We got back from Steamboat last night at 10:30 p.m. after 15 hours of driving and I can't even complain about it. The kids were so good, even though we left our DVD holder with all our movies back at the condo (we had The Santa Clause, which my parents had just given the kids, so we watched that twice), and Cora was so good, even though she was sick and running a fever every time the ibuprofen wore off, and JP drove the WHOLE way and I barely ever even had to crawl in the back and do anything to pretend to be busy. So I read a book and voluntarily listened to college football games on XM radio and squeezed JP's hand every few seconds to let him know I cared and that he needed to stay awake.
It was such a fun trip. Our vacations are always fun- we love going places with the kids, but Colorado is particularly magical. I really don't know why we don't live there.
There's just something about vacations that makes memories brighter. We always enjoy the kids, and our weekends at home always seem fun even at their most mundane, but vacations are just more.
More of all the best things. They really do contain my brightest memories of each year.
We spent Wednesday hiking in a winter wonderland of deep powder and partially hidden frozen ponds.
I asked Claire if this made her just like Elsa and she said maybe, but we need a castle. And we should be wearing beautiful dresses.
Cora was rolling her eyes during this conversation.
We stopped in downtown Steamboat Springs to walk around and Cora was really excited to be inside the stores.
As it turns out Cora thinks snow is about as awesome as cake. And by awesome I mean completely terrible.
Luckily there was a cozy condo with a cozy crib and she took a 4 hour nap each day and slept for 12 hours each night. Tolerating vacations is exhausting. While she rebuilt her strength, I prepped dinner (SO happy to be in a functioning kitchen again) and JP took the kids out back to play in the snow.
And by play in the snow, I mean spend 5 hours constructing an awesome sledding course with ramp system and the greatest snow fort every created.
Claire sled for 4 hours without pause.
And JP built this entire snow castle with his bare hands (plus a pocket knife to cut out the door, window, stairs, and slide).
I ventured out every so often to sled a few times and compliment the architect and by 5 p.m. it was nearly dark, Cora was still asleep, and I was drinking wine on the balcony watching the construction and sledding continue below. It was wonderful.
My parents and brother arrived about 7 and my sister and Billy arrived a few minutes after and everyone was eating my dinner and drinking wine and sledding in the dark.
On Thursday we set out on another hike, a much longer one with even better views.
Claire got a few assists, but hiked the majority of it herself.
Thanksgiving dinner was catered and delicious and then there was lots more sledding and some outdoor swimming (heated pool!) and then Cards Against Humanity playing after the kids were in bed.
On Friday we went on a snowmobile tour (Cora went to Steamboat kiddie camp) higher up in the mountains.
Landon rode with my dad and Claire bounced between me and my mom. We stopped at a point where you could see 170 miles into Wyoming. Beyond beautiful. We capped the day off with a trip to the Old Town Hot Springs. JP and I raced down the giant water slides about 20 times (Landon too) and everyone boiled themselves in the outdoor pools. My sister made dinner, the ladies dominated at Cranium, and then JP set a World Record in the Paper Bag Pick-Up Game (sadly, not pictured). Then we woke up at 6 a.m. and packed up the car and drove 950 miles home.
Snow + fun + family. What could be better?!
(Other than avoiding the drive and just living there in the first place.)
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