December 2013 - Road trip from Texas to Glenwood Springs, CO
On 12/26, we headed off to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The drive between Amarillo and Dalhart was very pretty. We take a back road that takes you through some hilly areas with some beautiful red rock formations that were dusted in snow. Then, we hit Dalhart, which is recognizable by its smell. :( The drive between Dalhart and the New Mexico border is flat and boring. Once in New Mexico, the landscape starts to get hilly. Our favorite thing to do is to keep our eyes out for the Capulin Volcano. We have not made the stop to drive to the top yet, but we plan to do so in 2014. We next look forward to Raton, NM, where we take I-25 North. This is where we start seeing the gorgeous mountain scenery.
Unfortunately, we hit some really bad traffic on I-70 just west of Denver. It added an additional 2 hours onto our drive. We didn't arrive into Glenwood Springs until 8:30 at night. When we arrived at the Hampton Inn, we were very tired, so we decided to just order pizza for dinner. Glenn asked the front desk for a recommendation, and we tried Uncle Pizza. It was very good, but very expensive. One large pizza was $27.00 delivered. Yikes!! It did last us 2 days, and we felt better about giving our money to a local restaurant instead of a pizza chain.
Friday, December 27th was our 1st day of skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort. We got Zach checked into ski school, and then we got our lift tickets and ski rentals. By 9:00, we were headed for the bunny hill lift to get our "ski legs" back. After 2 times down the bunny hill, we were ready to head to the top to ski down the Ute, a 2.5 mile green run. It was a gorgeous view from the top of the mountain. It was the perfect sunny day. We both made it down without injury and had a blast. After staying on the green run most of the morning, we braved a Blue run called the Columbine before lunch. This run was a lot of fun, and we both made it down without falling. It was groomed, and it's not too steep until you get to the bottom.
In the afternoon, I took a break while Glenn skied another Green Run called the Grizzly. I took this time to try to spy on Zach in ski school. I spotted him riding up the chair lift with an instructor and another student. So, I waited, and waited, and waited... After about 30 minutes, I finally saw Zach and his group of 2 other kids with 1 instructor. He was doing so good!! Zach was doing the "pizza," making great turns, and he stopped when he was supposed to stop. I was one proud Mama!!!
After skiing, we ate our expensive yet delicious leftover pizza. Glenn fell asleep while Zach and I visited the hot tub and pool. The hot tub sure helped relax more sore muscles. The pool wasn't too cold, and Zach sure had fun. After playing in the water, Zach and I played some games: Qwirkle, Connect 4, Yahtzee Jr, and Trouble. By that time, it was 8:00, and we hit the hay.
On Saturday, December 28th, we got ready for our 2nd day of skiing. We dropped off Zach at ski school, and we were ready for the lifts since we already had our lift tickets and skis. It was another beautiful sunny day at Sunlight Mountain. Glenn and I spent the morning on the greens and blues and then went in search of Zach to see how he was doing. While riding the lift on the bunny hill, we spotted him with his class going through the trees. Again, he was doing so great!! We got some pictures and video of him skiing. Then, we ate and went back to the greens/blues until about 2:00. We went in search of Zach to spend the rest of the day with him since ski school was almost over. After finding him, we going to ride up the lift with him for the 1st time. This didn't turn out well. The lift operator that was helping Zach ended up dropping him, and he didn't make it on the lift with us. I think his skis may have gotten tangled with Glenn's. Zach was very upset and crying since he couldn't ride up with mommy and daddy. We met him at the top, and all was good. We checked him out with his ski instructor, and we were off. Zach said he wanted to lead us down the mountain. He took us to the right side where he skied through a little house and then slalomed through some barrels. Our next time up, Zach took us through the trees, that I've always been too scared to go through. Zach did great, and both Mommy and Daddy survived. Our last time, Zach wanted to get some speed. He got going way too fast since he wasn't doing his turns and he wiped out, but he wasn't hurt. We'll have to work with him on the bunny hill to make sure he can ski in control before going down any bigger runs.
After skiing, we quickly changed and went out to eat at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub. Glenn selected one of their beers, and I had a fantastic margarita. Glenn and I both enjoyed our food. Zach's chicken strips weren't very good, and he didn't eat much. After dinner, we soaked in the hot tub and went to bed.
The skating rink was covered in fresh snow, but it was still fun. They did end up getting a tractor out there to clear the snow. The ice was bumpy, and it reminded me of when I was a kid, ice skating at local outdoor parks in Wisconsin. Zach fell a lot!! We met some nice people, and a little girl let Zach try out her ice walker.
Our next adventure was to go to the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. We all really enjoyed this. It smells like sulphur, but you get used to it after a bit. The hard part is getting in and out during the winter. The therapy pool was the favorite for me and Glenn, but Zach thought it was too hot. The other pool was still warm, but not to me, it wasn't warm enough for swimming in the winter. I think it would be perfect on a cool summer night. The key is to find the areas where the hot water is coming through the floor of the pool, and hover. Glenn and I noticed that this was the 1st time we've seen lifeguards walking around in boots and winter coats. :)
Zach was worn out and wasn't running around like usual. He didn't feel good in the car, and we were worried that he was getting sick. The plan was to spend the night in Colorado Springs, CO. We thought it could be the drive through the mountains was making Zach sick, so we decided to stop at Garden of the Gods to get some fresh air. That seemed to do the trick. As soon as we got out of the car, Zach was running around like his usual self.
The last time we visited Garden of the Gods, Zach was only 16 months old. This time, he had a blast climbing on the rocks. It was pretty cold in the shade, but it was actually very comfortable in the sun. We all had a great time, and probably spent about 2 hours here. We also saw 3 deer in the park, a buck, a doe, and a young deer.
After our time in the park, we headed to our hotel for the night, The Academy Hotel in Colorado Springs. Glenn took Zach swimming, while I relaxed. When they got back, we went down to the game room where Zach played foosball, and Glenn and I played ping pong. After that, we took some of our games to the lobby area where they have couches and tables surrounding a nice warm fire place. We played Uno and Trouble, and it was a lot of fun!!