We took our first official family vacation last week. It was great. We went to Colorado. I have to give credit to my wife for making the trip with 3 little girls enjoyable. She had us on an army like schedule. We were up, on the road, and having breakfast in the car by 7:30am. That is awesome for a family with a 2 year old, 4 year old, and a 6 year old. She had movies scheduled, stories to read, and even left time to listen to "kids place live" on the satellite radio.
On the way out we ate at "The Big Texan." No, none of us tried the 72oz steak dinner challenge. That is like eating a whole roast, you know. However, we did wait anxiously every-time some young robust young man walked in. My wife said, "if someone takes the challenge while we are here, we are staying to watch." No one did. Boo! We saw Palo Duro canyon. The girls seemed impressed. Then we went swimming in the pool at the hotel. Well, let me rephrase, the 3 young girls went swimming. That water was cold.
The next day we stopped in New Mexico at Capulin Volcano. The girls were worried because they did not want the volcano to erupt while we were visiting. Once we assured them that it would not erupt they loved it. They became junior rangers. Meaning, they completed the junior park ranger scavenger hunt. We saw "bambi." The youngest loved that, and kept asking to go pet "bambi." We had a picnic lunch on the top of Capulin, and this is where "squirmy" enters. Squirmy is a caterpillar, cute right? The girls thought so, and spent a great deal of time following squirmy around and squealing. I don't know if it was the following or the squealing, but squirmy got pissed. So pissed in fact, that he stung the middle one. I know right? Who knew caterpillars could sting. That is kind of cool, you know, except for the stinging my child part, but they can sting that is cool.
Once we got the middle one calmed down we went down the volcano, and they received their junior ranger badge, which they wore with pride for the next two days. This trip to the volcano was the defining moment of the trip. You see, after this every pile of dirt, mole hill, or bump was a "volcano," and every divot, ditch, or hole was a canyon. And that is how we rode through the countryside to complete our journey, and arrive at the cabin where we were staying, with the girls yelling that they see a volcano, and a canyon. In fact when we arrived at the cabin the oldest said, "Yay, we made it to the canyon." Right.
My parents and sisters family joined us there, and we had a great time. We went to the "sand bank," at the "lake." This is also know as the sand bar in the Rio Grande river, don't worry we were in CO, so the Rio Grande is still blue and cold, not brown and warm like it is in Texas. We went rafting in the "lake." We climbed "gum-ball mountain." This is what the girls decide to call the mountain in the park where the sheep herders cabin is. That is what we were climbing to see, and they had just finished watching strawberry shortcake before the climb, so naturally the rocks were "gum-balls," the grass was "icing," and the sticks were "candles." Makes sense to me. We saw two parades and no fireworks. Happy Fourth! The biggest and I climbed up the "deer trail." This is a trail that leads to the top of Mount Moriah, which is the mountain behind our cabin. I used to think my dad just called it a deer trail until I hiked to the top one March with my wife, and found elk. She was quite scared to be so close to a herd of elk, I was like, "this is awesome, wow, dad was not lying to me when he called it a deer trail." Turns out deer, and elk, do use this trail to come down to the river to get water. When the biggest and I got to the top she sat on the cliffs, and looked out over the park and river and said, "It is awesome up here." Kinda made the whole trip worth it.
The girls had a good time they did not want to come home. Here is a video of the highlights of our trip...