We made it back! But I bet you're wondering how the trip went. Are you ready for the play by play? If not...skip this post and come back later. and if you are...READ ON!
I woke up early (as usual for any time that I need to be somewhere) and started work on my list of things yet to do. I packed all of our clothes including some items that Darly had forgotten (turns out she didn't need them anyway...oh wait, she did use the sweater...okay, mom isn't that dumb after all!)
By the time Darly woke up, I had everything ready and all she had to do was get into the car. I had even packed a breakfast because I know two important things about my kid... 1) she likes to sleep until the very last possible minute. 2) like me, she can't eat the minute she gets up. She usually isn't hungry for at least an hour or so after waking. So breakfast on the go it is...thank goodness for cereal bars!
We were in the car by 10am. Just like I wanted. But there was still one more item on my "to do" list...that was pick up cookies for the dinner on Saturday night. I pondered, should I stop at my grocery store and get them...or should I stop at a store on the way and get the cookies? I decided on the store on the way because that would give me a chance to use the restroom. That worked out perfect!!! (the only item I forgot to pack was the bottle of water I had put in the frig to cool.)
We made it to Silverthorn at noon-ish (a bit early actually) and had lunch by the outlet mall. I think that everyone and their brother had the same idea!!! that place was PACKED!!! oh and they had only one restroom for everyone (male & female) so there was a line of folks waiting to get in there. While we had our lunch I noticed that the gas prices were only $3.99 per gallon. And even though I was only 1/4 of a tank down, I decided to top off the tank there because I knew that gas would be more expensive the farther I got away from Denver. (this prooved to be an extremely good idea!)
Back on the road again... we went through 5 tunnels! This trip was my farthest west through Colorado. (I've been driven to the west coast before, but that trip was farther north threw WY, UT, OR & WA.) I had no idea that I-70 had that many tunnels on it before. For the most part, once you get past Vail the road gets very boring. It wasn't until we reached Glennwood Canyon that the trip got interesting again...view wise that is.
On the way we passed a bike race called "The Triple ByPass" that takes the riders over 3 mountain passes. I didn't find out which race we passed until I saw it on the news. that was cool.
We passed two cars that weren't up for the trip. One had steam coming out of the radiator and the other was spitting out very black smoke from the muffler. There were times that I wondered if my car was going to make the trip. My car doesn't care for some of the very steep grades we had to traverse. I was a good girl and stayed to the right so that folks could pass me though.
We also passed someone who had rolled their SUV with a travel trailer behind it. I hope they're all okay...I could only see two little girls about Darly's age standing outside the vehicle and a fireman near the front windshield of the vehicle.
For the last 45 minutes or so of our drive Darly decided to start asking "How much longer?" every time we hit a stoplight. Towards the end I had no idea how much longer it would be...especially since it seemed that we were hitting every stop light they had. LOL!
We pulled into Snowmass Village at about 3pm...right on schedule! And I found our hotel very easily. Parking on the otherhand was not so easy to find. I knew that we had to park in the lots to the right of the hotel that are for the skiiers...but I didn't know that there was a Mountain Biking competetion going on so the lots were very full. But we found our parking and headed to the hotel to check in.
I had forgotten that I had read on the web that my hotel's lobby was closed and I needed to check in at the hotel next door. But that wasn't too far, so we hiked there. And now for the fun...
There is NO RECORD OF MY RESERVATION!!! They look it up by my last name. NOPE! They look it up by my first name. NOPE! They look it up by my confirmation number. STILL NOPE! They get a manager in on the deal. I ask if I may use the restroom while they try to figure it out, they have my copy of my confirmation info.
When I return from the bathroom, they have decided that they will give me an upgrade to the Silvertree hotel. I made my reservation with the Wildwood hotel, but they are both owned by the same company. The Wildwood is their "budget"/older hotel. And I have my key to the room as soon as I returned from the bathroom. YAY!
So Darly & I head up to our room to check out our "digs" before I go to get our luggage...I wasn't gonna lug our bags around while we were checking in. We had an awesome room! I didn't realize until just now that we had a delux room!!! WOW! I need to have my reservation lost more often. ;) They guy at the desk asked if we wanted a pool view and I said it didn't matter to me...he had given us the pool view. next time I'll ask to not have a pool view...some folks had decided to have a pool side party that night even after the pool was closed. boo
I left Darly in the room to check it out and play with all the gadgets while I went to get our bags. While getting our bags I realized that our floor had a ground level exit (we were on the 4th floor) but since the hotel is on a hill most all the levels had a ground level exit. This was cool as it eliminated our need to wait for the elevator! YAY! My walk back from the car with our bag was a lot shorter this way.
After I got the bags, I grabbed my cell phone to call my brother. I was very suprised to find out that not only did I have full coverage...there wasn't any roaming! YAY! Snowmass village must have a cell tower right there! Woo Hoo! (sorry if that sounds silly to you, but normally my cheap cell phone has lousy coverage at best and I pay roaming fees everywhere!!!) So I call brother and tell him that we are there. Then within minutes brother calls back and we agree to meet at a playground right outside my hotel for the kids to play.
Darly & I got to the playground very quickly and waited outside of the Pizza place for my brother & nephews. The smell was so good that we were both about to go and have pizza for dinner if brother didn't get there soon! LOL! Lucky for us a bunch of mountain bikers had arrived and the line to get into the pizza place was about 20 or more deep so we decided that we didn't want to get caught up in that.
Brother showed up with nephews. Baby nephew was sleeping. Nephew #1 played for a bit and then came to join us on the bench. Darly had determined that she was too big for that playground and was just sitting on the bench enjoying some Dog watching. There were a lot of dogs up there to watch!
Brother asked if we wanted popcorn, so we went in search of that...it wasn't open, but by the time we determined that we noticed that it was about time to head up the hill for dinner. So we ran up to our room (brother wanted to see it so he could recommend it to his friends who ski) to pick up the cookies for the dinner.
We then get to the condo clubhouse for the dinner party...and we are the first to arrive!!! So I took the kids to put their feet in the pool while Brother fed baby nephew. Even though the party was supposed to begin at 5:30, folks didn't start to show up until almost 6pm. LOL! It would figure that the only folks on time were with me.
Here's the guest list...
Brother, SIL & their two boys.
SIL's sister, BIL, neice & nephew.
SIL's mom & stepdad
SIL's aunt, uncle & 4 boy cousins
SIL's uncle & aunt.
Darly & me
Dinner went very well, but I ended up taking the younger kids to the pool. (that would be Darly, nephew #1 & SIL's neice) Nephew #1 & SIL's neice are both 4 (5 weeks appart in age.) The pool had two hot tubs (cuz it's a ski town!) and Nephew had to check both of them out numerous times! Neice kept wanting to visit the upper deck area to spin around. I felt that she needed an eye kept on her and since there was no water up there I had Darly be her "guardian" while I kept an eye on Nephew (I have lifeguard training, Darly doesn't swim yet.) Darly was getting tired of all the up and down, but I reminded her that she wouldn't be able to save Nephew if he fell in.
Darly decided that she was done with all of this and asked if we could return to our room. I was getting cold so I agreed and rounded up the kiddos to return them to their parents. We walked back to our hotel...it was all downhill and took less than 10 minutes. We hit the showers and found a good movie to watch "The Princess Bride." I kept trying to get Darly to see that Westly was played by the same guy who played Sir Edgar in "Ella Enchanted" but seeing as he had different color hair and the movies are about 10 or more years appart she couldn't see that it was the same guy. Oh well!
I had a fitful sleep that night, the room was too warm, the late night pool party, puffy pillows that put a krik in my neck and the refrigerator in our room had a very noisy cycle. So I got up way before the alarm went off.
I accidently work Darly up pretty early too but she wasn't too upset seeing as she got to watch Beakman's World twice...who knew that it came on every Sunday? But seeing as we are hardly ever up at 7am on Sundays how could we know that?
While Darly watched TV, I packed us all up and took our bags back to the car. We checked out of the hotel at about 8:45...their system wouldn't allow me to check out in my room (they have where you can check out threw your TV) because my account showed that I owed 6 cents. weird! the guy at the counter just credited my account for me. LOL!
The drive from the hotel to the Church was supposed to take us 30 minutes, it didn't seem nearly that long to me...must have been the fabulous view! We got to the Church with plenty of time. However, my brother didn't allow enough time for the trip because he was very late. SIL's uncle who is a Pastor officiated the service...so we didn't start until Brother arrived.
The service was very nice and the sermon was great and very meaningful...although a bit too long! I had to try very hard to not check my watch!
After the service there was a reception in the next room...with loads of food that Darly wouldn't eat. I think she had cookies and apples! :eyeroll!:
We decided to go home after that. Darly kind of wanted to stay longer but I reminded her that if we stayed it would be with SIL's family and she was quick to agree that we should head home then! hee hee! At SIL's suggestion we decided to head home via Independence Pass. It was a very beautiful drive! However, I missed one part of the directions and we ended up back tracking and adding 2 hours to our journey (partly due to the extra miles and mostly due to heavy traffic!) If you click on the first link you'll see that at Leadville I was supposed to turn on 91 and head toward Breckenridge. I must have missed that part of the directions and since all I knew was to stay on 24 we ended up taking longer. Oh well.
I was pretty miffed to find out that the reason traffic was held up from Silverthorn to the Georgetown tunnel was because of the tunnel!!! Once I got threw the tunnel traffic was fine the rest of the way. hummm folks don't know how to drive through the tunnel??? what gives?
We made it home right around 6pm, which is when DH was expecting us. However, I had given him that estimate based on us leaving Aspen at 2pm...we should have been home at 4:30!!! Oh well, we made it.