Sunday, August 28, 2011


Monday morning we woke up to crazy hair and fun times on the Ipad! I love our Ipad but how sad is it that my 4 year old and 2 year old fight over who gets to use it! The joys of technology!
Girl time on the couch.

Cleaning out the fridge--ice cream for breakfast--why not--we are on vacation!

Cool shades before we hit the road!

We arrived in Denver and had a quick lunch at McDonald's before heading to the Denver Zoo.

The first animal display--I can't even remember what that is!

The lions looked impressive on their rocks.

The giraffe's--oh the giraffe's--cute little giraffe posed just right for a picture while Mama and Papa giraffe were busy entertaining the crowd--there were lots of pictures and video-taping going on in the crowd and we got quite the giraffe education--the rest of the story will have to be told in person!

Daddy and the kids took a little train ride.

Some drum time in the Gorilla section.

All of us at the Denver Zoo--it was great to see a different zoo--loved seeing seal lions and polar bears!
We were all tired afterwards, but decided to give Casa Bonita a whirl for supper!
My good college friend Amber meet us there, so we all ate way too much Mexican food and watched a few diving shows! Caden loved it and Kristi and Janell were super Aunts and took him down to watch each show! I think we all would have enjoyed it a little more if we could have snuck a nap in, but it was still a fun environment to eat and be entertained!
Amber, Janell, and Jake all headed to their own homes that night and the rest of us stayed in a hotel on the outside of Denver! Caden and I went swimming for a bit, and then we all crashed for the night!
The next day, the hotel had an amazing breakfast buffet, so we pigged out, took a walk, and started back to KS. The closer we got the higher the temperature got--welcome home!
Colorado--always proves to be cooler and a wonderful vacation spot--we promise to go back!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Estes Park--more hiking fun!

Sunday morning we decided to go hiking again to enjoy the beautiful weather. Kristi had a friend from Denver come up to visit--so we split into 2 groups--our family went one way and Kristi, friends, Janell, and Jake went on a longer, harder hike! Day 2 of hiking went great--our family did the harder hike first and finished with a nice flat lake with amazing scenery!

We hiked up to Nymph Lake on Sunday--Caden slowed down today and really enjoyed climbing on rocks--we got several compliments for having our kids out at such an early age walking and hiking--always nice to hear!

Nymph Lake was a mile hike--and here it is!

More Caden photography--lots of lily pads in this lake.

Why not lay on a tree!

After this hike--we ate a snack and went to Sprague Lake--beautiful lake and has an awesome flat, trail all around it--we got to see fishermen and some wild life!

Caden always had a stick in hand--here he is drawing in the dirt.

Ducks--look how clear the water is--amazing!

Caden and Brynn sitting on a log watching the fishermen.

Both kids were amazed that these fishermen were standing in the middle of the lake fishing--a new experience for them.

Brynn found sticks as well and was drawing in the dirt while Caden took more pictures.

Our family at Sprague Lake.

The lake and scenery--breath-taking!

Our chipmunk friend that came to say hello right at the end of the trail!

Jacob, Janell, Kristi, and friends started out at Glacier Gorge, hiked to Alberta Falls, and went on to Mills Lake. I am sure they have stories to tell--but I have the pictures!

Janell and Jacob at Alberta Falls.

Kristi at Alberta Falls.

More Alberta Falls and more Nell and Jake :)

Kristi and friend Travis

Janell working on balancing during the hike!

Checking out the views at Mills Lake!

We all enjoyed our hikes that day and came back to the condo ready to chow down on lunch and take a nap--can't beat that for a Sunday afternoon!
After naps--Jake, Layne, and Caden went fishing and Kristi, Janell, Brynn, and I headed downtown to check out all the fun stores that Estes Park has to offer---our fun was cut short as it started to rain--so we all met up and headed to Poppy's Pizza for some yummy food before heading back to relax at the condo. Besides the rain, the weather was awesome--around 85-90--it was so nice to be outside all day and not be in the 100s--thank you Colorado!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ride-a-Kart Fun

We had a GREAT evening Saturday night in Estes Park. First of all, we were super happy when Aunt Janell and Uncle Jacob finally arrived--they have their own story to tell there, but they got to see a lot of scenery on the way to Estes, including some moose! Saturday night was both kids' favorite night and Layne said it was his too! We started out with a BBQ meal at Smokin' Dave's BBQ-we had to wait awhile for our meal, but it was SO worth it. Before the meal we headed over to the little amusement park in Estes and played a round of putt-putt golf, then we headed out to eat BBQ and came back later to do in the rest of the amusement park! Lots of smiles and fun this night!

Kristi, Nell, and Jake in the background showing their putt-putt style!

Brynn was a great cheerleader and was watching her Daddy close to learn all about golf!

This is how Brynn chose to golf--hacking the ball--we still have some golf learning to do here!

Caden made it in the hole!

After dinner--the "kids" did bumper boats--they had the whole pond to themselves and enjoyed every minute of it!

Caden's highlight of the evening was bumper cars--he was old enough to drive a car himself and he was in HEAVEN--big grin on his face the whole time to, no matter how many times he got bumped because he was doing a lot of bumping himself!
We also all rode go-carts and had fun racing--plus the bonus side was we had to wait at the most 5 minutes in line the whole night and several items we did had no line at all--a big plus when you have a 2 and a 4 year old!

Caden and Brynn ended the night on a little train ride!

Brynn (and daddy) convinced all of us we needed icecream so away we went to the malt shop which a good friend of mine from college had introduced me to--it has changed a bit since my college days but still very good!

The malt shop had fun wooden horses to ride on while you waited for your malts or icecream--say "cheese" Brynn, Caden, and Aunt Janell!
We ate our icecream and walked a few blocks around town and called it a day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hiking Bear Lake and Alberta Falls

Saturday morning we woke up to find Elk outside by our condo--pretty cool--they had no concern at all--just eating some breakfast! Brynn kept calling them reindeer the whole trip--which was pretty cute!

We headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to do some hiking first thing Saturday morning--we started with Bear Lake which is beautiful and a pretty flat, good hike to do with kiddos!

We have pictures of BEAR Lake from EVERY angle--so enjoy the scenery!
Kristi, Layne, and Kids checking out the lake, which was very clear--we could see down to the bottom!

Family photo time!

Kristi and Brynn climbing rocks--the sun was not in the best position for this picture!

Caden loved being the leader!

The girls--picture taken by Caden!

Next we headed to Alberta Falls--one of my favorite places to hike to growing up--not sure if I would do it again with a 2 and a 4 year old as you can go right to the edge of the rocky waterfall and I had some mommy moments about losing my kids over the edge, but all was well--Caden and I had a safety talk before we started and we all agreed to hang on tight to his hand not matter what! Brynn was a little easier to hang on to--but it was a beautiful view none the less!

Daddy and kids at Alberta Falls!

Kristi and Brynn at the Falls.

Picture Perfect!

At the top of Alberta Falls--we stuck our feet in--still cold!

Another picture by Caden!

Caden and Mommy at Alberta Falls.

We learned a few things after hiking that first day--do the harder hike first and save an easier hike for later--so we did things a little differently on day 2, but we all enjoyed being outside in the mountains taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. Leaving Alberta Falls--we had a few kid meltdowns--as you are hiking UP most of the way out--so we had to take lots of Caden breaks, but slowly we made it and he was proud of himself in the end!