Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Vacation 2015


Every time I think, "This may be the last time."  And this time was no different, except this one really probably was the last time. The last time we will go on a "big" family vacation with just the six of us. Most likely next summer, at least one of the six won't be going.  Change is coming.  And though I may not like it, I know it will be okay.
So for this summer vacation, we went to Florissant, Colorado, which is just west of Colorado Springs.  We stayed up a mountain in this beautiful home found on vrbo.com.
When we look for a house to rent, price matters, but since we booked later than usual, we didn't have as many options.  This one cost a little more than we usually pay, but had everything else we/I wanted. I like a nice kitchen. It's fun to cook in and clean up a beautiful kitchen, for me, anyway!
It was especially helpful to have a nice, well organized kitchen because we are getting ready to remodel our own, and it gave me some ideas.
We also want plenty of comfy seating.  One house we rented was skimpy on the comfy furniture.  This one had tons of space and comfy places to sit!  This basement room was our favorite.  It was a basement, but also opened out in the front part to look like the lower level of the three stories!  It was a "rec" room, they call it.  We enjoyed it, immensely!
Another requirement is a place to eat outside.  We ate some evening meals out on the patio.  So nice!
We like outdoor things to do, but being on a mountain limits the things to do.  The homeowners did have a horseshoe place that Joe and the boys really enjoyed.  If it was our own house, we would put in a basketball goal!  But, for little ones, there was a baby swing and tire swing hanging from a tree, plus they had a few other outdoor games to play.  Our family enjoyed running and walking the roads and exploring the mountain a little.
The only thing we did as an activity was go up Pike's Peak on the Cog Railway.  This little marmot is the only animal that lives that high on the mountain.  They remind me of prairie dogs.
There was quite a bit of snow/ice on the road near the top at at the Summit this year.  And it was windy!!  Fifty-five mile per hour winds and 27 degree wind chill.
But we made it! And had their delicious donuts and hot chocolate!
On the way down the mountain, I was alone. The rest of my family hiked back down.  The youngest vows to NEVER, EVER do that again!!!  We thought he would decide to ride down, but he didn't.  Now he wishes he had, but some day (hopefully), he will look back and be proud of that HUGE accomplishment!  They were SORE for a few days!!  They didn't even want to look at the mountain the next day when we drove into town to eat! Ha ha!
This wasn't our cog. Ours was double, but I like this picture. It reminds me of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood". :)
This was the morning we left Florissant.  We were ready to get home, ready to not climb stairs, and the boys were ready to hit golf balls out in our wide open field (can't do that on a mountain unless you want to spend a lot of money on golf balls!), but wow! What a great vacation home!  There were five bedrooms, two living areas, an office, four bathrooms, and much more.  The last night we played the hide and seek game, "Sardines".  It was so much fun and there were lots of places to hide!!!
My kids doing the obligatory picture.  They were okay with it :).
We hiked this long (not showing the whole thing) road and Joe and the boys ran it a lot.  It was 2.5 miles just down the mountain to the main road!  I can't imagine this in the winter, but would love to be there to see it some day!
Joe and the boys played golf here one day. It was a beautiful course!
Colorado sunset....
One of my favorite things about vacation was that Wednesday night Joe had each of the boys come up with a short Bible lesson.  He did one, too.  We sang, we listened to each of their lessons, we read the Bible, and then talked about what they each chose.  Interestingly, they all went together.  I think that's because the Bible is meant to go together. It DOES go together.  That evening, plus the other devotional times we shared, singing in the car on the way....those are some of my favorite memories.
The hiking group!  The two oldest boys made it down the mountain in 2 hours and 51 minutes!  They RAN because they wanted it to be over!! :)  Joe and the other two made it in a little less than six hours.  They ran a little, but mostly walked.  They were all tired, very thirsty and hungry when they came down!  I'm so proud of them!  And guess what? My husband runs the Pike's Peak Ascent and Marathon this weekend!  He's CRAZY! Ha ha!!  

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