Chasing Davies: A Family of the Wilderness: Colorado Vacation

June 30, 2015

A Family of the Wilderness: Colorado Vacation

The last 10 days, my little family hit the road for Colorado.   We hopped around the state starting in Denver to visit my sister and a close friend (read about that part of our trip here!), then headed north to Fort Collins to stay with my cousin and her awesome family for a few days. Finally, we headed to Estes Park for four nights. We stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies, which is nestled in the mountains, completely surrounded my mountain views.

{This tank - which I also wore hiking - opens in the back, making is super versatile!}

At first when I heard the YMCA... I was a little nervous of a summer-camp like stay. Never really a fan of summer camp, I was skeptical.  While YMCA of the Rockies isn't super far off from camp-like, just more adultified, it is great for kids (more like 5 years and older, though). They have a ton of activities geared towards families and children, which is awesome. Our kiddos were a little young to take advantage of all the cool stuff (craft and art classes, mini golf, sports, day camps, etc).  The views though - my photos just didn't do them justice. 

Also, not far is the little and cute town of Estes Park, so while YMCA has a cafeteria of buffets for every meal - I'd encourage you to still get out and experience their little town and local restaurants!  That's one of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to explore things that I can't do at home. Obviously the mountains were the main attraction for achieving that.  We went hiking everyday (warmed up from our hikes in Denver and Ft. Collins), which is the best way to integrate yourself with the beautiful surroundings! It was so fun exploring - and seeing Liam conquering these trails better than some of the adults!

Here are a few photos from our hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park while we were in Estes Park:

{this was on the hike back from Alberta Falls, Liam hiking with Aunt Diana - it was probably prettier than the hike there!}

Our second hike in Estes Park was to The Pools of Fern Falls. Liam had to work pretty hard on this one - lots of stairs and climbing, but he did so well!  This time, we took our lunch so that we could sit and enjoy the surroundings a bit more.  This gave Liam ample time to make friends with the chipmunks gathering our accidental crumb droppings and climb rocks.  Nora slept most of the time while hiking in the backpack, but she got to get out and eat lunch on the rocks with us.

 {and nearby, a chipmunk had his lunch, too!}

After lunch, Greg (with Nora on his back) and I split from the group to continue to the hike up to Fern Falls. We hurried so that we could meet back up with the rest of the group (and Liam!) where we had originally started!  But seeing the Falls was way worth it - even for Nora who just kept saying "whoa" over and over again (see her reaction here!).

 And on the final full day - Greg and I went off on our own to do the hike to Emerald Lake (past Nymph and Dream lakes, which were also really great to see).  We were able to do this a bit faster without the kiddos, and by this day, Liam was tired! He and Nora stayed back with the rest of the group (who were also done hiking for the trip) to play on the playground at the YMCA.

 {and again, the hike back was just as pretty...}

Ah, it was a whirlwind of a trip - hoping from place to place. When we got home, it felt so good. It also felt like it'd been forever since we'd been home! Now we're just working on getting back on a schedule!  One tip for family travels with little ones - build in a buffer day! We all stayed home one day extra to do the mounds of laundry, go to the grocery store, sleep in and all the other little things that could take a whole week to do.  So now to the tons and tons of emails I've got piled up...

Are you traveling anywhere this summer with little ones? 

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