We just got back from spending a week in Colorado with my family, and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Saturday we got to my parents' house, and because they were still at camp, we headed up there and got in on a fantastic breakfast buffet :) We got to see a lot of people that we had not seen in a LOOOOOOONG time - including the band The Ineloquent with whom we attended church when we were going to school in Dubuque, but a LOT more about them in a later post :)
We took our bikes so we wouldn't get out of
the habit of riding regularly
After we left, we were fealing rather adventurous, so we headed to a bike trail that was a 5 mile loop, but it was VERY mountain-y (Colorado, go figure), so we made it about a mile and a half before we turned around - proud that we had even made it that far - at that altitude!!!
Saturday evening, we had dinner at my parents' house with my mom's side of the family. It was great to see everybody - my mom's brother Larry, his wife Linda, and their three sons Jim, Matthew, & Steven. Jim's wife Katie and their three daughters Sadee, Jaydin & brand new baby Peyton.
My mom's parents, Mommer & Papa (who live with my parents), my sister Kindra, her boyfriend Arrin, and his daughter Lily.
Sadee & Lily
After the extended family left, my parents and sisters and Austin & I had a family photo shoot! We took a ton of fun group and family unit shots, so I think I am going to dedicate an entire post to them, but here are a couple super cute ones:
L-R: Lily, Kelli, Kindra, Me, Mom :)
L-R: Kelli, Arrin, Kindra, Dad (holding Lily), Mom, Austin, Me :)
Sunday morning (August 2) we went to church with my parents and Kelli. The service was amazing. I always love going to church there, their music is always fantastic, and the pastor's sermons are interesting and challenging!
Dad had made reservations for brunch at the Pantry Garden - an adorable little place in Green Mountain Falls.
The view from the restaurant
They have a gorgeous outdoor garden eating area and a to-die-for brunch buffet!
We ate next to this beautiful little stream
Papa & Mommer
Mommer & Papa went with us, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely!
We got back to the house and shortly thereafter, my Dad's sister Geri came up from the Springs and the six of us went to the Mountain Arts Festival that was happening in Woodland Park!
L-R: Me, Aunt Geri, Austin
We made it back to the house just in time to get ready to go back to Colorado Springs and head to Fargo's Pizza - one of our favorite places, and one that we try to hit every time we're in town! There we were joined by my Uncle Jay, Danielle, Andy & Angie and their 4 kiddos JM, AM, M & A. Uncle Jay is one of my dad's best friends who has been a part of our family since before I can remember - there are many pics of him in my baby book. Danielle started out as a college friend of my cousins Doug & Steve, she moved out to Colorado and led my youth group for several years - she's an amazing friend to me now, too! Andy is the leader of a student ministry with which I was heavily involved in high school, and we were both in the worship team for our church before I moved. He and Angie have been friends with my family since I was very young as well, and I babysat their children for many, many years! Seeing them all so grown up made me feel a little on the old-ish side :)
L-R: AM, M, A, JM (oh, and me, I'm in the back-ish)
On the way back to my parents' house we stopped to visit our friend Sherry, then we went home - by way of Manitou Springs and the Penny Arcade :)
Just goofin' around:
Kelli & me
me & my cute hubby
Monday morning we got to sleep in a little, then ran some errands with my Dad. Mom had some things to iron out in the Springs, so Austin and I headed up to Keystone ahead of the fam. When we got there we hit the Summit County Rec Bike Trail (which ran really close to the condo we stayed at, and was AWESOME) to get the lay of the land.
Austin was a machine - even
at that altitude!
By the time we were done, Mom, Dad & Kelli were very close! They got in and finished unpacking the car and we decided to go out and explore the area.
They had gorgeous flowers everywhere
we had to walk through this tunnel to get
from the parking area to the shopping center
We ate supper at Dos Locos Mexican Restaurant and it was fantastic!
Kelli's such a cutie-pie!
We headed back to the condo and watched the movie Leap of Faith with Steve Martin (which we had missed most of the night before because we fell asleep, lol!) We were both pleasantly surprised with the movie, as Austin is NOT a Steve Martin fan, but it was surprisingly deep!
On Tuesday, we loaded our bikes along with Mom, Dad & Kelli's onto Mom & Dad's van and drove into Frisco. We parked our car in Frisco and then joined Mom, Dad & Kelli in the van to drive to the top of Vail Pass.
We all rode down the pass - which was absolutely gorgeous.
We stopped and ate our picnic lunch in Copper Mountain next to the river. The trail took us back into Frisco where Mom and Kelli and I waited (and shopped) while Dad and Austin took our car back up the pass to retrieve the van.
From there, we all headed back to the condo and Mom & Dad (who were exhausted) got some much-needed rest while Austin, Kelli and I went to the Silverthorne Rec Center and swam for a couple of hours!
We made it back to the condo in time to enjoy a great lasagna supper that my parents had prepared for us! We were all pretty beat, so we spent the evening in doing a puzzle and watching Madagascar - which is very funny for an animated flick (at least the parts I saw, I was pretty tired so I think I fell asleep about 30 minutes in ...)
One of Dad's birthday wishes was to rent a boat and go out onto Lake Dillon, so on Wednesday we did just that! The weather was great, we all got to relax and get some sun, Austin got to drive the boat, and the views were unbelieveable.
When we got back to the condo we decided it would be fun to ride our bikes into Keystone - it didn't hurt that we were heading to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get ice cream :)!
After that delectableness we biked back to the condo and swapped out our bikes for the van then went to Silverthorne where we saw The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Very cute, a couple of scenes I could have done without, but the story line was sweet.
From the theater we went to the Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco for supper. They make a mean burger, and we ate in the saloon, so we were treated to the Wednesday evening live music!
Thursday was by far our most jam-packed day! We started out pretty early and Mom and Kelli dropped Dad, Austin and me off at the top of Glenwood Canyon with our bikes.
our support van team :)
They went ahead and dove into Glenwood while the three of us rode our bikes through the canyon and into town.
me, Dad & Austin
God got downright artistic when
he created Colorado!
The last hill on that trail is pretty killer, so a dip in the Glenwood Hot Springs was more than called for :)
We had packed another picnic lunch, which we snarfed down as soon as we got situated on some of the complimentary loungers,
the fam relaxing
and we all thoroughly enjoyed the pools and the slides and the diving board and the sunshine.
Austin tore it up on the diving board
Dad had purchased and prepared a delectible salmon/chicken dinner for us at the condo. We had a lovely meal and then headed to the Lake Dillion Theatre for the revue A Grand Night for Singing,
which would have been great - except that the play was not actually being performed at the Lake Dillon Theatre. While it was being put on by the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, they were performing at the Pavillion at Keystone - about 1/2 mile from where we started, lol!
A Grand Night for Singing proved to be just that, in fact it had us all singing for most of the rest of the evening.
Dominoes was the name of the game when we got back "home," and Austin liked it so much he's decided that we need a set!
Dad's birthday was Friday, so he got to choose the schedule activites (not that any of us objected to them, lol). We got a nice, later, start that morning, and worked it out to ride our bikes into Dillon to have lunch at the Araphoe Cafe (a place where Hoss & I had also eaten while we were on our honeymoon <3).
We had parked the van there, so Mom and Kelli decided to drive back after we at, but Dad, Austin & I thought it would be great fun to bike back. I wouldn't jump right to fun in describing it. You see, the way from Keystone to Dillon is mostly downhill which means that the other way it's mostly UPhill :S lol! We made it, but we hurt.
After we had changed and showered, we decided that some shopping therapy was most definitely in order, so we all headed over to the Silverthorne Outlets, and we made out like felons! (That doesn't really make sense, because we paid for everything, so I don't think "felon" is the best description, but we did get a LOT of good deals).
All week, Dad had been planning his birthday supper, and he was very excited for us all to go to The Mint! This restaurant was so cool! You order at a "butcher's counter" and then you get to grill your own main course! And the meat was absolutely incredible! Very fun! Kindra, Arrin & Lily made it into town before we were done, so they came and sat at the restaurant with us - sampling some of the deliciousness. Afterwards we got frozen custard at GoodTimes for dessert(mmmm :D).
of course, Dad had to open his presents, too!
The whole gang went back to the condo and played some Whoonu and some more Dominoes (I was so tired that I literally fell asleep sitting at the table, but I managed to win both games! lol!)
Saturday morning we had to check out by 10, so we got up a little early, packed up, and headed to the Sunshine Cafe in Silverthorne for breakfast.
We asked our waitress for the location of a nice park because Dad had bought kites for everybody at the beginning of the week, and we hadn't had a chance to fly them yet. She recommended a park by Lake Dillon, so we all headed over there and had a grand old time flying kites!
I forgot how much fun that particular activity is! And the breeze coming off the lake was great!
Kindra & Arrin had to get home after that, so we said our goodbyes to them in Dillon and the rest of us made our way to Westminster to have a birthday lunch with my dad's side of the family.
We all met at my Uncle Tom & Aunt Pam's house and had a WONDERFUL lunch (boy my family knows how to do food, can you tell?) of flank steak, grilled potato/onion packets, fruit salad, cranberry ice, rolls with homemade strawberry jam, angel food cake and homemade ice cream! We did presents for everyone who had had a birthday in the past quarter, so that included Austin, Danielle, Aunt Pam & Dad. It is always so fun to be with everyone and I'm so glad that we got to have a family get together with BOTH sides of the family on this trip!
After several tearful goodbyes, Austin and I started the drive home. It was a NOT uneventful drive, let me tell you! We nearly hit a deer, there was a lot of crazy construction, and we had to stop to get three new tires when we were a little over an hour away from home!
All in all it was a great trip! Thanks for putting up with my wordiness :)