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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Colorado or Bust!

Olivia and I made our first trip back to Colorado in a little over a year after our move to Maine. We took 17 days to do about a gazillion things. It was a total blast and I'm so grateful that we got to do the things we got to do and see the people we got to see. Even after 2.5 weeks and about 22 hours in the car we still weren't able to see everyone near and dear to us. Next time we may have to post ourselves in a central location and have everyone come to us :)

We started off taking the train from the next town over, Brunswick, to Boston. It was a 3.5 hour trip. Pretty fun. It's nice to be able to walk around, get a snack from the cafe car, have roomy seat, go to the bathroom. I packed a TON of travel activities and snacks. Olivia did pretty great on our entire travel days, but you can't expect a 3 year old not to ask Are We There Yet ;) After we got to the train station in Boston we had to find the subway that would take us to the airport. We found it BUT, even though the airport is a matter of minutes away from the station, it took us close to an hour to get their by subway/bus. We had two hours before our plane took off, but we were NOT going to make it. Needless to say I was a stress ball and crying on and off wondering what on earth we would do if we missed our flight (the first of 2). I'm forever thankful to two generous women who each let us get in front of them in the long security lines, which allowed us to make it by the skin of our teeth! Poor Olivia. She knew I was stressed and worried, which I'm sure rubbed off on her, and when she had to put her backpack on the belt in the security line she cried and cried, not understanding that she would get it back. Our first flight was relatively short, then we had a perfect layover of an hour, enough time for a snack and a stretch, before our 3+ hour flight. That one was a little hard. Cramped quarters. Long. Bored 3 year old. You get the idea. But we made it to Denver where my mom picked us up. We ate at Chic Fil A on the way to her house and finally arrived by around 10pm EST. Olivia was so amped up she was not ready for bed, even though she'd been up since 6am!! She finally fell asleep around 11pm EST and then the vacation really began :)

We played and played with Grandma and Grandpa Smalberger, visited my new niece Jaeslee and my brother's family, visited Nadxieli and Olivia's friends, saw my friend Carly, had a bbq with sweet college friends, all in the span of 4-5 days. Next we traveled to Montrose with Gramma and Grampa Schurz where we played and played with Hannah and Asher and swam and swam. Olivia, Hannah and Asher played so much by themselves and had a great time. It was really cool to see and I'm so glad they got that special time. It was wonderful seeing Jake and Jennifer, too. Then back to the Smalberger homestead for a couple more days where we spent more time with Scott and fam and got treated to the North Pole! Olivia had a blast. Her favorite ride was the slide, followed by the one that made me and Grandpa sick. Yikes! After we wore ourselves out there, Grandma Smalberger, Olivia and I headed for McCook to visit the farm while Grandpa went back home because he had to work. At the farm we had a wonderful time visiting with my cousin Dillon, who was also visiting. We went swimming at the public pool where I swam every summer as a kid, and got to go to the lake where we swam, tubed, skiied and had a jolly time. After 4 days there we drove to a hotel in Denver by the airport. We swam again! and had dinner in the room, then tried to sleep because we had to get up at 4 to catch our plane and do the whole trip back to Maine. It sure was hard to say goodbye, but we were also ready to get back to Daddy and he was more than ready to have us back. Now on to the pictures!
meeting Jaeslee, my new niece. Olivia loved holding her and singing to her.


the carousel at the cheyenne mountain zoo with Jelissa, Jaxton, Jenn, Scott, Grandma and Grandpa Smalberger

Daddy dropping us off at the train station





the snack car!

the subway, which Olivia loves





now a bus

and the airport (side note: we were very rushed when we got there and almost missed our flight, so my stress was definitely high and rubbing off on Olivia. poor sweet thing cried and cried when she had to put her backpack on the security belt because I didn't explain what was happening.




a view from the Mesa where my parents live. a beautiful morning after we finally arrived.

doing the quiet book Grammy made








our plan was to "camp" in the back yard, however we set up the tent inside due to a visit from a bear earlier in the week!













playing with old and new friends at Nadxieli's house! (Kloe, Tgen and Logen)









we also went bowling with Nadxieli and Paul and they got her a special present, a farm puzzle/game :)










putting the puzzle together with Jelissa and gma







fun at the zoo










we did the sky ride-it was a little too high for mama!






we got to see Steph, Jess and Sar in Denver at Steph's house for a bbq. Olivia and Payton played together.

I love this pillow of Steph's

having a special breakfast at Costello Street Coffee House in Florissant

making cookies


getting the mail with gpa

exploring and playing in the play room under the stairs at gramma and grampa Schurz' house


playing with Asher and Hannah. Livi LOVED the scooter.






making special graham cracker ice cream








lunch time at the hot springs in Ouray

we swam more on this vacation than ever before. I think she was in the water for close to 2 hours!





there was a little fire and rescue event going on outside the hot springs, so livi tried the dunk tank for the first time




Hannah got it on the 2nd throw!









I think everyone got a little tuckered out ;)




sprinkler time!




fun at the Montrose pool




Livi LOVED the slide!





reading her baby book at gma and gpa Smalberger's
playing music with Granddad at the farm





Grammy and Jaeslee

proud papa











Steph, Sarah, me and Jess




reunion with Carmelita at the farm! she didn't know us, though, so even though she would usually go right up to Grammy and Granddad, she ran from us :(




sweet times with Granddad back on the Mesa


Smores!










at the river with Grandma Smalberger. It was colder than the ocean!







counting while Grandpa hid

counting while Olivia hid




ice cream!

walking around the mountain neighborhood, checking out pine cones and things







building a train track with Grandpa Schurz



Olivia, Hannah and Asher



Jenn and Jake's back yard







dancing with Asher








ice cream!


a budding photographer




I love this picture!



playing piano with Jelissa and Jaxton, who were both really sweet with Olivia



she chose Uncle Scott to drive her instead of me!











finished off the Colorado portion of our trip with the North Pole!




This was Olivia's 2nd favorite ride. She went on it 3 times. It made Gpa and I both VERY motion sick!
















ice cream!






playing with cousin uncle Dillon (my cousin) on the farm



at the lake in Nebraska. once again she swam and swam!




Dillon wakeboarding


Grandma Smalberger skiing. She got up on the first try and it took me 6 times!











4 generations










back home to Maine we go







Now your turn! Whoever is reading this, come visit us!