Latte in hand and waiting to board. Perfect.
Snacks are ready and so is the portable DVD player. Let's go!
Have you ever tried to rent a car directly from the Denver airport? Don't, it's ridiculous. We saved almost $400 by renting from a Budget location about 30 miles away from the airport. The catch is that you have to figure out how to get yourself there...which for us meant renting a $20 car from Hotwire for 2 hours. It did take a little longer and was kind of a pain in the butt, but I think it was totally worth it. You should probably ask Ashley though, you had to hang at the airport with a toddler for a few more hours.
The Bigelows headed to Colorado Springs for the night and we headed to Golden, CO for the Coors Brewery tour. It was awesome!
We made it up to Estes Park on Saturday night and relaxed. We were pretty tired from an early morning departure. Our home for the week was Rams Horn Village, courtesy of my generous inlaws who couldn't use one of their timeshare weeks this year. Thank you!
The next morning we headed to Fort Collins for some whitewater rafting on the Poudre River. We opted for the wild and scenic tour and I was puh-retty nervous as we got the "What to Do When You Fall Out of the Raft" speech. Oh my word. But much to my pleasant surprise, rafting was awesome! I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.
We saw big-horned sheep on the way to Fort Collins.
We rented a child carrier and hiked on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It worked out great! Then again, I wasn't the person designated to carry the 30-pound pumpkin on my back.
Hiking on Lilly Mountain
Our trip to Emerald Lake on Tuesday - very beautiful!
After our morning hike to Emerald Lake, we drove to the top of Trail Ridge Road. It's the highest place you can go in Estes Park by car. Those curvy roads didn't set well with Audrey's tummy filled with the Goldfish crackers we kept feeding her while we waited on long construction delays. As luck would have it, I was alone with her in the backseat while Ashley bought her some lunch and the boys browsed in the gift shop. Let's just say that Andrew found Audrey and I just hanging out in the parking lot later, both covered in puke. Luckily, I'm not very squeamish, so if someone had to be in the backseat of the car, it's probably best it was me. And that we were stopped. Plus, now Audrey and I have a special bond that only puke can create. It may be awhile before I scarf down a bag of Goldfish again.
Sorry I puked on you! I'm still adorable!
On Wednesday I was able to cross something else off the Life List -
Brent and I hiked to the top of Flattop Mountain, an 8.8 mile hike. At first it seemed easy, but once we got above the treeline at 11,000 feet I was feeling it. And all I could think was, "Wow, I am SO glad I'm not doing Longs Peak tomorrow! I would never make it!"
It was bright up there! And cold. Note the glacier behind me. The cellphone reception was exceptional, something we struggled with all week. I had a 15 minute conversation with Big Lou on top of that mountain.
On Thursday our men left around 1:00 a.m. to climb Longs Peak. I'm not going to tell the story because Andrew has already done it so well, but I will just say that I am super impressed. It sounds ridiculous and I am so happy they made it back alive!
Tired, tired guys.
We had wonderful meals every night on vacation. There was seriously not a bad meal eaten by anyone. The most interesting experience was on Friday night at The Baldpate Inn. I just got done saying to Brent, "I am ONLY ordering salad tonight!" (since it was definitely time for vacation detox to start) when we were told by our server that the ONLY thing they have is a salad and soup bar. So weird! Great corn chowder and homemade breads, but more of a lunch place than a Friday night dinner.
Look at those optical illusion arms and head tilts. I'm just prepping to have more senior pictures taken.
Thanks for coming with us, Bigelows! It was a great vacation!