Glenwood Springs Photo Journal

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Stay, Soak and Play at Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Canyon Resort

Rethink Reunion…ever spend a weekend at a boring family reunion?  Not because you don’t love Great Aunt Pearl…but it might be really nice to have a little activity between the visiting and eating, right?  Well, check this out!

Glenwood Canyon Resort sits alongside the bank of the beautiful Colorado River.  Accommodations include resort cabins of various sizes, camper cabins, RV sites and tent areas – all within a great price range for a family getaway.  A bathhouse with laundry facilities is available along with a game room, convenience store, and free wireless Internet through out the resort…can’t leave our laptops at home, right?  (Guilty)  Here’s the great news:

New This Spring 2011, Canyon Club Event Center

With amazing views, a spacious deck, variety of entertainment and services to cater to large parties such as family reunions, conferences and weddings, you can combine your need for adventure with your love for family and friends! 

An amazing view isn’t all you’ll find outside your cabin door, activities are opportune at Glenwood Canyon: white water rafting, mountain biking, zip line adventures, rock climbing wall, and ropes course…and more.  See a full list of area options at

During our recent stay at Glenwood Canyon Resort, we encountered a little snowstorm – enough to feel like winter in the mountains but not enough to stick to the roads – perfect storm in my opinion.  The views from our warm, cozy cabin were marvelous with the snow drifting gently down from the brightly lit moonlight sky. 

The next morning, our kids took note of the large, natural bridge rock formation on the mountainside just across the river, “No Name Arch”.  They had dreams of hiking up – which I may have been game for – if we hadn’t already completely booked our schedule. 

Be sure to check out the great family package specials at Glenwood Canyon Resort!

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

“A full day of family fun” is the slogan here, and they aren’t kidding.  Our visit was during the off-season, so we were limited to mostly indoor activities (except for the alpine coaster), but let me tell ya, that was plenty!  After riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, exploring the historic Fairy Caves, soaring down the mountain on the alpine coaster, playing a couple rounds of laser tag and watching two 4-D movies, we were exhausted!  And we still had a ride back down on the gondola – which was beautiful with the sun setting.

The caves were absolutely amazing (and educational, shhhh).  Both kids loved being underground and experiencing “cave dark” when the lights were turned off.  The alpine coaster was a thrill!  It’s like a gravity-pulled roller coaster with breaks, which Noelle and I chose not to use, and I was way more afraid than she was.  Laser tag was a fav for the kids – something very entertaining about being able to play guns in the dark with your parents, ha.  The 4-D theater, well that was an unexpected adventure!

You might be wondering what the fourth dimension at this theater is, right?  It’s too funny – I figured it was just the movement and vibrations of the seats (and that is what I had told the kids), so we were completely unprepared when…

Ok, so I won’t ruin the fun!  Let me just say, I was rolling with laughter.  This one surprised me by making my “can’t miss” list of activities for Glenwood Springs.  The caves and hot springs are the not-so-surprising options.

(Couple of mommy quick tips: bathroom stop before gondola ride – no potties at the bottom…bring a bit of touch-up makeup along w/ your sunblock – just in case.)

Glenwood Springs…and the Fall of Man

A natural wonder is something to behold, a tangible glimpse illuminating the imagination, letting the mind ponder the possibilities of a perfect paradise.

Glenwood Springs is a marvelous spectacle, nestled deep within the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains, boasting of delights of long ago…a token of the faultless Garden of Eden. 

With extraordinary natural attractions united with the craft of man, Glenwood offers an impressive selection of leisure for the heart and soul.  A variety including underground cave exploration – caverns dripping with awe-inspiring formations, steaming hot mineral baths bubbling up from deep below the Earth’s surface and complete rejuvenation in the stillness of underground rock in geothermal vapor caves.

The awe of this charmingly small mountain town is captured not only in its offerings from nature, but in the lives of over 9,000 people residing there – many with roots running deep in the area.

It’s a funny thing to grow up in a small town…I can attest to this being raised in a town two-thirds the size of Glenwood.  Close communities create a culture including stories passed down from generation to generation.  Many of the stories will never be shared with those on the outside (partly due to the lack of credibility and ridiculous inside humor, ha).  Well, on this short trip, I had the privilege to share in one of these local tales – simply by chance – thanks to my son and his enthusiasm over the cave tour he experienced the day before…

As we played in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, my son bounced around a lady relaxing quietly with a book.  She overheard him chatting gleefully about the caves and let us in on a fun, local story.  It just so happened that this lady is related to a man famed by a section of cave bearing his name.  How did he claim this right?  Simple – he fell deep into uncharted territory and took a flight-for-life trip out.  The super fun part of this story…he didn’t want to worry his mom with the dangerous ventures he was taking in the cave, so he kept it quiet…until cave tours began telling of how Albright Falls got its name! 

Our two days in Glenwood Springs were filled with adventure.  I plan on sharing more of our experience – stay tuned.

Jump Rope for Heart

My 1st grader will be jumping rope in school tomorrow to help raise funds for Jump Rope for Heart.  This is his first official fundraiser and I’m so proud of him – he was quite motivated by the idea of getting cool prizes for the amounts he could raise (he had his eye on a scooter), but after explaining to him that he could forgo the fundraising gift to help give more money to the children with special hearts, he happily agreed (and that was my proud mommy moment).  So, today I congratulated him on the amount he has already collected and he said, “Well, I didn’t have to do anything.”  Guess I’ll check back in after tomorrow 🙂

If you’d like to track Si’s online donation progress, click here.  Offline donations can’t be logged at this time, so if you’ve donated and don’t see you’re name, that’s why.

The Greatest of These is Love

I am no one special, just a common man with common thoughts.  I’ve led a common life.  There are  no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten.  But in one respect, I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived.  I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and for me, that has always been enough.”  Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day.  I love celebrating love – a hopeless romantic, maybe – addicted to little chocolate hearts, possibly – but what’s wrong with loving love?  I have read too many humbug articles on the topic this time of year…it’s not that I haven’t had my heart broken, love lost, a disgruntled prince with no white horse, and I’m completely aware that love “isn’t butterflies in the stomach”.  My faith in love remains strong.  Butterflies or no butterflies, love is a beautiful thing – agape, puppy, mature, a mother’s, twitterpated, making of, etc…it’s all LOVE , worthy of a celebration complete with heart-shaped candies bearing messages of the many types of love…and I love it!

The greatest thing about love – it’s an innate gift – it lives inside of us and we can, and should, give it freely to others.  Appropriate to the relationship and situation, love can do amazing, life changing things.  A hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a helping hand, a kind smile, a word of encouragement, a  favor, a simple note, a special gift, a promise, a prayer…there are thousands of ways we can love someone else, and the most remarkable thing about love is that the heart can not give love without receiving the beautifully divine consequences of unselfishly loving another.

So what is true love?

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.     1 Corinthians 13:4-8

That is the love I believe in – a love given to us regardless of the many ways we fall short.  I can only hope to find the courage to love as I have been loved, a strength within that is in need of constant renewal but that which hopes, trusts and believes in all things…the greatest of these being love.

A Valentine for All Seasons

The heart is a popular symbol for the month of February, but this isn’t the only time of year we should be focused on the heart.  Heart health is important for a long, active life with your children.  This year, give your kids a valentine that will last a lifetime.  Below are some questions and answers that provide key information to maintaining optimal heart health…

Q: What is heart disease?
A: The condition termed heart disease is most often coronary artery disease, a disease affecting the heart, caused by blockages in the arteries that feed the heart. Cholesterol in the bloodstream causes plaque to build up and slow the blood flow to the heart. Over time, the heart can become damaged from the blockages. A heart attack occurs when the blockage prevents the heart muscle from functioning properly, killing a portion of the heart muscle.

Q: How do I improve my heart health?
A: Lifestyle choices are vital in maintaining a healthy heart. Simple choices including healthy food choices, aerobic activities, stress-relief, not smoking and education can contribute to overall health. Don’t be afraid to start slow and set reachable goals. Small improvements can lead to healthy habits. Educate yourself so you will know the best choices to make.

Q: Some food choices are confusing. How do I know what to look for?
A: Be aware of serving size, the type of fats, sodium, carbohydrates and calories. It’s best to avoid processed foods and choose fresh, healthy options in a variety of colors.

How to read food labels:
Dietary fats explained:

Q: What is the right amount of exercise for a healthy heart?
A: The American Heart Association recommends 150 hours of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. An easy goal to remember is 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week. The time can be broken down into smaller segments of 10 or 15 minutes of exercise, so take the stairs and park a little further from the building to achieve your goal.

Q: What qualifies as exercise?
A: You can count any activity that raises your heart rate and gets your body moving. It is ideal to reach a fitness level that can maintain 30 continuous minutes of aerobic exercise including some weight lifting and stretching to help maintain bone health and build lean muscle mass.

Q: Can I reverse the damage already done to my heart?
A: It is never too late to improve heart health. Damage can be reversed and lives can be saved – it is always better to make positive changes than to allow the poor condition to deteriorate. It is important to have a full physical examination to reveal heart health and help track improvements. A physician can help you design an appropriate health plan.

Q: Heart disease runs in my family. How can I fight against genetic predispositions?
A: Genetics are a determinant in heart health, but it is always in your best interest to maintain a healthy lifestyle and do what you can to prevent heart disease. Be sure to talk with your physician about ways to best combat your situation.

Q: How do I know if my heart is healthy?
The first step in the fight against heart disease is prevention. Testing can reveal numbers including LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which will help you gauge your overall heart health. Get tested regularly to make sure your numbers are in a safe zone. Your physician can help explain what your individual test results indicate and help you design a personalized plan to maintain a healthy heart.

Cholesterol Levels
HDL “good cholesterol” is ideally 60 mg/dL or above. 
LDL “bad cholesterol” is optimal at less than 100 mg/dL.

Blood Pressure Numbers

For most adults, the top number (systolic blood pressure) should be less than 120.
The bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) should be less than 80.

Centura’s Assess Your Health:

 Help your kids develop heart-healthy habits now!

Alliance for a Healthier Generation: 
Talking Health With Your Kids:

Disney Live!

My family and I spent a spellbinding evening at Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show in downtown Denver at the Wells Fargo Theatre.  With unexpected visits from several of the princesses, including Cinderella with her Prince Charming, my daughter was enchanted. 

My son was taken with the work of Brad Ross, a young, talented magician with a résumé boasting of several recent magic and entertainment awards.  Brad works alongside Mickey to perform top-notch illusions that keep even the parents guessing.  Because my seven-year-old takes great interest in magic, he paid close attention to Brad’s work.  He had some thoughts on how the illusions may have been performed, but even after having watched hours of “magic secrets revealed” videos, he was bewildered.

This Disney Live show deserves recognition for professionalism, talent and delightfully entertaining theatrical tricks.  Having been to another of Disney Live’s productions, I can say that this show is most certainly a step above other works in it’s class. 

Children were able to enjoy the fallen confetti at the front of the stage after the show, and to them, that’s a very important part of the evening.  With pockets bulging with confetti pieces, we said good night to a truly magical evening.

Trash to Treasure

Ok, so it’s not exactly from the trash, but it did come from Nana’s yard sale.  When she gladly handed it over to my seven-year-old to take home, I wasn’t thrilled.  A large, heavy item with a glass globe on top…could she have checked with me first?  Not if she wanted to get rid of it I guess.  So, I hesitantly took the carousel gumball machine, cleaned it out, and after a few months of searching for gumballs, filled it with a large bag of M&M’s candy.

Well, to my surprise this was one of the most fabulous candy “dishes” we’ve ever had!  Normally, I use an unofficial two-step approach for candy in our house…first, I display the candy in a glass vase on the fireplace mantel – it’s a fun way to decorate and the kids love it.  Then, when the holiday is over, if there are any candies remaining in the vase, I put them into the hodgepodge candy bucket (we hide that on the top of the refrigerator).  I admit, the bucket is not the place I like to dig for a sweet fix (maybe if I’m desparate), but it’s a hit with the neighbor kids!

My trash to treasure discovery:

No grimy hands dip into the gumball machine.
Coins collect in the base – a treasure to be found when we switch candies!
Candy is dispensed in small serving sizes…and the kids don’t seem to notice.  This is to my benefit as well.
No need to cover the container.
Our candy lasts longer – I just switched out the end of the M&M’s and added our cherry sours.

…I still put a vase of cinnamon hearts on the mantel, but after a few days of kids’ hands, I’m not going to touch that candy, ha.