Day 7 - Saturday - July 29, 2006
We started off today at the Air Force Academy. Forced Ron to sit through the informational video (he called it propaganda but he's a bit biased I think). I was disappointed to see that they had removed the full-size display of a cadet's room and replaced it with a miniature model. There were tons of sweatshirts and cute t-shirts in the gift shop but Ron forbade me to buy any Air Force contraband. I convinced him that postcards and a sticker for my scrapbook would be allowable.
Lunch at Slayton's BBQ - the same place that catered the rehearsal dinner for Shannon and Dana last summer. Still delicious though my spicy sausage made Felisa cry.
Drove through Garden of the Gods.
Then the biggest adventure of the day... driving up to the top of Pike's Peak. It took us one hour to drive to the top. Once we were out of the car we had only 10 minutes to see before the clouds and rain/slush/snow moved in. We didn't get to see much from the top but the views along the road going up and down were pretty awesome. The little kids were okay but Melissa and I were feeling a bit light-headed from lack of oxygen.
I think I need a new cell phone provider... Melissa was able to call her boyfriend in Germany from the mountain top while I, of course, had NO SERVICE. Again. Clearly a problem with my provider, Nextel.
While we were at the top we bought a six-pack of "World Famous Donuts" to enjoy in the car on the drive back. The donut reviews were as follows:
Felisa - not enough frosting (not surprising since these were plain donuts and the only part of a donut she usually eats is the frosting!)
Melissa - doesn't like donuts (or potato chips - gasp!)
3:21 pm - left to begin the drive back down
3:43 pm - mandatory brake check for hot brakes. We passed but the inspector said we must remain in 1st gear the rest of the way down.
3:56 pm - passed a motorcycle crash. We think he may have lost control on the loose gravel. Looked like the people were talking to him so hopefully he's okay.
4:02 pm - Fire department pick-up and rescue squad pick-up pass us on the way up the mountain to the accident scene.
4:04 pm - passed Crystal Reservoir
4:08 pm - pass an overheated ambulance on the side of the road
4:15 pm - make it to the bottom of the Pike's Peak Highway.
4:16 pm - pass another ambulance on the way up the mountain. Not sure if he'll make it either - the engine sounded like it was working hard already.
Lesson of the day - Don't get sick or seriously injured on Pike's Peak!
4:30 pm - Stop at Cave of the Winds. Ryan was really disappointed that we weren't able to go to "the cool restaurant with the caves" in Denver (Casa Bonita). Truthfully, I was a little disappointed myself. It's cheesy but the kids love it and I loved it as a kid as well. I was hoping to be able to show it to Melissa. But anyway, Ryan and Bella had been asking for more caves ever since the brief cave climbing we did at Red Rocks so we decided to stop at Cave of the Winds.
4:51 pm - Cave of the Winds is a no-go. Have to stand in line for about 20 minutes to by tickets for a 45-minute tour that won't start any sooner than 30-45 minutes after you buy your tickets. Uh, no thanks. We promise Ryan more caves to come in NM and head home.
6:06 pm - back to Grandpa's house after a stop to pick up Papa Murphy's Pizza. I LOVE this pizza but we don't have it back home.
Ron, Grandpa, and all the little helpers pitched the tent in Grandpa's back yard. Ron, Bella, and Ryan will sleep outside tonight. Felisa, Melissa, and I will stick with the RV in the driveway!
Day 8 - Sunday - July 30, 2006
The kids had Ron up early out in the tent - 0615. Felisa, Melissa, and I slept until about 7:45 so we missed 8:00 mass. Ron went out in search of coffee and breakfast while I tried to catch up on my blog. I'm still typing Day 2. When I get tired of typing I just remind myself that at least most of my journaling for these scrapbook pages will already be done!
Went to 1030 mass. Practically had to drag the kids along the one block walk up the hill to church. Bella said she was tired. Was it the dog/coyote/wolf/fox fight last night? I don't know exactly what was out there other than the neighborhood dogs but they were all very mad and loud and scary sounding!
After church, I made reservations for Melissa and I to go horseback riding at Garden of the Gods. It was a hot, dusty trail and the family from Iowa riding behind us was complaining a lot. Some of them were wearing shorts to ride which made me think of my beach ride in Acapulco oh so many moons ago... It was a fun ride but it would have been so much better and more comfortable if I had been wearing long pants!
While we were gone, Ron and Grandpa spent about 3 hours mowing the front yard. Scott came down from Denver and hung out for a bit. Then we all met for dinner at Lone Star.
On the way home from dinner, Ryan was trying to help Bella find a leapster game when he said, "what do you want then?!?" The words, the annoyed/exasperated tone of voice - all mine. I hate it when the kids do bad things they have learned from me.
Sunday night Ron, Bella, and Felisa slept in the tent. Apparently Felisa was having a grand time until Ron turned out the lantern and it got a little too dark. She was crying and saying "go bus", hoping to escape from the tent and sleep in the bus (RV) with Mommy! Daddy made her tough it out and she was fine after a few minutes.