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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Estes Park, Colorado 2014

We had the best time traveling to Estes Park earlier this month!  I had been once before years ago and Jason had never been.  We stayed at my mom and LE's (stepdad) new home and it was gorgeous beyond belief.  Between the beautiful home, perfect weather and animals galore, we did not want to leave!   Warning: Picture overload ahead

Travel Day

I was super nervous for flying with Jack, but it all went great!  I'll be posting my tips for for flying with a little one tomorrow. 

Once we arrived at the airport, we took a scenic drive to the house and settled in.  Jason immediately started fishing in the backyard and Jack and I threw rocks in the river.  He loved getting to spend so much time outside.  Between the heat and the mosquitos in Houston, I feel like he is cheated a lot at home of fresh air. 

Playing with his Mimi and Papi

And yes, I ended the day with pie and ice cream!  No calories on vacation.


After having a "big breakfast" {family joke} at home we headed toward the national park.  Jason wanted to drive to "the top" and hike up the tallest peak.  We got to see some incredible views.

We did lunch at Mountain Home Cafe (so yummy) and then went back to the house for naps...

Jack loved playing in their living room with plush fur rugs
And Jason loved being able to fish from the backyard!

That evening, Jason and I wanted to keep with our Friday night tradition of pizza so we left to pick a pie.  We found a place close to the house called Cheesy Lee's that had good reviews on Yelp.  We ordered the pizza and then walked around the lodge.  Turns out it was creepier than the Stanley.  It was an old hotel {Elkhorn Lodge} with horses and a museum-like feel. 

That night once Jack was asleep, Jason and I sat outside and enjoyed the cooler temps.  My mother kept wanting us to come in and I thought she was being so weird...


...until the next morning when we had a visitor! 

Around 5am I woke up by a loud noise that sounded like someone was breaking into the house.  I was quiet for a few minutes to try and figure out what it is I was hearing.  Finally after it kept getting louder, I woke up Jason who evidently can sleep through anything.  He jumped out of bed to the backdoor, instantly knowing what it was

A bear! 

A huge bear was tearing up the house trying to get the trash that we locked in the shed.  I woke up my mom who told us to sound the airhorn.  We hesitated, not wanting to wake Jack until we saw the size of the bear's head.  He ran away as soon as we sounded it, but came back about 20 minutes later. 


Jack slept through the bear and both airhorns.  I could not believe it! 

Tired and cranky, Jason and I decided to stroll through the shops and have lunch in town.  While we loved seeing the town, the lunch was disastrous!  I say this just to show you a little real life.  Jack was getting cranky from being off schedule and not having a nap in his crib.  He never sleeps as good in a stroller.  It was meltdown city.  We ended up leaving the restaurant {Wapiti - can not recommend} without even eating. 


We went back to the house to rest and just be outside.  The boys put the house back together after our visitor and my mom had to clean the shed with ammonia!


What a beautiful day this was!  We drove back out to the national park and hiked around Sprague Lake.  It was gorgeous!!!

After the hike, we did lunch at Notchtop Cafe.  It was so good and when we come back I want to do breakfast there!
On Sunday night after eating my mom's amazing homemade chili, we left Jack with Mom and LE and Jason and I headed to the Stanley Hotel for drinks and a ghost tour.  Even if you aren't into ghosts, the Stanley is a GORGEOUS hotel.  I loved hearing about The Shining, Stephen King and even learned the parts of Dumb and Dumber were filmed there....and after only one night, Jim Carrey checked out and hasn't been back since!

Bathroom selfie at the Stanley...was hoping a ghost would appear in my picture!

Since the weather was crummy and it was our last day we wanted to stay close to the house and just chill. 

While my mom watched Jack for us, Jason and I grabbed our first PSL's of the season and ran into a cute shop I wanted to visit - The Grey House.  A must visit if you ever go to Estes Park.  The couple who owns it is originally from Fort Worth and they carry stuff for everyone: men, women and baby! 

We took Jack for one more walk through the neighborhood to see some chipmunks...

And stopped to see some Elk at the golf course in town....

That afternoon while sitting at the kitchen bar facing the backdoor (pictured below) I saw a dog climb up the steps.  I thought it was the neighbors black lab, Rio, until it raised up on it's hind legs and jumped on that tree on the left...BEAR!!! 

It literally turned it's head to look at me, teeth, drool and all.  I called for Jason to see it who immediately sounded the horn again.  So mad I didn't get a chance for an up-close picture!

He ran to the neighbors house and we didn't see him again.  Freaked out, we did call the neighbors who assured us this was very normal this time of year when they are going on binge eating overload to prepare for hibernation.   Needless to say, we stayed indoors and enjoyed the house the rest of the day!  We even did takeout from The Sundeck that was so yummy!

I think the bear just wanted to tell us bye

Travel Day

Boo!  We did not want to leave, but all good things must come to an end.  Jack wasn't as great on the plane this time around, but Jason and I also learned a few things too to help us! 

Such a random sidenote, but I was thrilled to see that Denver has a full Mac store in their airport.  Perfect timing because I was in desperate need of a new eyebrow pencil. 

And then home sweet home!  Happy to be back to our normal critters...raccoons, bunnies and possuums, but looking forward to our next visit.  Than you a million times to my mom and LE for having us and being such gracious hosts!  Now when can we come back???


  1. Sounds like such a great trip!! I'm dying for some cooler temps, hopefully I don't have to go to CO to get some! ;) So glad y'all got some good grown-up time too!

  2. We LOVED having you!! Nothing like being able to get Jack Jack out of bed first thing in the morning and snuggle. He does love his Mimi and Papi!!!

  3. Your pictures are beautiful!! You look amazing and got some fabulous ones with Jack! Glad you had a good time!



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