Friday after work we didn’t have to rush too much. We actually delayed leaving until we were getting pretty hungry for dinner. I started the drive and took us to Lawrence to try out 23rd Street Brewery but there was a giant line and wait when we got there. The kids were actually really relieved when we didn’t eat there and drove on to Topeka and got dinner at the Blind Tiger Brewery. There was a short wait so we got a drink and checked out the place.
Dinner always seems so good when you wait really late to eat it but this time it was amazing good. Everyone’s meal was fantastic and there was a ton of food. We all ate so much and still brought a togo container out with us. Heath took the wheel, drove us about 20 min then we stopped for everyone to use the bathroom and get out blankets and pajamas and get ready for bed. I think we all (but Heath) crashed right away. Half way Heath pulled over for gas and I woke up and got my first coffee in a few weeks.
I started listening to a book about the Appalachian trail on my phone and the next thing I knew we were headed up a very snowy winding highway 40. We were running low on gas and I needed the bathroom and a drink. I solved all those problems in Granby and then drove on into Rocky Mountain National Park. I drove through the whole south end of the park to the spot the road was closed for winter and then pulled into an empty but fortunately plowed parking lot.
It was still dark but I could see the starts of a sun. I napped off and on for a couple hours as the sun came up and the rest of the family snoozed away.
We didn’t bring our snowshoes and had planned to hike but when I got out to use the bathroom I found there was too much snow. Eventually everyone got up and used the bathroom and we didn’t mind not being able to hike in the deep snow. We tried to sled a bit but it was not really possible. We decided to head down the mountain a ways and right away found a moose.
She was getting salt from the road.
We watched her for a bit then drove down to the visitor center. Everyone else ran into the center to watch a video and look at the antlers and pelts and such. I got a pot of water heating up.
When they came out we had coffee, hot coco, oatmeal and breakfast bars. We also brought Gatorade powder mix and started pumping fluids into the kids as much as we could.
We drove out of the park and through some towns down to Frasier and then bundled all up in our snow gear.
We rented 2 tubes, watched a little video then did some awesome tubing.
We rented the tubes for 90 minutes and that was perfect for us. There was a nice lift to ride back up but we were still getting pretty worn out and hungry by the end. We drove back into town and tried to go to a pizza place I was really excited about but it was not open for lunch so we tried the Peak Brewery.
Beers and food were good and really hit the spot. This is about the time we normally start to hit a sleepy wall but we were feeling pretty good. After lunch we went to a ski rental shop. We had reserved our gears and were 30 min early for picking them up so we were going to try another brewery next door but we checked in at the rental shop and they were okay getting us started early.
After Heath and Pumpkin had skis and Peanut, Bean and I boards we headed to the Inn at Silver Creek. We were 2 hours ahead of check in but lucked out and they let us in the room. We brought most of our gear up then claimed our beds and crashed for 2 hours. As the sun was setting I got everyone up and we finished unpacking and getting our dinner stuff together. Then we headed back through the lobby to get towels and say hi to the bears.
Then we hopped in the hot tubs
and the pool.
There were 2 hot tubs inside and a little pool inside that you could swim from the inside part to the larger outside pool. There were 2 more hot tubs outside. Over the course of our stay the various pools and tubs had some heating and other issues but we always had fun in some of them.
We got hungry again and headed back to the room for dinner and then put on pajamas and had an early low key night.
In the morning I got up first and cooked breakfast. The bedrooms were above the kitchen and between my noise and the skylight nobody slept in too late. After eating we rushed to the Granby Ranch mountain and got the kids in lessons.
Heath and I were on our own to explore the mountain.
There was not a huge base on the mountain but it had snowed most of the day and night before so the slopes were pretty good. It had been almost a year but we picked it back up really easily. Sunday the lifts were packed with people but the runs did not seem overly crowded. Heath and I started getting in the very fast singles line and meeting folks on our lift rides up. We had several runs then stopped for a break.
Then we skied for another hour or so and checked on the kids in lessons.
Then we had lunch.
Then we ski a few more runs.
and stopped for a break.
Then lessons were over so we gathered everyone up for a run down the bunny slope.
It was Bean’s first time on the board and we knew she needed more lessons but had learned a lot.
The other kids had gotten refreshed and learned some new skills.
We got off the mountain and rushed into our suites and into the hot tub.
It felt pretty good and if we got too hot it was easy to cool down.
We played till nearly dark before heading up for dinner.
We had pulled pork from the crock pot and the kids were pretty set on relaxing on the couch so Heath and I went on a grocery and brewery run. The brewery was closed so we got the groceries and brought home icecream.
We made breakfast in the morning and stuck to the same routine rushing Bean off to lessons but this time we filled up the 4 person lift.
It snowed lightly all day and we had a great day.
We had cooked a crazy amount of pulled pork so we had leftovers for lunch.
and made sure to take breaks
The kids had a great time and so did we and we really hit the whole mountain but did not get bored.
Bean was beat after her lesson so we just headed back. The kids relaxed and Heath and I ran down to test out the brewery we missed next to our lessons.
It was excellent and we got a crowler to go. We stopped in for a quick sample at a distillery and then headed back to the kids.
We had pulled pork enchiladas from our leftovers and planned for the rest of the trip. We were feeling pretty worn out after 2 full days skiing an snowboarding and decided 1 more day was enough. We decided to ski Tuesday and do something different Wednesday. We also arranged a late checkout to make Wednesday easier.
Tuesday it was really cold. It was -14F when we got up and -7F when we started the day on the lift.
Bean went to lessons again and we were worried they would be inside away from the cold but we spotted her on the big mountain several times and on the bunny hill the rest of the day. She was working hard. The mountain and lift lines were empty. We had the slopes to ourselves and just tried to keep all our skin covered.
Also our breaks may have ran a little extra long.
As soon as lessons were over we got a drink and snack in Bean.
Then used up the last of our time on the mountain doing runs all together.
Bean was doing great and we were so proud of her.
After pulled pork lunch we were ready for something else and canceled the pulled pork nachos dinner plan and headed into town for some Hernando’s.
There are over 30,000 one dollar bills taped to the walls of this place and our kids had a good time adding theirs.
I remembered eating here as a kid but I was curious if it would be as good as I remembered.
When I took that first bite I found it was even better. We ate sooo much pizza. There were 2 of those and somehow we ate them all. I’m pretty sure anytime we are in the area we are going to go back.
We turned in our ski gear and headed back to the room. The kids and I swam a bit and we packed a bit and then just read books and watched tv and got to bed.
We slept in as long as possible in the morning then had leftovers for breakfast and packed all our stuff into the van. We swam one last time. Then we drove back into Winter Park and rented some snow shoes.
We found some nice deep snow and trudged around a while.
After taking a little break we headed back.
The kids mostly wanted to play in the snow so we did that.
We played until our stomachs growled and the long drive home could no longer be ignored. Then we turned in our gear and went to Idaho Springs for the 2nd best pizza of the trip. The drive home went okay. We didn’t stop for a big dinner since we were so full from a late lunch and I don’t think I got more then a few minutes of sleep but didn’t feel to bad.
I should have mentioned we picked Granby Ranch because I had gone there for many years as a kid with my family. It was fun to see what was different and the same and to show Heath and the kids. After everything was booked we started really worrying that they were not getting enough snow and most of the runs were not open but it turned out to be a great 3 days of skiing and like a week later they got dumped on and opened it all up.