Friday, June 10, 2011

Family Time: Vacation Recap

Oh, the adventures we've had! What a wonderful vacation, and one, I hope, our family will remember for years to come. Here is a recap of all the fun we had!

We started our trip the minute the kids were finished with school. We headed out at noon and reached the Sand Dunes before dinner. We set up our borrowed 3-bedroom tent and established bedrooms (Ted and Sam each had one, while Mae and I slept in the main area. Paul had his own tent).

When our friends began arriving, the fun began! Each family had a different meal to prepare (breakfast or dinner, lunch and snacks were on our own) and each meal was a feast. Soccer games, of the ghetto variety, were constant in our campsite.

We hiked the Dunes twice. The first time, just Paul and the boys ventured up to the peak. Mae and I remained somewhere in the middle of the dunes, setting up the sled as a wind shield. The next day, with the full chavurah in attendance, groups splintered off and ours ascended multiple peaks. Sadly, Medano Creek was just a trickle and with the wind as strong as it was, a day at the "beach" wasn't in the cards. Still, we had a blast!

We hiked to the Visitor Center twice and went into town to an old-time diner for lunch and root beer floats with friends. It was a very windy experience, but it was great to be with the chavurah for an extended amount of time. Maybe next year we can camp somewhere a bit less windy...

We took off for Mesa Verde next and stayed in a hotel. That was bliss. Real beds, hot showers, an inside pool and full breakfast made us all very, very happy.

We went to the Anasazi museum and learned a lot of information that would really inform our tours the next few days. We especially liked the hike near the museum, where we learned about Sleeping Ute Mountain (the chief is in the pic above). Sam and Mae completed the "Junior Ranger" workbooks and earned their pins, which was very exciting. Sam in particular was riveted by the cliff dwellings.

We toured Cliff Palace and Balcony House and even visited Spruce Tree House twice, because we could actually climb down into a kiva. We also loved the ruins at Far View, where the kids could walk inside and all around the sites. All in all, an educational and fun trip!

Then we moved on to Moab, to camp with friends from Horizons. I could have gone home at this point, but the kids were super excited to play with their friends, so we went. And it was fun, but stressful.

Sam got hurt twice and Ted once. Mae made friends with two little twin girls right away and was happy as a clam all weekend. We made some new friends and got to reconnect with old ones. It was fun.

Mostly the kids climbed the rocks all around our campsite (hence the accidents) and we did get one mini hike in, as well as the Junior Ranger book for Sam (of course.) Sam's favorite part was the petroglyphs; Ted loved the climbing. Mae and I loved the socializing and I think Paul was pretty content to drink beer and chat. We were all very happy to get home to our sweet old dog, our very affectionate cat, and the non-dead hermit crabs. Hooray!

What will your family do for vacation this year?

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