As you may remember, two weeks ago we traveled to Colorado for five beautiful days. It was everything we needed and wanted. Sometimes movies just are easier to see it all, to capture the feeling. So here you go! (and if you want a deeper explanation, I have photos and captions of the trip below!)
The key with traveling with young kids is realistic expectations. Preparedness is the key. Having an “almost anything goes” attitude will allow for massive flexibility and adaption since routines are (almost) completely thrown out the window. And so we catered our expectations accordingly – one planned activity that we adults wanted to do each day and then the rest of the day was “resetting” naps/nursing/parks/frisbee/food. And it worked really well!
Horsetooth Mountain Park in Fort Collins was our first day activity. (the Horsetooth Resevior is so beautiful). At 6am, Peter and Matt ventured out for an intense hike/bouldering adventure going up the trail. Christina, the kiddos, and I met up with them on their way back down to then hiked down to the Horsetooth Falls which was PERFECT. The trail was just rugged enough to make it a challenge and simultaneously feel SO good to get the exercise! The altitude and hot-dry-weather didn’t seem to affect the kids too much, but I definitely felt it! Between the altitude and uneven trail and cliff edges, we thought it was best the natives held the baby while hiking :) The morning weather was cool enough to make the couple mile hike, and it was awesome to watch Ethan do so much hiking! We brought plenty of water and tons of snacks and ate our goodies at the falls. This was the first time Ethan used a porta-potty….(he was slightly terrified of falling in — but lets be honest, as an adult I have that slight fear too). But ever since that day, whenever we’ve gone somewhere new, he asks if there are potty’s there. (he was a trooper and did great!)
After naps and lunch we headed over to a local park/splash pad for some kid-wiggle time. I love how family life can be as “normal” as we want not matter where we travel. It’s a beautiful reassurance that no matter where life may draw us, we can truly live anywhere! My sister provided amazing homemade meals three times a day with healthy snacks. In preparation for our visit, they grabbed kid books at their library, a Jumperoo from craiglist, kid plates, puzzles, and balls, and allowed us to make their home pretty chaotic for a week!. We cranked the music for dance parties, put E in timeouts, stepped on legos, threw rocks in their pond….it was doing life together.
Day two included a trip to Fort Collins for an amazing breakfast at Snooze (yes, get the pancakes), a visit to their amazing local church, and wandering around to the local parks. We ventured over to Poudre Canyon for our “Colorado” activity and stopped to have a picnic and throw rocks (or whatever massive thing Ethan found) in the mountain river. There is something breathtaking about driving through the canyon and it doesn’t translate into a photo. You’ll just need to experience it yourself someday if you have the chance.
Day three was my favorite. It was a clear beautiful day so we headed over to Rocky Mountain National Park at 7am. We took our time driving up the mountain, stopping to nurse and jump on rocks, and view the scenery. Ahhhh, and then we got to the top. 12000 feet. Snow on the ground, but we got sunburned. Cold when the clouds came, but we were comfy in shorts with the sun. Again loaded with picnic lunches and tons of water, we breathed in the perfect mountain fresh air. There is something about the mountains to us — the best way we can describe it is that it speaks peace to our soul.
So that’s our trip! It was filled with hilarious toddler quotes, 5am wake ups, and grilled bruschetta. There were lost frisbees, a jumperoo baby, and a toddler asleep on our shoulder. There was nursing on the top of the mountain, occasional missed kid cues, and dimpled smiles everywhere. We had sun and snow, canyons and mountains, rocks and rivers. Elk were waved too, laundry was done, and puppy chow was made. The conversations were rich. Our love tank was maxed out! …..and yes, Ethan asks almost daily if this is the week we “fly high Colorado again right now? remember dat mommy? maybe colorado in 2 weeks. no no no. maybe tomorrow or next day?? dat sounds like a deal mommy??”. Never fear buddy, we are already planning our next visit soon!