The trip from California to Durango, Colorado was done overnight, so we didn’t make many stops along the way, however count on small children to need to use the restroom at the worst time possible when there are no bathrooms around. Haha. We also started to run into cooler drizzly weather which made exiting the car even more enjoyable.
I really failed at taking pictures during this portion of our trip and I don’t know why! Maybe because it felt so much like just being at home? I know at home I have to make more of an effort to pick up my camera at times. Plus, a lot of our time was just spent hanging out and chatting and unfortunately we were only there a few days, so that has a lot to do with it as well. Lots of good food and just nice to be home where really not much has changed, and as always a part of me thinks of moving back one day. Just maybe.
My dad has several of these large creepy crawlies around the yard and on his Jeep that he has made.
Enzo disovered Sprite on this trip, and now we’ve had to come to an agreement that he only gets it occasionally as a special treat. 😉 Also… while I try to avoid the kindles at restaurants, at this point in our trip the kids got cranky pretty fast and this battle is one I chose not to fight.
We (Josh and I) love road trips. He loves to drive, and I like to watch the scenery go by. We are hoping the kids will also grow to love road trips in time. So, why did we decide to drive rather than fly? The biggest reason is that it’s just cheaper, but it was also a good excuse to get to see lots of family, if only for a brief amount of time. Next time, we’ll probably simplify and shorten the journey, but for some reason we decided that we were going to go big and be gone for 16 days. At the time, it didn’t really seem like that big of a deal, until we got nearer the day and especially once the packing commenced. I have never been a light packer, but even I thought I was doing pretty well for 16 days. In reality? I didn’t wear everything I packed and absolutely could have packed fewer clothes. The bigger trouble always comes with all of the toiletries and stuff and hair dryers and everything takes up so much room.
The kids each finally got their own suitcases and it seems like I just barely managed to fit all their clothes inside. Once again, in hindsight, we could have done with less, so now we know for next time.
Okay… brace yourselves.
Notice Vega in the background trying to sneak in with all of our stuff? Also… I apologize for closeups of all undergarments. Probably more than you want to know about us, but oh well. I like to document the massive amounts of craziness.
We also neglected to bring any emergency cold weather things like long-sleeve shirts, which we will do next time. Whoops.
On to the fun! I picked the kids up from day care around the usual time while Josh was napping (after the bed was packed up) and they were excited to get on the road. I finished packing our smaller cooler and the rest of the snacks and we were ready to drive overnight to Colorado Springs!
In the blink of an eye it was our last day in Colorado, so we took it kind of slow. The kids got up and ate and played and then we decided to go to the zoo.
As much as I’m always torn when it comes to zoos (I love seeing the animals, but hate seeing them in cages), it’s always a good way to get out, and the Colorado Springs zoo is a really nice zoo. Plus, it was cooler and clouds were coming in, so it was fantastic weather to be outside in. We fed giraffes, the kiddos got to pet a baby wallaby, and my niece Aubrey was the Dr. Dolittle of the group – one of the adult wallabies let her get close enough to pet it and a chipmunk as well (though I didn’t get photos). It’s a great zoo for walking as a work out, though, pack lightly as strollers and wagons can get heavy fast with all the hills.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to home base so Josh could get a nap in before his first shift of driving. We had some sad good-byes, but I see many more road trips in our future, and maybe we can get some visitors out our way as well. *Hint hint* The drive home was longer than the way there. The kids didn’t sleep quite as soundly and both Josh and I were a lot more tired than the first time around. We made a lot more stops on the way back and didn’t get home until late afternoon by which time we were all relieved to get out of the car. Schedules and routines were off for us all, but within a couple of weeks I think things were mostly back to normal. Traveling does indeed get easier as the kids get older! Hooray!
We had a couple of days set aside before it was time to make the long trek home, and it was nice to just relax and let the kiddos run around and play. There was some napping and quiet time mixed in as well, which was pretty nice too. I was even able to get a little reading in, which rarely happens during the day, and hardly ever on vacation.
We did end up getting out (because kids get stir-crazy) and went to an indoor bouncy house place. It was thankfully not very busy when we arrived and the kids had a lot of fun. It was also nice to see Enzo overcome his fear of the tall slide after watching his cousins. Needless to say, he thought it was awesome once he gave it a try.
The kids got some more much needed outside time that afternoon. It was still warm, but not uncomfortably so. Knowing we’d be headed out the next evening, it was nice to have a lazy day watching the cousins play together as it doesn’t get to happen often. Two years is a long time to go between visits, but even more so when you realize just how quickly kids change in that amount of time.
We got on the road a bit later than my sister and brother-in-law on Monday morning, but still managed to get out the door before 10:00. Josh and the kids got to experience sheep-herding on the road for the first time and we could tell that the kids were a tad tired. Naps had been thrown off as well as bedtimes, but both kids were still holding up fairly well. We made a few more stops than usual and as we got nearer to the halfway point we saw signs for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and remembered what a friend (Thanks, Jeff!) had said. It wasn’t too far out of our way and we would need a place to stop anyway, so off we went!
In retrospect, I really wish we had planned a bit better and made more time to hang out at the park. Because we arrived during the time our kiddos would normally be napping they weren’t super thrilled to get out of the car (it was also in the 90s that day). Once I told Enzo the sand dunes were like a giant sand box, though, he perked up. We didn’t quite realize we’d have to cross a stream, which was thankfully not at all deep, but both kids take a while to warm up to water and had zero desire to dip their toes in. It was the perfect temperature and felt amazing. I was kind of jealous of everyone just hanging out in their swimsuits. We are absolutely camping here the next time we road trip to Colorado!
We also stopped at the visitor’s center on our way out, and though it isn’t big it has a big bathroom, air conditioning, and a great view of the dunes. There was a really big tour group at the time, but they were all extremely nice and thought our kids were adorable, so it was hard not to like them. 😉
Alas, time to get back on the road, let the kiddos take a much needed nap, and arrive back in Colorado Springs at a reasonable hour.