Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend In Estes Park

A high school classmate of mine recently said, "Traveling with a two-year-old might be a trip, but it is not a vacation."

How true we've found these words over the past 3+ years, when vacationing basically means helping the kids do all the same things you help them do at home, only in a different environment and without the benefits of your own space and your own stuff. I don't mean to gripe. I'm just saying that it's hard to really get away with small children. 

We keep taking about how we want to be a family that gets out, though. Josh and I, both individually and as a couple, loved exploring the mountains and playing in the sunshine. We want our kids to have a chance to share that love too. So this Memorial Day weekend we decided to take the plunge and go on an overnight to Estes Park. 

The whole trip was pretty much figuring things out as we went. Here's the scoop on what went well and what didn't...

We took our time getting to our destination. (Good idea!) We went through Loveland, CO, which is where Josh lived during middle school and high school. We had a spontaneous picnic by the lake. We stopped for milkshakes. (Good idea!) We let the kids eat the milkshakes in their carseats. (Bad idea!) The meandering drive there was one of the parts that really felt like a vacation, because we weren't stressing ourselves out about a schedule

Pics by Lake Loveland. I'm telling you—
this boy is going to be a heartbreaker!
We rented a small cabin at YMCA of the Rockies. (Good idea!)
What a gorgeous view! We let the kids sleep in the very tiny second
bedroom together. I won't say that was a bad choice, but I will say that an
hour after bedtime, Lorien was in tears: "Josiah won't go to sleep
and he won't let me go to sleep either!" :) 
We hiked around Bear Lake. (Good idea—our kids are great little
hikers!) We didn't really prepare for the amount of snow that was still on
the trail though. (Bad idea—cold, wet feet!)
This was one of my favorite parts of the weekend, maybe because it's a
very normal thing (we have pancake breakfast every Saturday morning),
but it was so much cooler on the cabin deck.

More hiking. This hike didn't really end up
going anywhere, because the lake that is the
real destination was much too far along the trail
for the kids to make it there... 

On the other hand,  this was a hike
that gave us great hope for the future,
because even at almost-two and almost-four,
Josiah and Lorien walked a long way without
asking to be carried. Someday, we'll do it again
and they'll beat us to the lake! 
Elk! We got in some wildlife viewing before we left—always a win!

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