MEMORIES > gifts (Colorado, Part 1)

Matthew had an INCREDIBLE idea…

Instead of buying GIFTS for Christmas, we’d take a FAMILY TRIP instead.

We pitched our new idea to Rayna.  And, just like we thought, our (“Quality-Time,” traveler, snow-lovin’) gal was SOOOOOO.ON.BOARD with this new idea!  So when we got a big smile from Ross (whose #1 “Love Language” happens to be Gifts), we were ready to start making some plans!

We considered lots of places and adventures; but, we were drawn to the majestic beauty and intentional stillness of Colorado.

The 1st 7 hours on the road were really enjoyable.  We listened to a Christian comedian that kept us laughing most of the way and ate fresh banana bread that our friend made us for our trip.  (Great combination!)

But, it was the remaining half of the long drive that gave us a beautiful glimpse of the gift we were getting to experience.  The kids slept in the back seats and the bright moon guided our way around every mountain turn.  As Matthew and I quietly talked late into the night, we both spotted a bright start shooting across the big, Colorado sky.  Just a few hours later, a huge elk stood on the iced-over road that would be our guide to Pagosa Springs.  If you’re like me and can sense God through His creation, just the drive ALONE would have been enough glory and wonder for the entire week!

CMP_8733nCMP_8646nCMP_8601nRayna recently wrote a paper in school about her favorite season.  One of her (many) reasons to choose Winter was,
“I LOVE to eat SNOW!  It is my favorite snack.  But I do not like the yellow kind.”CMP_8763nCMP_8639nrun

Pagosa Springs was a much smaller town (and less commercialized) than most ski areas I’ve visited.  (If you love having a Bubba Gumps franchase downtown, tucked between rows and rows of gift shops, this is NOT the town for you.)  However, if you appreciate a quaint town, a handful of family-owned restaurants and mule deer on every corner, THIS is your spot!  (We loved it!) Untitled-3CMP_8502n

I would not be surprised if Rayna chooses a college in Colorado… just for an excuse to LIVE there!  She was IN her element!rrr5bwCMP_8607npshill
Matthew is, basically, the BEST.THANG.GOING.  Even though I feel pretty confident he would do anything in the world for me, I am also well-aware that his Type A personality likes to quickly and effectively get to our next stop with minimal distractions.  Sooooo… when I’m riding and see AMAZING sites (such as these snow-covered mountains in New Mexico with a group of wild horses boldly running through a beautiful field in the distance), honestly, my only REAL option is to:

  • Instantly find my camera bag tucked beneath someone’s feet in the car…
  • Quickly let-down my car window…
  • Ignore the ripping wind in my face and attempt to photograph a ‘still’ image at speeds of 70-85 miles per hour…
  • All while attempting NOT to get motion-sickness!

(I had the same ‘situation’ in Costa Rica when I saw a cute dog on the side of the street.  I BARELY got the picture in time!)

Just like at home, we saved money by going grocery shopping when we arrived.  Although I LOVE going out to eat, cooking together and enjoying a relaxed, slow-paced meal just added to the memories of the trip.  (And, if you know my kids, getting to eat in their pajamas, or LESS, is ALWAYS a plus!) 
Thank you for joining us in Colorado!
I have 1 more post (that was one of the HIGHLIGHTS of our entire trip) and a video!  So, check back soon!

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