The plan for our trip to Colorado was to spend the weekend before Labor day driving with the kiddos in our blue mini van to Colorado Springs, to visit my brother-in-law and his family for the week. We would spend the first part of the week hanging out and having fun with the cousins, and the last part of the week in Boulder tagging along with Justin on his business trip. My brother and sister-in-law were expecting their baby baby at the end of September, and it seemed like it would be a good time to visit.
The week before I was starting to make packing lists, and planning for a long car ride with four kiddos. One night Justin decided to do a quick search for plane tickets to Denver. It was a long shot; tickets are usually so expensive especially for a family of 6! But low and behold he found a couldn’t-be-turned-down deal on plane tickets, so he quickly booked our flight for the next Sunday morning. Suddenly, I was shifting my plans and trying to pack enough clothes for 6 people, for a 6 day trip, into 2 suitcases. Nevertheless, we were all really excited about flying, and turning our 2 day car ride into a 2 and a half hour plane trip seemed like a dream come true!
It was 2 days before we were set to leave when we got the call from Justin’s brother L, saying that my sister-in-law A, was having some contractions. The next morning the contractions were still coming and it looked like the baby was going to be coming soon! Our newest nephew was born 4 weeks early on the day before we flew out to see them!
Our flight left from San Francisco early in the morning which meant hauling the children out of bed at 2:30 am. They were so excited and they loved the flight, even Miss P! I had packed snacks and new books in each of the kiddos backpacks and that kept them entertained for most of the flight. Justin had downloaded a bunch of Chip and Dale cartoons onto my tablet which also helped keep them from being too fidgety.
We were quite the sight in the airport with 4 children trailing behind, and our arms full of suitcases, diaper bags, car seats, and backpacks.
We drove straight from the airport to the hospital to meet this little guy! He spent the first week of his life in the NICU, but everyday he made huge improvements.
When we weren’t visiting A and the baby at the hospital we would hang out at their lovely home in the woods, playing with the cousins, and coloring, and running around.
Tuesday we went for a hike to Seven Falls just outside of Colorado Springs. It was a gorgeous day. We walked along a wide paved path, that followed a stream, that led up to the falls.
At the base of the falls is a restaurant and a small gift shop. When you walk over the last small hill and see the beautiful little buildings tucked into the mountainside, it feels like you’ve stumbled onto Rivendale.
The long set of metal stairs that lead up to the top of the falls was so steep! Between the altitude, and the hundreds of steps, I was very out of breath by the time I got to the top.
But the view was worth the effort!
I never really thought I had an issue with heights, but when we turned around to walk back down those stairs my stomach sank and my head started to spin a little. I had to take a few deep breaths and focus on the back of Miss E’s shirt to keep from getting too dizzy.
We all made it to the bottom just fine and then took an elevator up to another lookout point.
The hills really are a beautiful red color and on an overcast day they looked particularly red.
After our hike up to the falls we went to The Carriage House car museum. It was a free museum full of vintage carriages, cars, race cars, and motorcycles. I was a little nervous to take all the children into a very nice automobile museum, but the kind gentleman who met us at the door said “Welcome! Please come in and let the children look all around. We even have drawers and exhibits that they can open and look through! Even the littlest one, let her down to explore!” It is not often that a group of people with 7 children in tow get greeted so warmly and it touched my heart.
In the evening we had pizza and campfires and s’mores, and the children had such a good time being together.
On Wednesday we left for Boulder, and spent day 2 days and 2 nights there, while Justin had his business meetings. The kids and I wandered around Boulder during the day, and met up with Justin in the late afternoon for dinner and more wandering. We shopped on Pearl Street, ate at so many delicious restaurants, and stayed up a little too late each night watching American Pickers in our hotel room.
We drove back to Colorado Springs for our last night in Colorado, to stay with L and A. Our sweet nephew was moved out of the NICU and we were able to hold him for the very first time! He was so tiny!
We got up early on Saturday so we could spend a full day in Denver before we caught our flight out of the Denver airport later that night.
Our fist stop was a special treat just for me! Fancy Tiger Crafts is an amazing fabric/yarn/craft store in downtown Denver. I’ve followed their shop on Instagram for a while now and I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to see it in person. Justin dropped me off with the instructions to “take my time and pick out some things to bring home”, instructions I was more than happy to follow
After that we drove to The Tattered Cover which is a local and well-loved bookstore in Denver. The Tattered Cover is located in an old theater and in the basement there is a delightful children’s corner that captured the kids attention. It has that magical feel that only a quaint, comfy bookstore can evoke.
Next we drove to the Capitol building and walked around the grounds.
Only a few city blocks away was the Denver Art Museum. We hadn’t planned on going in, but we discovered it was free admission day at the museum, and that was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up!
In one section of the museum they had an art room set up were anyone could come in and make their own art. There were tables and easels set up with all kinds of paints, pens, and pencils. This was the kids favorite part of the the museum tour!
Outside the museum there were lots of whimsical art displays, this giant broom and dustpan was a favorite.
After spending the whole day walking all over Denver, I think we were all a little glad to climb in the car and head to the airport. Home was sounding starting to sound real good.
Even though our trip met with a few unexpected changes, we still had an amazing time! Meeting our sweet new nephew, giving the kiddos their first experience flying, and making family memories that will last a lifetime.