Monday, July 24, 2017

Colorado - Days 7 and 8 - Red Rocks and Coming Home

On the last morning of our vacation we finished packing, loaded up the car and headed out after breakfast.  We drove about an hour and a half to Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  We used the stop to stretch our legs, take in the incredible views and have a picnic lunch.



I didn't really know what to expect at Red Rocks but we were all blown away by the sheer scale of it.  It's hard to describe until you're there and looking at in person.



We walked down to the bottom and then back up and y'all... it was no joke.  Shoutout to all the people there working out and running the stairs!



We got back in the car, put on a movie and drove another couple of hours to Colorado Springs.  Originally we were planning on driving straight home, but at the last minute we decided to surprise the kids with an afternoon/evening at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.  I had looked at it before we left for the trip but it was more than we were wanting to spend (it's not cheap!) but when I checked later in the week I was able to find a great last minute deal (still not cheap - but well worth it!).  

We checked in, changed clothes and immediately headed to the beach.


The resort had several pools, but we made a beeline for the lake. 


They had kayaks, paddle boards and several other fun pieces of equipment you could take out and TONS of beach toys.  Awesome!



The backdrop was incredibly beautiful and it was the perfect relaxing afternoon.






There go my boys!  And can you EVEN with that view?!?!



BAE-watch :) hahaha






After several hours of playing we made our way over to one of the pools because of the lure of the waterslide :)






We got back to the room and Dave offered to take all the kids with him to pick up dinner while I took a shower.  Annnnnnnd the best husband EVER award goes to..... Dave! :)  It may have been the best shower in the history of ever.  I even had time when I got out to read for a little bit before they all got back.  We ate takeout in bed, everyone got showers, we watched a movie and then we all slept like babies.

We were on the road by 8 am the next morning and drove (literally) all day long.

The kids were FANTASTIC and handled the long haul like champs.  We had 11 hours of driving to do and we managed to stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and one random bathroom break) and made it home in 12 hours.  Not too shabby!

I wish I had some magical tips for long road trips and I really don't.  Our kids watched a TON of movies, we had snacks on hand and we played a lot of "car games" (we looked for different colored vehicles, played "going on a picnic", kept our eyes peeled for letters of the alphabet in order, etc).  They napped, we blasted music too loud and had a handful of meltdowns (as to be expected).  My only real advice for long car trips is to just relax.  Someone is probably going to cry, it might take longer than you think, you're going to eat too many snacks and there's going to be too much screen time... it is what it is.  You'll get there in one piece and it won't be THAT bad... it might even be a little bit fun :)

The last thing I wanted to share was something I've had a ton of requests to share - where we stayed in Vail!  Last time we were in Colorado we stayed in a townhouse at the Vail Racquet Club which we loved.  We actually booked a unit there and then it was cancelled due to construction that was going to be happening during our stay.  

We had to scramble to find another rental and this property had a cancellation so we jumped on it!  It was the lower floor of a two-story home right in the heart of Vail.  We could walk to Vail Village and Lionshead, but if we didn't feel like walking, the free Vail bus had a stop at the end of the driveway.  It was great because we were right in the "heart" of things... but when you got down the driveway felt totally secluded.  Here's a little tour in case you're looking for a spot to stay.

When you walked in there was a little entry way with a wall of hooks, a couple of benches and a laundry room (the door on the left). 


When you walked in you were in the dining area with a bathroom and closet to the left...




And a HUGE family room straight ahead.  As soon as we walked in we were all ooohing and aaahing over the windows!!!



We knew we wanted to stay somewhere with a kitchen because we don't love to eat out every meal every day when we travel and this one was great.




The door on the left in the picture above led to the bedrooms and another bathroom.

The first bedroom was a bunk room and the boys LOVED IT!  It was pretty small, but so cozy!


The second bedroom...


... bathroom...


... and master (I took all these pictures pretty much on our way out the door Saturday morning but forgot to take one of the master so here's a cute one from earlier in the week).

Hands down the best part of the whole house was the back deck.  It looked out onto Gore Creek and is where we tried to spend as much time as possible.  We read, played games, took naps and ate meals out here.  THE BEST!




We reeeeeeally loved this location and will most definitely stay here the next time we visit Vail.  If you're interested you can check the rental info out HERE.  

Sidenote - this is NOT an ad of any sort :)  We used VRBO to book our last CO trip as well and I've NEVER received any kind of compensation or reward for sharing the info.


So.. there you go!  I hope y'all enjoyed the recaps and feel inspired to head to the mountains.  If you have any questions feel free to send me an email or leave it in the comments!

Tomorrow is Show and Tell Tuesday and we're going to share what's on our phones - favorite apps.  Hoping to see lots of y'all link up and share!

39 comments :

  1. Andrea! I think my favorite pics are from your Colorado Springs day. I just LOVED them all!!

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    1. Right?!?! The beach view was pretty amazing!

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  2. I hate when vacation recaps come to an end!! I loved getting to see all the details of this trip. These posts make me wanna hop in a car or book a flight to CO!

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    1. Thanks, girl! You should DEFINITELY head up there!!!

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  3. What a fun trip! That back porch looks amazing!

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  4. Hi Andrea - could you check the link for the rental in Vail? We'd love to check it out for a vacay with our 5 yr old grandson and his parents!

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  5. I've loved hearing about your CO trip! I live in Alabama (born and raised!) and have never been out west. Definitely adding Vail to my list! Hope y'all enjoy the rest of your summer! 😊

    houseofhorton.blogspot.com

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  6. The stairs at red rocks are serious business! Love the beautiful pics of your family. It looks like you had a great time!! 😊💜

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    1. Right?!?! Coupled with the altitude and summer sun it was kind of brutal :) hahaha

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    1. Right?!?! Talk about not wanting to come home!

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  8. A good husband lets mama get an occasional shower alone. Love it!

    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

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    1. YES MA'AM! And then shows up with dinner that you eat in your bathrobe. ;)

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  9. We have been traveling to Colorado twice a year for 13 years. We started when the kids were babies...3 months and now she is 13. I have tried everything to keep the entertained for 13 hours. From printing out bingo cards and games to giving a present every hour. But to be honest movies and food are the way to go. Really who cares if they put away 10 fruit snacks by noon. Now we just eat gas station snacks and eat dinner when we pull in. And my kids are still alive🙌🏻🙌🏻

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    1. EXACTLY!!! Last time we brought all kinds of activities and games and it was just a pain in the hiney to keep track of all of it and clean it up ;)

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  10. We've been tossing the idea around to drive to Colorado (from Austin) and the thought of being in the car with our kids for that long has pushed it off ... until now. I love the Cheyenne Mountain Resort photos. I didn't know about it and think that'd be a great stop on the way home for us too. Thanks for sharing!

    www.fourpointsmom.com

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    1. It was incredible! Next time we go we'll definitely stay there two nights.

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  11. Gorgeous pictures! Makes me want to vacation in Colorado now! My family drove to Santa Fe from Austin with two little ones (niece and nephew). We left around midnight and drove straight through the night. The kids slept probably around 80% of the time. My brother (the driver) was tired when we arrived, but he drove the entire time. So if you drove with someone, you could switch off and take turns napping.

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    1. We talked about doing that this time around on our way there but am making a note for our next trip! Thanks, girl!

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  12. I've so enjoyed your CO recaps! We're in Vail now and it is the perfect vacation spot. So much to do, and relaxing at the same time.

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  13. My family loves Colorado Springs (so much to do and see!) and Cheyenne Mountain Resort. My kids loved the morning they brought animals from the zoo to pet.
    I believe this happened soon after you left. I had friends staying there when this happened.

    http://www.9news.com/news/local/suv-drives-into-pool-at-cheyenne-mountain-resort/453864045

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    1. I wish we had spent two days in Colorado Springs for sure! I clicked on that article and OMG!!! That is so crazy!! I think I know which pool it was in and I can't figure out how on earth she drove UP that hill and into the pool!

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  14. You are so right when it comes to traveling with kids! We just got back from a 5,000+ miles driving tour of the Eastern US. We drove through 17 states in 19 days. Did my kids watch a lot of movies? Yep! Were their diets kind of wacky? Yep! Did we have meltdowns? Yep! Were sleep schedules off? Yep! BUT traveling with kids means readjusting expectations and getting out and doing it! I am always floored at the number of parents who say we are "so brand" to do rod trips with 3 kids, 5 and under and how they would never attempt to do it. While long roads trip aren't for everyone it can be done and the best memories and adventures can happen when you get out and explore our gorgeous country!!

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    1. That sounds AMAZING!!! Kudos to y'all for taking your kids on such a great adventure. I would LOVE to know where you visited - we'd love to take our kids to the East Coast one day and you know we're game for a road trip :) We used to drive from NC to Canada a couple of times every year and some of my fondest memories are on road trips with my family and (GASP!) it was pre-movies in the car days. hahaha

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  15. WOW! Those views are amazing. I currently live in Hawaii and we are making the move to Dallas soon. I'm thankful for the reminder that the mainland is just as beautiful as it is here. Thanks for sharing!
    http://whatsheexclaimed.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh, girl. Dallas is NO Hawaii in the view department! But I can point you in the direction of some great bbq that may distract you from the flat Dallas terrain :) Best of luck with your move!

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  16. Hi I live in England and we have always taken very long car journeys anything from the top of Scotland to the heel of Italy. Our children are now older but as we started when they were tiddlers a 12 hour drive just means we will be visiting a new place. Driving through the night and sharing the driving plus stopovers in new places are all part of introducing your children to the rest of the world. pile of new and favourite dvds have always been our go to too. I have loved reading about your trip and see some amazing parts of America through your photos. Thank you

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    1. I adore your perspective, Jacqui! The whole trip from start to finish is part of the adventure and experience. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the posts - thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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  17. Those mountains make me in awe....

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  18. I have enjoyed your vacation recap, sad for it to end. Vail is on our list, this makes me want to start planning! Looked like a wonderful trip!

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    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the recaps! Thanks, Jen! :)

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  19. What an awesome summer vacation!! It looks like you all enjoyed it :-) I'm pinning a bunch of this for the future!
    xo
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

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