A lot went on last week. Lots of different experiences. And I figure the best way to capture it all is in a couple of different posts. Because there was a trip. A couple of days spent running errands. And then a couple of days spent with more family. Ending with a day of recovery. Here is the first part, Glacier Lodge and family.
Could not wait to get in the pool!
Every summer for 30 plus years now my family on my Mother’s side has gathered in Estes Park, Colorado at the wonderful Glacier Lodge. I have only missed out on this wonderful trip a few times over the years. Our original plan was to spend the entire week this year. However, Kim’s work and other trips forced us to cut the trip short.
There are a lot of different things to do in Estes Park. For the younger two kids, the highlight is spending as much time in the pool at the lodge. In fact for two years now, we have arrived before we could actually check in but were allowed to get in the pool while we waited for our cabin to open up. The pool is a lot of fun, and I spent the better part of one afternoon there with the little ones, getting a nice sunburn and having fun playing in the water with my kids.
Another fun thing to do is to sit around and play games. Since these are quite nice cabins with large tables and space to do that. Since the little ones are not exactly hikers or in love with the outdoors that does not involve swimming this was a good alternative. This was especially nice for them to spend time with my Mom, whose days of hiking in the mountains are behind her.
Estes Park is a wonderful town. And has some really nice places to just enjoy the mountain streams. When we went into town one day to look around we made sure to take the time to do this, and let the kids play around.
Another tradition is the pilgrimage to the knife shop in town. A small shop that has stayed open for over 30+ years of floods and other disasters. Our family has certainly helped them out over the years. Here is James enjoying the fruits of his trip: edged throwing cards and a butterfly knife.
I did manage to get into the park for one hike with my cousin and his family. Which was nice as he is younger and I have not spent a lot of time with his kids at all. I got in some interesting conversations with each of the kids. And at the end of it, I got to enjoy this wonderful waterfall.
Another highlight of these annual trips is time spent at the local amusement center. Which is memorable for the big slide. We all went there on our last morning in town. Riding the slide, bumper cars, bumper boats, go carts. It was a good time for all ages.
The trip did have to come to an end. We had to return home so Kim could get back to work. But it was a good trip. The kids all had fun. And to some extent, it was better that we left when we did so no one got bored.
I would be remiss if I did not mention a couple of things. First, all of these trips and wonderful memories would not have been possible without the generosity of my mother. For making it a point to join in every year while I was younger. And now that I am older making sure that we have a place to stay even for a couple of days. So thanks, Mom, for making sure we can do this and make Estes Park a part of our lives.
Second, I did need to be reminded to practice a little self-care. After the first full day and evening at the cabin, I was ready for a break from the family. I was definitely at the end of my proverbial rope. Which is why I snuck away for the hike with my cousin. It was not entirely solo, but it was still a break from the immediate family that I needed. Nothing terrible happened, I just needed a little reminder to give myself some time on these trips.