Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Cadillacs and Prayer Walks

I'm still catching up on blogging the last week or two.   

We decided while in CO that we wanted to come home a different way.  So we left Friday and started home from Estes Park.  First we stopped in Boulder and drove around University of CO because college campuses are fun.  

And we love college football so of course we had to see the stadium.  We just peeked in through a fence.  It is beautiful! 

We saw the football team practicing too.  

Then we drove through Denver and saw the Broncos stadium.  I just took a picture from the road.  We also stopped at Ikea which turned into a disaster because it's so hard to get out of that place if you aren't buying anything.  It was fun to look but a little crazy.  

We decided we wanted to drive through a tip of New Mexico and go to Amarillo.  Scott had been there when he was about Harper's age but I had never been.  Driving through West Texas on a Friday night really reminded me of Friday Night Lights.  We got to Amarillo pretty late but we were set on eating at the Big Texan.  That's the place you get a 72 oz steak free if you eat it in an hour.  It's just an iconic location.  

These cowboys came to our table and sang Meryl Haggard and it couldn't have been more Texas in that moment.  

It was for sure an experience.  We stayed in a nice hotel downtown which was our nicest place to stay and I just booked it on the road that day.  

The next morning - we hit another iconic spot - the Cadillac Ranch.  

The kids loved this! Will Holden lost his mind getting to spray paint.  People just leave cans everywhere so he had about 4 cans at a time spraying everything.  He was covered in paint when we left which thankfully I had several containers of wipes with me.  

It was windy but fun.  We spent the rest of the day driving through Texas and Oklahoma and finally to Arkansas and home.  We had a great trip! 

The next afternoon - my friend Paige had planned a prayer walk around our town square.  I was so proud of her to hear this call and follow through and she planned it so well.  The weather was not good so we didn't have as many people as we had hoped but just to have a small crowd socially distanced in masks and praying over our town and country was amazing.  Our mayor even came and prayed with us which made me so thankful! 

We walked to several spots and had 7 different key things we prayed for.  

It started raining about halfway through so we ended up going back to our first stop that was covered and finished praying.  

I have my phone out because I was reading verses out loud for us.  It was a great experience and I'm thankful for a faithful friend who led us.  

I'm praying so much over so much right now.  I know we all are.  


Monday, October 26, 2020

Estes Park

I'm continuing the last few posts from Colorado so I will have memories of them! Plus if anyone is planning a trip to these areas - maybe these posts will help.  One of my FAVORITE things to do is plan trips.  I love finding the local spots and things to do.  

We left Wednesday morning and drove to Estes Park.  It took about 2.5 hours.  We couldn't get into our condo until the afternoon so we drove around town a a little and then stopped to eat lunch at Bird and Jim.  If you go to Estes Park - this is my #1 recommendation.  It was so pretty inside but the food was AMAZING!! Best meal we had all week.  Hands down.  

We had a leisurely lunch.  We enjoyed it so much.  

Can you see the fire in the distance? There was a wildfire not far from Estes Park and it was so windy which was making it worse.  In fact, the day after we left - they starting evacuating the area.  It's STILL bad and I'm praying for the snow they are supposed to get today.  They need it desperately.  We fell in LOVE with the area so I'm so sad that it's affecting them so badly right now.  

We checked into our condo.  I will link it below.  It was PERFECT.  Really cute.  Not a big condo but it worked great for us and we were so glad to have two bathrooms after being in a hotel room for a few days.  The best part was it was literally about a 2 min walk to downtown.  We put our stuff up and walked downtown.  

Downtown Estes Park is so cute.  Lots of stores and restaurants.  We had so much fun just looking around.  We ate at a mexican restaurant that wasn't that great but none of us were really that hungry anyway.  

It was just a magical day! 

I was trying to figure out all the ways we could possible move to Estes Park at this point.  

The next morning we went to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was FREEZING on this day! In case you don't know - all 4th graders get free passes for them and their families to all national parks for an entire year when they are in 4th grade.  I'm so glad I knew this because it got us in free! 

The first thing we did was walk around Bear Lake.  It was sooooo pretty.  We took a ton of pictures.  WE didn't do any other hiking in RMNP because it was literally 23 degrees.  

The masks we were wearing kept us warm so we weren't complaining this day! I always wanted the kids to take their masks off for pictures because I didn't want our vacation pictures to be full of masks but sometimes we just forgot.  

Gosh I love these kids! 

We actually left the park after Bear Lake and went back to Bird and Jim to eat lunch because it's so close and we wanted to eat there again.  Then we came back to drive the Trail Ridge Road the rest of the afternoon.  

I didn't realize we would literally be driving up mountains.  My fear of heights gave me a lot of anxiety. We were almost as high as were on Pike's Peak a lot of this drive.  

There was a lot of snow at the top.  It was SOOOOO cold.  

Some of the rivers were already freezing.  

We didn't see a lot of wildlife in the park but we heard to go look at the Estes Park Golf Course and we were dying - look at all the Elk! 

We went back downtown and bought as many things with CO on them as we could - hoodies, shirts, masks, hats. ha! 

We ate dinner at Claire's.  It was very good.  We weren't super hungry after our lunch but we had a great dinner.  

As we were walking back to our condo we saw this huge Elk just hanging out in town.  

We had to take a picture with him.  

This is our condo where we stayed.  We loved it.  

Sadly the next morning we started home.  We decided last minute to go a different way after our long trip through Kansas and we also decided to break it into two days instead of 12 hours in one day.  I wish we could have stayed in Estes Park longer but then again it was good timing since it evacuated. I hope Estes Park will be okay and if you want a fun place to visit - it's wonderful.  And there is so much we didn't do.  We only spent a little less than two days.  I hope we will be back! 


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bees, Giraffes and Heifers

Our last day in Colorado Springs was a GORGEOUS day.  It was blue skies and 70's.  We went to the Broadmoor Hotel to look around.  It is SO beautiful there.  

We walked all around the grounds.  There was even a playground that Will Holden got to play on for a while which made his day! 

We agreed we would love to stay there if we went back one day.  I think at Christmas it would be amazing.  They already had Christmas lights up.  

The scenery was just amazing! 

We ate lunch at the Golden Bee.  It's on the grounds of the Broadmoor.  They have a lot of restaurants.  Some are very nice and have a dress code which made me nervous because we mostly took casual clothes but the Golden Bee was more casual.  

We loved it! The food was good.  The waiter throws "Bee" stickers on you.  It's so fun! 

I had the most amazing salad and French onion soup.  

We had been told over and over that we HAD to go to the zoo.  The Cheyenne Mountain zoo is just a couple of miles from the Broadmoor.  They are both in a very fancy and pretty part of town.  Everything on this trip was tricky because of Covid.  Some things were closed and a lot of things like the zoo required timed tickets.  So I pre bought our tickets the night before.  

The zoo was even better than everyone said.  They have this gondola sky ride that crosses the zoo.  It was so fun (and scary).  We rode it a couple of times.  It was SO fun.  

You get to feed the giraffes and we loved that.  They had so many great animals and it was just laid out so pretty! We stayed about 4 hours until they closed and we could have stayed a lot longer.  

These deer were just out eating free and we got so close to them.  

We just had a great day walking around and looking at the animals.  

They closed at 5 and we nearly got locked in because we were trying to use every minute.  

We drove downtown for dinner.  They have a cute square like downtown.  We ate at Skirted Heifer.  I had been told this was good.  It was burgers and fries and it was great.  

It was a tiny little restaurant and they had most of the tables moved out but we were able to sit and eat.  

Everyone told me to try Josh and John's ice cream.  We walked a few blocks and tried it.  It was so good. Hollis said it was the best ice cream she had ever had.  The night was so nice and walking downtown with my family in sweet weather was just a special moment that ended a perfect day.  

We loved Colorado Springs.  There were so many things we didn't get to do that I would love to go back and see.  If you are looking for a good spot for family to visit - this is a great spot!