Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break 2014

We put off making any plans for longer than usual this year, and for no particular reason.  A few weeks ago, we decided we'd do a short-ish roadtrip (around 6 hours), and we'd stay for 4 days or so.  Denver fit the bill and we haven't been in ages, literally.  Last time Corey and I were there was with our friends Chris and Jessica for an REM concert, and that was before any of us had kids. Denver did not disappoint!

We headed out early on Wednesday morning, and stopped in at Colorado Springs for lunch and a couple of fun things to visit.  After burgers and custard at Culver's, we headed on over to the US Olympic Training Center.  Whoa, is all I can say.  It was very cool to tour around and see all the facilities and the athletes working their tails off.  It brought out a little patriotism in me too.  What a great place.  After that we drove up to the US Airforce Academy.  Of course, it did start snowing like crazy just about then, flakes falling everywhere, but we embraced the crazy weather, put on our coats and walked up the trail to the Airforce chapel for a look around.  The boys loved seeing the different jets, planes, etc that are displayed out on the field too.  We watched the movie at the visitor's center, and as we left, we asked Asher what he thought of the place.  He told us he thought it was pretty cool, except for the part where they were yelling so much at the new cadets...why'd they have to do that?
From there, we drove to Denver, checked in to our hotel room at Embassy Suites (oh my,  did the kids ever LOVE breakfast every day), swam with the kids and crashed.

Denver itself offered us much in the way of entertainment. We visited the Mint, and were amazed at how money is made, especially prior to the 1970's. The boys were even entertained by the tour, and the giant bags of pennies.  We also walked across the street to the Denver Firefighter's Museum where Ash and Beck (and even Corey) dressed up and played fireman.  They loved it.  I loved the old building, old firetrucks and displays on how things used to be.  I'm always amazed at all the work that went into now seemingly simple things. That first day in Denver, we also bought our tickets to the Rockies game.  This ended up being one of the highlights of the trip (especially for Corey!).  While purchasing the tickets, he happened to ask the guy if they did tours of the ballpark.  Yes, yes they do.  And when Corey asked about whether or not they took you to the clubhouse and found out that yes, in fact they do that too....he was elated.  He turned to me, eyes wide like an excited child and said, "shut-up!"  It was fun to see him so excited about something.  And the tour did turn out to be pretty cool, clubhouse and all.  That night we ate at a novelty of a restaurant, Casa Bonita.  The food was terrible but the boys loved the cowboy skits, juggling of flaming sticks and table side cliff diving.  Oh, and an old, run-down arcade with prizes that the boys still thought was amazing. Thankfully, lunch at the Cheesecake Factory still had me smiling so I didn't mind the nasty food so much and was just happy the kids were enjoying themselves so much.

The next day was also fun filled.  The original plan was to hit the zoo, but when we couldn't find parking after driving up and down the underground structure, we headed next door to the Museum of History and Science, which we also loved.  We did, however miss the upper floor, and there was talk of coming back to take in the mummies (yay!) and dinosaurs, but it didn't happen, and so now we'll just have to go back sooner:)  That night was the Rockies vs. Phillies game.  It was a great game...meeting the mascot Dinger, homeruns, triples and doubles, and perfect weather to boot. It was a great night for some baseball!

We finally made it to the zoo the following day, and were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. We hadn't heard much about it really...good or bad.  There were even some penguins!! Our zoo has been promising penguins for several years now, and the exhibit is still not ready.  Asher brings it up ALL the time, and wants to know when they'll be gracing our zoo with their presence. The boys, and especially Asher didn't want to leave the penguins. They were very cute little guys.  The rest of that day was a late lunch and movie...Rio 2, which the kids loved, and we liked (Corey's opinion:  it was a little long).  That night, after some food, and a very quick perusing of the nearby Park Meadows shopping area, I weaseled in a to-go treat from the Cheesecake Factory for a late night snack for Corey and I.  Mmmmm. Don't judge:)

The last day of our stay was Easter Sunday.  After the boys woke up and had their Easter basket fun by messing up the hotel room with some blue Easter grass and eating chocolate and jelly beans we got ready for church.  The plan had been to go to a sacrament meeting at the church down the street (Corey had mapped it all out), and then drive on home.  When we walked in, things seemed a little off... a huge choir was singing/practicing but there was almost no one sitting in the congregation.  And, there was a cultural hall chock-full of folding chairs.  It could all mean only one thing....Stake conference, and we were an hour early.  After enjoying the lovely music for a few minutes, we ended up just driving back home.  Such a sad Easter Sunday, truly! The boys looked so handsome in their new ties, and the only pictures I have are the boys sitting in the backseat on the drive home....we had meant to change clothes but ended up not bothering at all.

So, we're back to life, back home, back to responsibilities, stresses, and the windy Spring weather.  But, we are one step closer to summer with only a month of school left, so I can rest happily with that little tidbit floating around in the back of my mind;) Denver, you were lots of fun.