Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Colorado Trip: Recap #1 of Many

We had a great trip to Colorado! It was great to see some old friends for a day or two, to see Jared and Karen get married, and to spend some time in the beautiful state of Colorado while we were at it. I'm going to fill in the details and add pictures later; for now, I'm just going to do a general recap:

Day 1: Durham to Memphis. Throughout the trip, Marla did pretty well in the car, although it must be said that it takes quite a bit of effort to keep her entertained and happy throughout the trip. The Durham-Memphis drive actually ended up being an hour longer than the Durham-Toledo drives we often do, but we did gain an hour on the time zone change, so there.

Day 2: Memphis Zoo and the Pink Palace Museum. Pictures and details coming later, but Marla seemed to really enjoy the zoo, even if she wasn't as interested in the animals as she was climbing things. The museum? Not as much. Despite the Piggly Wiggly connection, even I thought the Pink Palace was a bit "meh".

Days 3 and 4: Memphis to Wichita to Denver. Both shorter driving days than Durham to Memphis. And as well as Marla did behaved in the car all three days, I'm glad Amber and Marla flew back home after the trip, rather than have us subject Marla to another three days of driving.

Day 5: Deer Creek Canyon hike + Children's Museum.: The Deer Creek Canyon hike attempt wasn't a complete fail, but...well, I'll expand on this later. Marla really enjoyed the Children's Museum, though, as we figured she would.

Day 6: Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods.: From a "nature-y" standpoint, the highlights of the trip, and both were pretty Marla-friendly, too. I'm really looking forward to blogging about these two places.

Day 7: Jared's wedding day. This is why we came in the first place, after all. Back when we would attend two or three weddings a year, I'd "live tweet" the events and give full recaps of them, but I didn't "live tweet" this one. Not only that, but I realized upon coming home that neither Amber or me took any pictures at all at the wedding or the reception. Whoops! Hopefully some of our friends picked up the slack. But, regardless of our failure at documenting the event, we had a great time at the wedding, and we enjoyed seeing some old Penn Staters again whom we hadn't seen in several years.

Days 8, 9, and 10: The journey home. Sunday morning, I dropped Amber and Marla off at the airport, and then I started driving for a while via a circuitous route specifically designed to visit as many new counties as possible. Amber/Marla arrived back home 8 hours after arriving at the airport, without incident. It took me a wee bit longer than that: including overnight stops, 53½ hours from Denver Int'l Airport to home. Flying doesn't save a whole lot of time, if any, if you're only going two hundred miles...but if you're going two thousand miles, then, well, yes. Although I could have probably done it in 36 hours if I wanted to.

So in a 10-day trip to Colorado, we only spent one and a half days "enjoying nature". That wasn't all that fulfilling, and the fact that I just used up nearly half of my vacation time for the entire year is a little discouraging, but here's the thing:

1) The primary purpose of the trip was, of course, Jared's wedding; anything else we got to do while we were out there was a bonus.

2) Once we had Marla, I didn't think we'd make it out to a place like Colorado again for another ten years, at least. One and a half days in the Rockies is better than zero days!

3) I insisted on taking the six days to drive there and back, because driving is fun. And, I mean, look at all the new counties I visited! (Everything in dark yellow on this map.) If all three of us had flown both ways and taken the same amount of time off, we obviously would have gotten to spend a lot more time in Colorado. Although we wouldn't have necessarily gotten to do a whole lot more nature-y stuff, as I'll expand upon in my next point...

4) When Marla's happy, we're happy...and vice versa. So, that's why we spent the morning of wedding day at a city playground instead of in the woods somewhere, and why we went to a Children's Museum rather than make the four hour round trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, for example. If she's going to sit in the car for hours upon end with us, it's the least we can do. And while the hiking backpack worked out well for us in Vermont/New Hampshire and on a test run two months ago, we think she's since outgrown it, which limited what we could do out there. (That's the biggest reason why the Deer Creek Canyon hike attempt was a partial fail.) It also changes our priorities a little bit. Seeing a happy Marla have fun in a Children's Museum is far more rewarding to us than going on a hike in which Marla isn't particularly happy. And, I can say that Marla and I developed much more of a bond during the trip, to the point where going back and dropping her off at day care for 9+ hours a day is a little sad and weird.

So, in all, it was a great trip, albeit not long enough! And since I've been having more trouble coming up with topics to write about lately, you can look forward to lots and lots of trip recaps.

1 comment:

Spartangoogle said...

We can put MOSH and the zoo on your schedule for the 4th of July.