Fall Frolics with Gregory

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All it took was one, long afternoon in the backcountry, and I knew he was the one.

What’s better than a city escape to a colorful hike at the peak of fall season in Colorado? Testing your NEW backpacking pack and day dreaming of upcoming mountain hut adventures, of course!

WHAT DID WE TRY?
His: Osprey Aether AG 70 Pack
Hers: Osprey Ariel 65 AG Pack

His: Gregory Baltoro 75 Pack
Hers: Gregory Deva 70 Pack

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WHAT DID WE BUY?
Gregory

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Both the Osprey and Gregory packs were ideal for what we were looking for. The true test: packing a little weight and giving it a trial run. The Gregory packs took the win by a small margin, and one feature we both agreed was a must-have: Gregory’s comfortable hipbelt.

Read more about these other hiking backpack options at REI.com

WHY REI?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, and they mean it 😉
  • Expert advice on-site.
  • The 10% member benefits are pretty cool too.

SPECIAL THANKS
ARCTERYX for styln’ sun shade!
Louisville Endurance Race Series for keeping us cool in race tech t-s.

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TBT Glenwood Springs Adventure

Adventure photo remake coming soon!

Alpine slideDelightfully traumatizing ride down the Alpine slide.

In early spring 2011, I introduced the kids to a historic Colorado destination located in the Roaring Fork Valley near the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River: the city of Glenwood Springs. At that time, the kids were four and eight, which I assumed would make our adventure a lot less thrilling…I was wrong.

2011 GlenwoodGlenwood Springs Vacation, 2011

Our stop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 7,100 feet above the town, included a chilling, snow flurried zip down the Alpine coster; our first 4-D movie (I wasn’t expecting all that); a “cave dark” experience in the caverns; and a recovery soak in the natural hot springs pool.

So, when I asked Noelle what she wanted to do for her upcoming 10th birthday, I should have known Glenwood Caverns was at the top of the list. This time, she wanted to do something that she has been waiting “FOREVER” [said in a most dramatic tone, of course] to do… Glenwood Cavern’s Wild Cave Tour! A two-hour extreme caving tour *with a minimum age limit of 10 years.

On the books for this weekend. I’m forecasting epic.

#GlenwoodCaverns #GlenwoodSprings

A Candy Cabin Adventure at Beaver Creek

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Sweet Memories

A Candy Cabin destination atop a soaring, snow-covered peak; the voyage of a tiny, first-time snowboarder off to conquer a swift-moving quad chair lift; reminiscing notable firsts and unfortunate falls as our boots dangled with the tops of trees; the gratification and reward of a true-to-life ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ pillage; and the winding trek back down the mountain. It was a bittersweet farewell to another season, melting slowly into the commencement of beloved springtime adventures.

The Tale of the Candy Cabin

As the story went… there once was a cabin, brimming with confections. There were barrels of taffy, jars of gummies, tubes of chocolates, and shelves of delicious treats. However, this particular cabin was precariously placed far from reach. It required a Candy Cabin adventure to an elevation most children wouldn’t dare (without a responsible adult, a ski lesson or two, and proper winter gear that is).

The tale was alluring, and the venture intriguing. I was mostly sure that if I didn’t pack our bags right away, I might wake to find my little Hansel and Gretel trailing breadcrumbs through the forest.

Beaver Creek is our favorite family staycation!” It’s the pitch I was given. Luckily for my adorable little negotiators, they were right – we all love Beaver Creek – and, a visit from the Auntie was in the works. Beaver Creek would be the perfect destination for our last hurrah of the season.

The Candy Cabin was everything they had dreamed, and the joy of braving the terrain to arrive safely at our destination was all part of the enchantment. The twinkle in their eyes and the giddy giggles as they hugged barrels of sweets told the stories of their hearts. I knew this was a day they wouldn’t soon forget!

The sugar rush contributed to a delirium of bravery as we sped our way safely back to the bottom of the mountain to have a relaxing patio lunch and après ski Colorado brew – the perfect toast to another amazing escape at Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek Candy Cabin

  • Top of Strawberry Park, Avon, Colorado 81620
  • Operational Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Price Range $
  • Phone (970) 754-5539

Dashingly Dirty

It’s dashing and it’s dirty…it’s the Dirty Dash and it’s coming to a location near you. Well, maybe not. That depends on where you’re at BUT it’s coming to a location near me! Can you say #TeamFineS’Wine!

S'Wine

Intimidating, I know. Fear not…this race is great for all skill levels AND you can whoop it up for the cam an we’ll never know how many pits and obstacles you decided to tiptoe around. As for team Fine S’Wine, well, let’s just say there *was* blood, oh ya.

411 Recap from last yr? Here: 411 Recap from last yr.
Photo Journal? Here:
Photo Journal.

What’s the chapstick first aid about you ask? Well, let’s just say — that Fine S’Wine wasn’t a Boy Scout 😉

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Get the scoop on this year’s muddy mess…and start training now! Beer, mud, more beer, friends. Yep. That’s it. You’re in! Oh, camera. Check.

 

A Place Where All Dreamers Live

 

“My favorite space is the one between where the sea ends and the sky begins. It’s the place where all dreamers live.”

 ~ Jordyn Hay

HuntingBeach,CAbyJordynHay

It’s lazy mornings, long hikes, picnics in the park, swim days, video games, playdates and books we said we’d read but didn’t.  It’s the life, COLLEGE LIFE!

Alright, so you’re on to me. I write for Mamas, and no, that’s not a realistic glimpse into higher education, well …first semester, freshman year, maybe…but live and learn, right!? Ok, so I’m not done with my list here:

Late(ish) nights, unkempt rooms, uncontrollable raucous, random stickers fused to the floor, leftover pizza, evaporated Lucky Charms (minus the marshmallowy yummies) crispfused to the table and a never ending pile of seriously dirty laundry. Still sounds like college, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – too many charms in my bowl, but hear me out.

I have a theory.

If it *sounds* like college, then it should *look* like college…SpRinG BrEaK 2013, oh ya! With healthier snacks, extra towels and a lot more SPF! What I’m suggesting is a legit Spring Break vacation. Not every year, but some year, this year (or next – after you plan and budget – hey, we’re responsible parents here!).

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it’s been a while since I had a real Spring Break (hard to believe, I know)…but for the sake of journalism, I am willing to go out and capture the story for you — after I score that gig (stay tuned). BUT, what I did do is ask the opinion of a very real college expert. Brilliant and you’re welcome. Check out her tips and suggestions for an unforgettable spring break experience:

…and THAT is just a teaser for my upcoming MHM post! I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not blog post MIA – I’ve been working on this (and many, many other things), and let me tell ya of the things I won’t do for journalism. Crickets. Yes, I landed that gig and ’tis good. Full report to come following SpRinG BrEaK 2013!

Meanwhile, plz don’t rob my house over SB’13 (I have few valuables and one neighbor with far too many guns – crazy and true), do know that my blog is alive and well, check out the invaluable advice that only a hip college undergrad can give – @MileHighMamas later this month and absolutely start planning your SB’14 getaway RIGHT NOW!

To come: “Is Spring Break a proper noun?”

photo credit: Jordyn Hay

Christmas Traditions Aboard the Santa Express

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A train ride to the North Pole.

Elves

Christmas stories read by Elves.

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A visit from Santa Claus…and a small, silver bell.
A simple reminder that:

The Magic of Christmas Lies in Your Heart.

Santa Express Train
Canon City, CO

Special thanks to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for inviting us out!
We had a wonderful time, always!!!

Four Feet to a Pig’s Nose at Anderson Farms

No, it’s not an official idiom…but it might find it’s way at Anderson Farms.
Definition: knowing you’ve grown tall enough to leap the stacks of the hay maze?

 Or maybe when you can tote the largest pumpkin in the patch?
(definition yet to be fully established)

It’s corn mazes, hay rides, live music, s’mores pit, pumpkin patches, pedal cars, barrel train rides, panning for gemstones and steaming hot cocoa with chocolate chip cookies inside a large barn brimming with confections and souvenirs (and lots, lots more!). It’s the stuff fall dreams are made of…and a family tradition we look forward to each year. It’s Anderson Farms Fall Festival!

While we did encounter a bit of rain this year, we didn’t get washed out…and when the showers did subside, we were ready to play hard – mud puddles included!

And this is it…the photo op: farm animal growth chart! Silas is as tall as a pig’s nose. We’re hoping for at least a lamb’s knees next year. Ryan is just past a cow’s utter, Charlotte and Noelle couple of hands above a pig’s belly. We captured adorable photos of each of the cousins measuring one another – and after a few years at this, we should have an adorable photo collection of our children growing up together…and maybe even enough to ruffle a rooster’s tail feathers!

Also new this year: a giant pumpkin on a silo.
It’s an interesting sight to behold.

Colorado has several fall festivities around the state – I recommend exploring them all – but Anderson Farms is a must-see!
Plan to spend the day, food available for purchase, entertainment galore, wheel barrels help haul giant pumpkins and the people are amazingly hospitable and gracious in their traditional western welcome to all!

ColorCoatedGnar’s Favs @ColorMeRad

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If pummeling your friends with powdered color bombs and getting hosed down by perfect strangers armed with liquid color spray are your idea of a good time, then this is the 5K for you! What I love most about these silly themed, untimed races – um, besides the silly theme and the fact that it’s untimed – is that they’re ideal for beginner runners…aka: my five-year-old, whom raced via piggyback for most of this one #mommyworkout

Top Favs and/or Least Favs:

Blue boogies – two days worth, yum
Uber blue bath water – and the ring it left behind
The blue glow on our skin – three showers later!
Can you say #PhotoOp? (yes, in shades of blue)
Blue stain – how is it that the entire rainbow of colors we encountered = blue?

There’s Really Only 1 Way to Conclude a #SummerO’Fun

Yep, it’s on the books, in the plans and we’re crossing our fingers for seriously fab weather! Will we brave the slides and terrors of family raft rides!? (um, yes, I *am* mostly referring to the little accident we had last year!)…we shall see. Till then, here’s a recap of last year’s adventure including our PHOTO JOURNAL! W.W., here we come!!!