Welcome back to press trip summer, friends! I already talked about Breckenridge and Beaver Creek, and today’s post is about our third and final trip out to C Lazy U Ranch.
Believe it or not, a trip out here is not about being lazy. (As I learned on our ranger ride tour, a “lazy” U is a U that’s turned on its side). Being at C Lazy U Ranch actually means doing all the things. The girls attended camps in the mornings and afternoons where they made friends, played on the playground, did crafts and rode ponies (G) and horses (Lotte). We had Emilia with us, of course, but for parents with kids over three (the age when they can join the camps), being here means attending summer camps with your kids. Sending them off for large chunks of the day (plus dinner!) to have the time of their lives while you do the same, and reconvening for an evening activity (plus breakfast and lunch). It’s really the best of both worlds.
Here’s a bit of what we got up to in our Thursday to Saturday visit.
And that was that, my friends. I would HIGLY recommend this place to anyone who has kids over the age of three (and a lot of money. It was … quite pricey!)
Anyway, I’m so incredibly grateful for having had all these adventures with my family this summer, and for my editor who continues to have faith in my travel testing abilities 😉 Keep ’em coming, Karen … I think we can handle them 😉
There’s plenty to love about Beaver Creek — its quaint, safe feel, gorgeous views and friendly people, to name a few — but the Hyatt offered its own set of amenities to treasure.
You can catch the gondola or ski lift right outside the door and take it to the top of the mountain. There you’ll find a lodge with lots of fun games, tons of hiking trails, or plenty of spaces to just sit and sip and relax, if that’s your preferred mountain activity.
The town itself has tons of restaurants and shops, like I mentioned, plus a cute creek and, if you walk a short distance, a playground.
And obviously no trip of ours is complete without trying out the pool & hot tub situation. Both options at this hotel scored a 10/10 on our scale.
And that was it in a nutshell, my friends. We love you Beaver Creek! My only wish is that this place is slightly closer (it’s two hours in good traffic). If it were, we’d be there much more often, I can promise you that 😉
Bis bald, friends! I’ll be back tomorrow with our third and final press trip of the summer — C Lazy U Ranch!
Happy fall, friends! Back in July of this past summer, we were lucky enough to check out Grand Colorado on Peak 8 in Breckenridge for a press trip. I couldn’t share our adventures until the story came out, and now that it has, I’m so excited to drop some mountain love here, as well.
We stayed at the resort from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. And even though we hit some gnarly traffic on the ride home, it was definitely worth it. Other than a small accident that put Emilia in urgent care on Saturday night, we all had a blast.
We arrived to our suite late afternoon on Friday, and holy hell was it impressive! Our living room had amazing views of the mountain, the Adventure Park activities and the pool area down below. In general, the hotel was very well suited for families, and the girls had the best time exploring.
On Saturday we explored the resort a bit more (pools, kids’ crafts & cafe), and drove into town to check out the Breckenridge Alpine Garden.
And that was it, friends! 10/10 recommend this place for adventurous, outdoor-loving families looking for a fun getaway! Until my next press trip post (we had THREE!) … bis bald, friends!
Happy end of October, friends! I just finished pulling off a MASSIVE surprise that I’ve known about since we were in Australia in December. All four of Chris’ siblings flew out to surprise him for his 40th bday bash, and it was epic and wonderful and all the things.
After our trip out to Disneyland earlier in October, these two big events made for a super fun month. I hope you’ve all been making the most of fall and gearing up to head into a holiday season filled with love and festive activities.
Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately <3
And that was it in a nutshell, my loves. We’re so sad it’s over, but so happy we got to be a part of it at all. Life sure does move fast, friends. The only saving grace after saying goodbye to our loves was our first snow of the season.
Happy August, friends! Man, oh man, did that summer fly by! I mean, I know it’s technically still summer, and for most of the country, kids are still out of school. Here in Colorado, though, we’re gearing up for the return of the school season (TOMORROW!), and all the insanity that comes with it.
Traditionally speaking, summer has never been my favorite season. I obviously loved having the time off from school when I was a kid, but as an adult, the heat and humidity, long, lazy days … it’s just not really my thing. So, after returning from New York at the start of the girls’ summer vacation, I vowed to make this year different. I vowed to say yes. Yes to more concerts and more shows. Yes to more swimming and more adventures. Yes to being out in the (hot!) world more. The older girls would be in summer camp for the majority of the break, but I also wanted Emilia to have a stellar time. I enrolled her in swim lessons and a couple half days of camp. I made an Emilia Summer Bucket List and slowly ticked things off as the weeks went by. We took more walks, went to story times at the library and got her a scooter.
All of this is to say … this summer, I changed my own personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong. I was still very tired and had moments of absolute stress. We had illnesses and bumps and bruises and fought boredom (and each other), for sure. But overall, this was a summer for the books, and we didn’t even travel until the last few weeks of it. We made fun in our own backyard, as it were, and I’m here for the results, experiences and memories.
I hope you’re all making the most of any breaks that have come your way, as well!
I hadn’t been to Red Rocks as much in my eight years of living in Colorado combined as I have this season … including one more to come in September that I’m SO EXCITED FOR!
Swim Lessons For Em
Junkyard Social Club
Playdates, Playdates & More Playdates
Father’s Day Delights
Camp, Camp & More Camps!
Ralston Central Park & Splash Pad
Touristing With Visitors
Camp for Emilia, Too 😉
The Book of Mormon
Children’s Museum of Denver
Milestones & Makin’ Memories <3
Our Neighborhood Block Party
The Indigo Girls in Fort Collins!
Mordecai Children’s Garden (the Denver Botanic Gardens)
Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park
Yard Sale Sunday!
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Press Trips x 3!
We were lucky enough to be able to go on not one, not two, but THREE press trips this summer. I can’t write a lot about them just yet, but once the story is out, I’ll post more details. For now I’ll just share the where ….
When my stepdad was in town for Lotte’s birthday, we took Emilia to check out Tiny Town, a cute little kids’ play area in the mountains that has a bunch of small, kid-sized buildings that make up a “town” they can play in, plus a playground and a train. So cute <3
Lair o’ the Bear Park
Taking Emilia to visit Lair o’ the Bear Park was the final tick I needed to complete her Summer of Fun Bucket List. It was even better that the girls had the week before school started off and the four of us got to visit together <3
PHEW! And now, the girls start school tomorrow. We’ve bought backpacks and new clothes, gotten haircuts and had our doc check-ups. I don’t know what to say about the fact that time keeps on flying. Except that I’m sure glad I said yes to this summer, and that we’ve all had these experiences. Starting the summer in New York with our loves was the absolute best, and we did our best to keep the party going all season long. It’s been a summer I won’t forget.
Happy Thursday, my friends! The above photo perfectly encapsulates what you should expect when heading to the Colorado mountains for a spring break that takes place during the third week of March.
Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of snow!
I’ll start by saying this: I wasn’t into this trip. I mean, I planned this trip, don’t get me wrong. When I knew the girls had some time coming up for break, but that Chris wouldn’t be able to take time off from work, I knew that getting out of our house, even for just a couple of days, would be a necessity.
What I didn’t count on was a massive storm heading in for the two days we would be in Grand Lake, and the absolute FOMO I would have from watching our friends head off to sunny and fabulous locales, like Hawaii and Colombia.
I mean … how do you compete with Hawaii? Or Colombia?
I decided you don’t. Instead, you lean into the snowy Xanadu, buy all the hot chocolate, wine and comfort food you can get your hands on, and decide to make the most of it.
Or at least, I tried. We stayed in this tiny cabin which, while appealing, is a bit close quarters for a family of five, during a snow storm, while one parent is still trying to get some work done.
Still, we absolutely made the most of it. At the end of the day, I’m so glad we got up to the mountains and spent a couple days in the fresh air. Here’s what we got up to!
Day 1: Our Arrival
We arrived after dark on Monday after making a pit stop in Winter Park for dinner at Hernando’s. Even in the dark, you could tell from the outside that the cabin would be charming. (And that this trip would be … ahem … an adventure!)
Day 2: Grand Lake Adventures
Oh, and we also had to get our car towed out of our driveway when it got stuck on ice.
Never a dull moment, friends.
Day 3: Rocky Mountain National Park … and SNOW!
After our early morning snowcapades, we loaded up the car and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park and the visitor center.
At first we thought the visitor center was closed because of how absolutely deserted the area was, but luckily it was open (guess we were the only intrepid blizzard travelers), and it provided us with about 45 minutes of activity, which was priceless. (Insert exasperated/exhausted face here.)
We wanted to try for a short hike after the visitor center, but it had started snowing pretty heavily again by then, so we scrapped that idea and opted for lunch in the town, instead.
Lunch was at Sagebrush BBQ & Grill, which was delightful, and I would highly recommend (as would Emilia)!
Back at home, the girls spent our final afternoon riding sleds and climbing up to the roofs of the cabins because THAT’S HOW TALL THE SNOW WENT.
After one final night in our tiny cabin we were up and at ’em at 5 so we could get home in time for Chris to start his work day. Grand Lake, you ended up being a gem, despite my initial hesitation 😉 I’m so glad we went.
And that was our trip, friends! Next weekend if my birthday (!), and we’re off again, this time to tick off a bucket list adventure that I’ve had since an 8th grade report. Any guesses?!
Happy Monday, friends! We celebrated the holiday weekend with a visit from one of my oldest friends and her husband and kids. Another one of my high school friends moved to the area recently, and this little mini-reunion between the three of us — along with my kids getting to hang out with Faye’s kids — was everything my soul needed.
Edit Note: I wrote this post on the Monday after Thanksgiving, as we had just spent the weekend at the second YMCA of the Rockies location. Since the trip was a sponsored press trip, I waited to post this until the story for the publication that sponsored me went live. You can find the complete Good Housekeeping 2023 Family Travel Rewards story here!
Happy Monday after Thanksgiving, loves! Our little family was lucky enough to try out the second YMCA of the Rockies location — this time in Estes Park — the weekend after the holiday. (You can find information on our stay at the Granby Ranch location here.)
While similar in many ways, and with many of the same amenities as Granby, the Estes Park location did feel slightly different. There is less property at this location, which means the cabins and activities are closer together. This is nice if you’d like to opportunity to walk around more easily, but the vastness of the Granby location also had its perks. Whichever you visit, you honestly can’t go wrong. Grace spent the entire first-day-back-preschool-morning-check-in walking up to her little friends and her teacher and saying, “I went to the YMCA of the Rockies!”
It obviously had a lasting impact. Here’s a little bit why …
And that was our action-packed, amazing trip in a nutshell, my friends! Check out the YMCA of the Rockies in the Good Housekeeping travel awards here.
Happy Thanksgiving week, my friends! We have been battling all the illnesses over here lately (just like literally everyone else in the world, I know), but we did manage to pull it together this past weekend for a quick press trip out to YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, CO.
As you’ll recall, we are already big fans of Granby, but the YMCA property took that love to a whole other level. I won’t go into a ton of detail here (because all of that is covered in the actual story that the press trip was for, which you can find here), but I’ll just say, this is the best, most upgraded camp experience you could ever have, dropped right in the middle of the most majestic mountain setting.
Some of our activities included:
Meeting the sled dog team and going on a little ride
Checking out the Kiva/Rec Center
Making crafts in the Craft Center
Smoresing and bonfireing
Building a float for a mini Thanksgiving Day parade
Enjoying our SPECTACULAR mountain views
We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit this iconic spot.
We stopped off in Idaho Springs on our way home, as well, and had lunch at Beau Jo’s <3
I hope you guys are staying healthy and have some relaxing and fun holiday plans ahead. Until next time … bis bald!
We’ve been to Garden of the Gods a number of times (like here, with my bestie), but yesterday was magnificent. The weather — while windy — was remarkable in all her fall glory, and we got there basically as the park opened to avoid the (always) crowds.
After Garden of the Gods, we hopped back in the car and drove 10 minutes to our Cave of the Winds cave tour. It was about 45 minutes long and the girls were so great during it! I definitely think there were moments that were scary/hard for Grace (like when they turned the lights completely off and we were plunged into darkness — to show us what the cave used to be like before they added electricity — or some spots that were slick to walk in), but she was such a champ, and I was so proud. They both asked awesome questions (Lotte about stalagmites and G about bats) and, I think, had a really fun time.
It’s hard to take a ton of photos in a dark cave, as you can imagine, but here’s what I did get:
And that was that, my friends! A successful birthday trip all around, made all the more fun by the tons of leftover birthday treats we had to bring home 😉
Happy Monday, friends! We just got back from spending Chris’ birthday weekend in Colorado Springs, where we stayed at this Airbnb in Old Colorado City, to be exact.
Even though we’ve been to Colorado Springs a number of times (like this special trip, for example), we had never stayed in this part of town, or done the activities that we came to do this past weekend.
Let me start by saying, our Airbnb was magnificent. The place itself was very nice, newly remodeled, etc., but really, it’s the location that sets this place apart. It’s right across the street from a great park (which just happened to be the main stage of the town’s adorable fall fest on Saturday afternoon with live music, face painting, plant potting and more), and is right on the main street, making it walking distance to tons of restaurants, bars and activities. The places that we visited on our stay included:
This is a long list for having only been there for two nights and one full day, but even so, there were so many other fun places we wanted to try! (And hopefully will, sans kids, one day.)
The main reason we picked this particular Airbnb, though — even though all the other perks were top-notch once we arrived — was its proximity (about seven minutes) to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These ancestral Puebloan Ruins date back 800 to 1000 years, and they’re so well preserved that you can walk and explore in them which, naturally, the girls were obsessed with. It was so fascinating learning about their way of life, and it really makes you realize how smart they were, especially given the fact that their habitats are still standing today despite having so little to work with.
After spending a few hours at the cliff dwellings, we headed back to our Airbnb and spent some time on our front porch listening to the live music of the fall festival before heading over to partake in the festivities.
It was Emilia’s first “concert,” and she was HERE. FOR. IT!
After a couple hours at the festival, some down time, some snackin’, and a partial viewing of The Addams Family (for me and Chris, not the girls, although I do think they would actually find it hilarious), we hit the streets again to check out The Michael Garman museum, which turned out to be even more fun than I imagined. Michael Garman was a sculptor who created Magic Town, a square-foot miniaturized neighborhood with hand-made buildings and sidewalk scenes, which became The Michael Garman Gallery and Magic Town Museum with more than 500 of his sculptures.
After the museum we hit up Westside Cantina for Chris’ birthday dinner, complete with multiple tacos and multiple margh’s …
And that was the gist of our Saturday, the day of Chris’ birth. It was so much fun, and the girls had a blast. Sunday was another adventure, but I’ll get into more on that tomorrow. For now … bis bald, friends! I hope the fall is treating you well <3
Happy August, friends! The month started out on not such a great foot for us, so we weren’t in our normal headspace when heading out on this quick getaway. (Well okay, I wasn’t!) At the end of the day I’m so glad we did go. It’s always a good idea to take some time to get out of your own head, recognize what’s so special about your life, bond with your kids, show them new things and, as one friend put it, nature is always healing 😉
Lodging (Price: $692for 3 nights)
We stayed at this Airbnb in Cañon City, which was a sweet little three-bedroom place with a large dining area and kitchen. It might have been a tad overpriced for the location (it was about 20 minutes from the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, which was our main point of interest for this trip), but we still had a blast. It was all one floor (no scary stairs for littles!), and the layout actually allowed us to put Emilia in her Pack and Play at the back of the house so Lotte and Grace could have separate rooms if they needed them (which one night they did).
The backyard was cute, too, with a grill and little table area under a covered patio, where we grilled out and had dinner on our final night.
The kids have a book called Good Night Colorado, and the Royal Gorge Bridge makes an appearance as one of the MUST SEE places in Colorado. When we were planning a final farewell to summer trip (the girls start school on August 16th!), we knew we didn’t want to go any farther than 2.5 hours (exactly how far Royal Gorge is from us), but that we wanted adventure on a low-key, kid-friendly level which, despite the RIDICULOUS photos, the Royal Gorge offers.
This is an amazing place for families … as long as no one is afraid of heights! Travel tip: Most of the attractions, the playground and the visitors center, etc., open at 10 a.m., but the bridge itself is open at 8 a.m., and tickets are cheaper then. (We paid $83 for the four of us over 2 years of age.)
There was also no one there early in the morning, which was delightful, and the weather was so lovely. By the time we ended up leaving around 10:30, it was getting pretty busy and incredibly hot. Honestly, it wouldn’t have been the amazing experience it was if we waited until 10 a.m. to get there.