Places to Go (Vacation) - 5000 Miles in 5 Weeks - Week 4 - Denver, CO - Kansas City, KS
DAY 22 & 23 - Broomfield, CO (Denver suburb) - Catching up with friends
Before attending law school at Michigan, I lived in Denver for a few years and loved it so much that I planned on returning and staying forever. But then I met Dan and my life moved in another direction (i.e east).
Even though I've been gone for many years now, I still consider Denver a home of sorts. Maybe because it was the first place I ever lived on my own. Or maybe I still connect the city with a carefree life - full of happy hours and camping trips. Or maybe because some of my favorite people in the world still live there.
Really, it's probably all of these things. Plus the mountains. I miss those mountains.
Anyways, this summer, I really really wanted to spend a week in Denver with the kids (Dan had to fly home) and convince them that it's pretty much the best city in the world. I think I succeeded (well, F still favors Paris, but that's a pretty great place too).
We spent our first days in Denver staying with my friend, Sarah, and her family. The girls were so happy to meet Sarah's daughter and the whole group quickly became fast friends, thus allowing us adults to drink wine and debate politics on the porch. After three weeks of traveling, I can't even explain how wonderful it was to have a homebase full of awesome people for a few days.
Despite plans to spend our second full day meandering through the Rocky Mountains, I realized that my kids needed a break. So we saw the new Ghostbusters movie (so much better than the original), browsed used books, and ate Chipotle. Because, by this point, my children needed a vacation from their vacation.
DAY 24 - Broomfield, CO (Hiking Indian Peaks Wilderness)
After our day of rest, I could not WAIT to spend a day outside. But, our trip to Indian Peaks Wilderness area proved a little tricky. First of all, P came down with altitude sickness (so. much. vomit). After drinking a ton of water, we powered on. Unfortunately, storm clouds and thunder kept of us from reaching Blue Lake, but at least we made it to Mitchell Lake.
DAY 25 - Waterworld (the best waterpark ever)
After leaving Sarah's family, we stayed at my friend Carolyn's house, where she made us fabulous dinners every night (thank you!) and my kids learned every line to the Hamilton musical (sort of thank you).
We also spent the day at Denver's Waterworld, possibly the best amusement park ever. Okay, so the fast pass system is crazy annoying and we had to wait 1.5-2 hours for one slide. But does anywhere else offer a Jurassic-park like waterslide? I think not. We, of course, closed the place out.
DAY 26 - Broomfield, CO to Lone Tree, CO (40 miles)
Unfortunately, while we enjoyed the bliss that is Waterworld, someone keyed and destroyed the minivan's locks. So the next morning we headed to Target to buy new batteries for the car's remote. And then the kids begged to return to the bookstore. After which, we drove to my friend Allison's house, the third stop on our Denver trip. Allison has four kids, but all three boys (the same ones we vacationed with in Durango and Mesa Verde) were out of town. So the girls played with Allison's gorgeous 4 year old daughter. And, for the most part, we relaxed.
DAY 27 - Denver Art Museum
I had not been to the Denver Art Museum in 15 years and, in the years since my last visit, the building has undergone a huge makeover. This place is HUGE. And full of kids' play stations and activities. So. much. fun! Plus we all loved the Women of Abstract Expressionism Exhibit (actually that's a lie, T was bored out of his mind), but the girls and I loved it (plus, how cool to see the work of so many amazing females presented together).
A cool exhibit on art and dance. The photo of me on the left perfectly captures how I feel as a mom (i.e. frazzled).
The new building is full of triangles and jutting angles. We especially enjoyed the outside spaces, where the balconies offer creative frames of the city views.
Seriously, there were so many kid-friendly art spaces.
DAY 28 - Lone Tree, CO to Salina, KS (440 miles)
After a FANTASTIC week with friends in Denver, we started the long drive back towards Arlington. There is nothing as anti-climatic as seeing the Rocky Mountains in your rear view mirror and the Great Plains in your windshield. But we made it through.
On the way out of Denver we stopped at Castlewood Canyon State Park, in order to get some exercise in before the long long drive ahead. Unfortunately, the kids made it clear that they WERE NOT in the mood to hike, so we didn't stay long, but still we saw a beautiful waterfall.
In Salina, we stayed in a hotel. And we made it through. But the experience of three kids in one room with no backyard made me so thankful that, for most of our trip, we'd opted for airbnbs. How wonderful that cheap rental houses and apartments are so easy to find now.
DAY 29 - Salina, KS to Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City, KS (165 miles)
Two waterparks in one week did seem like overkill. But this was a long vacation. And, for the most part, my kids made it super fun. So GWL was my thank you gift to them. Plus, who doesn't love a lazy river?
So that concludes week 4. Next week I'll post on our last five days of vacation (mainly St. Louis, which is such a great city, especially with kids).
Happy Monday everyone!!