Friday, March 9, 2012

Family Adventure Day #3...Colorado, we have arrived. Hide your breakables.

We have made it!  I have to say....leaving Santa Fe this morning was bittersweet.  We had expected to spend the night at the Inn on the Alameda two nights (due to the car craziness, that didn't happen) so the one night really didn't cut it.  We had an awesome breakfast there and had to take off. 
What's 5 more hours of a road trip when you're the Griswold's anyway? 
The drive was amazing though!  So much better then the trip from Roswell to Santa Fe where I started to miss Home Sweet Texas oh-so-much.  It was pretty barren with a sparse amount of bushes instead of trees and no green grass to speak of.  I am one of those people that needs green around me!  Roswell...and until about 30 minutes outside of Santa was pretty depressing. 
But hitting Santa Fe was like an oasis!  Great looking town, full of trendy people riding bicycles and lots of great options for fun. 
On the way to Ouray we saw so many amazing sights.  I had some of those moments where you tear up at the sheer beauty of God's work.  The colors and landscape were pure beauty. 
New Mexico

Almost to Colorado....

The DVD player was not turned on until about 2 hours from Ouray. All three of the kids were pretty mesmerized by the scenery.  It's funny how on a road trip everything turns into a huge sight seeing mission....Look!  A snow covered rock! ....Look!  A red barn!!.....
I can not tell you how many pictures of barns I have on this memory card....I'm pretty much obsessed with them.  The landscape was just so completely different than anything the kiddos are used to, they were as excited as we were at all the beauty.  And it's hard to get a 13 year old boy excited about anything but girls....but he was looking out of the window just as much as the rest of us.  As well as schooling us on all the trivia of the area...because he is the Mr. Wizard of this generation.  (If you don't know who Mr. Wizard is, you totally missed out on a great show and you should Google it.  Like now.)

Amazing beauty

Driving up the mountains turned out to be quite the experience.  Winding, curvy and HUGE drops on the sides....glad B was driving and not me!

We are now in the gorgeous, little town of Ouray, Colorado.  Ouray is known as the Switzerland of America....I can totally see why.  This place is fabulous...quaint little shops and fun pubs.    The people here are so friendly and helpful, the Visitor's Center is a plethora of info and clean bathrooms too!  R let me in on that secret because after all of those winding mountain roads, she was about to wet her pants.  So...good to know. 
We are staying in the Elkhorn Cabins where we are happy to be able to stomp around without worrying about anyone being underneath us or that we're being too loud...which we are.  Always. 
Log cabin luxury.....plenty of bathrooms, TV's and a gas stove to keep us warm and cozy.  Be sure to check out SilverStar Properties....and mention my blog and you can get 15% off for your own stay at Elkhorn Cabins, owned by SilverStar Properties.  Find them on Facebook, too.  I like how close the cabin is to town, and especially to the Hot Springs.   
Main Street, Ouray

We are on Texas time....only an hour difference but 4 o' clock we were ready for dinner.  After unloading the car we decided where we would eat.  Everything here in Ouray seems to be pretty family friendly, even the pubs and breweries.  We decided to eat at Ouray Brewery.  We made a good choice because it was so stinkin' good!  This place just looks small walking in but it has 3 levels...we still chose the smaller 1st level, sitting in a little nook under the windows where we caught some late afternoon sun.  B is a lover of dark ales.....Shiner is unmistakably his favorite ale of he tried the Box Canyon Dark and loved it. 
The food was so great, we all had burgers and fries (except for G, who had spaghetti with butter and cheese with a side of 3 pickles) and I thought I might have to get some help out the door I was so full. The staff here at Ouray Brewery were wonderful.  Very kind and great with the kids.  G and R had to try out what had to be the coolest barstools ever....chairs, hung from the ceiling with cables.  The bartender welcomed them right up and they had fun chatting with the locals.  I heard G telling a pretty woman at the bar that he was from a little south of Hawaii (Wha?!)....he fit in fine. 
A must while in Ouray
We made a stop at the cute little market just a few doors down from the Brewery for some necessities...and the guy checking us out was quite the character. 
Stopping at Mouse's Chocolates and Coffee was a given. 
Seriously, how cute is this?
Certain things are predictable in our family....stopping at a shop selling chocolates and coffee would be one of those things. 
They even have a coffee drink called The Dirty Hippie...come on!  This place was made for us. 
Mouthful of chocolate
totally trying to steal her goods!
I had a simple cup of coffee and it was wonderful

Notice G....he stole a few pieces of chocolate from his brother and sister...and is paying for it with a tummy ache
talk about selection....
I have some amazing news for you....Mouse's is online and guess what.  They ship to you! 
Find them on Facebook for up to the minute news on the best chocolates and coffee around.

After stuffing ourselves....B decided that he didn't care it was getting dark.  He wanted to take the kiddos out to play in the snow.  And they did.  And they loved it.  It doesn't take much snow to excite these kids from Texas...thank goodness.  Because really...what is better than seeing your kids smiling and playing with each other instead of threatening each other with their lives?
stuck in the snow

snow angels
 We are all exhausted now...well, I am.  The kids are all still going strong.  Tomorrow we are going to attempt ice climbing, the main thing that Ouray is famous for.  People come from all over the world to experience Ouray's free ice park and I am excited to see it. 
I will be the official picture taker with my handy dandy, one armed assistant R while all of the boys try out ice climbing. 
Ouray Ice Park can be found on Facebook and Twitter.  We will be meeting the San Juan Guides bright and early in the morning to start our next adventure. 
Happy Weekend, everyone!

disclaimer alert.....we did recieve discounted lodging here in Ouray working with SilverStar Properties.  My opinions are still my opinions and nothing but. 

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