Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Part III {Garden of the Gods}

The next morning we woke up ready to spend some time at Garden of the Gods. Liv's goal was to climb on stuff and she got to do plenty of that!
 The views at the nature center were great and we learned all about animal scat while Haven looked bored. 
We drove over near the area we wanted to hike to and then suited up Haven in the nifty backpack we got to borrow from a friend. 
I actually took some real pics with my camera before the battery died. 
See Liv blazing her own trial way ahead! That's her in a nutshell!
It was beautiful and the weather was perfect. It actually got up in the 80s and was warmer than I had packed for but we survived without melting! 
There were signs saying to stay on the path and not climb on most of the areas unless you were a licensed rock climber with gear...which we got to see lots of while Liv drooled with jealousy. In one area though they seemed to turn a blind eye and there's tons of climbing so that's where we spent most of our time. Ryan and Liv were more daring. 
I stayed with Haven who saw the area as one big sandbox.
There were some young women taking "little mermaid" poses on the rocks so Ryan followed suit. Haha!
The hike back to the car seemed a bit longer. We changed out of dirty clothes and headed out to lunch stopping for one last picture of this beautiful view!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Part II {Cave of the Winds}

So what do you do when you're on a roadtrip with kids who puke in the car?! Feed them ice cream of course! Their bellies were already empty at this point so why not?!
We arrived at our cabin in Woodland Park, which is just outside of Colorado Springs and has lovely views all around. "The Mountains, Ted, the mountains!" (name that movie)
I'm glad we got a cabin for many reasons: multiple bedrooms, a kitchen to make food in, and a laundry room so I don't have to do 70 loads when I get home! Liv was very excited about the bunk beds...which she only slept half a night in I think. The top bunk was too high, the bottom bunk was who knows, our bed worked one night (which kicked Ryan to the bunk bed and me to the couch because we can't sleep with that grinding of the teeth!) and then she chose the couch the rest of the time.
So really what she loved most about the place was the Disney channel. When you don't have cable at home, it's the little things. She gorged herself every morning and night on those ridiculous shows and we let her because it's spring break! In the day time we were out and about being adventurous and she felt fine but in the mornings and evenings she got pukey. No fever or really complaining. Just sat with a bucket on the couch retching while spaced out at the TV. I blame the altitude,
Anyway the first night there we walked around the quaint town and ate at the historic Ute Inn where we got this ridiculous pork tenderloin sandwich. It needed two buns!
The next day we set out to visit the Cave of the Winds and meet up with Nick and Abby who drove down just to see us! Luckily they brought their 3 sweet kiddos so I could hear Olivia complain all the next day of "Why can't Brynlee stay here? I wish she were my neighbor. I miss those girls from yesterday"
Brynlee, Haven, Liv, Bristol
The views from the balcony were spectacular and terrifying as Liv kept stepping up to the rail.
We watched someone do a bungee jump type thing into the canyon. Liv was all ready to sign up! (I had some SERIOUS anxiety at night on this trip. Broken arm flash backs. Might take awhile for us to make it to the grand canyon with Liv!)
The tour was fun but my adventurous 7 year old REALLY wanted to veer off the path and go exploring on her own in some of those dark crevices! I carried Haven in the wrap for awhile but she started looking pukey and I was borrowing it from a friend so Ryan got to wrangle her in his arms the rest of the journey.
The tour guide told us within 2 weeks of being in a pitch black cave you would become legally blind from your eyes being dilated that long. In 2 months you would go insane. I'll take his word for it. This one however will be happy to test it I'm sure!
We ate a delicious lunch at Adam's Mountain Cafe (Thanks Anna for the recommendation) and then toured Manitou Springs and their awesome penny arcade area. They have lots of old pinball machines and other arcade games to play. We played awhile and got our prizes and then headed to a park.
 The girls literally held hands everywhere they went. Wouldn't it be nice if we gave Olivia a sister she could play with and hold hands with?! Oh wait....that's right...we did! Sorry Haven, maybe next time!
 Ready to show off some pinball skillz.
 Some games were a penny, some free, some a dime, some a nickel, but most a quarter
 There was an old timey peep show called "Doctor's Office" to the right. Liv was very curious about it, I steered her away successfully. She walked around the whole place turning the candy machine knobs and eating whatever stray pieces fell out. Classy.
 Liv set a new record for the amount of time it takes to pick out prizes with tickets. In the end some candy won out of course.
 When the Mears headed back to Denver, we headed to Graffiti falls which was a quick 10 minute stop for Ryan and Liv to explore. Thanks to their expert rock climbing skills, Ryan earned himself a souvenir of a new pair of jeans at Target....although something tells me the people of Colorado wouldn't have minded his ripped crotch at all!
Is this something inappropriate? I'm too old to know so instead I just take my kid's pic in front of it.
 For dinner we headed to this themed pizza place, Fargo's (thanks for the recommendation Crains!), it's like an old timey Victorian Western saloon. The workers are all in costume and there's dead animals on the walls and stained glass windows and lacey curtains and a piano that plays itself. Real campy, real fun.
 Then we headed home to roast smores in our fireplace. We considered making them outside but it was windy and a tad cold that night and I didn't want to be responsible for burning the mountains down. 
Up next....Garden of the Gods...which I feel guilty about capitalizing so I will call it Garden of the gods.
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