Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our Holiday Trip to Great Wolf Lodge and Estes Park, Colorado

Happy New Year!!  Hard to believe it's already January of a new year.  We had a wonderful Christmas and vacation after Christmas.  Hope yours was fabulous as well.  Santa was very good to the boys and they were thrilled with all their presents.  Harry Potter was the big theme this year.  The boys have really gotten into watching the movies and Matthew started to read the first book in December.  The boys got Harry Potter costumes, wands, Lego sets and action figures.  So we've been playing Harry Potter non-stop ever since.  Here's a cute photo of them in their official Harry Potter costumes on Christmas day.  The tie goes so well with pajamas!!

On Monday after Christmas, we drove up to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas.  This is our third time there, a default tradition now.  We stayed 3 days there, just enough time to play on the water slides and the splash areas, and to play MagiQuest, their treasure hunt/adventure game throughout the hotel.

This is the entrance to the indoor water park.  That huge bucket up on top fills with water and then dumps the whole bucket over the play area about every 7 minutes.  Matthew loved that!!  There's a huge wave pool that was Andrew's favorite and several water slides to go on.  Andrew was too little to ride most of them last year, so we finally got to go on them with all 4 of us.

In Grapevine, there's a Bass Pro Shop which has all kinds of cool animals to look at, ATVs to hop on, a shooting gallery and lots of other cool stuff to browse.  There's a large stuffed bear that you can have your picture taken with.

And a big shark hanging from the ceiling.  Andrew was a little bit afraid to stick his head inside the shark's mouth.  We always eat dinner at the RainForest Cafe, just like the one in Disney World.
On Wednesday afternoon, we started our long drive up to Estes Park, Colorado.  We spent the night in Trinidad, CO and made it to our cabin on Thursday afternoon.  It was snowing all day and VERY cold.  That night was zero degrees!!

The boys were just so excited to play in the snow.  They didn't care that it was freezing cold out.  I had to buy some snow boots and heavier hats/gloves for this trip, so we were prepared!!

Rocky Mountain National Park has lots of elk running around, and they wander all throughout the town.  These elk were in the meadow behind our back yard.

And there was a huge herd we saw the next day closer to the National Park.

Snow covered mountains.... just a breathtaking view!!

We took a sleigh ride through the forest which was just beautiful.  It was pulled by 2 horses, Barney and Molly.  We were bundled up in lots of blankets because it was still only 17 degrees that day.

Thankfully, Estes Park had a Starbucks which we visited daily for hot chocolate and my grande latte.  Daddy bought a new hat which Matthew quickly stole.

On our last day, we went sledding down a big hill near the YMCA facility.  This day was 28 degrees and very sunny.  The boys thought this was the best part of the whole trip, sledding down the big hill at fast speeds and crashing down the bottom.

On our way back from sledding, we ran into another huge herd of elk all sitting down in the meadow.  I've never seen them sitting down like that before.

Then sadly we had to start driving home again.  It was a wonderful family trip!!  And here's one more shot of Long's Peak all covered in snow.

I'm finally caught up with laundry and emails.  Ready to think about how to start off the new year and what I want to accomplish this year.  January can be very motivated to get your thoughts organized.  Stay tuned, it's going to be a great 2011!!

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