Monday, July 23, 2018

Ducks On A Paddle Boat

My niece and her family recently took some vacation time to come and visit us. That's when you know you live somewhere awesome. I expect visitations from family and friends to double when we move to Italy. You know. If we ever move to Italy.
We spent their first full day here taking them to do touristy things. They even have matching shirts! 
*Note: I can no longer accept visitors that wear fanny packs. 
Thank you, The Management.
Garden of the Gods now has a new feature which allows you park in a parking lot toward the entrance and a free shuttle bus will come and pick you up and drop you off inside the park. This is conceptually a brilliant idea because the parking inside the park is always full. However, the shuttle was too packed to take our huge crowd (and by huge I mean there are a lot of us and none of us are fat) so we had to wait through several pick-ups until there was enough space to accommodate us. This led me to tell the kids that we would have a better chance of hitching a ride with someone else.
We walked all around Garden of the Gods and beheld nature's bounty. We also got hot and sweaty and stinky and tired and a few children complained. But I gave an outstanding discourse on the importance of enjoying nature's bounty and eventually one of the complaining voices got to ride in the stroller so our eternal outlook on life perked up a bit.
Well, my eternal outlook took a nosedive when I found this sign installed by the devil himself.
I hate snakes. This caused great entertainment for others in our party who thought it was funny to yell "SNAKE" and then watch my reaction and caused great angst for me who hates snakes and the mention of them. And my throat hurt from screaming.
*Note: I am no longer accepting visitors who yell snake.
Thank you, The Management.
Jason volunteered to push one affable and abiding citizen around in our stroller. Jason also seems to need to sneeze.
Dawson and Evan love climbing rocks. 
So of course I thought it was a great idea when Evan decided to squeeze through the middle of one.
I've told Dawson he should discontinue his idea of playing football professionally and instead become a photo bomber.
Speaking of Dawson, he's so great with kids.
I wanted to get a picture of the backs of the matching shirts, and it took several hours of explaining to passersby that this was not a family under arrest. 
After seeing me take many family pictures and then selfies so that I could photoshop myself in later, a kind stranger offered to take our picture.
On our way out, we decided to skip the shuttle bus run altogether and walk back to our cars. On our walk, we happened upon this deer.
He stopped and pooped right there, for all of us to see. Almost as though he knew our trip wouldn't be complete without poop in the park.
Colorado has been hot and this day was no exception, so we stopped at Sonic on our way home to enjoy their happy hour slushies and drinks. I'm not paid by them or affiliated, but I should be, in order to support my boys happy hour slushie habit.
Finally we went home and relaxed a bit because the following day was our trip to Keystone.
I convinced Mr S to sit on the porch swing with me, and he was delighted as evidenced by our selfie.
We left for Keystone on Tuesday, as mentioned earlier. 
Per our family tradition, we took a selfie of the road trip.
We were a bit early for our condo check-in so we stopped in Breckenridge at this cute park
I found myself needing to use the restroom, so I wandered around the area and finally decided to step inside a building that I soon discovered was home to an ice skating rink.
A lady that manages the front desk there let me use the restroom and on the way out, I found an inspirational sign that I believe should be upheld by all schools and professional sports. No matter the age of said child -Tom Brady, who's your mama?
I love the town of Breckenridge. It's so pretty.
We sat and had a picnic at the park and Jason picked a flower for my hair.
Soon it was time to check-in to our condo. Or is it check into? Whatevs.
This winding staircase caused us great trials and tribulation because Mr S was determined that he alone should be allowed sole access to the stairs and tried every manipulation known to man in order to climb them. Including sticking his head between the rails to shimmy his way in. 
Who doesn't love a royal blue futon? It matches so well with mauve carpet.
Just a few minor things about this condo and I'll move on. First, the owners provided us with super natural soap. I did use it and I still have to wear glasses and I still have freckles, so I'm not convinced of it's healing claims. Plus, I don't think saints get stinky, as the label implies.
Second, a door with access to flammable liquid was located on the floor beneath us. I didn't like awake at night wondering if our room would burst into flames, but it was a tad disturbing nevertheless.
Bright and early on Wednesday morning we set out on a wilderness exploration hike. 
My niece was convinced she found marijuana growing along the path. I told her to collect it all and sell it and then take us out to eat.
Evan grumbles and gripes quite a bit on hikes. "I'm tired, carry me" and so forth issue regularly from his lazy lips. So we always try to find him a walking stick. This satisfies him for nearly 5 minutes until he wants me to hold the walking stick because he's too tired to walk with it. Real world problems people.
We let the little ones sit and take breaks every now and then so that we could tell people that we're good parents.
We came across this tepee and I told the children that it was haunted. They seemed indifferent toward this news so I told them I was going to make them watch A Quiet Place when we got back. 
Mr S fell asleep at our turn around point of the hike. I would have laid down and napped right along with him but I was too terrified of the snake to nap ratio to encourage myself to actually do it.
Next on the cover of "hike" magazine:
My niece Fee captured this picture of Dawson. You can tell he's my kid by the cuteness factor.
After our hike we went back to the condo to eat some lunch (I don't believe I've ever consumed so many homemade cold meat sandwiches in such a short time frame, as I did on this vacation) and then we took a walk past the little pond right outside our door.
For a small fee we could take a paddle boat around the pond and buy some fish food (which suspiciously looked and smelled like dog food) so we did.
 Immediately some ducks literally flocked behind our paddle boat like paparazzi. Also, I don't know who was taking the picture and didn't realize their finger was upstaging the ducks.
 We happily started throwing food to the ducks when one special diva just up and decided to hop on the boat for exclusive access to our morsels of goodness.
 I hated to tell him I was pretty certain he was eating dog food, so I let him eat in ignorant bliss. The pig.
 There were also ginormous fish who fought the ducks for food. By fight, I mean that I actually did see one fish flop on top of a baby duck making the baby completely submerged under water water for a few seconds. I did pet one of the fish in case you were wondering. Dawson talked me into it. I feel certain I could put one on a leash and walk it beside the paddle boat as long as I fed it continuously and we would be BFF.
Soon we were one giant family on two paddle boats enjoying the aquatic species right along with the fowl wildlife. Yes, I'm currently consuming my third cup of coffee which happens to be 4 shots of espresso and I can feel my vocabulary increasing by the moment.
Later that evening we took a free shuttle from our condo to the little "downtown" area of Keystone to grab some grub. 
 Senor Minecraft had a piece of tinfoil that he wore on his head that he said was his Minecraft helmet.
I took great comfort in the fact that Aliens were not able to contact us, even if creepers and zombies could.
We all craved Mexican food as our choice of eatery on this fine night.  A Mexican food joint is only as good as it's best queso is what I always say. Or at least what I said this one time in my blog.
Thursday was our 15th wedding anniversary. And by our I mean "mine and Jason" and not the collective group. My niece offered to watch the boys so that Jason and I could go out and do something fun but I said no because our time with them was so limited and besides, I didn't want to have to be all by myself with just Jason. HAHAHAHA. I crack me up.
Instead, we went to Breckenridge and we rode the free gondola.
Our particular gondola appeared to have been attacked by a shark.
Dawson and I took selfies.
This is my "just do what I say" look. The O face needs changed up sometimes.
The gondola came to our destination, and like good upstanding civilians, we all exited.
99% of the U.S. population are incapable of exiting a gondola with such grace and style. It was just after this exit that Poppa D saw something left behind on this gondola and jumped back in to retrieve it. Two accompanying younger members of our party weren't paying attention and panicked thinking we were supposed to be getting back on the gondola when they saw him do that and jumped in it behind him just as he turned around and stepped back out. The doors closed and off they went, while the rest of us stood there thinking "well what the heck do we do now".
Hoping that they didn't ride the gondola completely down and back up again, we jumped on a gondola and chased them down. Just like Chase from Lego City Undercover would do.
I talked about it.
Thankfully Miss V-Bippity and Miss K-Bop got off at the next stop and waited for us. We went back to our original destination where Jason bought a $3 bag of peanut m&m's so that we could get our money back for parking, long story.
We couldn't afford to do any of the fun activities they had available at the top of the mountain. So we pretended to be too rich and snobby for such peasantry and high-tailed it back down the mountain on the free gondola with our noses held high.
Then we went down main street and did some shopping. 
It's critical to note here that Fee dressed Mr S in a super adorable outfit this day. See how happy he is about it?
I carted him around main street and he was the cutest little cuddle bug this side of the Mississip. He also weighs about the same as a miniature horse and I found myself wishing we had brought the stroller along.
I was on a mission to find a Colorado trucker hat, which resulted in stopping in nearly every t-shirt store on the block. The boys' didn't love me for this but they posed with a giant bear statue located inside one of the stores anyway. I have no clue where Evan's shoes were at this point. Save the judging for the time when I let him eat popcorn for breakfast because I didn't want to cook.
Just behind the main street stores is a creek and the kids wanted to freeze their feet to nubs and splash around in it.
It's a really pretty place to stop and reflect on the stock market and life in general.
It was just after this stop that our two parties parted ways so that one could go eat and we could continue my quest for the perfect head covering. I was slightly distracted by the smell of cookies and we took a detour into this giant cookie shop. Ordinarily I would be a bit leery about purchasing a cookie from two barely adults, one of whom wears a tie-dye t-shirt, but these cookies looked really good and it was my 15 year wedding anniversary so I decided to risk it. Actually, we had already purchased these cookies on a trip here when my mom came out and I didn't die, so I placed my bets that I wouldn't die this time around either.
I finally gave up on the hat endeavor and we settled down to eat food at a quaint little restaurant called Motherloaded.  Am I the only person who doesn't want to share cheese curds? I'm strongly opposed to the word "curd" by the way. 
Fee scored this sweatshirt AND the brand name pair of jeans she was wearing on our shopping excursion, so my hat endeavor shopping fail was not in vain. 
We spent the rest of this final afternoon at the pool near our condo (where we actually spent most of our waking moments every day of the entire week we were there, but the one picture I have of the pool area has me sitting like a hippo in the hot tub and I refuse to share that picture here. I do have this video to share though.
On Friday morning we headed back to our house. once we got home, Fee wanted us to get our nails done so we walked from my house to the nail salon up the hill. When we walked in, the salon lady said "we busy" and I said "but we walked here" and she said "mmm okay, bye", so we left and went to a different salon that's only about 5 minutes from the house by car in the other direction. We drove because I'm too lazy to walk to two nail salons. Look how lovable we are with our fancy manicures.
Soon after our manicure excursion, Fee and her family left to go home and I cried. Then I put all of that sorrowful energy into aggressively talking them into leaving their jobs, family and home they love and moving here to be our neighbors. Give me about 6 more months of excessive harassment and I'm sure to wear them down.
In the meantime, I'm saving up money for our next vacation where I intend to excessively harass Jason into moving us to the beach if the whole aforementioned moving of family doesn't work out.
The End.

1 comment:

K said...

I'm jeally ❤