We went to Grand Lake, CO to visit Philip's dad and his wife. Grand Lake is about an hour and half outside of Denver. Now if the terrain was like it is in Oklahoma it'd be more like 30 minutes but that kinda gives a vague location of where we were at. It also gives you an idea of the amount of time we spent in the car (11 hours). It was the first week of June so the mornings were a little chilly but it warmed up nicely pretty quickly.
Our first day we went to Adam's Falls and hiked a short distance in what I am thinking was part of Rocky Mountain National Park but I could be very wrong there. Annie enjoyed figuring out how to climb on the rocks.
So did Philip.
Just kidding, this is not a rock he scaled there, this is actually in Winter Park, CO.
Anyway, after that we wandered around the town of Grand Lake and later that evening drove through some of Rocky Mountain National Park and viewed some moose and elk. Now would be an appropriate time to insert pictures of the beautiful mountain scenery and animals. However, I'm not a person that really enjoys looking back at pictures of scenery or animals. I like to see pictures with people in them and if possible in front of the beautiful scenery or animals (provided they aren't getting mauled) and so I didn't take any pictures of the beauty that is "Colorful Colorado" although Philip did so we have some for posterity's sake.
Tuesday we went kyaking. By we I mean Philip and his dad did the actual kyaking while the rest of us wandered around the lake they were kyaking in. Annie really liked this. She soon figured out the joy of throwing rocks in the water and seeing/hearing the splash. That evening we drove to the Continental Divide so that Annie could stand on a mountain with snow.
As you can see from the look on our faces in picture above snow on a mountain in Colorado in June is not really easy to walk on. Also, we found that the Continental Divide is a site many people feel like they can give their dogs a rest stop so we were having to watch for those land mines while navigating our short distance up.
The next day we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and into Estes Park on the other side of the mountain. This was a place in Colorado I'd never been and while it was a typical touristy CO town it was fun to meander through. Here we rode on a gondola up a mountain for a view of the town. Lest anyone think we were taking a fancy boat like you've probably seen in Venice going down canals let me correct the picture in your mind. It resembled a British telephone booth (similar to what Harry Potter gets in to go to the Ministry of Magic) with open windows and it's suspended on a cable.
Annie really enjoyed this ride up which was kind of a surpise to me because she's pretty timid about most things. When we got to the top she got to climb and jump on rocks and for some reason felt the need to say "Princess!" every time she jumped off a rock. I'd like to say in the following picture she and I are looking down at the tall rock we just scaled or at some cute chimpmunk eating a piece of bread but no, it's more me trying to get her to look up so Philip can get her picture on the rock and her refusing to acknowledge the camera.
Day four found us in Winter Park for the majority of the day. Annie had spotted a playground on our way through to the Continental Divide and it's a pretty little town that provided sunshine and stores to walk through so that's what we did after she played for long while.
Annie also got her first taste of hot tea when we found a Chinese restraunt to eat lunch in. She is big on anything small or petite and loved drinking out of the little tea cups.
It was now Friday and time to begin our trip back. Philip planned for us to stay a night with his Aunt Toni in Denver so we said goodbye to Kevin and Grand Lake and headed that way. We got to Denver around 11:30 AM and had plenty of time to spend before Toni was off work so we found The Wildlife Experience which was close to where she lived and ventured through it.
This was a fun stop for Annie. It's basically a museum that shows different wildlife areas with stuffed animals (real, not toy) and you go through the different climates and locations. Here you can see Annie looking for Nemo.
We walked through it once and then it was getting close to nap time so we went to the 3D movie they had hoping it'd give us a place that was dark and would lull a 3 year-old to sleep. After the initial fun with the glasses, Annie was out about 2 minutes into the opening credits and this allowed us to sit and watch the show while she napped soundly for about 45 minutes. Here we are before the show:
As funny as it may seem being it was a family vacation that is our only group pic. A group portrait taken by Philip in a movie theater that ended up looking like something from 1970 because of the lighting. Oh well, the picture still makes me laugh and I can't complain because I didn't do my part to take pictures on the trip, all the above photos were captured by Philip via his iPhone.
After our Wildlife Experience we spent the night with Toni and Ralph and had good conversation and fun catching up. Saturday we drove back to Stillwater with Annie telling us the whole time, "I liked our trip to Colorado."