Sunday, June 24, 2012


I can't believe that this was truly our first family vacation...I mean, we've gone places together before as a family, but it's usually over the holidays, and I don't really count that as a vacation.  When Scott and I have taken vacations, we go without Ava, or we take separate ones with our friends.  So, at the ripe age of Ava being (almost) four, we finally did it!

My parents, Scott, Ava and I all shared a timeshare in Vail...and it was lovely in the mountains!  With the High Park wildfire slowly being contained in Colorado, we were lucky that it didn't interfere with our plans.  However, I feel so bad for everyone that it has affected...when we landed on Sunday, there was a layer of smoke in the air, and you could even smell it...and we were easily at least an hour away.  My heart goes out to everyone that was (and still is) affected by this fire.  While there was some containment, it has now jumped into a new area, and it has burned over 80,000 acres.  Just heartbreaking.

I'm not exactly sure what we did while we were in Vail...the week went by very quickly, even though there weren't a ton of "activities" planned.  Scott and my dad went on a 4-hour hike one morning.  Mom and I had the chance to sit out by the pool for a bit, although, with Ava that was a bit concerning...there was no child pool, and the shallow end started at 4 feet.  Not super relaxing, since neither Mom nor I are the greatest swimmers, and the deep end was at 9 feet. 

We did spend one day driving to Leadville, Aspen, and then back through Glenwood Springs, so we had some amazing scenery views that day.  And I was reminded that I don't do well on windy mountain roads.  I had to displace Scott from the front seat so I could get my motion sickness under control.  Luckily, Ava had no such issues being in the back of the van!

And now...a whole bunch of pics...!

We went to Park Meadows Mall to do some shopping for Scott (I know!) and Ava got stopped by a lady at a kiosk that wanted to give her "princess curls"...I'll admit, it looked even easy enough for me to do it!  And it turned out so cute for a few minutes worth of work!

Entertaining herself with "rock pillows" while waiting for Daddy to fnish shoe shopping.

Grandma caught her!

Sunday night we went to Casa Bonita for of my fondest memories in Denver.  And it's still pretty fun for an adult - but even more so to see it through Ava's eyes.

Eat up so we can play!

The "icy cold" waters...I think the depth of the water is 15'?  Perfect for the cliff divers!

Standing behind the waterfall...

...shaking her little booty!

In the caves with Grandma

Fire juggling!

Entranced by the gorilla show...either right before or right after this pic, the gorilla ran right behind us!

There he is, "undershorts" and all!  (That's the first thing Ava noticed about him...)

It was surprising to see that it was still light out when we left...and boy, I sure look exhausted in this pic!

Getting ready to do a ballet show for us

Taking a quick break to sit with Mommy

Doing her version of the robot

Another break to help Grandma open birthday gifts!

The grande finale!

And the next day (Monday) we drove up into the mountains!

Poor kid was stuck in the way back with the luggage!

Nothing to keep her awake back there

I wish I could have better captured the magnificence of the awesome!

Celebrating an early birthday, plus it gave her new toys to play with for the week!

Heading to Vail Village

We found a little park to play at for a bit - it was pretty cool, actually.  This was a giant pirates ship, so Ava and I decided to check out the crow's nest!

Love the stream that runs through Vail

Hanging out at the pool - what a view!

Foam Fun!  Ava didn't have fun, but I liked it!

We bought a cute little cake for dessert that night.  Ava looks very concerned about what Scott is doing...

LOVE this little cheesy grin!

First try!

Heading out for a drive through the Rockies...we stopped at Camp Hale.  Very desolate, and hard to imagine what it must have been like in the winters.

Stopping for lunch in Leadville - the restaurant had a backyard with a little playset, so we were all happy!

Great view from a street in Leadville

Up at Independence pass...a little chilly at 12,000+ feet!

Aspen!  Monkeys!  Can't wait to get back there some day..

A departing shot as we left Aspen and headed to Glenwood Springs

 The prettiest rest stop I've ever been to

Such a great view of the mountains behind Scott

Resting for a few minutes by the stream that runs by the resort

Taking the Eagle Bahn to the top of a mountain!

It was a beautiful day at the top!

Smelling the state flower, the columbine

Her first pony ride...on Boss Hog!

The good news is that we had three showings while we were gone!  No bites, yet, but we're staying optimistic!

Since we got back on Saturday (June 16), it's been non-stop around here...Father's Day, Ava's 4th birthday, a horrible storm that caused damage throughout South St Paul, and oh, I managed to get shingles.  But more on that later.  I'm stressed out just thinking about last week!

Happy Sunday!