Colorado, August 5th – 14th (Denver, Estes Park, Boulder)

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So back in March, we booked a summer getaway to Colorado, thinking it would be a fun, relaxing trip to go somewhere new for us both, and take advantage of Harvey still being free to fly. At that time Harvey was just shy of a year old and just starting to walk. We didn’t have a clue what we were getting ourselves into. As the spring and summer passed and Harvey fully morphed from a sweet well-behaved cuddly baby into a biting, running, throwing, hitting, screaming, demanding wombat, I was certainly feeling some apprehension towards the impending trip. We can’t get Harvey to stay put in one room of our house for more than 5 minutes, how will we get him to sit on our of our laps for a 3 hour flight? He’s so drilled into his 5:30 EST wake up time, does that mean he’ll wake up at 3:30AM every morning we are there? Are there enough veggie straws in the whole state of Colorado to pacify Harv for 9 days? What if he starts having a fit when we are out to eat? What if he gets another ear infection while we are out there? Will we even have a fun time?

The answers would turn out to be: 1) through snacks, Moana, but mostly brute force and ignoring the squealing and jeering eyes of fellow passengers 2) more like 4:30AM 3) plenty of veggies straws, but more importantly plenty of open spaces to roam 4) that’s when you have to tag-team it – one in, one out 5) fortunately, he didn’t 6) Yes, we had an absolute blast, and made memories Sarah and I will never forget, and took lots of pictures to show Harvey one day.

Don’t get me wrong, when we both work full-time, being with each other, let alone Harvey for 9 days, uninterrupted was definitely a change from our typical routine – and there were some rather stressful moments. On a few occasions we would have loved to drop him off at childcare, so we could have fully enjoyed a meal, beer or a conversation without the constant distraction that is having a one-something year-old. But, we found time to do things we love, found fun things for Harvey, and overall felt so extremely thankful for each other and our life. We were able to notice things with Harvey and witness his growth in ways I don’t think we would have without the dedicated family time. While I had planned to fully day-by-day document all we did, it didn’t happen. I tried for the first day or so, but it just became overwhelming and not what I wanted to do at the end of a jam-packed day of vacation. So, instead, I’ll simply leave a list of some of the highlights/most-memorable moments and pictures from the trip.

  • Visiting dear friends we don’t get to see enough – Matt & Liza, Whitney & Nate, Amanda & Jonathan
  • Lots of gorgeous hiking
    • Bear Lake, Dream Lake, & Emerald Lake at Rocky Mountain State Park
      • One of my favorite hikes of all time, even on an overcast day.
    • East Inlet Trail/Adam’s Falls at Rocky Mountain State Park near Grande Lake
      • A beautiful trail, made all the more scenic  by the family of Elk having a drink
    • Mount Sanitas Trail in Boulder
      • A spectacular view of the city, but I was always remember it for how hot and exhausted I was carrying Harvey straight up the side of the mountain, coupled with the smell of Elwood’s poop in Matt’s backpack.
    • Flatirons Vista Trail in Eldorado Springs – easy trail right next to where we were staying with great views of enormous wind mills at the National Wind Technology Center.
    • Ceran St. Vrain Trail – A nice trail along on a beautiful river, down the street from Whitney & Nate’s new house
    • Lily Lake – Nice like 3/4 loop on a gorgeous lake

 

  • Driving along Trail Ridge Road – A road along the side of a mountain, with very few guardrails, and an endless drop over the edge. Most terrifying, yet exhilarating driving experience of my life.
  • Delicious Food & Beer
    • Vine Street Pub & Brewery – Yummy, kid-friendly place in Denver. Leave the card at home – cash or check only, or they’ll send you a bill in the mail
    • Rock Cut Brewery – Awesome Estes Park Brewery – Interference IPA was a winner.
    • New Belgium Brewery –  I think we preferred Asheville’s, but loved that we were only people on the tour that had been to both! Our guide was jealous.
    • The Mountain Café – Fort Collins brunch spot. Not much to look at, but the best breakfast burrito of my life.
    • Odell Brewery – Great brewery in Fort Collins, lots of run around space for Harvey, who made a friend that shared his exact same birth date.
    • Estes Park Brewery – Loved this place. Been making beer for over 20 years and they keep it simple, not a lot of fancy stuff – more for locals than tourists. Best pizza I’ve had in some time.
    • Avery Brewing Company – One of Boulder’s most famous breweries. We got there nice and early to beat the rush and were totally blown away by both the food and beer.
    • Centro/Bar Taco – A couple of delicious Mexican spots across from one another in Boulder. Harvey made it through about half of dinner at Centro and exactly zero at Bar Taco.
    • Wild Wood Brewery – We noticed lots of breweries in industrial parks all around Colorado. This was one of them, in Boulder, and a great spot with a sweet garage door open just enough for Harvey to crawl under. Favorite was the S’mores Stout.
    • Hapa Sushi – Simply delicious sushi spot in Boulder.
    • Upslope Brewery – Loved their beer both in a can and on draft! Their Pale Ale was a favorite,
    • Beau Jo’s Evergreen – Stumbled upon this pizza lunch buffet place on our way out of town. Great find!

 

  • Mary’s Lodge – Our home in Estes Park
    • Gorgeous view of Prospect Mountain
    • Our free upgrade to suite with a 2nd 

  • Holzwarth Historical Site – An early 20th century dude-ranch.
  • Alluvial Fan – Awesome rock formation along a stream in RMNP. We kept trying to give Harvey the chance to run around, but all he wanted to do was jump in the stream which was probably 40 degrees.

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  • Moana – I can’t believe it costs $20 to download a movie, when DVDs are about half that price, but it is true. Still, so worth the money. Whether it was on the plane or while we were out to eat, Moana had the ability to pacify a restless Harvey unlike anything else.
  • The Great British Baking Show – Perfectly relaxing, predictable reality TV, where everyone is super nice and very British. Great way to spend an hour before bed each night on vacation.

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  • Harvey talking – During the trip he started to speak in short sentences, sounding like the Swedish chef. “These blueberries” sounds like “deesch bwuberriesh”. “It’s a doggie” sounds like “Isha dogesh”. “Sit” sounds like… well, hopefully he was just saying “sit”… Also learned the meaning of “hot” and whispered “walk” into my ear as we hiked through RMNP. The best though, him yelling repeatedly “I LOVE YOU!” the loudest he could as we drove around.

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  • Swimming & going down the slide at the El Dorado Springs Swimming Pool – opened since 1905, and fed by a constant flow from an artesian spring with a beautiful mountain back drop.IMG_6835
  • Driving through residential Boulder while Harvey napped in the backed. The houses were completely unique and gorgeous and also unbelievably expensive.
  • Constantly being surrounded by natural beauty – Especially in Boulder, where you can’t believe the natural beauty around you in the middle of a city. It is so open feeling, with a breathtaking mountainous backdrop. I could see how people get very used to that view.IMG_6891 (2).JPG

Until next time Colorado!

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One thought on “Colorado, August 5th – 14th (Denver, Estes Park, Boulder)

  1. Lynda Roszko

    Love the story. Made me chuckle. It was great to see Sarah again today. Have a great school year, and thank you for sharing your story

    Like

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