He suggested that since we still had one more antique store we wanted to explore, that he could be left at the park with the boys walking on the nature trails looking for Pokemon. It was 95 degrees, but they had sunscreen, water, and we would just meet them at the VISITORS CENTER (capitalized not to be screaming at you, but making a point ... hint hint).
The boys begrudgingly went along with the idea because lets face it, they didn't want to look at old crap. They started off on their adventure while we went on ours. After arriving at the antique store (which, lets face it, it was a MALL ... this hummer was huge), my dad gets a message from Nate that sounded a bit desperate "How much longer will you be? We're out of water, the phones are almost dead, so we're heading to the VISITORS CENTER". Well. We had just gotten to our shopping place, so sorry honey, it might be a bit.
As they made their way to the visitors center they did come across some great finds; one being a Momma and Baby Deer and the second being really cool rock formations that you can't get to or see from the road - you have to hike in. I was glad they got to experience that.
This also meant that this was our last day with Dad and Jo. After this debacle of a morning we finished off our day with them at a restaurant with a waitress who tried to get my dad liquored up.
That's pretty much what he said, too. This is dad's wax creature that he built using the children's wax sticks that came with their kids' meal. Yay dad.
We said our goodbyes and headed to Woodland Park, CO. It's about 20 miles west of Colorado Springs. This is where Nathan and I got engaged back in 1999 on Millennium New Years Eve. This little property started out renting out 5 tiny cabins. Nathan and I were in Cabin 4 - our friends were in Cabin 3. Today, the property contains townhouse-style rooms and even some executive suites ... so it's grown. We decided we'd stay there our last night near Colorado Springs and let the boys relish in the nostalgia. Ha! They couldn't have cared less, were ornery, grouchy, but we did get them to play Life with us, a new family favorite.
Ok, so it's late into the vacation. We're on each other's nerves. Everyone's a little testy. Well, it slips out that Maysen told Nate on the walk around pretty much entire Colorado when they were lost, that "...this vacation is just for mom and what she wants. We haven't gotten to do anything fun."
Right? I'm giving you pause to get over the shock of that. Now. I will have you know, that guess what? We've gone to DisneyLand ... but it wasn't because I wanted to go. We've been to Disney World ... but not because I wanted to go .... the Disney cruises? Well. They were likely in-part because I wanted to go, but perhaps maybe not the "Disney" part. You get the drift. So we had a pretty heated discussion about vacations and being thankful and appreciative. But in the end I think Nate and I decided that they probably shouldn't go on anymore expensive vacations for awhile because they're just too immature to appreciate all that's involved in planning one. It all ended well, but it was pretty heated.
The next morning before we left, we walked down to the cabins. We had explained to the boys what took place, how it took place, and then we were at the physical cabins where "We" started. We knew the cabins were rented so we were quiet. Nate wanted to kiss me in the same spot we got engaged so we walked up the steps as Maysen went to get a picture. Just as he goes to kiss me - "BARK BARK BARK BARK GRRRRR.R......" This beast sounded like it was going to come through the door. So we were outta there, but you get the idea.
I like to think I'm a caring mother, a considerate mother. It hurt my heart that Maysen had said he hadn't been having fun. I always had so much fun as a kid coming to the places we'd just visited but maybe they truly didn't. So instead of rushing off to Denver right away, we stopped at The North Pole Amusement Park for the afternoon to let the boys have "some fun" after all the torture we'd put them through all week. I think we were redeemed.
Another pooped out day, as this amusement park was basically built on the side of a mountain. It's a mini San Fran with 60 degree grades up every turn and switchbacks down to other rides. But, THEY. HAD. FUN. Score! We could barely get them away from the guns. What is it with boys and GUNS!? I'm thinking "Should I be afraid?!" But there were other boys all over waiting for their turn at the gun rack. We walked away owning 2 new guns. One was pink. I won't spill it on which one wanted the pink one (until his senior year, maybe) ....
We drove to Denver after that ready for our flight home the next morning. We needed a long rest before bed and heading home. Our hotel was awesome and I'm glad I booked a 2 bedroom. The boys did their thing in their room and we got peace and quiet in ours.
As I sat in the kitchen and reminisced on our time in Colorado, I turned and looked out the picture window and saw this rolling in over the mountains:
My last and final Colorado storm was rolling in. What a great going-away present. Until we meet again, Colorado!