So today started off differently than every other day so far…. the kids actually slept in! I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m betting that means they will be up super early tomorrow 🙂
So first off, let me say that if you’re ever going to go camping in Durango, you should definitely stay at the KOA out here… it is really a great campground.
When Josh found out that they have a pancake breakfast every morning from 7 am to 9 am, he was super excited. So wouldn’t you know it, 8:30 am comes around and Max and Ava are still sleeping. You could just see the disappointment on Josh’s face. He was like, “we have to wake them up.” And I was like, “no way are we waking them up.” Then magically Ava woke up about 5 minutes later, followed shortly thereafter by Max and we made it in time to get pancakes :). Josh even wore his ‘pancake mountain’ shirt to celebrate the occasion 🙂
After breakfast, we picked up aunt Michelle and headed to Mesa Verde to see some Puebloan ruins. Everyone said that it’s an awesome time and we should definitely go while we are here. What they didn’t say is that it’s 47 miles from Durango to Mesa Verde (well to the front gate). Then once you get past the front gate, it’s another 15 miles to the visitors center… 15 miles of windy, uphill roads through the mountains. It took us almost as long to get to the visitors center as it did just to get to Mesa Verde from Durango. From there, we drove another 5 miles to the first cliff dwelling.
To get to the first cliff dwelling, Spruce Tree House, it was a 1/2 mile hike up 100 ft vertically, but once we got there it was pretty cool. Max and Ava seemed to enjoy themselves, although I was super nervous the entire time that they would fall of the cliff (Josh thinks I’m too paranoid, but what would you do if your kid fell off a cliff?) So it was another 17 miles to the next cliff dwelling, but we didn’t realize that until we were about halfway there. By that point, we figured that we might as well trek on. The second one, the Step House, was pretty cool too, but an even steeper 120 ft vertical climb over 3/4 mile. By this point in the afternoon, Lia was pretty tuckered out and kept dozing off in the baby carrier. When she was awake, she just laughed and laughed. It was pretty windy and she loves the wind in her hair, in her face, and on her little toes.
By the time we got done seeing 2 cliff dwellings, it was time to head back to the campgrounds and get some dinner. We made a run through the drive through at McD’s for some nuggets on the way back. Even Lia got in on the chicken nugget action.
Poor Lia really wanted a chicken nugget. You can tell how happy she is here. She ate the whole thing… it only took her about an hour 🙂
After dinner in the car, we got back to the campgrounds and decided that we HAD to make s’mores with aunt Michelle & uncle Fred. The kids were not too impressed with the messiness and stickiness of s’mores. They decided they liked unroasted marshmallows the best. Josh and I, however, enjoyed our s’mores… I don’t think I’ve had s’mores since I was a kid.
Sidenote: In case you are wondering, here is how I like my s’mores:
1. First you get the graham cracker prepared… break it in half and set the halves out
2. Place exactly 6 rectangles of chocolate on one piece of graham cracker, then place near the fire so the chocolate melts… this in an important step because the melted chocolate is my favorite part
3. slowly roast the marshmallow… I hate it when the marshmallows catch on fire and get all burnt
le s’more and eat quickly before anyone else asks for a bite 🙂
Notice the marshmallows on the left side of the photo… those are mine… getting perfectly roasted and not burned
Oh, and on the way back to our cabin, I was walking with Max & Ava. They started crying to go the playground, so I said, one time to swing and one time to slide and that’s it. We got over there and they did their sliding and ran to the swings. Literally, it started pouring rain just then. I pushed them on the swings for about 30 seconds, then said, ‘we’ve got to go!’. So I’m running with Ava over my shoulder and Max puts his cape over his head to protect himself from the rain 🙂
Things I learned on day five of our road trip:
1. You can’t open or close the door to the cabin quietly. It simply can’t be done.
2. Lia wakes up every time we stop the car. Every time.
3. Max and Ava will fight over anything. Even if there are 2 of the exact same toys.
4. Ava really just wants to go to the playground and swing. She asked if we could swing about 100 times today.
We had a little too much fun on Day 5 in Durango. We started the day off with a pancake breakfast, followed by some exploration in the Mesa Verde National Park, a mini-doggie session (pics to come later), then we finished the night off with homemade smores with my sister and brother-in-law (who we owe a big thank you for driving all over the place trying to find some firewood). I have WAY too many images, so let’s just jump on in 🙂
I really wanted my kids to make a big mess, but Max just cried when he got some marshmallow on his hands, so he just decided to eat cold marshmallows.