Thursday, July 30, 2015

White Water Rafting and a Gondola...

Our first full day in Vail, we went white water rafting on the Upper Colorado. It was a level two, so that means calm waters with a few rapids. The water comes into the boat, but the water doesn't come up over you as in the upper levels of rafting. (Phew!) NO wet sits or kind of rafting!

After hearing many people say, "If you fall out...." So of course my first question to our guide was how many people has he lost. (jeepers!!) But I am glad to report, he has yet to lose anyone off his boat. No, I did not ask him if this was his first ride down the river. 

We were fitted with some life jackets when we arrived to our destination. These were some heavy duty life jackets which was A OK with me.

Our guide, Shane was from New Zealand. He was the best!! Loved his accent as well as his humor!
 Sam and Jason rode in the front of the raft. They actually rowed to help Shane guide the raft down the river! Sam was a bit nervous at first, but once over the first set of rapids, he was good to go!

See how calm it is in the problem! We did go over rapids, but I do not have a picture of that due to hanging on for dear life! The water that splashed us was freezing! I got a few good soakings, plus I was sitting right behind Sam and he had a tendency to throw water with his paddle...right at me!!

Jack sat between me and my sister.
It was a bit too calm for Jack, so Shane had him switch positions with me and gave him a paddle.  He was a happy camper with that paddle and more action!
Couldn't pass up an opportunity for a raft selfie!

I am happy to report that we all made it down the river safely!!
Except if you look closely at this mom appears to have lost her entire body!!

After few snacks and some water, we boarded the shuttle back to our hotel. 

After some rest and relaxation...everyone fell asleep that afternoon! We decided to head further up the mountains in Vail. Really? As if 10,000 feet wasn't high enough?? So we bought gondola ride tickets, jumped in and climbed up to 11,000 feet to Adventure Ridge. 
(this is a picture of the gondola we rode in!)

Adventure Ridge has tube slides, zip lines and other "mountain" sports to try out. There was also live music, food and a huge fire pit.  I'll tell you what, it was coooollllldddd up there! With the wind, I bet is topped 60 degrees max. People had their winter coats on and really wished I had mine! BRRRRR!!!

The boys really wanted to do some tube slides. You know, it's not every day that you are on top of a mountain with that opportunity, so why not...You can see the slides in the background. It is actual tubes you ride on the way down, but they have almost a plastic bottom, which helps you pick up speed!  

 What's great about most of the rides in the mountains, is that you do not have to climb up to the beginning of the ride. For example, this tube contains an escalator (covered in case of snow) So the boys would grab their tubes and ride the escalator to the top! How smart! Especilly for us Iowans who are not use to the high altitude!!

After dinner we had to get a few scenery photos. I must say, I loved how the boys loved the mountains! You would hear them say to each other, "Look at that!" or "Check that out!"

All was good, until we headed back down the gondola. I have a a fear of some heights, conditions usually have to be just right for it to rear it's ugly head. More often than not,  I can keep it in check. Well, heading down in the gondola, it came to the surface. I rode on the side of the gondola that would look straight down to the bottom of the mountain. It's a steep mountain...going down almost 1000 feet in a short amount of time and it was super high in the air! I actually froze up and couldn't move. It was soon "spotted" that I was having an issue...a few people even have some video! It was the longest ride in my life. I tried to look at the view, but I just wanted out, wanted the ride to be done and for it to stop bumping and jumping!  UGH!!  When we finally reached the bottom, I bolted out and almost kissed the ground! 

But overall, I won't let a little fear of heights ruin our wonderful day of white water rafting and Adventure Ridge!

More Colorado adventures to share next week!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Into the Mountains!

On day two of our vacation, we left Fort Morgan and headed to Breckenridge, Colorado. This was taken with our new selfie stick that Jack was holding. Don't worry, we were stopped!!

Sam was two years old the last time we visited the mountains, so seeing the mountains was a first for both boys! Jack mentions, "The terrain is getting interesting!"

While driving, the boys put together our selfie stick and practiced with it too.

A little nap for Jack before pulling into Breckenridge!

Finally to Breckenridge! Beautiful...and chilly! Put on the pull overs and long sleeves. We were all OK with with wearing spring/fall clothing. We had been looking forward to the break from the heat!!

We grabbed some lunch and did a little shopping with our vacation buddies and then headed to Vail. 
(The flat hair is due to getting caught in an afternoon rain shower!) 

Got to our room in Vail and the view off our balcony was amazing! 
My sister took the boys down to the pool...yay!! She is sitting in the chair on the left...chillaxing! Sam is sitting on the lower left of the pool and Jack just jumped in front of Sam.

After getting unpacked and cleaned up, we headed out for some pizza. But first a quick selfie with our selfie the elevator! Why not!?

We rode the shuttle bus to and from Vail Village. 

At Vail Village...can you see the mountains in the very back?
What a beautiful start to our adventure in Vail!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An All Nighter...

Sam has always wanted to pull an all nighter, which we discouraged due to the fact that it takes a few days to get back on track. Well, Sam continued to wonder if he would be able to do it and two, what do people do between the hours of two and six? 

So last Friday night, Sam couldn't fall asleep and saw this as an opportunity to try our an all nighter. His goal was to see the sunrise.

To prove that he attempted and succeeded at this self-challenge, he took selfies along with captions!

Here's me at 4:00am.

4:15 am

5:00 am
(He looks sooooo tired!)

 I can do this!

YES! Sunrise!! 6:01 am!

He took a screen shot of the weather because is shows the time of the sunrise!

6:01 am

He doesn't have a photo of 6:02 am of him SOUND asleep!
What did he do while staying up?
Watched TV, watched Movies and played on his phone. I asked him if he ever got tired? "Oh Yea! It was weird. I was watching a movie and I had no idea what was going on. It was like pictures with no understanding what was going on."  Welcome to the world of sleep deprivation!

We had no idea that Sam stayed up all night. Sometimes Sam will sleep on the couch, so when we saw him there the next morning, we thought nothing of it. Jason woke him up at 9:45 and then he shared his adventure with us!

Sam took a nap that afternoon for almost three hours. Sam NEVER naps! But as you can see, he looks like he could use one! He took this picture after stating, "I don't now how good of an idea that was."
He was actually pretty mood good on Saturday (besides walking around like a zombie) and Saturday evening. 
On Sunday, I went in at noon to wake him up. I told him it was time 12:00 in the afternoon...He asked, "OK. " and turned over and went back to sleep.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Heading To Colorado!

Last week, we got back from a family vacation to Vail, Colorado. It was amazing and we fell in love with the scenery, weather and all the outdoor activities! We are definitely going back!

We headed out of town at 8:00 am, with the odometer at 28162 at the elevation of 925 ft., prepared to spend 8-9 hours in the car!

 But first some breakfast!

 I must share that the boys are awesomely amazing travelers! They played on their phones, i-pads and watched movies. Not once, during the whole trip, did the complain about being in the car. Kuddos to them!!

Jack did a little napping...takes after his mom!

We took lots of selfies to send to our travel companions!

 Our travel buddies? 
My mom, dad and sister. They joined us on our trip out to the West! The three of them drove in a separate car and we would meet up at our final destination for that day!

At one point we were getting a little desperate for gas, so we pulled off the interstate into a little Colorado town. There was one pump and one handle on the pump. As you can see we had to prepay. Do you remember the non-digital gas pumps?  The boys thought this gas pump was pretty funny!! 

We met up with our travel buddies at our final destination for the first day, Fort Morgan, Colorado.
We purchased a selfie stick and it came in very handy for our group shots! My dad wasn't quite sure what was going on or where to look. No worries, he had it down by the last day of vacation!

Can't wait to share more of our adventures!