the boys were so into it, as the Rockies were playing a big Cardinals’ rival, the Brewers. It was fun to root for the home team, since we all despise the Brewers. However, Jack Henry kept calling the Rockies the Yankees, and he repeated rooted for the Brewers just to upset his brothers! Stinker. After a little bit of drama, JH crashed on my shoulder. And while I nearly melted from the heat of having a small furnace on my lap + felt a bit crushed by holding a sleeping child, I made it 3 innings so we could see the end of the game. Plus, I realized that it very well may be the last time one of my kids falls asleep while I’m holding him, so I just tried to enjoy it. The game was very exciting, and the Rockies, tied at the top of the 9th, gave up a homer and lost the game.

go yankees! er, rockies, i mean!

i hate that matt's eyes were so red from the hotel pool...who opens their eyes underwater? crazy.

Back to the hotel for a bad night’s sleep…we can say, for certain, that our family has outgrown a standard-sized room (with an inflatable mattress on the floor). All of us sleeping in one room is just really unpleasant.

On Sunday, we headed out to Golden for the Heritage Square “Amusement Park” (yes, it’s in quotes on purpose). The big attraction here was the Alpine Slide, and it was very cool. As I thought may happen, Jack Henry did not want to participate…he’s not much of an adventurer, and when he saw the chair lift, he was out. I’d been on one in Breckenridge about 15 years ago and loved it; the boys, in preparation, had watched many youtube videos and were pumped to try it. So JH and I waited at the bottom while Matt took the 2 boys to the top. They loved it!

luke had to ride the chair lift by himself...he said later that it was the scariest thing he'd ever done!

bennett and matt made their way up after luke took off...they agreed that the chair lift was pretty freaky.

at the bottom of the alpine slide! jack henry took this picture for me since i had the video camera out.

Because we are totally lame parents, we never take our kids to carnivals, Six Flags, etc. So while at this “Amusement Park” we decided to let the kids choose a couple of rides to go on. And really, they had a great time. But to suggest that this is a theme park that you’d want to buy unlimited passes to and spend a day at is a huge stretch. Before we got there, we considered doing so…but take my advice. If you want to do an Alpine Slide, by all means, go. And maybe plan to drop $20 or so on rides after that. But no need to spend the day. I will say that with the exception of a teenage girl on a crazy power-trip who was running the Go-Karts, the rest of the teens running the rides were very nice.

jack henry's first ride choice

first ride on a tilt-a-whirl! they screamed but they loved it! i nearly barfed just watching them.

After that, we went to watch the movie Cars 2 (kids loved; I was a little disappointed in how the story was so adult-themed and hard for kids to follow), which was part of our vacation plan. We headed back to the hotel for an early evening, watching the rest of Swiss Family Robinson (I puffy heart love this movie) before turning in for the night.

Overall, we didn’t do everything we thought we’d have time for in Denver. We really planned to go to the zoo on Saturday when we got to town, but realized that we just didn’t have time to do it. Then our Sunday was kind of broken up, too, not allowing time for much else besides Golden (going to the movie after was fine – it was unseasonably warm/humid in Denver, so being inside for a while was good).

And really, since we live in a metropolitan area, we would skip this next time, or just stay one night and go to the ballpark with the boys. We can do so many cool “city” things for free right here at home! We would have loved an extra day in the mountains, but more on that later…

4 responses to “Colorado Vacation: Days 1-3

  1. Lovin’ the Cardinal dudes at the Rockies game – way to stay true! That slide looks awesome – did you do it near IL? Not sure about the carpet but it looks like the bathroom was spacious – just a plus when you have 3 kids. I know the feeling of almost outgrowing a hotel room. We got an extended room when we went to Chicago and that was 2 yrs ago! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip…..

  2. FUN Nicole!!!! Can’t wait to read about the mountains and the cool house you stayed in!

  3. I have been to that “theme park!” Yeah, Ben and I and our friends were a little scared by the whole thing but the alpine slide was fun and worth a little bit of fright. How fun!

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