Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Who Had More Fun? Denver &Vail: Family Vacation Edition

Who had more fun? Micah or his parents? The answer…neither! It was definitely Nana and Papa, but not by much. ;-)

When beginning to think of a great family vacation location, we of course thought Hawaii. When that proved too expensive, we thought Florida or the Carolinas. When those proved too travel-time intensive, we were left pondering other ideas. Phil and I really wanted somewhere with either a pool or a beach in easy walking distance and of course we all wanted something cheap. Although we almost settled on Tahoe (I know…shameful…I used settled and Tahoe in the same sentence!), we went a less beachy route and decided to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Denver and then use my aunt and uncle's condo in Vail since there was a pool and since Micah had never been to Colorado.

We didn't spend too much time in Denver, but boy did we make memories! Micah had his own first chocolate ice cream cone from Bonnie Bray's and thus proceeded to run around almost all of Wash Park in hilarious energetic silliness bordering on delirious. My mom and I got to do some shopping in the cute shops on Gaylord street right in Ben and Beth's neighborhood, and we ventured out to Golden, CO for the day to experience the Train Museum (and accidentally encountered D'Deli which was ah-freakin-mazing!!!). Back at Aunt Beth and Uncle Ben's house, Micah got to spend time playing in their yard tossing balls into their garden, drawing chalk on their patio, and feeding Uncle Ben's fish and learning to say things like Blastamousa (a coral or something like it. I will let my brother's brain store the details of and spare mine).

In Vail, we were pretty much spoiled silly. Which is funny since the only real expenses tourist wise were a couple horse rides along with a BBQ at the ranch and a train ride. The rest of this spoiled silly feeling actually came pretty cheap. We spent several days swimming in the pool at the condo and Micah played at the Pirate Ship park or in the splash parks on other days hours. Nap times were mostly on the go in the stroller or in the rented minivan (which was so awesome and I can't wait to get one for myself now!). While Micah was busy playing smash nose with his Papa or receiving some kind of new toy or sticker from his Nana, they allowed Phil and I multiple "date" like opportunities. We got to do a beautiful hike alone on the mountain (If you're in Vail in the summer definitely check out the Berry Picker hike, it's well worth it and not too tough). We also got to do a long horse ride up to the high meadows, which would have been so romantic had my brother not joined us (just kidding, we had a lot of fun all three of us). And of course, since my brother and Beth came to the condo too over the weekend, Micah got to do dinner with them while Phil and I got to have dinner out on our 6th year anniversary! We took full advantage of our one true date night and checked out the free cruiser bikes from the condo, enjoyed an amazing meal of Wood Grilled Bruschetta, Sweet Corn Chowder, Borden Farm Tomato Salad, and the Colorado Lamb Sirloin at Mountain Standard before riding slightly buzzed over to The Lions Hotel bar for live music and drunk texting late night reminiscing. How did six years of marriage go by so fast!?

I could go on and on about how perfect our Colorado family vacation was, but you'd really just be wanting to see the pictures anyway, so on with the show!

This may have been right before all 4 adults (Mom, Dad, Nana, & Papa) lost him in the airport and had a slight panic attack before finding him around the corner, up a ramp, and almost going down some stairs that were cordoned off with an employees only sign!)
So nice to have Nana and Papa on the flight. Mommy & Daddy got to listen to music, read books, & have a drink!
So I used to think my brother and I didn't have anything in common. Then we woke up one morning wearing almost the same shirt. I guess being in Colorado & Washington hasn't changed our love for our home state!
First ice cream cone devoured. Can you tell he liked it!?
Micah loved feeding the fish and looking at the Blastamousah, shrimp, snails, etc. in Uncle Ben's tank!

This kid loves trains!
Fun day trip for more trains!

Riding the train in Leadville

Meeting the conductor and blowing the horn

This was a tired day!

Excited Brother-in-laws

The most gorgeous meadows way up high in the mountains for our 3 hour ride
Auntie Beth's first time horseback riding!!! She did it!
Fascinated by horses
Micah even got to ride on a horse a ways while Papa and I were riding
The one hour ride in the aspens that my dad and I took
Micah liked being "wrangled" by his dad at the stables

Getting the idea he could have stayed and "worked" there forever!

Every good ranch BBQ ends with roasting marshmallows! 

The awesome Pirate Ship park in Vail

Phil and I on our date hike up Vail mountain

One of the fun spray parks and playgrounds in Lionshead that Micah got to visit often

Gondola was another of Micah's new words from this trip

Three plus days swimming in the pool was awesome!

This was another of the splash parks/wading pools that Micah had fun in
Helping his Uncle clean up. Uncle Ben's nice piles of clothes on the floor did not please Micah. ;-)
Six year anniversary drinking celebration! So crazy…where does the time go!? 

I can't stop being in love with airport silhouettes 

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