Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family Vacation in Breckenridge

We spent four nights in Breckenridge this past weekend, our first family vacation in two years. While I realized that vacations with small children aren't exactly relaxing all the time, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and uninterrupted time to spend with each other. It was only a 2-hour drive away from Colorado Springs, but we truly felt like we were "getting away." Summer is off-season in Breck, so we could stay more cheaply than during ski season. That said, we won't be looking to buy a second home in the mountains any time soon no matter how much we were charmed by the town. A 585 sq. ft home with 2 bedrooms and 3/4 baths was selling for $319,000!
Rylan was really excited about vacation and asked us every few minutes on the drive, "do we on vacation yet?" I'm not sure what he was expecting vacation to be, but I think he was satisfied with new cartoons on cable, a new toy to play with, his favorite cereal, and an indoor swimming pool. Caroline was fascinated with the un-covered outlets, trying to eat the decorative pine-cones, and digging in the fake moss in the fake plants. Oh the joy of a 9-month old in a non-childproof home! Thankfully, we survived with no choking or electrocution incidents.

Just one of the many cute shops in Breckenridge, all decorated with large containers of colorful flowers.

The flowers, mostly petunias, surrounding this restaurant amazed me. I wonder who has the green thumb?

Sorry, but I just couldn't get enough of the flowers. So lovely and each container had a different arrangement.

The back porch of our condo had great views of the mountains all around.

I didn't get to see a wild columbine, but this beautiful blue one blooming at a cabin near our condo was the next best thing. I was surprised because the columbines near our house finished blooming months ago. Chalk it up to the 3,000 foot difference in altitude, I guess.

Rylan got to sleep in a queen-sized bed, but he was glad to share some snuggle time with his sister just before bed. We let them sleep in the same room for the first two nights, but after they started waking each other up at 6:30 am, we decided to separate them.

Rylan fully enjoying his vacation, complete with relaxing on the couch watching cartoons on cable and eating his favorite cereal.

Rylan satisfying his climbing urge on the big rock near our condo.

Another cute shot of Rylan on the rock. I am a huge fan of L.L. Bean and I may even send them this picture, just for fun!

Rylan holding Caroline on "his" rock just long enough for me to snap a picture and then rescue her. I wouldn't put it past him to give her a playful shove, just to see what would happen.

Caroline claps for joy on vacation.

The area we hiked off Boreas Pass Road used to contain a major railway until the 1930's. It was the shortest distance between Denver and Leadville, a mountain town in the heart of the Rockies just southwest of Denver. All that remains now are a few feet of track and this old boxcar, which Rylan explored.

Little boy on the trail in the Rocky Mountains.

Hiking up to Black Powder Pass. On the way up the trail, the path seemed to disappear. All we could see was a steep, bare dirt hill in front of us. To the left, we could see a faint trail that led on more level ground across the creek. We had to do a little bush-wacking, but otherwise made it through that area to a more defined trail. On the way back, I decided we should take the "real" trail so we wouldn't have to fight our way through the bushes and soggy creek. Unfortunately, I forgot about that imposing looking hill that looked even scarier coming from above. Basically the trail was steep, smooth dirt, no overhanging trees to grab, no rocks for toeholds. I tried my hardest to find an easier way down, but had no success. Finally, with Charlton at the bottom to break the descent, I slid down on my bottom holding Caroline in front in the moby wrap. Charlton was a real trooper and did the same thing earlier, holding Rylan, but I was really scared. I might have been braver if it was just me, but I was really afraid of falling and hurting Caroline. Thankfully we all made it down safely, a little more dirty than we had planned, but just in time to escape the coming thunderstorm. It was a great hike, with some beautiful scenery, but I was reminded how everything can be a little more difficult with young kids, and in the mountains, more dangerous.

Taking a break to check out the stream.

Rylan taking full advantage of any opportunity to play in the water, no matter how cold.

Charlton helping Rylan cross the creek.

Charlton climbed all the way to the summit of Black Powder Pass and was rewarded with this great view. The kids and I were glad to wait in the shade a little lower down on the mountain.

Mountain man Charlton.

We ate dinner at a great Mexican restaurant overlooking the water and the mountains on Saturday night. The food was great, but dining with kids wasn't exactly relaxing. Caroline burned her finger on my hot plate and while we were walking out, Rylan tripped and fell hard in front of a crowded table. We ended up running out of the restaurant, Rylan tucked under my arm, screaming and yelling "don't look at me, go away" to all the nice, concerned restaurant patrons.

The Mexican restaurant was on the lower level of this building.

Me with my crazy, stray strand of hair, and my boy, all recovered from the restaurant drama.

Rylan just had to pet the horses. ;-)

Rylan enjoying his dinosaur sprinkled chocolate iced donut. We told him the night before that we would get donuts for breakfast. The first thing I heard him say the next morning was "Mom, do we get donuts now?" I wonder what he dreamt about all night.

Buffalo Bill's grave.

Rylan says "stick 'em up" with his first "real" cowboy gun.

Rylan demonstrating his new cowboy gun.

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