Monday, October 27, 2014

Colorado vacation part IV: The Dunes

 On our last full day in Colorado, we hiked to Zapata Falls, a waterfall that was back in a cave.
We had to cross a stream to get there and Bruce fell in, so he was quite grouchy for most of the day. But it was still pretty.

 Phoebe hitched a ride on dad, but Bruce is too big for that now. He grew three inches last year and put on five pounds this summer, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
 We went to Great Sand Dunes National Park and spent most of the day there.
 This river comes down from the mountains next to the dunes. There are winds that blow toward the mountains, trapping the sand at the base. There are storm winds and the river that carry sand back down the mountains, so the dunes stay put in this neat little spot.
 Oliver loved playing in the river.
 Bruce enjoyed hiking on the dunes. I think he enjoyed going down more than up though.
 We hiked...
 ...and hiked some more until Phoebe got too hot and tired and stripped her shirt off.
 Once we topped one dune, the kids and I hung out while Scott ran up another. Then Bruce and I ran down, and Phoebe eventually recharged enough to run down with Scott.
 I went for a run on the dunes with Mark. Again, the elevation (9000 ft this time) left me gasping for breath. Oh, and the barefoot running on sand too.
 Mark is a beast though.
 Victory at the top of a big dune.
 Awesome run.
 After a day on the dunes, we headed to a nearby campground for dinner and a bonfire. One of Phoebe's favorite snacks is Cheetos.
 I snuggled with this guy, who traveled okay all things considered.
Now we are back in Boston and back in the swing of things. Scott is working lots of weekends over the next few months and starts a month-long stint of night shifts soon, so it's about to get wild in the Raymond Residence. We are glad we got a break!

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Colorado vacation part III

Phoebe spent her actual birthday on vacation in Colorado. She began her morning by checking out her shadow. She said it was bigger because she was five.
 Then she went for a spin on her scooter, wearing her new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sweatshirt.
 We headed to the zoo and Phoebe got to ride in a fancy birthday chariot, er, wagon.
 The zoo was just the right size and not crowded, so we saw lots of animals and got to get up close and personal with a few.
 Bruce and Phoebe like to take advantage of every cheesy photo opp and there were plenty at this zoo.
 Perhaps someday I'll put together a whole book of the weird places we've had our picture taken.
 I could also put together a whole book on weird places we've slept. Vacation needs to be relaxing too, right?
 This little spider was not in a cage at the zoo, but isn't he cute?
 After a few hours of the zoo, we went to Golden Corral for lunch. I didn't realize just how much Phoebe would love it.
 "I can get whatever I want and I don't even have to eat all of it!" After a taco, noodles, and rolls, she had a few chocolate-dipped marshmallows. Yes, it was that awesome.
 At one point the waitresses gathered around and sang some weird version of the birthday song; Phoebe pretended that she did not hear them. After lunch, we went to the local YMCA for some swimming (for the second time that week) and climbing...
 Bruce picked up climbing quickly and actually enjoyed it despite being a bit risk-averse.
 I took a turn on the wall too. I climbed the easiest route and felt proud of my wimpy self.
 And then Mark climbed up a ridiculous hard route and put us all to shame.
Phoebe was told she was too young to rope up and belay, so she took to the wall as far as Scott could reach her. She wanted to go higher of course.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Santa Fe

 As long as we were in Colorado, we needed to go see Scott's sister in Santa Fe too. It was a few hours of driving, but worth the trip. We went for an awesome hike with Lana's family at Tent Rocks.
 Scott's brother Mark took my camera for a run and snapped some sweet selfies, including this gem.
 The hike went through some narrow spots before climbing upward.
 Phoebe really wanted to go into a cave, so Mark indulged her by practically carrying her up a cliff for this photo opp.
We saw some pretty crazy tarantulas too. They creep me out, but Phoebe is not scared of anything of course. Scott said these ones were actually quite small. Ewww.
 We hung out at Lana's with her kids and two dogs. I just now realized that I don't have any pictures of Bruce in Santa Fe because he does not like dogs at all, and he was busy playing Legos or video games with Lana's boys.
Oliver did not mind the dogs at all. In fact, he loved getting his hands and face licked repeatedly.
 Again, the kids were thrilled about the backyard.
 And having cousins around.

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Scott's parents moved from Montana to Colorado a few years ago and we had never been to their new digs, so we decided to finally head west and check them out. Scott got a week off of work (yay!) and we relaxed, played, hiked, ran, and thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. Above is the view from their back yard; not bad, eh?! It's a nice change from the parking garage I stare at from my living room window.
 Oliver enjoyed free reign over the toys. At least once a day, you could find him just like this: in a bucket of Legos, chucking them out handful by handful, with a super-intense face on.
 Phoebe enjoyed having a yard and driveway, stocked with scooters and bicycles and ride-on toys.
 Phoebe and Scott got a bit too competitive in their scooter-racing once. That would be Phoebe upon wiping out. Good thing she is invincible.
 Scott and I went running in some cool places. I had the camera most of the time, so above is one of the few photos of me: picking a rock or something out of my shoe. With lovely scenery in the background.
 We ran on a trail that crossed a stream several times (wet feet), then snaked up a canyon higher and higher until the ground was covered with snow.
 The elevation was killing me. My legs were heavy, my lungs were burning, and I was gasping for air. Now I am back at home typing this at an elevation of about 40 feet (being on the top floor), so the 7,500 feet of elevation of this run was killer.
 Still, it was beautiful.

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