Monday, August 6, 2012

Family Vacation

A few months ago, my husband decided he needed a vacation.  He kindly allowed the kiddo and I to accompany him.  :)  Actually, he decided a family vacation might be in order and the kiddo and I agreed on the spot.

We chose to visit Estes Park, Colorado.  My husband loves to hike and the scenery in Estes Park can't be beat.  We live in Kansas and while the state isn't entirely flat, cornfields are not the prettiest things to view.

Yeah, even with rain clouds in the background, mountains beat cornfields in the aesthetics department.

The kiddo was great in the airport and on the plane.  She loved that we traveled by car (to KCI), plane, train (in DIA), bus (to the rental car) and car (to Estes).

Our first day, we took a short hike to Copeland Falls.  My father in-law was kind enough to add something to his pack so the kiddo could walk hands free.

With her friend safely stowed, the kiddo was ready to go.

(Yes, those are Batman socks.  The kiddo is awesome!)

The falls were really something to see.

The next day, my husband and father in-law started at the same trail and went several miles further to Bluebird Lake.  They passed the Calypso Cascades

and even managed to make a friend.

My mother in-law, the kiddo and I went shopping instead.  We paid a visit to the Estes Ark and picked up a new friend for the kiddo.  We also stopped at the Red Rose Rock Shop.  Both the kiddo and I picked up a few shiny things.

The kiddo picked up some honey quartz, pyrite, chalcopyrite (the dark blue), beryl, rose quartz and a pretty pink striped glass shard.

Of course, I picked up a few things for myself.

Above are thin slaps of blue jasper, crazy lace agate and Brazilian agate.  They are thin and light enough that I could try some bead embroidery with them.

I also picked up a few stones:  labradorite, lepidolite and blue lace agate.  These are a bit thicker, but would work with a bead or wire bezel.

I couldn't resist the copper flecks or heavy copper slugs.

I also had to restrain myself and buy only two of these fabulous stone buttons.  I adore these.

After we finished shopping, the kiddo and I treated ourselves to our first ever mother/daughter pedicure.

Seriously, how cute is it that the kiddo's skirt matched her flip flops?

Later that day, we drove out to the Alluvial Fan.  My husband said the Alluvial Fan was a nice waterfall with some rocks to play on.  I was in no way prepared for this:

Oh .. and by the way, see that red arrow?  The kiddo climbed to there.  She wanted to go to the top, but my husband (wisely) told her that might not be such a good idea.

The next morning, we rented a paddleboat (for me and my mother in-law) and a kayak (for my husband and father in-law).  As it turns out, the paddle boat was too slow for the kiddo and she wanted to try the kayak.

My husband was more than pleased to take her for a ride.  I don't think she really wanted to stop.

We also drove to Loveland later in the day.  We made a point to visit the Benson Sculpture Garden while there.  The Benson Sculpture Garden is a park that provides a home to over 100 sculptures.

We didn't get to see nearly all the sculptures, but I was taken by "Evening Jazz" by Warren Cullar.  I love the soft colors Warren used.  The pieces just takes you right into to the mood.

I also loved "Storm's Brewing" by Jeannine Young.  My father is a fan of old Westerns and I watched more than one growing up.  This sculpture brought to mind Clint Eastwood and the Man with No Name.  I love the detail on this sculpture.

Since Ft. Collins is only a short drive from Loveland, I asked my husband to drive a bit further.  He and my in-laws took the kiddo for ice cream while I paid a visit to the Bead Cache.

The Bead Cache had a marvelous selection of seed beads.

I found a few colors of delicas I hadn't seen before.

I also picked up a few odds and ends.  I love the ribbon in the background.  The teal and brown pearls have large holes (perfect to string on leather).  I treated myself to some bone circles, a bone spacer, some Czech lentil drop beads and those awesome black and white beads in the front.

On our last day, we did a bit more sightseeing.

We also managed to visit Fun City.  This place certainly lives up to its name.  The kiddo and I started out on the giant slide.

Of course, she wanted to try on her own, so I watched her climb the mountain of stairs and slide down, laughing all the way.

I took the kiddo on the bumper cars and go karts.  Her favorite, however, was the bungee trampoline.

I have never seen a smile so big on anyone's face.

In case you are wondering, I did get some beading in while on vacation.

I didn't do as much as I had hoped, but I got most of the components finished for Josephine's Collar, designed by Jill Devon and published in the June 2012 issue of Beadwork Magazine.

This necklace is one of the projects for our Beading Babes group.  You can find out more about the projects in this round here.

We had a good time on vacation, but it is always nice to be home.  It will be nice to get back into our usual routine this week.

With packing, vacation and unpacking, I missed a few too many karate classes and I need to get back before I forget everything.

The kiddo is gearing up for kindergarten and it's only a short few weeks until school starts.  I think we can make it until then.  :)


  1. Tanya, oh how lucky your were to spend time in the Rocky Mts! We grew up spending time every summer there. We were so lucky to know the locals and they would take us to the high country to the lesser traveled areas. I bet you have a very excited kiddo! The start of school is creeping closer and closer! I have always wanted to go on one of those big slides.

  2. WOw Tanya - what an awesome pictorial of your vacation!!! Thank you for sharing!
    Great bead score too. And your Josephine's Collar is coming out gorgeous. I haven't started mine yet, but that is the project I am going to do for Beading Babes!

  3. Great post!!! My kids have climbed the Alluvial Fan just a handful of times less than their Mama. Our Rocky Mountain summer didn't happen this year so I was thrilled to see your pictures and also to see your bead stash :-D