Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Colorado 2012

As we entered mountain country last Wednesday, I couldn't help but watch Greg intently look out the window as we drove. The trees, the air, the wildlife. It was as if it was calling his name. When he saw a father and son fly fishing he'd say, "Someday that will be me and Avery!". When we saw a group of hikers about to leave he'd exclaim, "If we lived here we could do that all the time." My husband: the adventurist, the animal lover, the nature guru. And that's why I love him - he brings out a side of me that I didn't really know I had. When I see his passion for nature and the outdoors, it makes me appreciate it, too.

Our trip to Colorado was nothing short of amazing. We jam packed the long with weekend with activities until the day we left. On Wednesday, we got up early and drove out there. The trip went fast, we made our usual stop at Ole's in Paxton for lunch and got to our cabin in the early evening. After we unpacked my dad & I ran in to town to get groceries, my mom played with Avery and Jon, Greg and Kristin went on a hike. 

Thursday we got up early to prepare for white water rafting! My mom had told me awhile ago that she would stay back with Avery if I wanted to go - and of course I accepted the offer. We drove on a school bus for a little over an hour until we got the Poudre River. With the little rain and snow they had from the winter, the river was extremely shallow and not very 'rapidy'. Our guide reassured us that is would still be fun, which it was. We saw some parts of the mountains destroyed from the forest fires. It was saddening, tall trees burnt to a crisp. We didn't return to the cabin until late in the afternoon so we all took a power nap, showered and made our way to downtown Estes for some shopping. 

Friday was the big day that Greg had been dreaming about: hiking. Once again we got up early to hike to Gem Lake. Although it was only a 4-mile hike, we were hiking up a mountain and climbing over rocks. It was pretty darn intense. After the hike, we drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. We parked and hiked to the Lake Lawn Dam. We also took the scenic route up the mountain to the tundra (where the altitude is so high trees don't grow - 12,000 feet). We were all so exhausted from the busy day that everyone was in bed by 10:30. 

Although we were all sore, we used Saturday as a day to cross off our last must-do's before leaving. We went and toured the Stanley Hotel - which is where parts of The Shining and Dumb & Dumber were filmed. The hotel is supposedly haunted and my mom, sis & I love ghost stuff. Next time I WILL go on the ghost tour! Greg and Jon really wanted to check out the Estes Park Brewery so we stopped there. We then had lunch at an awesome BBQ joint and went home and got ready to go to church. That evening we all agreed to just put on pj's and relax. We had a low-key evening of dominos and drinks. 

When Sunday rolled around we were all bummed to leave and go back to reality. The trip was so refreshing and picturesque. Greg is determined to live out there someday and I would have no problem with that. That state truly is beautiful. 

I have to brag a little about Avery before the pictures begin. My baby did absolutely amazing on trip. From the car rides to the altitude change to sleeping in her pack n' play to chilly baths (had to sit her in her bumbo and it was chilly). I have to say my favorite part about our hike was how happy Avery was. She didn't make a peep - soaked in all her surroundings. Everytime I looked back at her  (Greg wore the Baby Bjorn) she looked at me with the biggest smile. She LOVES the outdoors, kind of like somebody else I know...her daddy :)

Daddy letting Avery feel the animals skin at Ole's!

We're ready for our hike!

Hippie Baby

Our little family

Had to make a makeshift changing table at Gem Lake

With mom and sissy

My family!

Baby was loving the chilly weather...can't wait for fall!

Stanley Hotel - also a registered historical site just like Greg and my wedding reception venue

Dominos time! Kristin won.

Laughing with grandpa.

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