“House Car” trip to Buena Vista

Ever since Blake was little he has been telling us that he is going to have a bunch of kids and they are going to live in a “house car” aka: RV.  The latest is that he will have 5 kids and 8 dogs.  So, we’ve always thought it would be so fun to test out RV camping.  Finally, on the last weekend of summer, we pulled the trigger.  We rented the RV from a website called Outdoorsy.com.  Rusty picked it up in Loveland and the kids could hardly stand the anticipation.
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Doesn’t Rusty look like he belongs behind the wheel?  I’m so glad he was the driver 🙂

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The kids loved playing games at the table on the drive to Buena Vista. Our first stop was at a lookout point over the collegiate peaks.  Those mountains are so imposing!

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Next stop was a super fun rock climbing/slack lining park down by the river.

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Next, the moment I’d been waiting for!  Dinner at K’s.  Seriously, those burgers and onion rings are amazing.  Greasy diner food at it’s finest!

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On to Arrowpoint Campground.  Our home for the next two days.  Rusty got us all hooked up and then we tried to start a fire.  We did not have any luck!  I have no idea what was wrong!  We tried for about an hour before we finally gave up and made our s’mores in the microwave.

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Then, the kids fought over what movie we were going to watch. No one would give an inch, which resulted in us putting the movies all in a bag and drawing one at random. Blake was thrilled that it was Harry Potter.  We also had to have them guess numbers between 1-10 in order to figure out who would sleep there.  Diplomacy is not a strong point at our house.

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It didn’t matter where they slept, they all ended up for some great morning snuggles in our tiny bed.

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We decided to go for a hike.  “Why?” you might be asking yourself right now. Don’t you know by now that your kids hate hiking?  And I’d tell you, “Maybe this time will be different.  Who wouldn’t want to spend some time in the fresh air in the beautiful mountains?”  And…..like every other time we’ve been hiking, I was wrong.  The complaining and general sullenness was relentless.  Except for the brief moment when we saw the black ninja squirrel and when Halle caught a ladybug.
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Now, on to the fun part of the day.  Whitewater rafting down the Arkansas River in Brown’s Canyon!  We went with American Adventure Expeditions, and our guide, Robbie, was really fun.  He had the kids so excited.  The weather wasn’t awesome–overcast and a bit rainy– so we were all popsicles by the end. Especially after being doused numerous times by giant waves that were 45 degrees.  Burrr!!! We were super glad we paid the extra $5 for wetsuits. Halle especially loved rafting.  She did such a great job paddling hard and she loved hitting the rapids.  Her favorite was called 7 Staircases. She loved the rush and the thrill of the water.  I loved it too!  The boys really liked  the Zoom Floom rapid and everyone loved doing 360s around big rocks.
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For Christmas my mom gave us a Visa Gift card for a fun family adventure (among other fun experiences).  We used it to help pay for the rafting.  And since it was part of our Christmas present we splurged and bought a few pictures.  I’m so glad we did.  I love them!

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We were so glad to have the RV to come back to!  We snuggled up in blankets and chowed down on snacks.  We hightailed it to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs in hopes of warming our core temperatures back into a normal range.  We walked through the gate and saw two swimming pools on the right and the river on the left.  We headed down to the river first.  It was fun, but very spotty.  Some spots were boiling hot, others freezing cold.  We decided to give the pools a shot.  And they were HEAVEN.  We played and played and Josh said it was his favorite thing. He and Blake had a darling game going where Josh was the reindeer Vixin, and Blake was his rider.  After quite awhile Rusty and I started looking around and noticing that everyone else had wristbands on.  We knew there was a free part to the resort and a paid part, but since we walked right through an unlocked, unmanned gate, we assumed we were in the free part.  Well….I guess the river is free, but the pools are not.  They are like $20/person.  We didn’t want to spoil the kids good time, so we didn’t tell them we were trespassers, we just told them it was time for us to go.  So kids, if you are reading this, no you know. 😉

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All summer long we’ve been seeing “woof ‘um” sticks and have been meaning to try them.  I finally bought the sticks on Amazon and found a recipe for little campfire eclairs using biscuit dough and pudding.  We were all excited to try them out.  Halle really liked them, but the rest of us really did not.  Bummer.

The morning brought some good old small town fun.  It was Gold Rush Days in Buena Vista and Blake participated in the time honored Toilet Seat Race.  It was AWESOME.  And harder than it looks!  Those toilet seats were wobbly!!  2017-08-13 10.47.052017-08-13 10.52.49

After exploring the little downtown fair, we packed up and headed out.  We were going to drive home through Breckenridge and stop and do a hike at the base of Mt. Quandary on our way.  You might ask, “Did you not learn your lesson on the first hike?”  I guess I am a glutton for punishment.  We wound our way up a very bumpy, very not RV friendly road to a little lake. It started to lightening and rain only a few minutes after we hit the trail so we hightailed it back to the RV to play some games and hopefully wait out the storm.  It didn’t last long.  Halle opted to stay in the RV and not come hiking with us.  Rusty, the boys and I hiked to a cool waterfall that was then supposed to lead to a high mountain lake.  We found the waterfall, but could not find the trail to the lake.  And, by this time we really couldn’t take all the complaining for even one more minute.  We quit.  2017-08-13 13.21.07 HDR2017-08-13 13.24.09 HDR2017-08-13 15.06.27

I wanted a family pic of us with our fun RV camping friend, so we set up the self timer and snapped until we got a keeper.
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Last stop: Breckenridge.  The real reason we drove home through Breck is because Josh has his heart set on a very specific hat.  It’s Camouflage with a Colorado flag and we saw a kid at the ballfields  who had that exact hat and he got it in Breckenridge.  So, we track down the store, and to our everlasting disappointment, they didn’t have the hat!  Sold out months ago.  Sad face.  Luckily, we were still able to find a pretty great hat for Josh and some new Teeny Tys for Halle and Blake.  And we got some delicious pizza from Eric’s.
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We got home about 8pm, but the very best part of the trip was still ahead.  At least for the kids.  STUFFY PARTY in the driveway!!!  The theme of the night was “No Stuffy Left Behind.”  I wish I would have taken a picture that did justice to the scene.  EVERY SINGLE stuffy we own was brought to the RV.  There was not a crook or cranny that was not filled with a furry animal of some kind.  In the morning when we were cleaning up I even found all the Arctic and cold loving animals–seals, penguins, fish, mountain goats, polar bears, etc–sleeping in the fridge and freezer.  They had so so much fun.  A night they’ll never forget.
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We were sad when it was time to say goodbye to the RV.  And we definitely hope we get to road trip in one again soon!

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