Last summer, we didn't leave the city. Jeff had a ton of work and the girls and I entertained ourselves with lots of swimming and play dates.
Probably six months ago, Jeff started talking about a road trip that he wanted to take for this summer. Here was his dream
1. Leave the day after school.
2. Don't even pack. Buy whatever you need on the road.
3. Drive and see every national park that is west of Texas (with the possible exception of the Grand Canyon since we were there in 2010) – Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Grand Tetons, Glacier, and maybe even Mount Rushmore.
4. Spend lots of time in cooler weather.
5. Be outside as much as possible
6. Come back a few days before school starts again.
I wasn't completely sold on this idea. Sure, I liked the idea of cooler weather and seeing some national parks I'd never seen, but the idea of driving for hours and hours (and hours) with my three wonderful children didn't seem so exciting.
So after much talking (and lots of looking at maps), we compromised. We would do a lot of Jeff's list – but with a little bit more structure…and a little airplane ride thrown in there. 😉
We started off our trip by getting up at 2:30 am (girls got up at 3) to catch our 5:30 am flight to Denver. I know, it's a bit crazy, but when it's the cheapest flight by a landslide, you just gotta go for it.
Fortunately, our Airbnb home was ready super early, so we were able to go straight from the airport to the house to drop off our stuff.
From there, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park and went straight to the top – about a hour or so on winding roads – where I had to calm my nerves by looking at the beautiful mountains and not the side of the road. We heard later that several times a month (a month!) people accidentally drive off the side of the road.
We parked the car and hiked up even further. Yes, yes I hiked. I guess it's hiking. Does walking up a dirt path count? In Toms? Carrying Kate most of the way? I'm counting it.
Selah before we hiked up –
And Macy when we got to the top.
And a quick windy family shot with the elevation sign. Toto, we're not in Houston anymore.
The girls had one wish while we were on this trip – play in the snow. Not just see the snow at the tops of the mountains. PLAY in the snow.
Well, you know Jeff. Challenge accepted.
We found a little spot that we could walk to about a 15 minute drive from the top.
The girls had fun sledding down the snow on their bottoms. If we would have had a piece of cardboard as a makeshift sled, we may have stayed there all day.
By this time, we were all feeling the jet lag and were ready for dinner (at 4:30) and bed. We found a really good Mexican restaurant – with $2.50 tacos for happy hour – and headed back to the house for baths, a quick TV show, and an early bedtime. Amen.