Denver, CO. Home of the Broncos and Peyton Manning, the Rockies, lots of mountains and now…The Estrada’s. One of our country’s greatest cities and recently our good friends up and moved there. So…this obviously gave us every reason to take a few days to vacation and visit this beautiful area and it did not disappoint! 4 days doesn’t sound like much but let me tell ya…by the time we were done? We had sampled a good portion of this beautiful area and spent lots of quality time with our great friends!
First up…St. Mary’s Glacier. Located in the Arapaho National Forest near Idaho Springs, CO, this was a no brainer with 6 kids in tow. Easily accessible, we marched into the forest, walking maybe 2 miles uphill, to find a beautiful lake surrounded by mountain peaks and valleys. It was GORGEOUS there and I highly recommend it for anyone who might have a taste for the outdoors and needs a little exercise!
We spent an 45 minutes or so, walking around, taking pictures and just relaxing. The kids and I waded into the lake, (which was FREEZING, by the way) and we watched as some skiers attempted to try to ski down the side of the mountain only to fail miserably.
Ava, my little daredevil, decided she wanted to scale HIGHER up the mountain so we trekked higher, climbing to where the mountain got a little too steep to continue on. It was an amazing sight from up there, looking into the valley. Great photo moments and lots of snowballs thrown.
By the end, we had whetted our appetites for something even bigger and so…off we went to Mt. Evans!!!
Mount Evans is NOT the largest mountain in Denver…but it IS one of 54 that reach 14,000+ feet above sea level. What Mount Evans DOES offer that none of the others can brag about is the highest paved road in North America. At 14,264 feet, the road winds its way up to close to the top, giving you some pretty dramatic looks over tight curves and narrow spaces. I can’t say it’s the best time I’ve ever had driving but it definitely was the most nervewracking! At the top, we all piled out of the car and decided that we HAD to scale to the VERY tippy top of Mount Evans. It wasn’t an easy climb, with the wind whipping at well over 20 mph and the path up was spotted with ice and rock. We all had moments where we needed to stop and catch a breath and I was nervous as we hit a couple of patches where the ice was slippery and dense. The kids trudged on like troopers though and at the top, Ava climbed up on the highest point at the top! I grabbed her and sat her down but she can say that she was at the highest point of the mountain!
The next day was a big music day for us as we went to watch little Samuel perform a violin solo at a local church’s concert performance. Much like his mother, the kid has talent! Later that evening, Stephanie, Ava, Alicia & I went to see Phillip Phillips and O.A.R. perform at Red Rocks!
On our last day, we slept late and then made our way to Boulder, home of the University of Colorado AND…Mork & Mindy! We spent a lot of time hanging out at the 16th Street Mall. It was a beautiful day and we had a delicious lunch at Mountain Sun Brewery, one of MANY local breweries in the Boulder area. I definitely recommend the coffee stout there! It was excellent! But take cash…’cause they don’t take credit cards!
After a little store browsing, hula hoopin’ and ice cream for the kids, we went for a short walk down Pine Street to see the house that was used as the exterior for the 1970 classic sitcom, “Mork & Mindy.” It’s a beautiful home with an awesome front porch and it has obviously been well taken care of! Mork would have been proud…
Needless to say, we had an amazing time visiting our friends! On the list for NEXT summer? Whitewater rafting and actually visiting downtown Denver!