Until a few days ago, we’d have to tell people we’d never taken our children on a trip west of the Mississippi. That ended on Wednesday, April 29 when we all flew to Denver for my legal marketing conference.
Thursday morning while I was in class, the rest of the family visited the Museum of Nature & Science. They loved it. Since the children were skipping school to go on this little excursion with me, we wanted to make sure they engaged in educational activities.
That afternoon, the conference attenders hopped on a bus to do some community service, despite (to my knowledge) no one’s being forced to by local law enforcement. My children joined, and they volunteered to paint. And paint they did.
The next day, they visited Dinosaur Ridge in the morning and then Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs while I attended the conference. That afternoon, dinner was at the Cherokee Castle outside Denver.
The library in this building contained original works by Winston Churchill, Shakespeare, and E.A. Poe (who, as an orphan, stayed with a relative of the castle’s owner at one point).
Sadly, this room was behind glass, so the above view was as close as I could get.
The next day began the days I actually got to spend with the rest of my family, but before we get to that, here’s a word from our sponsor:
After their sponsorship of the Dad 2.0 Summit, I reached out to Kia for a partnership during this little family trip to Colorado, and I got to pick up a complimentary Sorento shortly after landing. I’d hoped for the option with a third row, but we were able to get 3 car seats in one row and leave the back free for luggage.
As one who has pretty much only driven German cars for his entire adulthood (a Mercedes 190E and 3 BMWs: 325i, 530is, X5), I tend to demand vehicles that are not only nice on the inside, but handle well, too. The windy roads through the Rockies served as a great testing ground, and this crossover did not disappoint. Was it at the level of my X5? No, not quite, but it didn’t feel far off, and its interior and safety features were actually much better. I was happy to have “lane change warning beeps” for rapid weaving in Denver traffic and both a front and rear camera for awkward parallel parking in Boulder. It was great to have it for 6 days of driving.
Now back to our story. Saturday, we had an incredibly awesome breakfast at Syrup near our hotel (Eggs Benedict with BBQ on top? Yes.) before heading west to Georgetown for a train ride to an abandoned mine.
The scenery was beautiful, and the children loved it.
Then we stopped at the old Lebanon silver mine and took a tour inside.
Learning about the life and hazards of mining life made me glad for modern workers’ compensation laws, OSHA, and my advanced degrees.
After that, we drove up to Boulder to hike at Chautauqua Park before dinner at The Kitchen and dessert at Fior di Latte. Awesome. All of it.
There was even some twirling, a la “The Sound of Music” once we made it to the top (hyperlink to video)!
My boy spent most of the hike actively looking for (and wishing for) an encounter with a bear or cougar after seeing signs referencing the possibility of seeing them in the welcome center, but we (luckily) saw neither. We did see some college students smoking weed and a woman in a burka, so I figured these were as much of a departure from what we encounter in Atlanta as are bears and mountain lions anyway.
The next day, it was time for the children to get their first experience on skis. We went to Arapahoe Basin. They loved it, and because it was late in the season, we got a reduced rate on a private lesson for my bride and the 3 children all together.
The last 2 pictures I took while at 13,000 feet with Tyler and Nick, a couple of the conference attenders who are much better skiers than I am. At one point, I fell trying to navigate an especially steep blue run and had to stay seated for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out how I was going to make it down the mountain. Another skier stopped to see if I was okay, went a few feet ahead of me to the edge of the drop, and then helped me decide on a run to take that would minimize the likelihood of my dying that day. It worked.
Skiing for several hours at nearly 3 miles up left me completely exhausted for the drive back to the hotel, but we had to pull over when we saw this:
We don’t see a lot of buffalo in Georgia.
We walked to another great dinner at Sam’s No. 3 after getting to the hotel and then packed up for our flight home the next morning, on Monday, May 4.
Another great family trip was complete. Thanks again to Kia for allowing us the use of a car to review!
This entire trip was amazing. And active. And lovely. As unreal as it was to see snow falling from the sky in May, every minute we spent there was magic!
In all honesty: I liked the Kia better than the X5. Less throaty and much more soothing to drive. Easy fit of three car seats across the back. Great features for longer drives, including the 90 minutes to Colorado Springs. Good sound system, nice nav. I love my minivan and didn’t expect to enjoy this one, but really liked driving it!
Pingback: the 2017 Dad 2.0 Summit in San Diego - Dadcation
Pingback: the mountains are calling - Dadcation