Family Colorado Vacation 2016 (part 3 rocks)

So after a long day of bike riding, swimming and stuffing our faces with Mexican food and a margarita we found camp destroyed. It did not take any convincing to abandon the campsite and get a hotel. We got a room at the nice looking from the outside Holiday Inn that was 5 min from the campsite. Heath and the girls were out of clean clothes and just after getting settled started some laundry. Everyone was beat and went right to sleep so went to check on the laundry 30 min later. 1 of the elevators was broke and our room was a long way from the laundry room, when I got there I found the laundry done but only 1 of the dryers worked and there was a line. So I killed 30 min in the shower and on the computer and then came back to find the load before me had gotten restarted for a 2nd 30 min. So I changed into running gear and ran on the treadmill that worked but was too far from the TV to see for another 30 min. I checked again and the load was done but the guy was not around. I realized I needed more quarters so went to the room for the keys then to the car for change and then came back to find him unloading a still wetish load.

Luckily for me he called it a night and took his clothes so I immediately started a load and put enough quarters in to double it. I took another shower and wondered the hotel and finally got an almost dry load out after midnight. I plugged my phone into a dead outlet and went to bed. In the morning the clothes did not pass Heath’s dryness test so we started them for a 3rd round in the dryer. Bean and I went to get some quick complimentary breakfast and found my phone battery about dead and also that the hotel had no complimentary breakfast because the restaurant next door has free kids meal with adult purchase. I was low on sleep and patience but got Peanut and a pop tart and headed back to the campsite. I checked the forcast and no rain scheduled until 1-2pm. Peanut and I put the tent back up, strung clothes lines everywhere and got everything hanging and drying. I got all the water mopped up in the tent w/ towels.  It was not as bad as it seemed and hanging like that I expected everything to be dry in 2 hrs. We went back to the hotel and got in pool to kill some time.


Then we looked outside… pouring rain and crazy wind.

So Peanut and I ran back to camp and packed it up, giving up on the campsite. The stuff on the clothesline that was a little wet was soaked and the tent was full of water. We put a lot of stuff away wet and the rest we put in a tub to run through the terrible dryer at the hotel. Heath got us a late checkout and we began making a plan. We didn’t have reservations anywhere or even a set destination in mind for the rest of the trip. We liked the Dillon reservoir so much we were kinda leaning toward staying. We checked forcasts for a few hours in each direction and eventually settled on a cabin in Colorado Springs. Once our dryer load was done and packed we left. The girls and I dropped Peanut and Heath off at an outlet mall and we went around the corner back to the park. I cooked lunch and they played.

We played and ate and then it looked like it was about to rain again so we packed up and went to the outlet mall. We shopped a minute then got back on the road.

I was pretty worn out from all the rain messes and dryer mess and pretty grouchy at the hotel and got a little bit of napping done on the drive and then we detoured for the Florissant Fossil Beds.


Actually first we checked out an old homestead on the way there.

Then checked out the fossils.

and most importantly checked out all the petrified redwood stumps from when the whole area was a giant forest around a big lake.

These were actually really cool. Bean was kinda falling apart and the place was closing soon but we really liked the area, wanted to come back and were glad we made the little side trip over.

Of course all the hiking around the stumps got us thirsty and there was a whole new area of breweries.

We got into Colorado Springs and were a bit surprised to find our cabin backed up to the highway with just a chain link fence and a few feet of green space. The cabin was in the city not near the city but it was nice and clean inside.


It had room for all of us, AC, fridge, microwave and small cable tv.


We unpacked and made up the beds and cooked some dinner on the porch.

There was a big walking trail right outside the rv park so we went for a walk just before bed and ended up hitting the next door McDonald’s up for ice cream and cheeseburgers. We had a great night of sleep, the place was surprisingly quiet, it stayed fairly dark and the temp was great.

In the morning Heath did some work and I researched what to do and where to go in the area while the kids slept in late.


Eventually we all got dressed and left the cabin. We got back on the walking trail and headed to Red Rock Canyon.


It was already hot out and everyone was hungry. Luckily it was only a mile hike.

At first there was no shade and we were having trouble finding a spot to eat breakfast but we kept going and found a great spot.


It was pretty unique and still shady and cool and the kids desire to climb things soon overtook their tiredness of walking in the hot sun.



So we packed up and hiked, climbed, crawled and skipped our way all around the park.




My favorite part was the little lakes.



We probably would have climbed all day but we ate all our snacks and it did that wierd thing where it went from nice and sunny to raining very slightly and we had a ways to walk to get back to the cabin.


So we decided to head back before getting drenched and of course it got super hot and sunny on the walk back. Lily and I went right for the cabin and she laid down in the AC and watched Adventure Time while I cooked lunch and Heath and the big kids got us all large poweraids at McDonalds. Then we sat down at the picnic table to eat some lunch.


After lunch it seemed like rain but we had no clue. Everyone wanted to be inside regardless so we looked through a big list of museum like places and picked a dinosaur one.


We finished lunch and packed everything up. I also felt pretty good about the campsite cabin area and hung a bunch of wet gear in and outside the cabin.


Well we had stopped at a brewery across from the dinosaur place the day before so this time we went to the one next door.


It had a great outdoor seating area and it was not raining. Also Bean was fast asleep in the van so we parked right next to our table and let her snooze for a bit. We were also right next to a little pizza oven deal and once she was up we let the kids order some pies.



The smore pizza was amazing. Then we saw some dinosaurs.


or at least their bones


or at least molds made from their bones.


Actually it was a really good tour. The place did a lot of really cool stuff and our guide was new but really motivated and good. The kids all had fun.



We spent a bunch of time at the museum and then went out for Chinese Buffet because Pumpkin had been asking all trip and we were starving. The kids liked it but we regretted it because we felt sick and like we wasted a meal out.   Anyway we headed downtown for a drink and to see more stuff and parking was rough but we found a spot and then immediately found out why parking was rough. There was a huge street party event.

We didn’t many pictures but all the streets were closed to traffic and full of race cars, dirt bikes, bands and booths for all sorts of things. We watched some bike tricks and bands and the kids got some stickers and junk. The best was a big motorcycle jumping ramp.


We had planned to get a drink at one of the breweries down there but they were packed and it was not worth waiting for so we just checked out the party way too late into the night.

In the morning the kids slept in and Heath and I made plans for the day and took everything out of the van and then repacked it. We slowly snuck stuff out of the cabin and got everything packed really good. It was our last day in the cabin and last day of vacation so we set goodbye to the campground and headed out.


We started the day with a good breakfast. We looked up the best breakfast place and it was just a couple blocks from the campsite and it totally lived up to it’s reputation. They had a great outdoor seating area with a long wait but a short wait to sit inside so we sat inside and got right in. I think it was called Bon Ton or something like that and they had a giant menu and everything we tried was great. After breakfast we went to The Garden of the Gods.


Actually right away I kind of hated the place. We went late in the morning on a busy Saturday in June and it seemed like we were cursed to drive all day.


There were lots of little but overfull parking areas and then a line of cars driving between them all looking for spots. I was not interested in spending the day in the car before our drive home all night. Eventually Heath’s aggressive style paid off and she snagged us a spot and we got out of the car.


I was still a little grumpy though because there were so many people. Also it was a lot like the deserted red rock canyon from the day before and I was tempted to go back. The kid were dieing to climb and explore so we wondered some and it got way better.







We found lots of places to get away from the people and explore. It also got dark and started sprinkling and the people left and parking got way easier so we could drive around to other spots.



Eventually kids needed to use the bathrooms and eat so we left. It was our last chance to try more breweries so we got fries.

and beers

This place was called trinity I think. Our waiter was really good and we got some to go and he talked us into trying out another one that was close.

Actually Bean took the above picture. We asked her to get the sign, our beers and us. She nailed it. Before that we asked Pumpkin the same thing…

And before that we asked Peanut the same thing….

This brewery was really good and had some interesting things like Heaths Coconut mint stout. However they didn’t have food, we were hungry and the food truck outside did not meet Heath’s standards. So we tried the next one…

It also had a great porch and a full menu with great food.

It was our last view of the mountains before the drive home.

or so we thought…

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