Lots of new things to explore and do here at home this year.
We stayed here. The first time I was here, something like twelve or thirteen year ago, my husband and I were just engaged. Now, here we are with our three kids. It was amazing. Just as I remembered it. My little bird swam and swam and swam. It was all I could do to get her to take a break and have some ice cream. She very nicely played some cards with the peach.
Waiting for the train to start us on our journey home. Do the girls look like they're tired of waiting? All in all. . . a trip for the memory book. I felt so lucky to have such a beautiful family. Now. . . the first day of school preparations must commence.
We took the California Zephyr from Denver to Glenwood Springs. I'm telling you, this is an amazing train ride. I'm sort of addicted and can't wait to take another trip. The national parks guy on the train said if I like this ride I should take the one through Alaska because the wild life you can see from the train is amazing. I'm tempted, although, I'm not quite sure what one does in Alaska when one gets there. I'll be honest, I was a little leary of having a sixteen month old on a train for 5-6 hours, but she did remarkably well.
It was a long wait for the train. And I mean a loooonnnnggg wait. The train was running behind. . . like seven hours behind (it's a long boring story so I'll save you the details)! But we did have a very nice morning in Denver we wouldn't have had otherwise so that was a plus.
My sweet husband was so great with little Pippa. I couldn't have done it without him.
The view was amazing. There really aren't words to describe it well enough, so I leave you with a few of my favorite images.
The Denver Zoo was amazing. We spent, practically, an entire day there. My elephant obsessed oldest was so excited to see these beauties. Apparently, the lady on the right has a dysfunctional trunk! She can't swing it very well and as a result it's quite a bit skinnier than her friend on the left. Huh. . . interesting tidbit via the zoo keeper. They are in the process of building a huge Asian addition and we were informed that if we return in four year or so they plan on having little elephant babies! Well, we'll have to put that on our list. Maybe on our trip out to see the Grand Canyon we can stop in again.
Gorgeous animals. I'm telling you, the habitats they have set up are truly beautiful to look at and you feel like it's as close to their natural home as you can get without actually being out in the bush.
It always makes me sad to see the apes in a zoo. I think any animal that has the intelligence of a three year old child should be left in its natural habitat. You can't tell me this guy doesn't know he's in jail.
Uh 0h. Who let these monkeys out? We had so much fun. If you get a chance, you should go.
Hello. This is Wyoming. This was Wyoming for hours and hours. The top two photos were the most interesting photos I could manage. There is actually stuff to look at in the distance! And honestly, I think that middle one may still be South Dakota. Mostly, though, eastern Wyoming is the bottom photo. Lots and lots of the bottom photo. Hours and hours. You can't really get lost in Wyoming because if you aren't finding exactly what you're looking for there isn't anything else there to confuse you. We stopped in Cheyenne for dinner and weren't impressed with our dining options, so we said to ourselves, "Maybe there's something better just over that hill."
Off we went, in search of better dining choices.
Over the hill?
This was a trip that I'll remember forever. There's just something special about a family road trip. Perhaps it's not the hours on end of wanting to pull your hair out because your children are in the back of the minivan gouging each other's eyes out. Really, there was a point there somewhere in Wyoming where I thought, "LET ME OUT!" I don't care if I haven't seen so much as a tree in three hours, just let me out. But, seriously, there's something special about it, I'm telling you. There's a sort of, we're in this together and we're going to make it great, darn it, kind of attitude that takes hold even in 103 degree heat at the Corn Palace in the middle of South Dakota! I only took polaroids there, because, really, it's a building with corn on it.
One of our first stops, of digital photo worthiness, was Mount Rushmore. Amazing. Really, I had no idea it would be this great. You can just stand there and stare at it forever trying to imagine how such an amazing thing was accomplished.
We also saw Crazy Horse. We paid a bazillion dollars to take this picture.
Again, very cool. I hope they use the bazillion dollars to finish him. More on our trip later, after I gather my photos in some sort of organized fashion.