So, it wasn’t really planned to take this trip together. Dan called me from work one day and said he had booked his Colorado trip. It would be a weekend trip out to Colorado to visit with family and attend his grandmother’s memorial service. We had discussed him going ever since they made plans to have the memorial for her, but didn’t discuss me going. When he called to tell me he had booked the flight, we got to talking about maybe having me go out there too. We have never left the kids and gone out of state except right across the boarder to Highlands, NC for a New Year’s trip when Parker was 13 months old. Never since having three kids. We starting talking about my Sister-in-Law Lisa “Aunt LiLi” watching them since she was free during the summer with her youngest, and she is so great with kids and did such a great job with Sienna last time. I loved the fact that the kids would be at our house instead of in someone else’s house. I think it’s hard enough when the parents are gone and someone else is watching them, but stick them in a new environment, and it gets even trickier. So, Lisa was able to help us out and stayed at our house, and I booked my flight out there. Conveniently, my Mom wanted to visit that weekend too, so the kids got a lot of attention from her as well.
Since we had it on our minds, and heaven forbid anything ever happen to us, we made arrangements with a family lawyer to have our Last Will and Testament drawn up. We hate to think of anything like this, but even more so since we were traveling out of state. We did not want our children going into state hands, or having our estate divi’d up by the state. So, we got that completed and signed by witnesses before we left. We felt like it was the responsible thing to do, even though nobody wanted to think about it!
We left early on a Friday morning and got to Denver early afternoon. We gained a few hours in the air, so we had time to spare. It was so strange flying with just the two of us. We haven’t flown together without kids since I was pregnant with Parker back in 2009 on our way to Hawaii! When we arrived, we got our rental car and headed to downtown Denver. We thought we’d walk around and shop for a bit, and eventually grab lunch. Dan’s cousin owns a medical marijuana shop in downtown Denver, so we were planning on visiting him too. We found a nice area that had stores and a nice Fresh Market that had THE YUMMIEST grub. We decided to eat there for lunch. The city was different. It was a little dead at first and then it picked up with the lunch crowd. There was an interesting mix of hippie grunge folk, young teens, semi-professional daily-grinders with a sprinkle of businessmen here and there. It was great for people watching as well as shopping (new pair of Toms, and make-up at Bare Essentials). It was so nice walking around an not having to keep a mental note where the bathrooms are (for the kiddos), rushing through stores (due to kids boredom) or what time we need to scoot home for one of the kids’ naps!
During our walk we found a Federal reserve. They had a very small museum, so we decided we’d check it out!
It was pretty interesting. However, not as interesting as Dan’s cousin’s Eric’s Medical marijuana dispensary Lotus Medical. It takes away all stereotypes of what amarijuana dispensary should be. It’s upscale and unlike other dispensaries in the area, he only deals with medical clients who have a red card. Even though recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, they didn’t want to bring in the rift raft of the general public. They’d rather keep it upscale for their valued clients. He’s got a good thing going there! I was shocked to see all the different products available. Everything from patches to cartridges for e-cigerettes, to candies and other ingestibles. It was interesting to see. It definitely opened my eyes to the good uses for marijuana. Anyone who has had two glasses of wine to “feel better” can identify with the feeling. It’s a feeling of no worries, introspection, relaxation and even pain reduction. There’s certainly a use for it. In moderation. It can quickly become a crutch if you let it, as well as a de-motivator. Just like anything…moderation is key. Know when you need it, and know when to stop. I personally don’t feel comfortable as a Mom using it because it makes me feel incompetent and unmotivated. It also makes me over-analyze everything to the 100th degree, and those that know me know that I don’t need ANY help in that area! Haha! I think my smoking days are in the past, but can definitely see a use for it, for those who need it.
On Saturday, we met up with Dan’s family. I met several aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. that I had never met before. We met at a local restaurant that Ming loved, and enjoyed a beautiful memorial lunch with family. Everyone had such sweet things to say about this amazing influential woman and I learned a little bit about her, but also quite a bit about each one of the family members there that day too. It was beautiful. I got to meet Jess of Boston Baby Mama. I have been following her blog for a several years now, and we have kids around the same age, and it was nice to finally get a chance to chat with her, and meet her beautiful daughter Marlo. Her youngest was with Daddy at home due to an illness, but I hope to meet her in the near future as well. Dan’s cousin Steven and wife Janine have the sweetest little family with their adorable little boy Vinny. It reminded me of all the joys of life with one, our first born! Lots of sweet family members, great memories of days past shared, and sweet memories of their dear Ming, who was very missed.
Our last day in Colorado, we checked out of our hotel room, grabbed breakfast and drove up to Mt. Evans. We stopped along the way to take some photos, and then there was a restaurant/hotel that we stopped at and ate lunch. Dan was impressed with his Tetris shaped tater tots! The views were amazing. It was also interesting to see how the trees changed the higher up we went. Very beautiful!
We tried to make it up to the top, but it was snowing and very windy, so we made our way back down. We couldn’t get over the steep cliffs off the edge. Fortunately, Dan and I were equally as terrified, so he drove very slow around the turns. Once the snow and wind picked up, we decided we just couldn’t stomach going any further. It just wasn’t enjoyable because it made us both sick thinking we could slide off the side of the road, down the steep cliff to our demise. Very scary!
Then we headed to Idaho Springs, and it was a cute little town, but right after we parked, and got ice cream, the sky opened up, and it was pouring rain. We didn’t get a lot of time to look around the stores and shop like we had hoped we would, but that’s okay. It was definitely different not having the kids around. It was quiet and uneventful. Don’t get me wrong, I love one on one time with my husband, but it is just different when you’re used to having three rambunctious kiddos around, and then you don’t for a few days. We love our time together, but also cherish our time as a family too.
On our way back to the airport, we stopped at an Outdoor World. It isn’t the mothership, but it was pretty close. Biggest Outdoor World we had ever been to. It was very cool to see camping tents set up, lots of clothes, outdoor gear, etc. Very fun… They had some serious stuffed taxidermy animals (one that looked scary like our old dog Summer) and we got a little carried away without the kids. I guess we missed the kids so much that we started acting like them. Haha.
We made our way back home that evening. It was brutal flying a delay’d red eye out of Denver. We didn’t get home until 2:30, and the kiddos were up bright and early at 7:30! Back to reality! It was nice seeing them though. We had missed them so much, but we really enjoyed our little mini-vaca away, spending time catching up as a couple and enjoying our one-on one time! Lisa and My Mom had had a great time spoiling the kiddos and taking them places. It turned out to be a real fun time for the kiddos as well.