Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We began our week with a hike into the park to Alberta Falls. When I worked at the YMCA in the day camp the summer of 1998, we would take the Kindergarteners and 1st graders on this hike. So, I knew it should be doable for our crew! Thankfully John was there to carry Isaiah in the backpack for the 0.8 mile walk to the falls. Colby did great and Abigail got tired during the last bit walking back to the car. It's a beautiful little falls with plenty of rocks to climb around on!
I'm looking forward to returning next year and am already planning a few bigger hikes to take Colby on. He really enjoyed hiking and had plenty of energy to accomplish them without any problems!
The next day we began with pony rides for Abigail and Isaiah, which they loved! Then we drove up on Highway 7 to Lily Lake. It's a nice walk around the lake with a gorgeous view of Mt. Meeker & Longs Peak. After our walk we went across the street to have a yummy lunch at The Baldpate Inn. This is one of our yearly traditions! They have a delicious salad bar, 2 soups, and quite a few homemade breads.
The next morning we drove up Highway 7 to the Wild Basin area of the Rocky Mountain National Park. For as long as I can remember going to Estes Park, I recall going to "throw rocks in the river" in the Wild Basin. We stop at a specific place off the road where there's a huge rock overlooking the river running down. So, below is this year's pictures from the visit! It was a bit cold when we arrived that we all needed jackets and didn't stay as long as usual!
The next day we took an hour long trail ride with the Jackson Stables on the YMCA property. Growing up our family always stayed at The Wind River Ranch, but in 1997 it changed hands so we began going to the YMCA. Some of my favorite memories from Wind River was going horse back riding. We pretty much did it every day, sometimes twice a day. So, this year for our horseback ride since he was 6, Colby had to ride solo. As a child, lots of fun, as a mom - a bit scary! It was nerveracking to be behind him on a horse! But, Colby did great & had fun! Abigail rode with me and Lisa also went with us. It was a nice relaxing ride!
We had dinner at the Crags Lodge up on the hill overlooking Estes Park. I don't think I would ever want to stay anywhere else, but Crag Lodge would be a nice relaxing option!
A trip to Estes isn't complete until we visit the go-carts and big slide. To ride the slide you must first climb 4 flights of stairs, which in the higher elevation is a bit challenging! Colby and Isaiah especially loved this. But, it meant that either Lisa or I had to walk up the stairs to ride with Isaiah each time! I believe he went five times and I had Isaiah walk up by himself - pretty impressive! In the past Abigail had also enjoyed the slide, but after one time down, she was finished. Thankfully Aunt Lisa took Abigail on the bumper cars a few times. After finishing at the slide, we went over to the go-carts. Their double carts have a steering wheel for the younger rider to use, which is great! It was quite a bumpy ride, but lots of fun!
While we weren't out hiking, go-carting, riding horses, playing hut-hut golf, we made great use of the rest of our time. We all did some glass mosaic projects, made rock people with googely eyes, painted ceramics at the arts & craft center, played cards into the wee hours of the night, and had some wonderful tv-free days relaxing in the cool mountain air!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Day 7: Back at Magic Kingdom
I don't think you can spend enough days at Magic Kingdom! So, thankfully we got to return to ride the rest of the rides and repeat a few favorites. If you've noticed a pattern by now in my photos, yes I like to color coordinate our clothes on family trips. Growing up my mom also did this and I didn't think it was such a keen idea sometimes. But, now as a mom, I completely understand! It's so much easier trying to locate kids and make sure everyone stays together. Another thing I like to do before going on a Disney vacation - I order Disney shirts from their online outlet. I ordered shirts this year for $3.99 each compared to $20-30 at the parks. I just pack the new clothes and then the kids are excited to get them on the trip & we can save quite a bit of money not buying them there!
This was the hottest day of the trip besides the 4 hours at the beach. The only hot day at the parks for us because of the crazy amount of rain. But, I'd have to say the rain was challenging at times, but I'm very thankful it made it cooler. Colby & Abigail did so much better in the rain compared to this day of heat!
Day 8: Back at Hollywood Studios
Since we only spent a few late hours at Hollywood Studios our first night, we decided to visit there again on our last day. I think my favorite ride of the whole week was at Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Mania. I highly recommend it if you go to Disneyworld or Disneyland anytime soon! Though the wait in line at times was long, it really was worth it. A lot of our pictures are in the line waiting. They have decorated it with life-size children's games, like Candy Land, Crazy Eights, cards, Mr. Potato Head and so many more!
In the pictures from the Bugs Life playground, Abigail is in quite a few posed pictures. This was completely her idea, she asked me to follow her around and take pictures of her. Pretty funny! I had a special experience while in the playground too - they had music playing by Ray Lynch. My grandmother, who passed away almost 6 years ago loved his music. She especially loved to play it when we had our yearly family trip to Estes Park, Colorado in the mountains. Such amazing memories.
So, that's our Disneyworld trip! During the week we were there, Orlando received record amounts of rain, I think totally 25 inches! I was very thankful that Dan's brother and wife were able to keep Isaiah at home. It would have been a great challenge with the stroller in the rain. We don't have another Disney vacation planned right now, but I know we'll make it back there in a few years & Isaiah can enjoy it with his siblings!