Colorado Here We Come… Day 2

Posted by in Colorado

She Said:

Ahh… today started early, at 7:30 am to be exact! We got on the road about 9:45 am and the kids were so excited to see Colorado. We did a lot of driving today and we really wanted to go see some dinosaur footprints at Picketwire Canyon Lands. We couldn’t find it in our GPS and for some reason there was no address or info in the Colorado vacation guide (what’s the point in putting it in the book if they don’t tell you where it’s at or how to get there?). We called Papa back in KC and got directions. So after lunch, we headed that way. We didn’t get too far down the dirt road before we decided to turn back for fear of getting the minivan stuck out in the mud with no cell phone service. Luckily for us we did turn around, because Papa called back later and said it’s a 5 mile hike to see the dinosaur footprints! Can you believe that? So, if you’re ever in La Junta, Colorado, don’t go to Picketwire Canyon Lands. Apparently it sucks πŸ™‚

When we saw the Colorado sign, Max said, “We’re in Colorado! Where are the mountains? Do you think this is Colorado? I’m gonna have so much fun in Colorado! Is this Colorado for real? I wanna go to Colorado! We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

When we got to our hotel and it was time for the kids to go to bed, we put one in each bed and Lia was in the pack n play at the foot of Ava’s bed. Well, Lia is pretty proud of herself for being able to pull herself standing up now. So she spent about an hour showing off. First you would see two little hands, then up pops her head, big grin on her face, then everybody laughs, and she plops back down. Wash, rinse, repeat. It was pretty funny… for the first 10 times or so πŸ™‚

Things I learned on day two of our road trip:
1. Circle PBJ’s are only great if mommy doesn’t leave them in the refrigerator at the hotel (and no we didn’t go back to get them even though the kids thought we should drive 3 hours back for them πŸ™‚
2. Max and Ava actually fight less in the car than they do at home, but it’s harder to ignore them and impossible to separate them.
3. Somehow, “If you don’t stop that now, you’re going to timeout” still works and I’m surprised they haven’t figured out that being in timeout in your carseat while we’re driving is no different than just riding in your carseat… we’ll see how long that one lasts.
4. Kansas has a lot of cows. Colorado also has a lot of cows.
5. You really shouldn’t use the cupholder on the side of the seat… your drink WILL spill EVERYTIME. (Why do they even put that one there?)
6. Here’s a list of things you should ask BEFORE you book a hotel room over the phone: do they have internet (this is really important if your husband is like mine :), do they have a bathtub (it’s really hard to give 3 kids a shower at one time), do they have breakfast (I’m not cranky about cereal in the hotel room, but SOME people are). On the plus side, our room did have 2 clean beds, and no bugs. I would like to make a public apology to the old couple who was in the room next to us who just wanted a “quiet room” for the night… my kids were NOT quiet and I’m really sorry.

Welcome to Colorado!

The kids loved this swirly slide.

They really loved the swings, except poor Lia. She was scared just watching Max & Ava swing, so daddy had to take her to the car.

Lia liked the merry go round as long as it wasn’t spinning.

I loved these wildflowers on the side of the road.

Sword fighting in the backseat!
It was cloudy and cold all day πŸ™
View from my seat

Max and Ava fighting for real over the Cars drawing book

I really wanted to get a picture of Max’s pouting/crying face, but he wouldn’t let me. So here’s his mad/pouting face.

He Said:

Well, it’s a day late, but we had no internet in our hotel….let’s see if I can remember all the amazing things we experienced on Day 2.

Here’s the Day 2 map.


Still in Kansas. I have a “thing” for windmills.

Woo-Freakin’-Hoo!!! Tall mountains here we come!

Saw a spinny thing, had to make a u-turn to ride it with the kids πŸ™‚


Wait…no…mountains…we’re in Colorado! Apparently Eastern Colorado is a lot like Kansas. Either way, we saw this really cool old structure (this time we busted a U-turn in the middle of the highway)

Note: I’ve been playing with a blu-ish bw conversion. What do you all think?


Same structure…just closer πŸ™‚

Apparently I have a “thing” for power lines, too.



We thought it would be neat to take the kids to Picketwire Canyonlands to see the dino prints, but we almost got stuck in the mud. Which turned out to be a blessing, because the Colorado tour guide doesn’t mention that it’s a 5.2 mile walk each way.

Since our van is not an off road vehicle, we turned around. I quickly stopped to do a portrait session with my family. Hey, we drove 25 miles off course, I had to do something right?
















Here’s our hotel. No internet. No bathtub. But it sure looked cool.

Someone didn’t think it was time for bed πŸ™‚

Colorado Here We Come… Day 1

Posted by in Colorado

She Said:

Yay! It’s FINALLY vacation time! We are heading to Durango, Colorado for (hopefully!) some rest and relaxation! So, last night, Max was so excited he wanted to help me pack and I said no way, you can help me pack tomorrow. So he says, “Mommy, when I wake up in the morning, I’m going to wake you up and daddy up. I’m going to wake both of you up so we can pack for Colorado!” So I thought it was pretty funny that he was the last one up this morning πŸ™‚

6:22 am I hear Lia in her room bouncing in her crib and drag my sleepy self from my bed
6:35 am Ava comes running out of the bedroom with a big grin on her face
7:10 am A sleepy Max comes out of his room and says, “is it time to pack yet?”
8:30 am I start packing, all the time reminding my wonderful husband that yes,
everything is going to fit in the minivan and please leave me alone and let me pack πŸ™‚
10:26 am All packed and ready to go!

I told Josh that everything would fit, and just for the record, it did πŸ™‚

So a few things I learned today on our first road trip with 3 kids…
1. The carpet in the minivan is capable of soaking up 32 oz of iced tea
2. 2 1/2 year olds can and will go potty every hour and if they say ‘I gotta go potty’ that means right now, not at the next gas station that has a bathroom
3. Car seats are not a good place to take a nap
4. The baby will fall asleep exactly 2 minutes after you announce, “who wants to go to the park?”
5. Paci launch is only funny until the paci goes in the back of the van where it is unreachable (in case you’re wondering what paci launch is, just imagine mommy with a paci spitting it at the kids… apparently it’s pretty hilarious)
6. It is possible for little kids to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the car without making a mess… they’re made by Smucker’s and they’re shaped like circles… totally worth the money in case you were wondering

So our morning consisted of driving out of KC, lunch at McDonalds, driving through Central Kansas, dinner, park, and ice cream in Great Bend (not sure what is so great, maybe the ice cream!) and now we’re here in Larned, Kansas. I think the kids asked today “are we in Colorado?” about 100 times. Josh really wanted to make it through Kansas, but I think we’ll make it to Colorado tomorrow πŸ™‚

Here’s a shot of all the stuff we took…

Lia kept trying to kick the camera…
Max & Ava had tons of books to read and games to play

Max’s drawing of ‘mr. the king’
Lia loves peekaboo


This is grumpy Lia
And sleeping Lia
This is what we saw pretty much all day
Lia really wanted some of daddy’s ice cream




He Said:

Jenny and I are and always have been big fans of road trips. We spent 3 weeks on the road for our honeymoon 6 years ago. Something about just getting in the car…errr, minivan now, putting the trusty ipod on shuffle, and just driving relaxes me.

For this trip, we are meeting my sister in Durango, CO, but we have no idea when we will arrive (hopefully by Thursday), and that’s the way we like it. We are also going to try and hit Buena Vista for the hot air balloon festival, but who knows. Day by day is the Solar way. Oh, wait, we have 3 young children with us now. I guess we’re on their schedule (which is why we didn’t hit the Colorado border today).
Note: I’m going to update our map as we go.

Anyway, here are a few favorites from Day 1 of our invasion of Colorado (except today, we’re still in the middle of nowhere Kansas)


the kiddos said goodbye to Grandma EE this morning

Here is what we saw all day, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just ain’t Colorado πŸ™‚


The clouds made for some interesting pictures, though.

After a full day of car riding, the kids needed a break, so we found a nice little playground and got some ice cream…lots of fun and smiles ensued πŸ™‚

I feel this image captures what it’s like to be 2.5 and on a swingset πŸ™‚


Max likes to swing, too.

Some fun broke out in front of a nice brick wall πŸ™‚

Ava REALLY enjoyed her mint chocolate chip ice cream.



so much so, she got it in her hair πŸ™‚

Max didn’t want to participate…

or did he?


I lied, Jenny took this shot, but it didn’t really fit on her blog, so it ended up here.

After we got the kids settled in our hotel in Larned, Kansas, I headed out to watch a sweet sunset by myself. I got these 2 images as a result. Who knew Kansas could be so pretty?