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Thursday, July 27, 2017

{kirchoff travel diaries} a bridge and a ghost town

Day 4

After a great nights sleep we all woke up slowly and relaxed around the campgrounds. Our cabin we stayed in was sooooo nice. It was 2 bedrooms, had a huge bathroom and a good size kitchen and living room. It was brand new and very comfortable for us. I was really happy about that. You never really know what you are getting when you book online πŸ˜‰

We made ourselves some coffee and then headed down to my parents RV for breakfast. The mornings in Colorado were so nice and cool. I loved it and came to enjoy the mornings. I miss them now we are home to this insane Texas heat.



We decided to all head west to see The Royal Gorge. At this point that was our only plan for the day so we loaded up. Cam and my brother in law Brandon went in the car we rented and the rest of us piled in the RV. My kids were SO excited to ride in the RV. I was as well but honestly the ride made me feel a little car sick so an hour and half later I think I was the most happy to arrive at our destination.

The views were stunning! I am beginning to believe there might not be a bad view in Colorado.


Once we were all loaded up 


and took a few pictures (my fav of us from the trip)


We headed toward the bridge



and started the long walk across. At this point in the day it was hot. I mean Texas hot. Add that with carrying a 4 year old on my back...this was quite a workout.


Poufy hair don't care πŸ˜‚

Even though it was hot the walk was great and again with the views...amazing. Along the way each state is represented by their flag so of course we had to stop by ours.



Once we were on the other side we grabbed Icee's and popcorn and watched a movie about how the bridge was built. It was really interesting and even kept the kids attention. That or they just enjoyed the cool air conditioning and cold Icee's πŸ˜‰ 

After the movie the kids hopped on the train with Uncle Brandon


And then we headed up a pretty steep hill to a kids play area. At this point a rather dicey looking storm was beginning to roll in. But did we turn around...nope. Crazy tourists.


This one cracks me up!


After about 30 minutes it started to get really windy and began to lightly rain. We decided it was probably time to head back over the bridge. Note to self...walking over a suspension bridge in the rain and wind is no bueno. I'm not one to freak out about things but feeling the bridge move with the wind was not my favorite part of the trip 😐 However we made it to the other side of the bridge and grabbed lunch to rest our feet and make plans for the rest of the day. I looked on google maps and saw that the old gold mining town Cripple Creek wasn't too far away and it was on the way back to Colorado Springs so we all agreed to head that way. Milly and I opted to ride in the Suburban this time and within 5 minutes she was asleep.


The drive to Cripple Creek was gorgeous. It was up the mountains then down in the valleys and my ears were popping as we were rising in altitude. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

I love traveling with my whole family but when we travel with just the 5 of us things are very planned out. This little venture into Cripple Creek threw me for a loop. As soon as we started approaching this small town, and I had service on my phone, I noticed that the two things we wanted to do were closing soon. As we pulled into town we pulled off and talked to everyone because we were going to have to split up and people were going to have to decide what they wanted to do the most. So Cam, the boys, Brandon, Alexi, my brother and his girlfriend all took the rent car and drove to tour a gold mine.


It was so cold underground...50 degrees to be exact. So when our group showed up in short sleeve shirts and shorts, luckily they had plenty of jackets for them to use!




They all had a blast! My boys loved every second and couldn't wait to tell me all their fun stories. The rest of us...Me, Milly, my mom, dad and sister decided to stay in town. Milly and I went to see the Haunted Jail Museum. We walked in 15 minutes to closing and the lady was so nice she didn't even charge me and let us roam for free.


And good thing because we were there probably a whole 5 minutes πŸ˜‰ This place was some serious spooky. 


We walked around the corner where the jail cells were (it was so dark we couldn't see well) and the creepiest mannequin I've ever seen was sitting in a cell staring at us. I literally screamed when I saw it and at that point Milly was like I want to leave!!!!! So we stopped by the gift shop, said thank you and off we went! Milly kept saying "I don't like jail mommy, I don't like jail at all." πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

We walked down into town looking for a store that sold a sweatshirt or hoodie in Milly's size. It was so COLD! I was thankful I had brought myself a long sleeve shirt but poor Milly was freezing!



This little town was so fun! My parents stopped in a casino for a bit and then we met up for shopping. We were so high in altitude that walking around I felt a little bit dizzy. It was the weirdest feeling. But that didn't stop us from shopping!


We found these fun (and weird) treasures!


The clowns were everywhere in all the stores. So weird!

After a couple of hours I got a text from Cam they were down so we headed back to the RV to meet up.



This was by far one of my favorite times on the trip. Just hanging out with my parents and sister laughing at all the crazy stuff...like a homeless man yelling at my sister "hey girl where have you been?!" or the little old ladies on their walkers practically running us over leaving the casinos...all of it was great and made for hilarious memories!

We loaded back up...this time Milly and I opted to ride in the RV and had to best ride home laughing about our adventures that day. Once we were back in Colorado Springs we grilled burgers in the rain and just chilled in our room watching TV...all together.

Our Trip Recaps

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

{kirchoff travel diaries} camp, cliff dwellings and waterfalls

DAY 3

We woke up bright and early Monday morning and ready to head down into Colorado Springs to see the rest of our family. They had arrived Sunday evening and were non stop texting us pictures of our camp grounds. We were all excited to get there ourselves and see it!


Two hours later {and one the most beautiful drives} we were pulling into Colorado Springs! Our cabin wasn't quite ready to check into yet but we stopped for a bit to see my parents RV, my sister and her family's cabin and then we were off to see the sites.

First stop...The Manitou Cliff Dwellings.



This was a must see on our list of things to do. I can still remember coming here as a child and being amazed and couldn't wait to see that amazement in my children's faces.


They loved walking and climbing through the rooms and I loved imagining how families use to live here and how they used the rooms. 


It was SO hot outside yet in the rocks it was surprisingly cool. Almost as if an air conditioner was on.


My little model πŸ˜‰


The views all around were stunning!




Me and my Daddy


We love gift shops πŸ˜‰


After a few hours at the cliff dwellings we were all pretty hungry so it was off to lunch! My mom had remembered a favorite restaurant of hers when we came here 20 years ago and we were hoping it was still open. To our luck it was so we stopped in The Mason Jar for lunch! 

After a delicious lunch we decided to squeeze in a visit to Seven Falls before we headed back to the camp site. When I was a kid you could drive right up to the falls but a few years ago a horrible storm almost washed away the falls completely so now you have to park at the bottom and walk and very long walk to the top. Good thing we had some beautiful surroundings to encourage us!


Some of us used a pouty face to get a ride to the top 😊



and of course when you are the only little girl in the family you pretty much have your Daddy wrapped around your finger.


Once at the top everyone was all smiles and ready to hit in the insanely long stair case to the top of the waterfall.



I'm not going to lie...I was SCARED! Aiden took off with my brother and his girlfriend, then Asher went and Cam said he was going to carry Milly and I had a mini anxiety attack. I seriously couldn't walk up. I was so scared Milly was going to fall or Cam was going to trip. This staircase is straight up...no joke. After they all made it to the top I decided I had to do it. There was no way I was going to show my kids that I let fear get in my way. So up I went. Once at the top I was so glad I did. The views were gorgeous and there was a nice little hike waiting for us.




The best part though was seeing how excited my kids were to see me. And then we had to head back down. Ugh...I started feeling my anxiety rising again. The thing is...going down was alot easier then going up.


Cameron seriously carried Milly the whole way! Needless to say his arms were a little tired πŸ˜‰ Dad of the year!



After all that exhausting fun we were headed back to the campsite to check in and finally get our cabin. After unpacking, eating dinner and relaxing with an adult beverage we headed outside to meet some of our neighbors and roast marshmallows.


The day was fun yet exhausting! Thankfully our cabin was gorgeous and everyone had their own bed to sleep in leading to a great night sleep for everyone because there was no slowing down in the future for this family on vacation 😊