Thursday, August 4, 2011

Western Vacation Recap:: Day Four

Day Four of our trip started off with a drive to Estes Park.  Only 20 minutes away from Loveland, the drive was very scenic.  With each curve of the road the majestic Rockies boldly towered over us while a bubbling river whispered down below.  We were in awe of nature's beauty!  Once we arrived, we decided to go horseback riding.  It was busy at Sombrero Stables, so we had to wait and keep the kids entertained over an hour. While we were waiting, we asked the kids to say what name they hoped their horse would have.  Hannah hoped for Sugarfoot, Leah wanted Butterscotch, and Parker wanted Brownie.  Then Eli decided that we wanted a horse named, "Science! It's Everywhere!" We all got a good laugh out of that one!
Eventually there were enough horses for our group, and we saddled up.  And no, no horse was named Science!  It's Everywhere!  Instead we had  names like Mikey, Cherokee, Quarter, Gretchen, Lucy, Sarge and Black Bob. We headed up into the mountains, and the view was simply amazing-- snow capped mountains, distant lakes, and clear blue skies.  Lucas was so excited to ride a "neigh", but after waiting so long to ride, he fell asleep within five minutes after being on the horse.  Mike had to hold the reigns and deal with a sleeping two year old.  He eventually woke up and was quite surpried and pleased to find himself riding on a horse! 
A beautiful Estes Park view

After our horseback riding experience, we needed to eat some lunch and let our behinds rest a bit!  So we grabbed some food and found a picnic table near a river.  There was a playground nearby so the kids played while we sat and enjoyed the beauty of the area. 
Leah near the river
We decided to do a driving tour of downtown Estes after lunch.  I loved all the little shops and candy stores.  If I didn't have three kids to drag around, I could have done some serious shopping.  We even drove by the Stanley Hotel-- site of the infamous Jack Nicholson movie, The Shining.  "All work and no play make Jack a very dull boy!"
The Stanley
Redrum! Redrum!

Once we arrived back at Granny's house, we all took a nap, then showered and got ready to celebrate Nikki's birthday!  It was a crazy birthday week for our group!  Nikki's Granny treated our entire group to dinner at the amazing Cinzetti's Italian Market in Denver.  It was an all you can eat, Italian food buffet filled with amazingly fresh, delicious food.  I think I made five trips back and forth between the pasta, fresh salads, pizza, crepes, and desserts.  We were so stuffed!  We got back, put the kids to bed, and sat around talking late into the night.  A perfect end to a full day.