It's been a year and a half since our family took a real vacation. (Since my kiddos don't count the week they spent this summer with the church youth group as vacation!!) Ah the life as a pastor's kid! So last week we dropped everything and headed to Colorado.
Oh. My. Gosh. Did we need it! With both of us working for our church we had to line up lots of substitutes just so we could leave town. We also had to pull the kiddos out of a few days of school. But it was so worth it! SO worth it!! You see, when you both work for the church, you never actually leave work. Whether or not you're in the church building, you're thinking about or talking about church. It doesn't matter if we're eating dinner, doing laundry, or watching our daughters' swim practice, we still seem to be talking about church stuff. So this vacation was all about focusing on some much needed family time. Nine straight days of family time to be exact!! Wowzer!
We first headed to Buena Vista where Chris' family has a cabin. We finally found real snow! Plus, it snowed all day after we arrived. We played in the snow. Went swimming. Played lots of games together. Read a lot. And found a nearby hill (honestly, it was the side of a mountain, but I'm sure in the pictures it looks like a hill) and spent 2 days sledding our hearts out. Chris and I were sore! But we had so much fun.
Sorry, not really appropriate, but I thought it was funny!
Next we headed to Breckenridge where some wonderful friends from church let us stay in their timeshare condo. Oh. My. It was so nice! It had an amazing view of all of Breckenridge! We found a free sledding/tubing park in town instead of paying $25 p/person p/hour at the nearby tubing venue. We also rode the free gondola up into the ski base and watched skiers and snowboarders do some amazing jumps and tricks. Chris and I could have sat their all day since it was sunny and beautiful. But, once their hot chocolates were gone, the kids were eager to ride the gondola back into town. We mastered the free parking lots and rode the bus all around town and even did a little shopping (ie. dragged the kids all the way down main street exhausted after sledding so they could pick out their souvenir stuffed animal with their leftover Christmas money). And we played in the incredibly deep snow around the condo. You just don't get to do that in Kansas very often!
I was so excited to take the kids on a sleigh ride. I remember doing it as a child and knew they would love it too. But seriously, it's not cheap. At all. Like, crazy expensive actually. So before we left we talked to the kids about it and had a family vote. They agreed to use their Christmas money from their grandparents and aunt to pay for their ticket on the sleigh ride. How awesome is that? They had to all agree or we wouldn't do it. It was such a great experience they're going to remember for a long time, and they didn't come home from Wal-mart with more toys to fill up the basement. Love that! We've got some pretty amazing kids! But, my oh my, it was cold! We learned our lesson though. At night - when it's crazy cold out and the kiddos are exhausted - it would be better to pay $15 to park nearby than have to catch two buses to make it back to our van! Lesson learned. We were frozen! As soon as we got back to the condo the kids all hopped in hot showers to thaw out.