Well, just as I predicted, the sleeping in late was just a fluke. The kids were up early and ready to go this morning. So we packed up the minivan and headed north to Ouray.
Let me tell you something, the drive from Durango to Ouray was beautiful, but REALLY scary. We were seriously driving on windy roads through the mountains going 10 or 15 miles per hour. There weren’t even guard rails on most of the sides, if you ran off the road you would just fall off the side of the mountain. I’ve never been carsick in my life, until today. Max said, “If I fall down the mountain, I’ll use this (his stick sword) to poke the mountain and climb back up.”
While we were driving through Silverton, Max said, “Mommy, when we switch houses, can we move here? Because I want to live on top of the mountain.” I said, “What about Zoey?” and Max said, “We’ll have to call her and tell her to move here.” I said, “What about preschool?” and Max said, “We’ll have to call preschool and tell them to move here too.”
By the time we got to Ouray, I was so glad to be off of the windy mountain roads. We grabbed a quick bite to eat in Ouray and then walked around for a bit. It’s really a cute little town, nestled in between a bunch of mountains. We stopped in a candy store and got the kids some rock candy, green of course. And I got some homemade turtles (not much though, because it was $20/lb!). Then we started off to Buena Vista for the balloon festival.
she loves to feel the wind on her toes.
The drive to Buena Vista was a much nicer one. We still had great views of the mountains, but no cliff edges to fall off of and not as many windy roads and no carsickness this time :). We even found a little museum with some train cars that we stopped at for Max and Ava to see. We got the kids nuggets at McDonalds again and Max said, “Hey, they have two ‘Old McDonalds’ in Colorado.”
From the time we left Durango, we had no cell phone service. Usually what we do is when we get close to the town we’re going to stay in, I start calling to find a hotel room. Well, we never got cell phone service back. So we pulled into the first hotel and booked our room. We then decided that since we got to Buena Vista early enough, we should head over to balloon festival and catch their evening portion, where they make the balloons ‘glow’.
Now, let me tell you this, the Colorado vacation guide SUCKS. We had to drive to a gas station to get directions to the rodeo grounds where ‘Balloonavista’ (that’s their cute little name for their balloon festival) was being held. They just don’t make it easy to find anything. Seriously, how hard would it be to put an address in there?
So we drive down County Road 321 looking for the rodeo grounds. We see something on the right that looks like it could be the rodeo grounds, but there are no balloons and not very many cars. So we keep driving. We drive about 7 more miles before decide that must have been it. So we drive back. There is one hot air balloon. We get to the rodeo grounds and ask someone, “where the heck are all the balloons?” They said the balloons would be back around 8:30 p.m.
So we hang out. Josh talks to the lady who started the balloon festival six years ago. She excitedly tells Josh that there will be 5 or 6 balloons for the lift off tomorrow at 6 a.m. Josh relays this info to me and I can’t believe it. How can you call it a balloon festival if there are only a few balloons? Seriously, we drove all the way here to see some hot air balloons and that’s it?! I told Josh, “I can’t believe they don’t have very many balloons.” And Max said, “But mommy, there’s going to be 5 or 6 balloons!” Thankfully, my kids are still little, so they were just excited to see any balloons and weren’t disappointed like I was.
So we watched the ‘balloon glow’ which consisted of 4 hot air balloons that ‘glowed’ momentarily. We waited over an hour and the balloon glow lasted about 10 minutes. So in case you ever want to go to Balloonavista, don’t waste your time 🙁
Things I learned on day 6 of our road trip:
1. Colorado has a lot of trees… I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many trees in my life.
2. I really don’t like windy mountain roads… they make me nervous that we’re going to fall off the edge.
amount of time that Josh thinks it should take me to pack and the amount of time it actually takes me to pack are drastically different amounts of time.
4. Balloonavista is not as cool as it sounds.
5. When you tell the kids that you are getting ice cream for a snack, you have to do it, even if it’s already 9 p.m. and they are SO tired.
6. Popsicles from the gas station qualify as ‘ice cream’ to little kids.
7. “I’ll give you a dollar if you…” works on Max, not really on Ava, and definitely not on Lia
8. Lia is afraid of the hot air balloon burners.
Today brought another long drive (9 hours if you include potty breaks and lunch) through gorgeous mountains. We headed out from Durango at about 10am and tried to hurry to Buena Vista so we could take the kids to Balloonavista, a HUGE hot air balloon festival they have there every year. So, we rushed through some of the prettiest little towns (without stopping) to get to Balloonavista, and………they have 4 hot air balloons. It was such a disappointment that we drove right past when looking for it. Oh well, the kids got to go inside of one and it looked pretty sweet when they lit them up at night. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day…
Ok, so there were only 4 balloons, BUT, the kids didn’t care, and that’s what really matters. Max and Ava got to go inside a balloon.