Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Place Like Home

The road home through New Mexico, Monday, July 19th

We've been back home for two days now, and we are loving it!  My house has never been so disorganized and in need of intensive attention, but neither has my bed ever felt so comfortable!

That doesn't mean we didn't have an amazing vacation, though.  Let me share the last few days of our trip:

Day Eight, Friday: Family Fun

Ed, Sarah, and Dylan after a rousing game of miniature golf!

Not far from our resort was a place called the Fun Park.  True, it's the kind of thing we could have enjoyed anywhere, even at home, but Dylan really wanted to race Ed on the go-carts and Ed was game for it.  He always is!

Dylan and Ed race around the go-cart track.

Once we were there, the guys had to try everything, of course!  They rode the bumper boats and did major battle spraying each other across the pool.  Both of them were soaked by the time they finished.

Let the soaking begin!

Dylan also wanted to try the big slide and the bungee trampoline.  I'm not sure either of those activities were worth the cost, they were so brief, but at least now he can say he did them.

Dylan reaches the bottom of the slide.

At the end, Ed wanted to do something we girls could join in with, so we played miniature golf.  I was surprised to learn this was the first time Ed has ever played miniature golf.  He's played actual golf in the past, but he thought this was much more fun!  We all agree!

Dylan soars above the trampoline.

Day Nine, Saturday: Wildlife

Rocky Mountain National Park

Actually, our first day in Rocky Mountain National Park was Friday.  We drove halfway through the park and saw about a gazillion elk along the road.  We decided to return on Saturday and make a full day of it.

A herd of elk graze alonside the highway.

With his hunting experience and the fact that he lived in this area of Colorado for about 4 years in the late 1970s, Ed is a knowledgeable guide.  I'm always astounded by the facts he shares about the wildlife, both flora and fauna.  He has an incredible memory and a ton of practical experience.

I know who I'd want with me if I were lost and starving in the wilds.  On the other hand, as Ed would say, if I were with him I'd be neither lost nor starving!

We also saw this buck deer on the side of the road.

Ed promised us plenty of wildlife, and we were not disappointed.  We saw moose, elk, deer, and Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, as well as several types of fowl, flowers, and plants.  Ed entertained us with facts about each one. 

A young cow moose leaves the river at our approach.

We didn't see as many moose as we'd hoped, but we did see one.  To me, that was good enough, since I had no idea moose were found anywhere besides Alaska or Canada!

A young Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, also on the side of the road and unperturbed by passers-by

The country was gorgeous, too. We drove home through Cache la Poudre River Canyon, an area where Ed has enjoyed so many years of hunting.

Passing through the Narrows in Poudre River Canyon

It was about 7pm when we returned to Estes Park and went on a search through the downtown tourist area for a half-pound of homemade fudge. At the last minute I'd decided I wanted fudge for my last splurge before returning to home and diet. We concluded this great day by doing laundry and packing for our return.

A rock formation in northwestern New Mexico, called Shiprock

We checked out of our condo at 8:00 Sunday morning and drove back to Ed's mom's house.  We attended church in Cheyenne one last time, then enjoyed spending our final evening with Caryl.  We'll miss her!  (And we hope she'll soon decide to come live near us...) 

On Monday we drove straight home, leaving Caryl's house at 8:00 in the morning, picking up Jacob at Chris and Donna's house in Pine at 10:00, and arriving home at 9:00 that night.  It was a long, tiresome drive, but we were, oh, so happy to be back home! 

It may be trite, but it's true: Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!

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