Road trip should be on everyone’s summer bucket list – it was definitely on ours and it did not disappoint – we set out on a fantastic adventure for our inaugural #RHMRoadtrip with our besties (RHM = Royal Hot Messes) and even got matching shirts because well, why not.
I think we had enough snacks, toys, movies and games to last us for a month in those two cars. It kept the kids entertained for about 30 minutes and the grown ups flexible with all the turning around. Not to worry, because the excitement picked back up when we crossed the border and entered New Mexico.
That sign should be changed to “land of wind”.
Cindy and Josh had the great suggestion stop in Clayton to picnic at the Clayton Lake State Park – they had done this on their vacation last year and the 3 Munson messes were excited to share this experience with their friends. We clearly didn’t mind a detour that was as beautiful as this.
Moments like this always make me pause – I can’t quite possibly even begin to comprehend how vast this world is. I have been able to travel lots of amazing places, and I am so grateful for that. But there is so much to see and do and explore right here – in our own backyard.
I hope our kids are able to look back on these experiences and remember a tiny portion of all they get to see. I hope that a song or a taste rushes a memory so unmistakable to the forefront of their mind that it’s almost as if they are experiencing it for the first time.
I hope their own giggles ring in their ears when they tell stories to their kids about our travels.
And I hope we always stop and take time to make a detour because detours are what lead us to our greatest of adventures. A detour into a deli lead me to a job. That job lead me to the kindest guy. That guy became my friend, that became my boyfriend, fiancé and husband. And the cutest baby daddy in the world!
My planned route in college never included living with 4 guys and I certainly never expected that one of those guys would still be in my life all these years later. So that detour lead us to this…I really hope that one day all 6 of them load up a van and go out on a road trip of their own.
(With the four of us sneaking behind them, of course).
I also hope that my girls always try to take the road less travelled – because it builds strength. There was a path two feet from this “rock climbing” point, but they both wanted to climb so they did.
We climbed all the way to the car, stopped a few more times, watched a movie, ate some snacks, avoided running over 183 prairie dog things, counted bison and ascended to over 9000 feet in the air and landed smack dab in the middle of beautiful Breckenridge, our home for the next 4 days.
The next day we were prepared to sleep in, especially after that long day of driving. The kids missed that memo and woke up at 5:45AM. Y’all.
That ain’t right.
But we were okay with it because that meant we could get an early start on the fun day ahead… except nothing opens until 9am. Breckenridge is not in a hurry. So, we hung at the house, ate food, sipped our coffee and then made our way into the adorable town. Now, I’m not going to lie, I never thought that I would see a more glorious town square than my visit to the Hamptons, but y’all… Breckenridge may win.
The gondola ride became a fast favorite of the trip (for all of us). We jumped inside and made our way up the mountain for the day’s adventure.
Once we made it to the top and we go to purchase tickets for everything. Except the biggest kids (adults) can’t make up our minds on what makes the most sense. Radley and Caroline could have done everything, Emmy and Anna most things, Landry and Mills a few things. But would they want to? Is it going to rain? How long will they want to stay?
You know all things we should have figured out BEFORE going to the mountain. So the kids decide to entertain themselves with a game I like to call “run-around-like-crazy-in-front-of-people-trying-to-walk” and scream while doing it. Which clearly lead to an injury…
While I was getting Emersyn a bandaid, Josh and Ryan made the executive decision for us to NOT pay $400/family (WHAT?!?!) to spend the day in the rain on the mountain. Instead we opted for one trip down the slide and everyone was ready. (Well, maybe not Mills).
And then came the part where my life flashed forward 10 years and these two weren’t just going off on a ski lift alone, but to college. A few things:
1. Ummm – that little lift gets pretty stinking high – who made 7 the “old enough to sit on a tiny contraption alone” age?
2. I am dying to know what they talked about
3. I can’t believe our babies are old enough to be big(ish) kids
4. I may have shed a tear
I’m going to let you know this – Landry King has never felt tinier than next to me on that ski lift. I am not afraid of heights. At all. Roller coasters are awesome. But riding that lift with a less-than-30lb tot was terrifying. Her little booty could have slid right through the back.
But we made it to the top and had the best time riding down the slide. We really could have done that all day, but the rain was looming in and the attitudes were growing due to the late bedtime and early rising that some people experienced. While the kids napped, Cindy and I went to a local yoga studio to stretch and unwind.
Listen here, friends, there is nothing more calming to your soul than breathing in the fresh mountain air as you listen to that crisp mountain rain coming down. I think I could have stayed in that spot forever – so glad we did this. We liked so much, that we convinced our instructor to meet us up there at 7:45 so the ENTIRE clan could do a class.
But first, it was time for more wandering and playing…
stopping every once in a while to snap a picture with that gorgeous mountain view.
To prep us for that upcoming yoga, we did what all yogis do and filled our bellies with the best microbrew food in town. And this was taken BEFORE they had anything to drink.
I really do think that we should just use these pictures for our Christmas cards…
A Merry Mountain Munson Christmas…
A Colorado Christmas from the Kings…
And since the stress of card creation is over, we could now focus on relaxing…
We were so impressed with our kids! They LOVED this so you may want to try this on your next vacation. They listened (only L and Mills got bored, but it was an hour long and that lasted for most of it), they learned and they all did so great!
And shout out to the husbands who once again went along with our crazy and pulled through with a smile. They mastered some of the tougher poses and since I can’t stand to be shown up by a boy, I managed that tripod myself.
I mean look at these tiny warriors.
Our instructor, Jessie, was awesome. She actually taught young kiddos at a Montessori school so she was ready for us.
Everyone slept great that night which meant we got to take advantage of the fun day ahead. Josh and Ryan took the big kids fishing, so Cindy and I took the littles back for a gondola ride before lunch.
We all had a pretty successful (and CHILLY) morning!
We made our way to our fishermen (and woman) and set up a picnic spread.
It was gorgeous – like we really could stay forever beauty.
And we managed to snap a picture of each family before the rain began (again).
Ryan: Do you see those clouds?
Me: Do you feel that rain?
Emmy: It’s raining
Radley: Just smile
Landry: RAIN! RAIN!
But I forced a pic of just them anyway.
So after the freezing rain, a run through the rocks, and with full bellies – we loaded them all in the hot tub for some fun. (They perhaps hadn’t had a bath since Saturday at this point… the chlorine was a great disinfectant).
We grabbed dinner at Fatty’s again and then settled in before our last day in the mountains…which is where I will leave you today.