Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Colorado Part 4

After 5 glorious days in Vail we hit the road and headed to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs.  I'd heard great things about the zoo and Griffin had been counting down the days until this part of the trip :)

The first thing we saw when we walked into the zoo were the giraffes and they did not disappoint!  

NOTE if you're planning a visit - you can buy lettuce to feed them (which is totally worth it!) BUT you have to pay in cash... so don't be like us and just carry in your credit card and have to run all the way back to the car to get cash :) 

We've fed giraffes before but there have never been this many and they've never been as "engaging" as these were.  I know that sounds weird - but these giraffes were friendly and personable and it was such a memorable experience.  I think we spent close to 40 minutes there feeding them and watching others feed them and we had to PEEL the kids away with the promise of visiting again on our way out.

And just when we thought we'd had our fill of giraffes we walked across the little bridge and got to see the brand new BABY!!!

We got to see their inside enclosure as well...

Next up we visited the lion "relaxation room" and while the giraffes were my kids favorite part this part was hands down my favorite.  I've never been anywhere where you can see the lions so up close and it was AWESOME!

We watched them for a LONG time talking about how amazing they were and comparing them to Jelly Bean - it always blows my mind how they really are HUGE house cats (or house cats are tiny lions - hahaha).


Other highlights included this grizzly bear which again... SO CLOSE!  The sheer size of him was mind boggling.

There was a great interactive area where they had all kinds of reptiles out with volunteers for the kids to see and interact with...

... a really cool monkey pavillion...

.... and their reptile gallery was unlike any other reptile exhibit I've ever seen.

The animals were all in "artistic enclosures" designed to compliment their natural beauty and it was really a cool experience.

The primate exhibits were great as well...

... the best part was when we got to see a zookeeper put out these boards with smoothie-type stuff inside them and we got to watch them use branches as a tool to get it out.  It was awesome to see!

We saw an owl presentation...

... rode the carousel...

... checked out the INCREDIBLE view from above the elephant exhibit...

... and got misted ;)

AND we stopped by the giraffes one more time on our way out. It was MUCH less crowded and we were laughing because the whole herd of giraffes was following the boys and their lettuce around :)

We ate lunch at the zoo and tried to wait out the rain to do the "sky ride" but ended up calling it a day and heading over the The Cheyenne Mountain Resort for an afternoon/evening of hanging out at the lake.

This (and the water slide) is pretty much what we did from 3:00 until close to 8:00.  The weather was WONDERFUL, the sun was shining and the kids were loving all the sand toys that the resort puts out.

It really doesn't get much better than this!

Before the pool closed we made our way over there for about 6000 slides :)

That night we showered and ate Chipotle in bed and were all passed about 5 minutes after we finished eating :)

The next morning we were at the beach by 8 a.m. to get in a few hours before heading home.  We built sandcastles...

... paddle boarded...

... kayaked...

... and enjoyed pretty much the whole thing by ourselves.  Early birds get the worm!

We took one last dip in the pool before breaking all of their hearts and telling them it was time to go.

We went back to the room and showered, packed up the car and hit the road with these crazies.  It was 12 hours home and we pulled back into our driveway at 1:30 a.m.

This was seriously our most fun trip to date and I feel like this is just a sign of great trips to come.  We weren't dealing with naps, everyone was healthy, they were all excited about the activities we did and they all handled the LONG car trip beautifully.  

We're SO GRATEFUL for all of the memories we made on this trip and can't wait until our next one!

PS - if you've asked about the exact info for where we stayed in Vail I'll be sharing that as soon as we make our plans for next summer :)  Unfortunately, when I shared where we stayed two years ago it booked up for the next two summers SOLID and we've been unable to use it again so I'm hesitant to share until we decide if we're going to go back ourselves.  But I promise I'll share at some point!


  1. What an amazing time for your family!!! Loved seeing all the pics and following along!

  2. I love all the Zoo pictures! Giraffes are some of my favorites.

  3. Such wonderful memories made! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us :)

  4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the best!! They have a live video feed online of the giraffes and it’s fun to watch! The grandparents watched online when we were there and got to see us feed the giraffes live.

  5. I have so many thoughts about that zoo since we were there just a few weeks before you. 1.) That zoo is a workout, right? I love how it is built into the mountain 2.) The baby giraffe and orangutan...all the heart eyes 3.) The grizzlies were so amazing 4.) Did you happen to feed the goats? They ALL were named after types of cheese and legit could not stop laughing the whole entire time! 5.) Jealous of your beautiful weather...we visited on the hottest day of the year there so far. We lived in those misters! Can't wait to visit again when it is cooler!

  6. I have loved your vacation post! What a great week!

  7. Now I want a baby giraffe as a pet!!!!!!!! So cute!Looks like an awesome family vacay :D


  9. Have you shared where you guys stayed last year? We are late to the game but considering going this year :)


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