Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Colorado Recap Part II

Day 4:
Half way through the CO trip, we did one of the coolest things - we drove to the top of Pike's Peak!
(too bad the weather was NO WHERE near this clear during our visit... 
we drove through cloud system after cloud system on our way up!)
We were pretty elevated just being in COS to begin with (around 8,000 feet above sea level) but Pike's Peak stands at DOUBLE that: 14,115 feet above sea level (which is so high, it in fact had it's own weather climate there - a snow storm hit mid July while we were at the summit!!!)
The 19-miles of road from bottom to top took us a good amount of time (probably 1.5 hours?) and it was soooooo crazy and treacherous, especially considering we couldn't see what was over the flimsy guardrail!!!
 (one of the turns, coming down the mountain after our lunch at the summit...)
and unfortunately one of the only pictures I got on my phone... you'll see E's GoPro camera set up in the far left corner of the frame - we had it on the dash the entire drive, but - dammit - the memory card was somehow corrupted, and we lost two of the three videos... BOOOOO)

The kids didn't find the trip that thrilling:

When we got back to the house, Button caught his mouth on a coffee table (actually cut his inner top lip pretty dang good...) so we had the fun moment when Mommy freaks out at the blood, and just stands there waving her hands, while Daddy calmly gets an ice pack and paper towel... (when will I react better to emergencies with my child?!)
We packed up once again and headed to the hotel, where we were scheduled for a 5:30 group picture - of everyone in attendance at the Reunion! (Can't wait for that to be emailed out!!)  We then decided against attending a local baseball game that night (rumor had it the entire group of family was to be called onto the field during the throwing of the first pitch, by the surviving offspring of the original 9 kids - but then it got clarified that only he would be going onto the field) and instead found out that the local BJ's Brewhouse would have no wait time for dinner if we came right then - off we went for a great dinner (followed by ice cream and another rushed - and late - bedtime for Button!)

(Also pretty sure this was the night we found Button shaking a packet of Tie-Dye powder at the hotel before dinner - coincidentally, they had MakeTDShirts as an activity too... - and we gasped, and tried to brush it off him the best we could without getting any wet - he still turned a bit hulkish (the dye was apparently green, despite it's yellow powder appearance...))

Day 5:
of course, as the day of departure got nearer, the weather got nicer (UGH) so on Thursday we decided to walk through Manitou Springs, a great street of shops and 7 natural mineral springs that you can drink/taste right from the source!
They also had the best invention ever.

Like, ever, EVER:
 You remember those old rides like this, quarter operated, outside grocery or department stores? Well Manitou Springs had hundreds.

All under one (outdoor) roof, all for a quarter!

Button had so much fun going from ride to ride, he barely had started one and he was already scoping out others for what he would ride next!
We all settled in an outdoor patio for lunch, enjoying the rare-for-that-week sunshine.

Until it started raining, and we dashed inside... It was nice while it lasted...

The group split after lunch, with Bro + Family heading back to the house (which at this point, I predicted, they'd stay there for the rest of the day, despite those remaining were heading to the hotel for the last night and the live auction...)
I actually ended up sending Button home with E (and sister's DH) to be put to bed (again, late - because E decided to give him a bath when they got home... he was probably in dire need anyways...) and stayed to enjoy the auction with my sister, mom and dad.  (Mom drank a few (handfuls of) glasses of wine, and got all loud when she discovered she was outbid on a few silent auction items...)

The auction's all donated items/experiences (like the cousins with a beach house in S.Carolina who donated a week's stay anytime!) and the proceeds go to the "Family Fund" - people in the family can apply for relief, as well as Reunion Scholarships - financial aid to help them get to a reunion they would otherwise miss due to financial hardship!
Anyway - the auction was a great success, I only won a few items in the silent auction (fun times packing those for a plane ride) and donated $44 to the family fund. (which reminds me, I need to send that check to my dad, who covered me at the time... lol)

And just like that, we were all preparing to head home the next day...

Day 6:
Kind of like a hotel, we had to be "checked out" of the house by 10am (for the cleaning crew to come prepare for the next guests!) so we packed up Friday morning, while eating breakfast on the go.  Bro+Family had an earlier flight out of Denver (1.5 hrs away) so they took off first; my parents and Sis+Family were hitting the road (all in one van!) to drive back to TX in one day (YEEEESH!) so we packed up any leftover food for them, and saw them off with their *honk*honk* down the street... so the Buggy Family closed up the house, said with Button, "Bye Bye House!" and then had to chill the next 2-3 hours before our flight, late in the afternoon out of Denver...

So we headed to Historic Colorado City, another cute street with little shops (I found the cutest knit socks - pink, blue and cream (we didn't know yet if Baby#2 was boy or girl!) on serious sale (75% off!) at the cutest little store - Mountain Moppets!)

And then we had ice cream, for lunch... 
(Thankfully, most places we get ice cream with Button have sugar free, so there's no worry
of sugar rushes during naptimes!)

Not that he napped well anyways - I'm pretty sure he skipped it entirely on that last day of travel... which entailed making the drive up to Denver (during which - he started HARDCORE fussing and I thought, well no duh - he's TIRED! except he finally vocalized, "Baby go PEE PEE!" so - well, we pulled over and he went in the weeds, standing next to E - and MAN did he go PEE PEE!) 

Following the drive, we had to fight gas lines at the airport to fill the rental car tank before returning it, and then we had to wait at the agency for the shuttle to the airport.
Once at the airport (of course after checking-in, a last-minute diaper/OUTFIT change right next to security lines, and getting through security) we then took a tram/subway to the actual terminals.
Then a flight (direct thank god!) and waiting for luggage - and then another shuttle to our long-term parking lot, and then a carride - during which Button finally crashed! (AGH! It was 10:30 ET which was only 8:30 GMT, not horrible, I guessed...)
Of course - we forgot, until we got near our neighborhood at 11pm, that we were out of milk - so we drove to and from, only to find dark windows and "OPEN" signs unlit...

And that?

That was our trip to Colorado Springs, the last flight Button gets to fly on for free! (Also the last flight we'll have to cram three people into two seats!! I said to E, I'm kind of glad at this point to be forced to buy three full seats - he's getting WAY TOO BIG to sit on our laps!!)

a P.S.
A perfect quote I found in the last few days that helps describe my thoughts about SIL, and her fear of disciplining or speaking harshly to her daughter, or doing anything other then what PRECIOUS LITTLE DAUGHTER needs/wants/thinks she needs/wants:

Alas, a mother never is afraid,
Of speaking angrily to any child,
Since love, she knows, is justified of love.
Aurora Leigh

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