Colorado vacation

The Fausaks planned a trip to Colorado Springs this year, and Mike and I tacked on a Denver trip for a couple of days prior to see some of our friends and explore the city. It was a fun trip and I’m already missing the weather!

We flew in on Thursday afternoon and settled in our hotel for a few before heading out to dinner with our friends, who moved to Denver for a job about a year ago. Louise and her friend Amelie picked right up where they left off last year, as did we! It was bittersweet seeing them because it reminded us how much we like their company.img_8390

A little screen time so the parents could chitchat in peace. 🙂img_8391

Friday morning we went to breakfast at Syrup around the corner from our hotel. We were not impressed – very slow service and the food was bland. We should have just eaten the free breakfast at our hotel!

After breakfast we grabbed the stroller and walked to the Children’s Museum. It was about a two mile walk across LoDo and down a trail along a river. The Children’s Museum was great, and we could have spent hours there…except for one thing – we lost Celine. She walked out of a play area without us noticing and ended up going downstairs and outside. After a frantic 15 minutes of searching, I found her holding hands with a staff member (who looked just about as worried as I did). Both Celine and I had a good cry…and then she promptly revised history and informed me that we walked outside and left her. Oh Celine.img_8408img_8415img_8423img_8405

We headed back to the hotel to rest, and then found a park around the corner from our hotel that had live music, mini golf and other games, and a beer garden. We had planned on spending a short while there before heading to dinner, but ended up getting brats at the beer garden and calling it a night due to Celine’s crabbiness.img_8431img_8429img_8438img_8448

Saturday rolled around and my parents drove up from Colorado Springs to pick us up. Before heading down, we hit up the Aquarium. Celine was pretty ambivalent about it (except for the otters and tiger) but Louise was super interested.img_8465

Louise and Papa spent 10+ minutes watching all of the stingrays swim around, picking up pebbles on the ground and dumping them as they swam along.img_8485img_8474img_8478

The tiger rolled out right as we walked by. Louise casually took three big steps back, but Celine was entranced. #kittyimg_8492img_8508

After a (surprisingly delicious) lunch at the Aquarium restaurant, we packed up and headed to Colorado Springs.

The original house my mom rented was further north, but between booking and our stay, they sold the house and cancelled our reservation. We were scrambling a little bit until my mom found this house – it had just been renovated and was recently added as an option. It turned out to be perfect! There was an amazing view of Pikes Peak right out the front door (and Mike and my bedroom), and it was a half mile from Garden of the Gods and super close to all the things we wanted to do (the zoo, Cave of the Winds, etc). There was an enormous park directly across the street with a playground, tennis courts, and a baseball diamond, which was great to help the kids work out some energy or when the boys wanted to throw the Frisbee. It was great!img_8503img_8538img_8618img_8694

We didn’t do much the first evening there beyond go to the grocery store and cook dinner. I managed to take a little jog around Garden of the Gods and took about 200 selfies…so pretty!!img_8536img_8527

Sunday we woke up and headed to Garden of the Gods for a nature hike. We were wondering how the girls would do on a hike. Celine was carried on various shoulders for the majority of the trip, but Louise happily hoofed it the whole time – over two miles!img_8593img_8592img_8549img_8594img_8550img_8563img_8595img_8603img_8604img_8600img_8602img_8583

Celine was all about climbing, even when she would slip down on the gravel.img_8577img_8576img_8575img_8581img_8557

I thought I was taking a picture of my two cuties strolling along together, but instead caught Louise red-handed, hitting Celine with her water bottle.img_8560

We were pretty pooped after the walk, so we took it easy the rest of the day. Mike cooked dinner again because that’s what he does, and then we utilized the fire pit in the front yard for s’more making. Celine’s first s’more!img_8605img_8615

Our big outing on Monday was to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We mobilized early in anticipation of the zoo crowds, which proved smart – it was a madhouse when we left and parking was completely full! Since it was the day before Independence Day, the girls wore spangled leggings.img_8619img_8631

We’ve decided that Louise is an aquarium girl and Celine is a zoo girl. Celine was super into the animals and kept saying she wanted to “meet” them. Sorry girlfriend, you only get to meet the giraffe and a couple of reptiles!img_8642img_8645img_8660img_8662

“It’s so SOFT!”img_8663

Because the zoo is on a mountain, it made for some pretty epic views. Not that I was very good at capturing them…img_8647

After we were done (translation: when Celine’s body language told us she was done), we headed down the mountain a bit for lunch at the Golden Bee at the Broadmoor. The food was ok and the ambiance was nice, but we were all grouchy because it took over an hour for our food to arrive. Boo!

Once again, we ate at the house and cooked s’mores afterward.img_8679img_8682img_8689

Tuesday was INDEPENDENCE DAY! We (well…the girls) donned our red, white, and blue, and headed out early to check out the Cave of the Winds. Celine: not impressed.img_8701img_8712img_8707img_8713

The organization of the place was not great: we were told our tour started at 8:40am but it ended up being the 9:40am tour. In any case, it was an interesting tour of the caves and both girls did a good job. There was one section where they turned off all the lights and had Louise blow out a candle to show how pitch dark it is down there. Naturally, Celine immediately shrieked out “it’s too dark! I don’t like this!” and everyone in our tour group giggled. Celine was fine once the lights came back on and enjoyed reminding everyone for the rest of the day how “her face was dark and she got scared.”img_8722

We headed home and the girls played in some water while my parents and Rusty headed to the Manitou Incline.img_8747img_8748img_8753

My grandma and her sister came over for dinner in the evening.  Louise wrote my grandma a note on the sidewalk since her birthday was the next day.img_8740img_8739img_8760img_8736img_8756img_8757

We hung out in the front yard waiting for fireworks, chatting and playing Outburst.img_8759

The next morning we packed up and headed out! My parents dropped us (and Taylor and Hillary) at the Denver airport and then started their drive back to Dallas, so we had a few hours to kill waiting for our flight. We were all pretty tired.img_8769

Louise was part of the backpack crew. 🙂img_8772

All in all, it was one of the more relaxing vacations we’ve been on in recent history – considering we travel with two young kids. It was nice to have activities every day, but no day was too jam-packed. Here’s hoping we can do it again next year (this time with the entire Fausak clan)!

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