Tuesday, July 31, 2007

So, yesterday when my internet was down, I wrote about a dozen posts (in my head, of course) and one of them was about our vacation last week.

John's brother and his family came to visit us, and we spent most of last week in Grand Lake, CO. Grand Lake is on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park and is absolutely beautiful. It was our first time there, but definitely not our last.

The last two summers we have vacationed in Estes Park, CO (on the eastern side of RMNP) and we probably would have returned there had we not had such a hard time finding a place to stay. That's what happens when you start looking only one month before you plan to arrive. Long story.

Anyway, we all loved Grand Lake. The lake is beautiful, the mountains are stunning, and the town is quaint and adorable. I actually think I liked it better than Estes Park because it wasn't as crowded, and because the town is built around the lake. And because they had an ice cream shop on the boardwalk that served quite possibly the best ice cream I've ever eaten. It was dee.lish.ous!

We enjoyed visiting all the shops in Grand Lake, and hanging out at the cabin, but my favorite part of the trip was time spent in Rocky Mountain National Park. I am in love with that magical place. This year, we did something I've never attempted before. We drove Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake to Estes Park. Trail Ridge Road is the highest major highway in North America and tops out at 12,183 feet above sea level. And folks, that's some serious elevation. Especially for a girl who is quite afraid of heights. Riding in the backseat helped (thank goodness I don't get carsick) and the views were AMAZING. Most of the photos I took in the post below were taken from one of the high points along Trail Ridge Road. Beautiful, huh?

The kids and their cousins were proud of me conquering my fear of heights and changed the words to "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" to "Mer went over the mountain...and we're so proud of her." They got so carried away with it that they each took turns inserting their names into the song and finishing with a verse of their own creation. Very cute and I love to witness their creativity in process!

We hiked some too...and saw some beautiful scenery and some wildlife including chipmunks, a duck family, and many elk. I was really hoping to see a moose, since they live on the western side of the park and that's where we spent most of our time, but our moose hunts proved unsuccessful. Didn't see any bighorn sheep either, which would have thrilled my heart. That just means I'll have to return again and keep my heart hopeful for a future glimpse.

On the way back home, we stopped in Denver for a Colorado Rockies game. My niece is a big baseball fan, and was so looking forward to the ballgame. I think we all were. Minutes after we parked, it started raining POURING rain, and it didn't stop the entire time we were in Denver. They ended up canceling the game much to our disappointment, but we made some memories we won't soon forget...envision 4 adults and 5 children holding a tarp and running underneath for 3 blocks to the stadium. Not exactly fun, and despite our best attempt we didn't stay dry, but we laughed a LOT and likely will for years to come! And we did manage to dry out...eventually.

Anyway, we had a terrific time with them, and I believe someone casually mentioned visiting Yellowstone National Park next summer. Count me in!

Because the kids start back so school soon, I've declared this a week of mandatory rest. I intend to go nowhere. We've stocked up on library books, and we're holing up in the house for nothing but rest and relaxation. I always think that vacation means rest, but who can rest when there is so much to see and do? So...this week is rest and recovery for us!


Lindsay said...

Hi Mer...
I, too, love RMNP. It has been years since I've been there. I stayed in Estes Park where I met a few folks to hang with in the pm. Seeing Big Horn Sheep, hearing the Barleen Family singers were just some of the highlights for me. There is a year-round conference center just outside of Estes Park that you might want to go to some time. It's called Ravencrest and the URL is: http://www.capernwray.org.uk/worldwide/ravencrest.html

Lindsay said...

Whoops... here is a better URL for Ravencrest http://ravencrest.gospelcom.net/

Kecia said...

When I was a summer missionary in Vail our supervising pastor drove us from somewhere near Pikes Peak (don't remember exactly) to Vail on back roads through the mountains in a church van WITH THE SIDE DOOR OPEN so we didn't miss anything. I loved it. Don't you love the way the mountains smell?
So glad you're happy and enjoying life there. :)

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Hi Meredith - thanks for stopping by my blog. What an awesome blog you have here!

Sounds like a wonderful vacation. I'm thinking we need to start going west and visit Colorado soon. You've given me some great ideas on places to go, and the pictures are just awesome. :) Sorry about the Rockies game, but I'm sure the rain provided lots of fun memories in its own way!

Hope you enjoy your week, the resting and reading. Sounds like heaven to me! :)

Holly said...

We're taking trail ridge road this weekend or next...Chris loves these off-road trails. He also wants to take "Oh-my God" road, which my son Noah says is not a good word. But I told him that I was sure they were seriously praying to God to get down from it. I may walk :)

So glad you found a new and wonderful place at Grand Lake!

Enjoy your rest!
In His joy,

Trish said...

Mer! You're gonna LOVE this....you know how I told you my husband and sons were visiting Colorado last week? They got rained out of THE EXACT SAME ROCKIES GAME!! Oh man ~ LOL how's THAT for interesting! LOL

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