Summer Vacation in Colorado

We were out of town from July 3rd to July 18th on a big ol’ vacation. It started with the kids’ Grandpa, who wanted to take his family back to the mountains in Colorado where he used to camp and hike years ago. So he came up with a plan for a week-long family vacation, starting with 4th of July weekend in Cañon City, Colorado, then heading to Westcliffe to hike along the Rainbow Trail in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Since we were planning this way ahead of time and airfare is so, so expensive, Cute W and I figured that we might as well make it an extended vacation. We felt like the kids should see the Grand Canyon, and we set about putting together a trip that would take us from Colorado to the Grand Canyon before heading back home.

Cute W was born in Cañon City, Colorado, and we still have a bunch of relatives, some of whom live on a road named for his family. Our timing was excellent for baby-lovers, because there were two newborns to snuggle, and the kids had a great time playing with their cousins, second cousins, and cousins-once-removed at Cute W’s aunt and uncle’s house, where the kids alternated between exhausting themselves and recovering, often from moment to moment:

Canon tramp

For the 4th of July, we headed out to the Wet/Dry Parade, then barbecued. It was clear that our relatives take the 4th of July celebrations way more seriously than we do:

Canon fireworks cropped

In fact, between both girls’ exhaustion and M’s massive fire-phobia, they were practically begging to go back to the hotel and to bed.

The next day we visited the adorable and goofy North Pole amusement park in Colorado Springs. The whole thing is placed on the side of a mountain, so you’re running around up and down slopes the whole day, and at the top there’s a zipline that looks like Santa’s sleigh. The kids had a great time riding the rides. Although at one point after one too many times on something twirly, it really looked like J was going to barf. And then a complete stranger/fellow mama swooped in to the rescue with her brilliant solution: a small roll-on container of peppermint essential oil. One whiff and J instantly improved, taking her from green to chalk-white, which was a step in the right direction. The woman advised her to roll a little on her wrist so that she could sniff it as-needed. I think I need one of these for the car.

On Monday we headed out to phase 2 of our Colorado adventure, but even though we were running late and I was tense about keeping to Grandpa’s schedule, Cute W declared a mandatory scenic stop en route as we drove along the river. I was pretty much rolling my eyes as he pulled over, but once the kids started running around and exploring, I was glad he’d stopped. J pulled out her camera and got some great photos. Pretty good, right?

Canon cactus

I think I’m going to save phase 2 for the next post, but meanwhile, I have a bunch of reviews from later in the vacation now available on KidsOutAndAbout. You can check out my article on Preparing for a National Parks Vacation and my article on Visiting Moab, Utah, which links to a bunch of our adventures.

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