Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Family Trip (Not Vacation)

After a long summer that included a hectic work schedule and too much babysitting (also a bit of t-ball and some peach picking at a local organic farm), Mr. B and I decided to take Little K on a family vacation.  I once heard that if you take children on vacation, it is less disappointing to call it a trip instead of a vacation.  Thus we embarked on a week-long trip to the Denver area.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


Because we had never taken Little K anywhere other than a few hours away to visit family, we wanted to visit a location that we could get to in a day.  We chose Denver based on its proximity (and yes, its family friendliness) – because a restless kid on a cross-country drive is not my idea of a good time.

The 6.5 hour drive west was surprisingly easy.  Little K was a champion, thanks to his lap-tray from Grandma, a set of pipe-cleaners, sticker books, and toys.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


Also we gave him a wooden craft plaque with stickers a set of stickers we unveiled after each activity.  The first set was “road trip” themed.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


Our first adventure was at The Downtown Aquarium.  Mr. B and I had visited this aquarium when I was a few months pregnant with Little K, so it was neat to experience it again with him.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
He was quite leery of sitting next to the giant shark.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
Scuba Steve

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
We all loved this happy guy!

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
My guys,

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
Little K and a "macock."

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

That evening we ate delicious coal-fired gourmet pizza that Little K hated.  Sometimes I forget that kids have much simpler taste.  But Mr. B and I were in pizza heaven.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


The next morning we drove to Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park.  While we were in line, Little K became quite nervous about the rides.  We were able to coax him onto two rides on the amusement park side before heading to the water park.  He was content with the lazy river, wave pool, and toddler splash area.  We forced him screaming onto one family ride that he begrudgingly admitted was fun.  We paused to eat nasty amusement park pizza, which Little K loved.  The line for the second family ride was 5-year-old-melt-down-disaster and we knew it was time to leave.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
We took our kid to an amusement park, so we're the assholes...


We dined that night at The Denver Chop House & Brewery, which, unbeknownst to us when making the reservation, was where we had enjoyed steaks nearly 6 years ago (when I was pregnant with Little K.  It was still delicious – all three of us thought so.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
Full circle.

We played a little fake baseball outside of Coors Field.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


Friday morning we went to The Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Little K was in awe of the huge dinosaur exhibit.  His little engineer brain was completely engaged and in learning/creating overdrive in the Kid Zone – had we all not been getting hangry, we would have likely stayed all day.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
So strengthy.


In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
Panoramic view from the top of the museum.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

After doing a little shopping, we ate fancy Mexican cuisine and watched The Minions movie (I was not impressed, but Little K found it hilarious).  We followed that up with ice cream from Cold-Stone Creamery, and according to our small connoisseur of all gross kids food, the birthday cake ice cream with marshmallows was the best ice cream in the whole world.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

Saturday was our day to explore outdoors.  We started the morning by hiking at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.  I left my inhaler in the car, so my asthma made it hard to breathe in the high altitude.  The breathtaking views (no pun intended) made the climb worth continuing.  It was refreshing that the amphitheater is open to the public all the time, that it was so well taken care of, free of vandalism, and that so many people were there exercising.
In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)



Back near our hotel, we found the most amazing park hidden in a little nest of hills.  All three of us played and had a great time.  There were mountains to climb, sprinklers to run through, ropes to swing on, slides, swings, spinning things, and so much more.  The pictures do not do it justice.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)


In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)
Probably my favorite picture of the entire trip.

Saturday evening, we went to Adventure Golf & Raceway.  It was a kid-heaven.  After playing 18 holes on one of the four miniature golf courses, we raced go-karts, and rode bumper cars.  We all had the best time, and it was the perfect way to end our vacation.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

Little K was sad to say goodbye to the hotel Sunday morning.  Aside from the glass elevator, his favorite part of the entire trip was his transforming bed in our suite.  Honestly, we could have driven 10 hours for him to sleep in a hide-away-bed for one night and he would have been thrilled.  But he does have a lovely piece of sticker art-work that he is quite proud of.

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

In Good Company: Family Trip (Not Vacation)

Our trip was so much fun that I began looking for engineering jobs for Mr. B in the Denver area.  The real estate prices made me decide that visiting the area is a much better choice.  We are all looking forward to a summer trip next year, but what Mr. B and I need first is a vacation.

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