Colorado Friends, Family, and FUN!

This summer, we haven’t taken as many trips as we usually do, which is a little bit sad. Traveling just hasn’t been in the cards with John’s recent work load, but we have high hopes for the rest of this year. We did get a chance to sneak away to Colorado for a long weekend last month. Not only did we get time with my folks, but we visited with some local friends there and we coordinated our travels to overlap with Sarah, who was in Durango (all the way from Oman!). Happy dance!!

The last time we traveled to Durango was for Mother’s Day. You might remember that we towed Willie the Camper behind us and tried to minimize the stress of a 8+ hour drive with a toddler by camping at the halfway point. It was a bit of a debacle, so we decided to just push through on this trip. As was to be expected, Oden’s naps were too short and the drive was too long and his diapers stopped working and we stopped multiple times along the way. We showed up to my folks’ house much later than planned, road-weary and with Oden wearing nothing but a diaper (I’d changed his clothes twice and then gave up). My parents’ house is such a lovely, welcoming place that we all sighed with relief when we sat down with a snack and a drink and watched Oden run around the massive yard before bedtime. We’d survived! Let the fun begin.

A little bed-hogging monkey ended up in our bed halfway through the night, which was pretty cute in the morning light but sure made for some difficult sleeping for the adults. To help us wake up and start the day, my mom made her signature breakfast casserole with sausage and jalapeños- yum!

Each visit to Durango is too short. There’s a lot of juggling between family and friends and it never quite feels like enough. That said, we found pockets of time for everyone. A main goal for me was to see Sarah and have our kiddos play together since we never have the chance. We’d dreamed about our kids frolicking together for years, and it’s so special to see the dream come to life!

I’ve sung praises for my parents’ yard before, but they also live near an undeveloped area along the river with big cottonwood trees and views of Durango’s trademark red cliffs. Dogs and babies strolled there many times over the weekend. Our happy hours in the backyard are simple memories I’ll cherish, with Oden taking turns with Grandpa’s multiple brooms or the rake, running after Cholula in the grass, or playing in the kiddie pool and sprinklers. One night, we poured hot water in the pool and added a squirt of dish soap while he splashed around. Why not? Let kids enjoy being kids. Best bathtime ever!

I was able to sneak away for my friend Heather’s birthday party, which was a super fun event with at least 25 ladies (including some of my favorite Durango girls). That night, my niece Jessica came through town on her way to college. I’m so glad we were able get a photo together with Oden in the morning.

We spent some downtime playing games and getting some good quality time together. My folks brought home a few things from my Grandpa’s house, like his mounted firearms and a vintage game of Scrabble. Though John worked more than he expected, he was still able to meet some friends for a quick bike ride one afternoon while I enjoyed happy hour with my dear friend, Liz, in her dreamy backyard. The birthday girl, Heather, stopped by and it was so sweet to see Oden trying to play with their bigger boys. I could see him observing everything they were doing, soaking it up and wanting to join in. He’ll be one of the “big” boys before we know it. Sigh.

A highlight of the trip for me was taking Oden out on the boat! We drove up to Vallecito Lake one morning and Oden napped on the way there. We all piled into my folks’ boat (Cholula, too) and cruised around the lake. My dad tossed a couple of fishing lines off the back of the boat and we waved at other boaters. Oden had his little lifejacket on for the first time and wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but seemed to like being splashed by an occasional wave. The kid just loves water! He also loved sharing Grandma’s roast beef sandwich (even though Mama had the exact same one- Grandma’s was better!). Taking the boat out seems like a lot of work for a short event, but it was fabulous to share another one of Oden’s “firsts” with my folks.

After Oden’s nap, we packed up a U-haul trailer with a couple of pieces of furniture from my grandparents’ house that we’d be bringing home. Oden ran around the yard, splashing in the sprinkler and baby pool- so fun! That night, I was able to meet Sarah for a quick drink, just the two of us, before we split up for dinner with our respective families. Mama needed a little girl time! It’s down to a matter of months until she moves back home to Durango, and though I might not see her all the time, it feels better having her a car ride away instead of on the other side of the world. The countdown is on!

Maybe it’s because we haven’t had too many adventures this summer, or maybe it was because I didn’t have a plan with my folks to see them next, but I was sad to drive away when we left. Luckily, they’ve visited Park City since our Colorado trip already and return next week; I’m working on getting Oden to say GRAMMA or GRAMPA while they are here. John and I have also been talking about fall camping and some trips to visit his family before the end of the year, so stay tuned. Each moment with family is another smile in the memory bank and I want to keep filling it up!

See more of our travel adventures by clicking HERE.








  1. Hi Amber! What an amazing trip. Your parents look like they’re living the good life for sure- so cool!!

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