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Two Tickets To Paradise

In the car with Princess and Dude . . . listening to the radio on the way to summer day camp . . .

“I’ve got, two tickets to paradiiiise! Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight! I’ve got . . .”

Dude: Hey Mom. Where’s Paradise?
Me: What?
Dude: Where is Paradise? That guy said he has two tickets to Paradise?
Me: Well, paradise is wherever you think is a great place to be. Like my paradise is in a cabin on a lake in Northern MN. Or maybe on a beach . . . but that’s just a short-term paradise . . . my real paradise is that whole MN thing with my family. Where’s your paradise?
Dude: Oh totally in a cabin . . . but mine is in the mountains, where I have to drive a 4-wheeler to get there. And I’ll have a yellow lab dog that rides it with me. And someone brings me groceries once every month, and the rest of the time I’ll just fish and stuff and eat that kind of thing. Oh, and there has to be a stream through my yard, and maybe a small waterfall I can see off my back porch. So ya – that’s my paradise.
Me: I like that paradise! How about you, Princess? What’s your paradise?
Princess: Um. A cabin on a lake in Northern MN, with a stream and a 4-wheeler and a dog and a waterfall.
Me: That sounds a lot like mine and Dude’s put together. Is that really YOUR paradise?
Princess: No. My paradise is just in MN.
Me: All of MN?
Princess: No. Not all of it. Just wherever the grandmas and grandpas are.

Smart girl . . . I would have to agree that paradise is indeed wherever your family is!

Memorial Day Weekend – Day 3 – Absolutely Horrible

On Memorial Day, we packed up and headed back to Grand Lake once again. The previous day, we saw a flyer that said there was a Small Town Memorial Day Parade at 10:00 a.m. . . . what better way to spend Memorial Day than by watching a parade? We also wanted to drive home through Estes Park, and were banking on the fact that Trail Ridge Road would be open.

When we got to Grand Lake, we were surprised that there were cars parked on the road . . . nothing was blocked off for the parade! We parked by the park so the kids could play while we waited for 10:00 to roll around . . . Hubby went to the information booth and asked about the parade. We found out why the street wasn’t blocked off . . . because you can do this:

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How awesome to be able to sit in the back of the car to watch this pass by:

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A huge shout out and thank you to all of our veterans and active military! We watched an awesome small town parade, complete with candy, Smokey Bear, horses, political campaigns, and fire trucks before we took our chance and headed back up Trail Ridge Road to see if it was open. The Ranger said it should open within the hour – YAY! With a little while before it opened, we stopped to take in this:

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A huge herd of elk off in the meadow – apparently they had stuck around for a couple days. Then we ran into the line of cars waiting for the road to open . . . and the kids did this:

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Of course they took the opportunity to run around in the road when Hubby said they could! It didn’t take an hour for the road to open – yay! They’d cleared all the ice and we were off . . . almost literally . . .

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Yes, it really does drop off the edge to absolutely nowhere . . . no there are no guardrails. Yes it sucked when you had to pass an RV or pickup pulling a boat when they didn’t want to stay on their own side of the road. We also go to drive through this:

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Of course it’s neat when you drive through a wall of snow that is taller than your car! Notice that the snow isn’t even close to the top of the plow sticks . . . that’s because the snow has been melting each day in the hot sun, and running down the road, and freezing overnight, creating an ice rink – which is the reason the road is closed part of every day – it’s too slippery until the plows can get out and clear the road of ice. I, for one, thank them. No way I want to drive on icy roads with those huge drop offs!

On our way to Estes Park, we stopped so Princess could enjoy this view:

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Fine – she’s actually watching a marmot. And we didn’t stop for the view – we stopped so Hubby could use the bathroom. But I enjoyed the view! Then we did a little climbing here:

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. . . and here . . .

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. . . so we could get here . . .

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. . . Many Parks Curve . . . the exact location and boulder where Hubby proposed to me on March 18, 1995. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Off to Estes Park for lunch at the always yummylicious Oskar Blues, then we hit the road for the final push home.

All in all, a terrible, horrible, crappy Memorial Day Weekend :-) How about you? Did you have fun?

Memorial Day Weekend – Day 2 – A Complete Bust

It only got worse from Day 1 . . . on Day 2, we woke up and headed back to Grand Lake for buffet breakfast at the Fat Cat Cafe – TOTALLY worth it. Yummy! The English couple that runs the place is delightful, and the food (especially the pastries and other desserts) is amazing.

With full tummies, we headed back to the cabin to change and get ready for some geocaching! Lo and Behold, the lure of a gravel road around a large beautiful lake got the best of us. There was a campground? Only 9 miles down that dusty dirt road? Of course we went to check it out!

We were not disappointed. The drive itself was fun, but we were happy as clams when we discovered the campground. Finally, a secluded campground that didn’t have all the trees cut down from the beetle kill. We decided to head up the road a little further to check out a little lake that was supposedly up there . . . we were not disappointed. Always ready, we grabbed our gear out of the Highlander and did this.

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Again, no luck in the actually catching fish department, but it was quiet and rustic and beautiful and the kids were content. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Back to the cabin, we got our gear to go geocaching! The first one said “there might be a little brush bashing if you take the direct route from the trailhead rather than stay on the trail.” A little brush bashing my ass! THIS was the brush bashing:

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Along with the first successful geocache find of the day, Dude and Princess also found this awesome little “fort” as they called it.

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Back on the trail, we had successful find of geocache #2 beneath a Juniper bush about 100 yards up (and down and around) the trail.

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Back on the trail, Dude started to lead us to geocache #3. After a little while, I made him read me the clue again . . . something about an awesome view of some Peak off to the southeast. Hmmmmmmm . . . if the peak we can see is to the southeast, why are we heading DOWN the trail to the northwest? “Because that’s what the arrow says!” I just have to say that if it weren’t for my logical thinking that maybe, just maybe, the trail that goes up might take a sharp turn, we’d have followed Dude into lala land. The electronics are not foolproof – or 9 year old proof (or 39 year old proof for that matter).

Anyhoo, we had successful geocache #4 find about a mile later.

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For those of you who are not familiar with geocaching, you go online to the geocaching web site, locate geocaches you want to find, and download the coordinates into your GPS. You can also print the clues and decipher them for a little help. Then you head out hiking and follow the arrows and distances on the GPS to get you to the cache. Caches can be of all shapes and sizes . . . they usually have a log book to record your name and the date of the find and also have little trinkets inside to trade. If you take something, you must leave something . . . this, of course, is the most fun of geocaching for the kids – the hike is the fun part for me and Hubby :-) Princess hit the motherlode in this geocache and traded a little marble maze toy for a shiny purply fish necklace.

Then we headed on to geocache #4 . . . which required a drive in the car. Successful find #4 was here:

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Princess got HUGE eyes when she saw a tube of glittery lip gloss in the tin! I put the cabosh on that trade because it didn’t have a safety seal on it – explaining to Princess why she couldn’t have lip gloss without a seal. She was all bummed, but wasn’t willing to give up the fish necklace for anything else in there.

Then we got half way back to the car . . . and Dude decided he didn’t like his trade and wanted to go back – so he and Princess went back while Hubby and I went to the car. The kiddos got back and we were off. Then we realized Princess had taken the lip gloss; so we made her give it to us so we could throw it away. Oh. My. GAWD! Complete tired hungry thirsty 7 year old girl tantrum – right there in the car. We got to the trailhead of geocache #5 and I stayed in the car with Princess while Hubby and Dude went searching . . . it was an easy find. I got out to help them because they found the location, but not the cache. Princess followed me . . . we had successful geocache #5 find for the day, and Dude made the appropriate trades and signed the log.

How fun! 5 for 5 – WOO HOO!

Time for awesome dinner at a little pub in town before heading to a local kids’ fishing pond to try for some more fish. Amazingly, this happened!

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And then this happened!

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Could it be a trout big enough to actually keep and maybe eat? Why yes, yes it is . . . until it falls off the hook back into the lake because Dude didn’t bring it onto shore while I shouted over and over at him to look at me so I could get a picture of the very first big enough to eat fish he’s caught.

No fish for us.

Oh well – s’mores at the cabin were a good consolation prize.

Awesome breakfast, great finds on campgrounds and secluded fishing lakes, successful 5 for 5 day hiking and geocaching, yummy dinner, successful fishing, and s’mores. Yes – Day 2 was definitely a complete bust. Check back to see how terrible our last day – Day 3 – turned out to be!

Memorial Day Weekend – Day 1 – A Total Bust

A friend and coworker of mine let us use her cabin up in Tabernash, CO for Memorial Day weekend. We were SOOOO excited! An inexpensive weekend for the fam up in the mountains – what more could we ask for? We got up there later on Friday night because we couldn’t leave until the kiddos got out of school. We instantly loved the awesome cabin – it’s an old ranger cabin on the first acre of a national forest.

After a good night’s sleep, we decided to head to Grand Lake so we could drive a little ways up into Rocky Mountain National Park and go on our first hike of the season – a 7 mile round trip to Lulu City, which has the remains of an old mining town. We were quite bummed to find out before we left that Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake to Estes Park was closed temporarily due to ice melt on the road. The Ranger said the hike to Lulu City was still too snowpacked for us to make it. So, we decided to improvise our entire day, which you’ll see from the following photos was a total bust . . .

We stumbled upon this little reservoir while looking for a fishing spot for the kiddos. There’s an awesome little rustic campground next to it . . . we’ve already picked our favorite spot.

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We went on a different, short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Princess and I got to practice our balance beam act while avoiding the mud holes.

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We also saw a humonstrous herd of elk out in the meadow, right before we got to touch the tiny headwaters of the great Colorado River.

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After our mini improvised adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park, we headed into Grand Lake to actually really go on our first real live 7 mile hike of the season to see Cascade Falls, which according to the Park Ranger, were spectacular at the moment because of all the snow melt. On our way to the trailhead, we pulled over to check out a couple of moose that were just hanging out having a snack. I know, the kids look thrilled.

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The first couple miles of the trail are on private property, which means it was fenced off. We got to see some cool stuff like this that led to conversations about human’s effect on nature.

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We got to navigate around a couple of monster mud holes on the trail where the water spilled over from the creek.

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We got to see some awesome frozen samples of the falls.

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We got to hike, literally, on the edge.

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We got to have lunch with an awesome view of the falls.

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We got to hike even higher and further to find a great view of the falls from above.

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I’m no genius, but it seems like it would take a boatload of snowmelt to create that much water rushing down the mountain at once!

After this, we got to go fishing at the kids’ fishing hole in Grandby. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any fish. We did, however, make the most of the little park and mess around running the bases on the baseball field before we headed back to the cabin for some dinner.

After dinner, we headed out back to the awesome fire pit to finish off our day with some yummy goodness knows as the s’more.

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As you can see, the first day of our long weekend in the mountains was a total bust. You’ll never guess how awful Day 2 was! Be sure to check back to find out.

Mother’s Day 2010

I’m so lucky! My family really does shower me with love and do whatever I want to do on Mother’s Day – well, I get showered with their love every day, but the extra gifts on Mother’s Day make it extra fun 😉

My grand plan of sleeping in as long as I wanted went of without a hitch – I didn’t wake up until 6:45 a.m. So much for sleeping in – but it wasn’t a kid, animal, or alarm clock that woke me up, so I was happy as a clam. I snuck downstairs quietly so as not to wake the sleeping giants and watched a movie all by myself. Good start – good start.

Princess finally woke up and came down to snuggle. Dude actually had slept over at a friend’s house and wasn’t due home until 9:00 – so we had a good amount of alone snuggle time. Really good start!

I had grand plans to go out for a yummy breakfast at Rosie’s Diner so I could have my favorite Denver Omelette and crispy hashbrowns, but when Princess and Hubby asked what I wanted, I requested and received this:

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A long john with chocolate frosting and a grande mocha, extra hot. So off they went to the grocery store for the donut! I figured they get the mocha there at the little coffe shop inside, but instead, they were gone for almost 40 minutes . . . apparently the Starbucks drive-thru was really busy. When they got back, I asked why they went all the way to Starbucks . . . the response – “I wanted it to be extra special.” Awwwwwww!

Princess also came home with these for me . . .

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A bouquet of “Crazy Daisies” – not this exact bouquet, but my picture didn’t turn out as well 😉 As soon as Dude got home, I got to open stuff – YAY!

For the past two weeks, Princess had been talking about going up to the high school with her Buddy. She talked about routers and belt sanders and lasers and all kinds of stuff. The Wednesday before Mother’s Day, she came home absolutely CRUSHED! She insisted she couldn’t tell me why, but later on she let it slip – she and her Buddy had accidentally cut my Mother’s Day gift in half with the router and she didn’t think they could make another one in time. BUT, her teacher and the shop teacher found a time for Princess and her Buddy to do it all over. This is what I got:

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A special heart to hold my necklaces. Awwwwwwww!!! I’m a lucky lucky person!

Next I got open Dude’s gift. I love it and it made me laugh my ass off:

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Anything I want!!! But apprently he would like me to be good about what I choose 😉

Next was a gift from Hubby. I was completely surprised that there was an actual gift in a box because for a gift I’d asked him to arrange for the plumber to fix the water faucet outside because I’ve hated it for the past 7 years. But there was a box, and this is what was in it:

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A new camera! My other one had been to hell and back – I was so excited to get this! He even got me the “kit” version that included the 2 gig SD card and this carrying case:

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 Yes . . . the camera and case are actually PINK! He said he chose it because it wasn’t “me” and thought it was fun, but I could exchange it for the silver, black, blue, green, or red one. I kept the pink one – it certainly isn’t “me” which is what makes it so fun – he does know me well! So now I can officially say I have something pink in my purse.

After all this fun, I decided what I wanted to do for the day – go hiking at one of our favorite places. I had a few places in mind, but most of them were too high in altitude and would’ve been too snowy and icy, so I chose something closer to home. We loaded a couple geocaches into the GPS, packed some lunches, loaded up the dog and kids, and headed out for our hike. Since we were going to a state park, there weren’t any actual geocaches in the park, so we loaded ones that were near the park, but easy to find. We found the first one easily just outside the gates to a private working cattle ranch:

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1 for 1!

On to Castlewood Canyon for a fun family hike!

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We love this park! It’s a great family hike with tons of boulders for the kids to play on and water for the dog to play in. We got there early enough that it wasn’t busy at all. Hubby hadn’t been to the dam ruins before, so we hiked back there:

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I got to tell the kids a bunch of times “No you can’t climb up on the dam. I don’t care if those people did, you’re not doing it! They’re breaking the rules. We don’t break the rules when we’re hiking. No, you cannot climb up onto the dam.” So they just stared at it longingly:

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We found a great boulder with some shade to eat lunch on. Don’t let the fact that Princess is standing in the water fool you – it was COLD! But, she’ll take any opportunity she can get to take off her shoes and socks and wade in water:

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We hiked the long way out of the canyon and found this cool boulder on the way. The kiddos were simply using it for shade, but notice the cool hole in it . . . the boulder obviously used to be sitting the other way. It had rolled downhill and landed upside down – you can tell by the gouge that was left from water pooling in it:

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We were amazed on our way out of the park . . . it was FULL! There was a lignup of cars at least 11 deep waiting to get into the park. The Ranger would only let one car in for each car that left. We couldn’t  believe it was full to capacity. We headed off to find our 2nd geocache, which was on a county road around the other side of the park. It was near an old grave site:

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2 for 2! YAY! It was fun to drive a road we hadn’t been on before and explore a little bit.

It was Mother’s Day and Cold Stone gives away free ice cream to Mothers on Mother’s Day – you can guess what that meant for The Boedies:

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I had my usual – a like it Ghiradelli chocolate ice cream with York Peppermint Patty mixed in – OMG it’s sooooo good!

Home for naps and showers, then it was off to dinner with QT. I had this:

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Yup – Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps at Pei Wei . . . YUMMY! Did you know that Pei Wei also gives free dinner to Mothers on Mother’s Day? If not, you must have been the only ones who didn’t know because it was PACKED! QT borrowed Princess so she could get her free Mother’s Day meal :-) We were laid back and comfy and having a great time while they profusely apologized over and over about how long it was taking to get our food. No worries! We’ve got nowhere to be! Good food, good friends, and family – it doesn’t get much better than that.

A wonderful way to end a great Mother’s Day!

How about you? What did you do?

OK – I Get It

So I have these friends, quite a few actually, whose kids play hockey.

I never understood why they would have their kids spend so much time playing one sport, which meant they also had to spend all that time watching their kid play that sport.

I always said “There is no way my kid is playing hockey. Spending all those hours at the rink each week so one person in our family of four can play hockey while the rest of us freeze to death – no thank you. And all the equipment – bluck. No thank you. And the weekend travel to tournaments – not gonna do it. Too much other fun stuff we could do as a family. And it’s so EXPENSIVE! No thank you.”

I now understand why you do it, because I’m doing it. Baseball is my hockey.

You do it because your kids love to play, and you love to watch them do what they love.

You do it because you actually love the game as much as they do.

You do it because if you weren’t spending that money on them, you’d probably be spending it on something less important anyway.

You do it because it’s still family time, even though it’s not hiking or camping or whatever.

You do it because you can still do all that family stuff anyway – hiking, camping, biking, hanging out.

You do it because it’s so fun to see them improving.

You do it because the coaches still understand the kids are kids and should get to act like kids.

You do it because it’s so awesome to see how happy they are when they learn something new or make a great play.

You do it because they still think you know things and come to lean on you when they made a mistake or couldn’t do what they were trying to do.

You do it because they still love having you around.

You do it because you know that at some point in the too-near future, they won’t be kids anymore.

You do it because you wouldn’t miss this part of their life for anything in the world.

So ya – I get it.

What I Learned Over Spring Break Part VI – 03/22/10

I learned that . . .

. . . when you expect crappy snow on the slopes, you may be pleasantly surprised.

. . . when you expect large crowds and long lift lines during spring break, you may be extra pleasantly surprised.

. . . 9 year olds will not listen to you when you tell them they need to take it easy the first run or two to get the feel of a brand new board.

. . . 9 year olds will whine and complain and fall a lot when they refuse to adjust to their new board.

. . . it takes approximately 2 runs for a 9 year old to relax and just “feel” the board instead of trying to control it.

. . . trying out lots of new runs is a TON of fun!

. . . boarding with friends is always great.

. . . getting random calls from friends who happen to be on the same slopes on the same day is awesome!

. . . the more kids you have in a boarding/skiing group, the funnier it gets.

. . . my kids are fearless.

. . . my friends’ kids are fearless.

. . . it takes a lot of self-control to let your kids be fearless and experiment on the slopes.

. . . kids love to go through the trees and launch themselves off the jumps on the other side.

. . . kids are very flexible.

. . . kids bounce and bend when they fall.

. . . boarders and skiiers can have a great time together on the slopes.

. . . skiiers are awesome for being patient enough to wait for you to strap in at the top of the runs every single time.

. . . 1 fruit cup and a Gatorade costs $8 on the mountain.

. . . $8 is enough to instantly rejuvenate a drooping child near the end of a full day of boarding/skiing.

. . . my kids LOVE the mini terrain park.

. . . Dude thinks that because he rode a small slope up onto a wide rail and rode the rail to the end that he can “grind.”

. . . Princess gets pissed when she doesn’t go fast enough to make it across the entire rail and has to jump off in the middle.

. . . Princess will not make the same mistake two times in a row.

. . . it’s so fun to see your kids so excited about something new.

. . . I’m so glad my kids are willing to try new things.

. . . my Hubby will go in the terrain park with the kids.

. . . I was not willing to go into the terrain park on my last day on the slopes.

. . . I was SOOOO excited to end an entire boarding season without the slightest injury!

. . . we have wonderful friends who will invite us to their condo for awesome spaghetti dinner after a long day of boarding.

. . . friends are priceless.

Stay tuned to see what I learned in Part VII of Spring Break!

What I Learned Over Spring Break Part IV – 03/20/10

I learned that . . .

. . . for the 3rd morning in a row, my kids did not eat a good breakfast.

. . . Hubby took the kids to get donuts while I showered and packed.

. . . my kids could probably live on sugar if I let them.

. . . they were ready to get in the car and drive home so they could play with their friends.

. . . they were less than thrilled when we said we wanted to walk across the bridge to shop.

. . . they were very excited when we took the GPS with and found an earth-cache!

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. . . the hot spring earth cache is cool!

. . . you need to answer some questions and post a picture of yourself by the cache before you can consider it found.

. . . skunks do not survive when they climb into a hot spring.

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. . . one reason Hubby loaded the 2nd cache into the GPS was because it was at the airport.

. . . Dude refuses to believe that the GPS isn’t exactly on target.

. . . Dude will stand exactly where the GPS told him to be and pout when he can’t find the cache.

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. . . Dude will refuse to consider the clues for the geocache when trying to find it.

. . . Hubby and I will continue to look for the cache while we consider the clues.

. . . Dude will be ecstatic when we find the cache.

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. . . Dude will be bummed when there aren’t any cool things in the cache.

. . . Princess is more than happy to trade her really neato Hot Springs Resort and Spa hotel card for a rubber purple bracelet.

. . . a hotel card fits perfectly into an Altoids tin.

. . . all pilots will think that a plowed runway with mountains in the background is cool.

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. . . my Hubby will wade through shin deep snow to try to get a picture of said runway and mountains.

. . . my kids will moan and groan when you tell them we’re eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant before we leave town.

. . . my kids will love the food and eat a ton of it.

. . . the drive back on Saturday is more car-filled than the drive to there on Wednesday.

. . . when semi-trucks have an accident on the highway outside of Alamosa, the cops will flag you to take a detour.

. . . the detour is not marked.

. . . the detour is not paved.

. . . the detour is a sand road in the dessert.

. . . you just drive around on the sand roads and hope you get back to the highway.

. . . you may run into a semi truck that looks like it got stuck in the sand 10 years ago and have to turn around and find a different sand road to take.

. . . following the dust from the vehicles in front of you is helpful.

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. . . someone had big plans for this area of land.

. . . someone went through the trouble to plot lots and even name roads with road signs for the new neighborhood.

. . . the neighborhood would have had a great view of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

. . . the neighborhood never happened.

. . . the road signs are all rusted and bent.

. . . it was kind of sad to see someones dreams and hard work not completed.

. . . driving over Wolf Creek Pass in the snow gets your car wet.

. . . driving on a sand road with a wet car makes your car dirty.

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. . . snowboards on a hitch rack also get dirty.

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. . . there are still small towns out there that are actually small towns.

. . . gas stations do exist that sell only cans of pop.

. . . the drive over La Veta pass is pretty.

. . . you need to pay attention and be ready to completely stop on the highway behind a huge line of cars.

. . . you need to be flexible enough to realize there’s nothing you can do about it.

. . . you need to be fun enough to push your kids into the snow when you turn the car off and get out.

. . . 11 year old boys think they’re the smartest people on the planet.

. . . 11 year old boys think that 37 year old women don’t know what rumble strips on the side of the road are for.

. . . 11 year old boys need to know when to stop talking.

. . . kids think walking down the middle of a 2-lane highway is really cool.

. . . it is possible for there to be 2 different single-semi accidents on the same highway in the same day, causing detours and backups.

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. . . Texans need to take courses in gas station etiquette.

. . . two vehicles with Texas plates will pull into a busy gas station and stop at the first pump, making you throw your hands in the air and mouth “Um, really?”

. . . owners of two vehicles with Texas plates will innocently mouth to you “Oh. Do you want me to pull forward to the next pump?”

. . . those kinds of things annoy me.

. . . my Hubby is much better at not getting annoyed by those things.

. . . gas station bathrooms are still gross.

. . . taking swimming suits used in natural hot springs out of plastic bags is yucko.

. . . even if you unscrew the hose from the faucet, the water in the hose will freeze.

. . . when there’s frozen water in a hose, you can’t use it.

. . . when you can’t use the hose, you have to use a bucket and sponge to clean off dirt-covered boards and bike/board racks.

. . . cleaning dirt-covered snowboards and bike/board racks in 30 degree weather makes your hands chilly.

. . . my family sleeps really well when get into our own beds after an awesomely fun mini-vacation.

Stay tuned to see what I learned in part V of Spring Break!

What I Learned Over Spring Break Part III – 03/19/10

I learned that . . .

. . . one night makes all the difference!

. . . sunny warm weather with icy snow on Thursday can turn into cool cloudy weather with awesome powder on Friday.

. . . I will never tire of driving over Wolf Creek Pass, especially if we’re headed to the Hot Springs Spa and Resort to get the “free” lift tickets that come with our room.

. . . even 9 year olds can board hard enough to wreck their board.

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. . . it’s difficult to complete your turns when you’re missing an entire edge on your board.

. . . Texans go home on Friday.

. . . there are no lift lines after the Texans go home.

. . . every lift at Wolf Creek requires you to walk up a hill.

. . . Dude doesn’t care if he has to walk up hill as long as he has a cool rental board instead of his broken board for the day.

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. . . the bottom of Hubby’s board is as fun as the top.

0302

. . . Dude is very proud of the board he picked out for Hubby.

. . . boarding on powder is much more fun than boarding on ice!

. . . the same runs are completely different when it’s snowing out than when it’s sunny.

. . . the moguls are much easier with powder than with ice.

. . . flat light makes it difficult to see the moguls.

. . . with the fresh powder, you never know if the moguls are going to go “poof” when you hit them of stop you in your tracks.

. . . it’s a lot of fun to try all the new runs on new lifts.

. . . I don’t like riding up chairlifts that go almost straight up at the end to get above a double black diamond run.

. . . this is not what I want to see when I get off the scary chairlift.

0303

. . . I would like to have more visibility than this at the top of a run I’ve never been on before.

0304

. . . moms will always worry about their kids getting hurt.

. . . even though my kids care less that there was a bazillion foot drop off right at the edge of the catwalk to our blue run, I will always be nervous for them.

. . . watching my family board off into the great unknown makes me nervous.

0305

. . . boarding down new runs in the fog is fun!

. . . it’s easier to board when you can see what’s coming.

 . . . when you can’t see what’s coming, you slow down too much and get stuck on the one flat part.

 . . . you don’t make that mistake the second time you do the run.

. . . you board out of the clouds about half way down the run.

0306

. . . the run was beautiful.

. . . there were some steep hills on the run.

. . . I made it down the steep hills safely, and even completed turns on them!

0307

. . . when you turn around and don’t see your Dude behind you, you should stop.

. . . when you hear your Dude yelling at you from the trees you just came out of, you should listen.

. . . 9 year olds forget that you shouldn’t board close to trees because of the huge sink holes.

. . . Dudes that forget this and try to go over a jump between two trees will fall into said sink hole.

. . . it takes a 9 year old Dude approximately 3 minutes to dig himself out of a sink hole by a tree.

. . . it would probably take Dude less time if he’d unstrapped himself from his board.

. . . I’m the kind of mom that will sit there and watch my kid and laugh while I dig out my camera.

. . . Daddies and Daughters are awesome!

0308

. . . we have all gotten considerably better at skiing/boarding this year.

. . . we are willing to try just about anything and have fun doing it.

. . . I am willing to pay a bazillion dollars to eat mountain food for the second day in a row.

. . . our second day of skiing/boarding does not last as long as the first.

. . . even though you’re going downhill, it’s still a great workout.

. . . it’s very difficult to board on a board that needs wax.

. . . when they say it will take 10 minutes to wax your board, they really mean 30.

. . . my little Dude is old enough to take $5 and go to the cafeteria by himself to get a Gatorade.

. . . my little Dude is sweet enough to realize that if his costs $2.50, he has enough to buy one for his sister.

. . . my little Dude knows that I will be OK with him buying a Gatorade for his sister, even though I told him to bring me the change.

. . . Paradise is a short 30 minute drive from Wolf Creek ski area.

0310

. . . Paradise is apparently 108 degrees.

. . . the Hot Springs Resort and Spa is worth every penny.

0311

. . . 21 natural hot spring pools are beautiful.

. . . 21 natural hot spring pools do not smell beautiful.

. . . kids will always think a window seat is cool.

0313

. . . kids will moan and groan when you tell them they cannot sleep on the window sill.

. . . there is a free coffee/capuccino/juice bar in the lobby of the hotel.

. . . I couldn’t have anything there because I gave up sugar for Lent.

. . . the Lobster Pot is hotter than Paradise.

0315

. . . my kids make cute lobsters.

. . . I’m fortunate to be able to do fun things like this with my family.

0316

. . . my kids understand how fortunate they are that we get to do fun things like this.

. . . my kids are spoiled.

. . . my kids are not rotten.

. . . the natural hot spring water is, well, hot!

0317 

. . . too many parents allow their kids to run wild.

. . . too many kids need more attention from their own parents so they don’t hang all over me in the pool.

. . . I will never understand people who sit in a 109 degree hot tub with a hot Starbucks in their hand.

. . . waterfalls are always neat.

0318

. . . a camera does not take a good picture when there is a big water spot on the lens.

. . . your kids are more than willing to get out of the pools to go eat dinner if you tell them you can get back in the pools after dinner.

. . . all you can eat catfish and shrimp at the Dogwood Cafe is AWESOME!

. . . it’s easy to eat too much catfish and shrimp.

. . . even when you’re incredibly full, your kids will remind you that you did indeed tell them they could back in the pools after dinner.

. . . the Lobster Pot is not the hottest pool.

. . . the Burg is 114 degrees F.

. . . the Burg really smells like sulfer and the rest of the cocktail of minerals that make up natural hot springs.

. . . the resort controls the temperature of each of the pools by adjusting the rate at which the water is pumped into each pool.

. . . the hotter the water, the more it smells.

. . . it snows in the evening.

. . . natural hot tubs feel really nice while it’s snowing.

 . . . your ears get cold when you’re sitting in a hot tub while it’s snowing.

. . . your body gets cold when you walk between hot tubs while it’s snowing.

. . . the Burg does not feel so hot when it’s snowing.

. . . wet robes don’t keep you very warm on your walk back to the hotel room.

. . . snow-covered flip-flops do not keep the bottoms of your feet warm when you walk back to the hotel room.

0320

. . . the smell from natural hot springs stays in your hair through multiple washings, just like campfire smoke.

. . . the minerals in the hot springs make your swimming suit stiff.

. . . the smell from natural hot springs stays in your swimming suit through multiple washings.

. . . I really really really like hot springs!

Stay tuned to see what I learned in Part IV of spring break!

What I Learned Over Spring Break Part II – 03/18/10

I learned that . . .

. . . in addition to the size of the hotel room, my kids base the niceness of a hotel on the content of the free continental breakfast. Apparently a hotel rocks if it has one of those cool flipping waffle makers . . . and blueberry muffins.

. . . Princess will ALWAYS be the last one to get regular clothes on, and the FIRST one to get her winter gear on if you’re heading outside.

. . . driving through tunnels never gets old:

0202

0203

. . . people from Texas are afraid to drive through tunnels. I know this because they slow down to 20 and turn their flashers on 50 yards before entering said tunnel.

. . . ice glacier thingies on the sides of the mountain are way cool!

0204

. . . parking is free at Wolf Creek!

. . . Wolf Creek is old school. I haven’t seen a wire holder and folding sticky lift ticket since 1985!

0205

. . . I am not above using my child’s small size to lie about her age and save myself $30 per day on a lift ticket.

. . . a purple striped lift ticket is all it takes to make Princess happy – because it matches her outfit.

. . . people from Texas spend all their money on the clothing for one week of Spring Break. That Roxy person who sold them all that gear must be rolling in the dough! :-)

. . . Princess might actually DIE if we don’t get going!

0206

. . . Hubby looks good in his new jacket and board!

0207

. . . I will NEVER get tired of looking at mountains.

0208

. . . there are approximately 50 different games Princess can think of to play while riding up a chairlift.

. . . Princess expects you to play every game she can think of.

. . . Princess does not need help getting on the chairlift!

. . . black does not always make you look slimmer.

0209

. . . everyone should be required to take mountain etiquette classes before being allowed on the lift.

. . . too many people think saying “excuse me” gives them license to be rude.

. . . 50 degrees is great weather to be outside boarding in.

. . . 50 degrees makes snow turn into ice on the slopes.

. . . you’re never too old to try something new. My first time in moguls!

0210

. . . you cannot float like a leaf through moguls.

. . . no matter how soft the moguls look, they are not actually soft.

. . . not all blue runs are the same.

. . . it’s impossible to not try a run called Kaa The Snake.

02111

0212

. . . Kaa The Snake is a fun run, even after the 6th time.

. . . people from Colorado wear helmets while riding.

. . . people from Texas do not wear helmets while riding.

. . . people from Texas do wear goofy hats while riding.

0214

. . . my kids think people from Texas are crazy for not wearing helmets while riding.

. . . I’m very happy my kids think people who don’t wear helmets are crazy.

. . . people from Texas think jeans and t-shirts are great clothing choices for riding.

. . . Dude has the best blue eyes ever.

0215

. . . Dude needs a haircut.

. . . I’m willing to pay ridiculous prices for lunch on the mountain as long as I don’t have to drag food along in a cooler on a mini vacation.

. . . Wolf Creek does not accept credit cards for food.

. . . Princess will always be charmingly goofy.

0216

. . . boys will always think snow caves are a great place to be.

0217

. . . it just feels wrong to open the moon roof on the car when leaving the mountain after a great day of boarding.

. . . my kids will try just about anything we suggest. Snow roll anyone?

0220

. . . Princess is more daring than Dude.

. . . there are some great little, and big, houses in South Fork.

. . . a 12 year old girl will not go into the men’s restroom under any circumstances, even if it means she has to throw up on the floor of the restaurant instead of in the toilet.

. . . the local church has free movie nights. On the 18th, it was G-Force.

. . . the local church gives you popcorn, kool-aid, and cookies to have during the movie.

. . . G-Force is as bad the 2nd time as it was the first.

. . . I love that my family has so much fun together!

0218

Stay tuned to see what I learned in Part III of Spring Break!