Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Family Summit

We pulled into our driveway at 9:38 p.m. last time (the exact time I predicted when we were driving through Amarillo many hours earlier; it's a gift wrought from a childhood of road trips) and I realized in that moment how much this house has become home- and oh, did it feel good to be here. We tucked our little troopers in bed, unpacked the car and suitcases (I can't go to sleep without unpacking, it's one of my more charming quirks), and crawled into bed ourselves. I woke up with my "maybe I have a bit of a cold" having morphed into a "oh crap this is going to be a real thing" thing that is keeping me on the couch hacking up my lungs and watching an all day marathon of House instead of working. On the upside, you get to see more of my vacation pictures.

Hit it!

After a Saturday of freezing temperatures, short hikes, and home cooking (and NAPS! naps for everyone!), we decided to take a drive to Idaho Springs on Sunday to visit JP's favorite restaurant in the whole world- the Tommyknocker brewery on exit 240 off I-70 between Denver and the ski slopes. We stop there every time we go on a Colorado vacation, this is just the first time we weren't here to ski.

Like everywhere in Colorado, the drive along Highway 6 between Golden and Idaho Springs is absurdly beautiful. We pulled over on the side of the road several times to do some little hikes.

hopping between rocks on a river is pretty much my favorite outdoor activity

jumping in for a swim

Hmmm, where to next?

Since we weren't on a rush to get to the slopes, we got to walk around the town of Idaho Springs a bit after our meal. I love that just strolling the sidewalks in a mountain town offers you the kind of beautiful views we drove 13 hours to see. I wonder if you stop noticing if you live there every day?


Because I have nostalgia issues with family vacations, particularly camping/Colorado family vacations, I felt compelled to buy the kids rock candy ("just like mommy used to eat!"). It was pretty much a highlight of their trip.

Each kid also got to pick out one souvenir. Landon is now the proud owner of a small glass vial of gold flakes (appropriately "Golden") and Claire has a purple mini pillow pet fairy ladybug thing, which has no connection to Colorado except that we bought it there. She found it in a store, immediately popped open the pillow feature, and tested it out in full napping position on the floor. Once purchased, she showed both her bug and her candy off to everyone we passed on the street.


Once we finally got back to Golden (after stopping again several times on the drive home, we love us some rock hopping) my sister suggested a local hike up Lookout Mountain. It was a very fitting last hike of the trip. Beautiful views, great rocks, lots of pictures.

Denver in the distance

Daddy and his little sidekick

on the edge

Me and my sister and little baby boy

Val and Billy and their children dogs

So beautiful. Also, handsome.

Whoah there!

It was such a great trip. I unabashedly love family vacations. Love. Them. Even spending two of the five days in the car was part of the fun (just perhaps not the very most fun part) because they were two days we spent together. JP likes to drive, I like to sit cross legged in the passenger seat and dole out snacks and read aloud from the Economist (driver's choice). The kids were so good and Claire was just thrilled to have us all in the same room all day. I loved seeing my sister and Colorado might be the only place I love as much as Chicago.

On one of our drives, I think to Idaho Springs, while the kids were in their car seats singing the ABCs for the sixteen thousandth time, and I was forcing JP to hold my hand as we swerved through mountain passes looking for a particularly good set of rocks to pull over and attempt to climb, I looked at him and said with a huge grin, "you know, this is exactly what I saw when I pictured my future with kids."


Landon correcting Claire's "Q-R-X" version of the ABCs, Claire loudly singing "Q-R-X" over and over again just to annoy him, JP happy because there's little he likes more than driving along mountains, and me smiling because yes, this is exactly how I hoped it would be.


  1. Lori (previously from Texas)10/9/12, 3:24 PM

    Hi LL,
    We've lived in Colorado since June and I'm still smiling everytime I look out the window or walk out the door! We LOVE it here!

  2. LOL... I moved to Seattle,WA 2 1/2 years ago.. and I have a very nice view of Elliott Bay.. I have yet gotten tired of looking out at the beautiful water,sea gulls, pigeons,,,and the tweets of a sparrow or 2.. and the ships and boats coming by.. Every so often one of the Ferry Boats will blast its horn...for some reason or other... and it always happens when I'm on the phone with a friend from Reno.. LOL.. they hear that ..and they just get soooo jealous...hahaaa...

    Sometimes I love living here.. and other times I am just wanting something else... it must be the Wonderlust in me.....

  3. Your pictures are gorgeous, but they make me nervous! :)

  4. I love CO!! For our honeymoon, C and I flew to Denver, rented a car, and then road tripped around the state. We had a hotel reservation for the first night, but after that we were winging it. When we started planning it, all of my friends kept suggesting the Caribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti, etc., but I wouldn't trade our week of hiking over rushing creeks, walking around random towns, and me screaming at C to "pay attention the road, are you trying to kill me before you have to live with me????" while he drove WAY TOO FAST around mountains. Ah, bliss.

    C's company headquarters are in Boulder. We regularly wonder if we could raise kids across the country from our families, because if we could, we'd move there in a heartbeat!

  5. Melissa,
    We did something similar for our honeymoond and had the same reaction from people. Why aren't you going here or there or somewhere prettier? We road tripped through Texas because that is what we like to do. =)