It makes me sad to look at these (hundreds of) pictures from our trip because my visits with my dad are never long enough. I wish we lived closer to each other and the disappointment I felt 10 years ago when he moved away to Colorado, comes back all over again. My dad is so great with my kids and they just adore him. (And I'm pretty fond of him myself.)
When we arrived at my dad's house, we were greeted by two rainbows stretching across the gray sky. Twin rainbows! We all stood and watched as the two rainbows merged into one, thick double rainbow. It was really a nice start to our stay in Denver.
After a few days in Denver, we headed up to my dad's house in the mountains. We weren't there long before Ryan developed one of his spontaneous fevers. Poor kiddo has the worst timing.
The view from my dad's deck was amazing, as always. The sun was shining over the lake and the leaves were just starting to change colors. The weather was warm during the day and refreshingly cool at night. I swear I could live in the Rocky Mountains forever.
My dad even has two sets of twin Aspen trees growing in his yard. (I think we see pairs everywhere!)
Nathan and Ryan loved my dad's unique antler chandeliers and the huge windows overlooking the lake. They were always staring at something!
Ryan's fever got pretty bad and it was obvious that he felt pretty crummy. He slept a lot for the couple of days that he was sick.
My dad and I took turns holding Ryan and watching the little kids while Matthew and Joshua raced go karts with Uncle Paul. My brother hadn't seen us in 18 months, so it was a real treat to spend an afternoon with him. He's a mountain man now and lives in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. It's a sharp contrast from life growing up in the DC suburbs, but he is really happy there.
The kids even got me out on the track so I could embarrass Uncle Paul. Yeah, we beat him!
Matthew helped Granddad With No Hair get ready for the winter by chopping firewood. The kids just love to help with his projects.
Looking into my reflection in the window... The sky was so beautiful and clear!
We took the kids to the beach one afternoon and watched them build a huge sandcastle. They were very resourceful, grabbing burnt firewood remnants and seaweed to embellish their creation.
In the 10 years that my dad has lived in Colorado, I've always wanted to see a moose. Finally, this trip was the lucky trip and ended up seeing 6 of them! This one was absolutely huge and I jumped out of the van and crouched between the trees to take a picture. It was incredible.
Then we saw a mother and her calf a few minutes later! The baby was bigger than me, I'm sure. They were fascinating to watch and even Nathan & Ryan were shouting "moose" in the van.
We watched the elk in the fields and were giggling at the two babies who were literally racing and playing with each other. What a sight! Then we even heard the elk bugling, which was so different than what I had expected to hear from such large creatures.
We brought the kids in their jammies as we drove around looking at animals just before dusk. It was the perfect time to come across all kinds of wild animals.
On our way back to Denver, we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. As always, the views from the mountaintops are breathtaking. This time my dad drove and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the scenery.
Back in Denver, my dad and his wife renewed their wedding vows. It was a really small ceremony-just me, the kids, my brother, and one other couple. I took pictures and wrangled babies. The Catholic priest told me that (if I was Catholic) I'd be nominated for sainthood. We all laughed... a little too hard! If that poor priest only knew what my life was really like, he would have laughed too!
After the ceremony, Matthew got the thrill of his life. My dad's friend let all of the kids sit inside his Porsche. What kind of person lets six little kids sit in their Porsche?! It was so incredibly sweet and such a kind gesture. For those that know Matthew, you know he is obsessed with cars. He eats, sleeps, and breathes cars. His world revolves around them. For him to sit inside a real Porsche and even open and close the convertible top, was awesome!
The reception was just an intimate little brunch in downtown Denver. It was great food and it was nice to spend some time with my brother, even if he was half asleep from working all night.
Because Jason was coming home early, we only spent about a week and a half in Colorado. I wish we could have stayed longer. It never feels like enough time and we always have so much fun.
Before we left, I was able to finally meet up with two other twin moms that I've known online for quite some time. We took our kids to the park and enjoyed spending the afternoon there, eating a picnic lunch and talking about life. It was just what I needed to recharge my mommy batteries and get myself ready to conquer the last part of our journey.