Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Family Vacation- Durango, Colorado

September 30, 2013

I can't believe the last time I blogged was in February! Ramey was only 7 months old.  Now he is 15 months! I'm super detailed in this because I forgot my travel journal so this is my travel journal for the trip and I don't want to forget anything from our 1st trip!  Don't read it if you don't want to = )

September 21st
We packed the car the night before except our suitcases.  We did our normal morning wake up time and routines to try and have it as normal as possible.  We got in the car and took a "Yay we're going on our first trip" picture and Harry went to start the car.  It was dead!  Harry had commented the night before that I shouldn't have turned the dome light on to pack the car.  It wasn't on for too long.  He even said, "It'd be REAL funny, if the car didn't start in the morning."  Harry wants me to say that he had to back his car out and back in to get it close enough to my car, to jump.  He was real annoyed.  Then he got so sweaty, that he had to change shirts.  Good start to our first family vacation.  We ended up leaving at 10:15.  Should have been around 9:45.

We stopped in Weatherford to stretch, change a diaper, nurse a baby, and then get going again.  Ramey fell asleep for 30 minutes and was woken up when we had to stop because of stupid road construction.  We had 2 or 3 times on the highway that we had to exit and drive on the side road because of highway construction. 

We needed to stop for lunch but all of the tiny towns didn't have anywhere to eat or good places to get Ramey out to walk.  We ended up stopping at a KFC and he ran around the restaurant because there weren't any other customers. 

Harry also wants it noted that he saw most of our family "landmarks" that we record in a journal, lol.  The leaning tower, big cross, first mountain, windmill, etc.  I will post at the end of this the results of the trip sightings. 

We stopped in Alanreed, TX, a place that Mom and Aunt Shelley took cover in their town storm shelter last time they were there in May when a tornado was a mile from them.  Alanreed is basically a post office and gas pump.  How they even found the storm shelter is a miracle.  Ramey played in grass behind the gas pump.

Right when we crossed the Colorado border a huge hail storm hit.  I was sure that my windows were going to be busted out! Ramey had fallen asleep about 5 minutes before and was woken up immediately.  It probably lasted 15 minutes but it was so hard to see and we were on a mountain pass.  Not the funnest thing.  Then, the sun was out and a huge rainbow was right beside us!  I could see both ends of the rainbow.  It was so close and so amazing!  It was definitely one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

We got to the hotel, The Days Inn in Trinidad, CO around 6:15 mountain time.  I thought that I had accidently written down the wrong info for the hotel because when we drove up it was the same hotel my family and I had always stayed at but I knew that was a Best Western.  Little did I know that they changed to a Days Inn, so we got to stay at the place I had originally wanted to stay at but couldn't find the info for!!!  I was excited!  So we checked in and Harry was mad because we were on the 2nd floor,  and he had to lug up all of the luggage. 

Ramey loved the hotel.  He kept crawling up on the little window sill and looking out at the mountains and sunset.  Harry ran and got us Taco Bell because it was close. 

I put up a divider for Ramey so he couldn't see us in the night.  I also had his sound machine which was the best idea ever!  He slept pretty well, cried a few times in night, but put himself back to sleep after a minute or so.

September 22
The next morning, Ramey woke up at 6:45 mountain time.  We got ready in the room and were about to go down to breakfast around 7:30 and Ramey was sitting in the arm chair.  Next thing I know, he was standing up and I was on my way over to get him when he flipped over the arm backwards. I screamed and ran to get him but wasn't fast enough and he fell out of armchair onto his head/shoulder.  It was horrible because it seemed to happen so slowly but I couldn't do anything about it.  This was his first fall off of anything!  Almost made it 15 months.  He cried for a minute but was okay.

We ate breakfast then left Trinidad at 8:30.  We took the scenic route, Scenic Highway 12 up through Cuchara, Colorado.  We have always stopped at a corral that my grandparents and mom would stop at and then at Cuchara.  Well Ramey fell asleep, so we passed by the corral and just as we were about to drive by Cuchara, Ramey woke up so we stopped.  Just a 30 minute nap, boo! But we got to walk around the tiny little 8 store town then got back on the road.

Side note: Our GPS said we would get to the cabin around 2:40.  About an hour after Mom and Dad's plane landed in Durango.

We stopped in Alamosa (at a place we ate at in April) for some lunch.  We got in right after a HUGE tour group of old people got there and wanted to try and get our order in before them.  We seriously sat for 20 minutes while our waiter kept helping his 3 other tables and walking right by us.  Harry even said "We're ready to order" and he just walked by!  Harry had had enough.  He saw the table of 30 people order, from a different waiter, and have their order put in, so we just got up and left.  Harry was so annoyed. So we got back on the road and would eat in South Fork.   No restaurants were open on Sunday.  We found the very last restaurant in town and it was open, Ramon's Mexican Restaurant. 

Ramey loves those squeezy baby foods and he has been super picky with eating real food, so I always have some with us just so he eats something!  Well he was eating one sitting in Harry's lap and I noticed under Harry's finger, it looked like it said Strawberries.  I asked Harry to move his finger and sure enough, stupid strawberries.  We think that Ramey is allergic to strawberries because his skin broke out in a splotchy rash when he ate fresh strawberries a couple of months ago, so we stay away from them to be safe.  Well of course he sucked down the whole squeezy thing in 20 seconds.  I think his allergy might just be a skin reaction because he has such sensitive skin and didn't seem to have any breathing problems when he ate the strawberries, but I was freaking out! Plus we were in the mountains and about to drive up on a mountain pass with tiny towns around and no hospitals!  So we just watched him really closely.  Right before we left, Ramey got to touch his first aspen tree!  It's always been my favorite kind of tree!

We then drove up Wolf Creek Pass.  As soon as we started going up the mountain we noticed snow and ice on the ground.  Then cars were driving by us COVERED in snow!  There had just been a big snow storm.  It was raining on us with some snow mixture but the ground was covered at least 6 inches deep in ice and snow. It was so scary.  Harry drove 25-35 mph over the mountain pass.  We also noticed multiple rock slides with huge rocks in the road and huge waterfalls shooting off the side of the mountain because they had just gotten so much rain.  I was so glad once we were finally off of the mountain.

We stopped in Pagosa Springs and had ice cream and walked around the little shopping center we always stop at. Ramey threw quite the fit when he was no longer allowed to eat ice cream that Harry was letting Ramey lick off of and then back on the road we went!

After we left Pagosa Springs, we ran into a huge downpour and pulled off of the highway for 5 minutes or so.  But it continued to pour, so we decided that we would just drive super slow and pull over if we needed.

We had another detour in Del Norte because there was a wreck.  Then another detour in Durango on the way up the mountain because of a big rock slide.  It was definitely the trip of detours!

It was about 6:00 when we finally got to the cabin.  It was raining when we got to the cabin and Harry unloaded the car in the rain by himself- he wants me to say, lol.

Since the weather was yucky, we stayed in the cabin and ate chicken for dinner.  We moved around the furniture in the back bedroom of the cabin so Ramey could be barricaded again.  The cabin was really nice but not stocked well at all.  They gave us 2 rolls of toilet paper for 6 people for 8 days! They also didn't have a garbage disposal or dishwasher.  The view was amazing though and was pretty easy to Ramey-proof. 

September 23
My 30th birthday!  We woke up and had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Then wanted to go on a picnic.  So we drove up the mountain to see if we could picnic up at Durango Mountain at Sig Creek campsite.  We got out of the car and it was a very cold 45 degrees and super windy.  We decided not to do a picnic but still drove up the mountain.  It was very pretty.

As we were driving up the mountain I spotted 2 deer.  They were probably 20 yards away but we got Ramey to look in the right direction and he saw them!  He was pointing and following them with eyes when they were moving through the trees so we know he saw them.  It made this deer loving Mama very happy and ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Then Ramey fell asleep, we all got out of the car very quietly at the picnic/campsite and took some pictures. 

Then we drove into town and ate at the Balcony Bar and Grill.  It was about 65 in town and the sun was shining.  It was gorgeous!

We went back to cabin and Ramey napped. Mom and Dad drove up to Ouray and Harry got groceries.  He also surprised me with Orangina (my favorite drink from France), flowers, a birthday pie, balloons, and taffy.

That night Mom and dad "watched" Ramey.  He was in bed, so they just had to watch the monitor, lol.  Harry surprised me by making reservations when we were still in Oklahoma at a fancy steak place.  The Sow's Ear.  He even arranged for flowers to be at the table, gorgeous calla lilies.  It was great steak and food. 

It was such a great birthday!

September 24
Harry planned to make a big breakfast but forgot flour for biscuits and gravy, so he just made pancakes. Then we went into town, and were going to go to the Polo Outlet store but it was no longer there!  I even brought my Outlet coupon!  Boo!  So we walked around the other stores and when Ramey got a little fussy Harry ran up and down street with Ramey in the stroller to entertain him. 

Then Harry, Ramey and I drove to Mancos so Ramey could sleep because he refused to sleep in his stroller.  Then we ate at Steamworks Brewery for lunch. After we went to park on Main and 17th Street. It was a really nice park.  Ramey swung in the swing and then would climb up the stairs to Harry and Harry would guide him to the slide and I would catch him at the bottom. He kept signing "more" over and over.

Katherine and Ryan got to town and ate lunch with Mom and Dad.  They were going to meet us at the park but we weren't there too long so we all decided to head back to the cabin around the same time.  There ended up being a horrible head-on double fatality wreck right in front of Katherine and Ryan. Which also means we probably passed the guy that caused the wreck, so that is very scary too.  We are all very thankful that we were all okay.

That evening we went on a hike and broke all hiking rules.  We were just going to go a short ways to Electra Lake so we didn't think we'd be gone long.  We ended up going behind a closed fence and a lady we ran into on the road said that the road would meet along with one that lead to our cabin but we probably should have just turned around and gone back. 
Here are the rule of hiking that we broke:
- No food or water
- not appropriate clothing
- no bear bell
- no bug spray
- no compass
- no map (I did have my iphone which was dying with the map) but it only showed main roads
- we separated.  Katherine and Ryan went ahead- with NO PHONE
- we went off of the main road
- then we were on a walking trail and went off of that
- Then Harry and Ramey went ahead by themselves up the mountain on a trail, that wasn't really visable
- no one knew we were hiking, but us
- it was dusk and getting darker
- we listened to a stranger about how to get back to our cabin but didn't give us any real directions.  She just said, "Yeah, you can go that way"
- we hiked where it said "No Tresspassing" all over the place
ate at cabin.

As it was happening, we kept saying "we are doing everything wrong!  We are breaking all of the rules!"
I'm glad we made it back all in one piece!!!

Ramey cracks me up in this picture!!!

Then we played "What's Yours Like" with the family.  Mom won.  It was pretty fun and funny!

September 25

Ramey turned 15 months old today!  Which means 15 months of breastfeeding!!! Proud Mama moment!  I nursed for 15 months so it was one of my long term goals!

Harry made his big breakfast- biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage.

Then we all drove to Telluride. Ramey slept for hour in the car and woke up right when we got to Dolores and stopped and saw Dad's cousin Dan and his wife Collette at his shop.

We ate lunch at Appaloosa Café outside looking at the gorgeous mountains around Telluride.  Then we shopped a little bit, nursed a baby, and drove back.

Ramey has a new favorite game.  Putting every water bottle he can find on the ledge in the cabin.  Here's a video of it!

That night Harry gave Ramey his first shower ever.  He HATED it.  He screamed bloody murder the whole time. Guess he will take baths the rest of his life, lol.

That night I looked for shooting stars for awhile while we all sat outside on the balcony of the cabin but I never saw any.  It is crazy how many more stars you can see in the mountains!

September 26
We ate at Durango Café for breakfast.  Then went next door to a little consignment kids store and bought a really cool hiking carrier. Ramey loved it!

Then we walked around town and shopped. We went to my favorite book store in the whole world.  It has books stacked all over the place where you can barely walk through the place.  It is in an old house close to the train station. 

Then Mom, Dad, Harry, Ramey and I planned to drive to Ouray for lunch...well... I had a huge panic attack.  Harry was driving and I was sitting in the passenger seat and Mom and Dad were in the back with Ramey.  There are some big drop offs and not a lot of guardrails and knowing how the wreck happened earlier in the week because someone else crossed over, I think is what made me freak out the most.  I trusted Harry's driving but not the other people.  Plus, I was sitting on the side of the car that was looking over the side of the mountain and I am afraid of heights!

 So I felt bad but said we needed to stop in Silverton, which is between Ouray and Durango.  I didn't think I could go any further.  So I was bummed the whole time we were in Silverton because I wanted to go see the gorgeous trees that were already changing on the way to Ouray because Durango trees still hadn't changed and wasn't that one of the reasons we came!!! But I was so scared and freaked out that I didn't think I could do it.  Plus I felt bad because everyone else wanted to drive up there.  So we got in the car to go back to Durango after we ate at Natalia's and I bought an aspen necklace, a gorgeous rock, and a hat for Ramey.  Then the road forked- one way to Durango, the other to Ouray.  Dad asked if I was sure I wanted to go back to Durango.  Dad reminded me the road wasn't bad the whole way and the worst part was right before the town and maybe we could go a little bit up the road and then turn around when it go bad, so I said "okay."  We stopped and took a bunch of pictures in some gorgeous aspen trees along the way.  And got some of my favorite pictures from the whole trip!
I sat in the back this time and on the drivers side, so that helped.  I still had a little breakdown but we actually got all of the way to town. 

It was 4:55 when we pulled into town and I was afraid the one store I wanted to go to would be closed!  The Rock Shop that my Granddad always loved.  He was a geologist and loved this rock store.  We have always gone there and chose and broke open geodes.  The store has not changed AT ALL!  Each and every display is exactly the same as it has always been for as long as I can remember when I was 5!

We pulled up to the rock shop and Mom ran in to see if they would stay open a little later for us.  Mom hurt her knee in her quick exit out of the car and they ended up not closing until 5:30, so we were lucky!  But what a weird closing time!

I picked up a geode I thought looked good.  Not too small, but not too big.  I handed it to the guy and asked if he thought it was good.  (Geodes just look like round concrete rocks from the outside.)  He said it felt pretty solid, so he didn't think it would be too good.  So I put it back and then thought, well Ramey needs to pick it himself.  He didn't see which one I chose.  So I held him up and he picked the one I had chosen.  I thought that was a sign because there were at least 50 to pick and he picked the same one, so we kept that one.  The guy cracked it and it was gorgeous!!!  I think maybe the best one we have ever had!  I'm pretty sure that Granddad helped us pick that geode!

Then we went to an antique store and I got some really pretty little geode type earrings and an old green mason jar for flowers.  We then drove back home and I didn't have a panic attack.  It probably helped that Mom and I sang songs and did fingerplays with Ramey on the ride home. 

Harry grilled burgers for dinner at the cabin.

September 27
Uggggh... I woke up with a horrible migraine at 7:00. I nursed Ramey then took my good and strong migraine medicine that I can't nurse Ramey for 5 hours after taking.  They didn't help at all.  I laid in bed feeling super nauseous but thank goodness I brought some Phenergan and that helped with that but not with my head.  Then I threw up.  I've never thrown up with a migraine before, felt like I might, but never actually had.  I swear the altitude made it so much worse!!!  I took some more medicine so I had to add another 5 hours of no nursing and it helped a little.

Meanwhile, Harry took Ramey on a hike and he fell asleep for 35 minutes on Harry in the new hiking carrier.  Harry walked around as long as he could and until Ramey woke up.

Harry also wants me to note he made bacon, omelets, pancakes, cinnamon rolls. 

It rained most of the day and snowed for a second.  I was still in bed until 5:00 when I finally started to feel better. I tried to get up and around at 3:30, but immediately felt nauseous again and had to do more Phenergan.  Harry called all over and went into town and got me a manual breastpump, because I wasn't able to feed Ramey for 8 hours but I ended up not using it.  But what a sweet hubby.   

Katherine and Ryan decided to leave early, they were going to leave early in the morning, so they could watch the OU game in Angel Fire. Right before they left it started to snow big and hard! It snowed for 30 minutes or so and then stopped.  It was gorgeous.

My head was feeling okay, so we went into town and tried to go to Jean-Pierre's French Bakery. We went in and sat down and it was Suuuuuper fancy.  So we left.  We ended up at Francisco's Mexican Restaurant and had a yummy dinner there. 

Then we did some last minute shopping and drove back to the cabin and packed.

September 28
Ramey's 2nd shower attempt with Harry was in the morning. (There was no bathtub.)  He screamed the whole time again.  Maybe more than last time.  As soon as I took him from Harry and wrapped him in his ducky towel, he threw up.  Poor little lamb!

We left at 10:15am. We decided to go the faster way instead of the pretty, scenic way on the way home.

Right before we got to Albuquerque, I realized I forgot my pillow!!! Thank goodness Mom and Dad were at the cabin for a couple more days and could bring it back with them!
We ate in Albuquerque for lunch at Chick-fil-a and played on playground.

I nursed Ramey and then we got back on the road right as the OU/Notre Dame game started and we got our 2nd pick. What a great start.

Ramey slept for 2 hours in the car so we could listen to the game when reception worked!  2 hours was so much nicer than the 30 minutes he did on the first 2 days of the trip. 

We then played at a Loves and got attacked by mosquitos.  I was real creeped out by a scary lady in the parking lot of Loves who was just sitting in her car in the back of the parking lot staring at people, so I made Harry move the car so I could nurse Ramey out of her death stare.

We stayed in Amarillo for the night.  The day of traveling was a little over 9 hours.  We stayed at Hampton Inn because Harry insisted we stay there for whatever weird reason he had. He couldn't even really say what it was but when I asked what hotel I should call for the night he said "Hampton Inn" silly hubby.

We ate Jimmy Johns for dinner in the hotel room.

Ramey hid a water bottle that we couldn't find for an hour. We looked ALLLLL over the room and couldn't find it anywhere.  It was driving us crazy.  We found it after looking off and on for an hour in a little pocket that was on the side of his pack'n'play.

I made another barrier for the night for Ramey and he went right to sleep.

My hip came out of socket when I was reading on the floor in the light of the bathroom.  Harry thought I was blowing my nose, but came to see what the noise was as I writhed in pain on the floor not able to get up or change positions and about to faint.  I don't know why it happened, but it hurt so bad and Harry thought it was so funny because it didn't make any sense and I couldn't get up!

September 29
We left at 9:51am and didn't stop until we made it home! 
Ramey feel asleep after an hour or so on the road and slept for 2 hours.  Once he woke up we only had an hour left, so we just pushed on through.  He as fine in the back seat and didn't act like he needed to stretch or have milk, so we kept going!
It took about 3 hours 45 minutes. 

Ramey did great on the trip!  I had bought a Sesame episode to watch and some apps on the ipad but he didn't use it once.  He read a ton of books, looked out the window, did some fingerplays with me when I sat in the back, and listened to Harry and I sing to him.  We did about 100 verses of Old McDonald where Harry would say the animal and do the sounds and I did the rest of the words.  I am pretty sure Harry and I laughed and had more fun doing that than Ramey did listening.  Harry cracked himself up the most when he chose Duck and for the sounds on the last one said Afflack.  lol.  He thought it was hilarious.

Here are our "sightings" and numbers:
(What's funny is only my family will now what most of these things mean, lol)
Cross- Harry
Leaning Tower- Harry
Deer (dead)- Harry
Big Windmills- Meredith
Old Windmill- Harry
Corral- Harry
Mesa- Tie
Dustnado- Harry
Little Volcano- Harry
Capulan Volcano- Meredith
Mt. Dora- Harry
Real Mountains- Meredith
Teepee- Harry
Mine Shale- Harry
Aqueducts- Meredith
New Mexico Deer- Harry
Colorado Deer- Harry
Aspen- Meredith
Biffy- Harry
Touch Aspen- Meredith and Ramey
Beaver Dam- Harry
Waterfall- Meredith
Runaway Truck Ramp- Tie
Snow on ground- Meredith
Snow on mountains- Harry
Elk- Meredith
Durango Train- Meredith
Moving Durango Train- Meredith
Smoke from Durango Train- Meredith
Hear Durango Train Whistle- Tie
Beaver Home- Meredith

New Mexico Deer- 88
Colorado Deer- 8
Elk- 30


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