Wednesday, August 9, 2017


We have had a fun filled and busy summer.  I feel like the last four weeks or so have been spent getting ready for vacations, going on vacations, and recovering from vacations!  Yesterday we got back into summer mode and had a fun outing with our friend Thomas.  

We made a bucket list at the beginning of the summer and bowling made the list.  

We bowled two games and both kids got at least one spare to celebrate. 

This little cutie is getting so big and I don't want to send her to kindergarten.

After a few games in the arcade, we headed to Sweet Frog to round out our afternoon of fun!

Today we're headed to Kings Dominion.

gold, rocky mountain state park and estes park

We packed our last day full of fun!  We started off at a gold mine and went on a tour.

Pretending to set off some dynamite.  

After the tour, we were given a gold panning lesson and then we set out to strike it rich.

I think we failed our panning lesson because we really didn't know what we were looking for.  Needless to say, we didn't strike it rich, ha!

The kids had a fun time playing in the water though.

That's creative panning right there.

We didn't find gold, but these cute chipmunks made up for it.

We stopped for ice cream in the small mining town before heading on our way.

We spent the afternoon driving through Rocky Mountain State Park.

We did a little hiking in hopes of seeing more animals.

Apparently we had just missed the moose at this stop.  Bummer!

Jason and I celebrated our 14th anniversary this day!  We are so blessed!

It was another chilly day on the mountain.  After this stop the kids added pants and we put on our rain coats to take a little hike but as we got out of the car, the wind picked up and sleet started falling fast and hard.  Needless to say, we stayed in the car and skipped the hike.  

This beautiful rainbow appeared after the storm.  You could see where the rainbow started.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

We ended the evening in Estes Park and got there just in time to take a tram ride up the mountain. 

We enjoyed dinner to celebrate our anniversary and then enjoyed a little shopping in the town before heading back to Denver.

Jason's fondest memory of Estes Park were the elk and how they walked around the town.  We were lucky enough to spot a few on our way out!

We had an amazing trip and hope we made lasting memories for the kids.

pike's peak and a rockies game

Jason has an aunt who lived in Denver.  He and his family visited her and the surrounding area when he was a kid and it was a trip he never forgot.  His aunt still has her house there and we were lucky enough to use it during our stay.  This was the perfect trip to accompany our South Dakota fun!

On Tuesday we drove to Pike's Peak and road the Cog Railway to the summit.

It was in the 80's at the bottom and in the 30's at the top.  

I had packed Jason a jacket and pants for the kids, but I guess we didn't realize how cold it would actually be!  With the wind chill, it was 31 degrees.  It was cold and windy, but we had some hot chocolate and warm donuts to warm us while we enjoyed the views.

We had told the kids there would still be snow on some of the mountains.  Unfortunately this was the closest we could get to any snow on this trip.  There was not enough left on safe surfaces to actually touch.

We drove back to Denver in time to catch a Rockies game.

We visited Target and made a sign while we were out there so Bryce could take it to the game.  We live around Richmond, VA and we use RVA to refer to the area.

He held up his sign between every inning in hopes of being on the big screen.

We had a camera behind us and myself and another lady around us both asked nicely if he could get Bryce on the big screen and he obliged!  Bryce was so happy.  I took a ton of pictures of the screen, many of which included better views, but this was the only one that focused on the screen that wasn't too bright.  You get the point!

He was a happy boy, and the Rockies won!

south dakota part 2

We had so much fun in South Dakota and didn't have time to fit it all in on the first day so we stayed an extra night!  On our last day there we started the morning at Bear Country USA.  We saw plenty of wild animals on the trip, but this fun drive through park provided a much wider variety of animals!

There were plenty more animals I didn't include, but these were my favorites!

The closest we got to any bears!

If we had left South Dakota when we had planned, we would have traveled in the evening/night, but we ran through out game plan and realized we had enough time to do day driving and not miss out on anything.  I think we made an excellent choice to spend more time in South Dakota.  It was beautiful. 

We got back to Colorado on Monday evening and enjoyed running a few errands around town to prepare for the rest of our trip.

south dakota

We had a fun filled day in South Dakota.

The Badlands were amazing and pictures don't do it justice.

There were plenty of photo ops!

The animals were out favorite part.

Our main reason for our trip out west was to make Bryce's dreams of seeing Mount Rushmore come true!

It really was impressive!

We also visited Crazy Horse.  

The face is the only thing complete.  You can see the final plan below on the white statue.  

Our last leg of the day took us through Custer State Park.  The wild donkeys were a hoot.

We sent some post cards to family back home.

Always playing!

South Dakota ended up having way more sights than we could see in a day so we decided to spend another night before heading back to Denver!