Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a Weekend!

We spent the weekend in Colorado on a very last minute decision.  It was beautiful!  The hotel gave me an extra 10% off on top of their already deeply discounted rooms so I couldn't resist.  We had a 1 bedroom king suite with a full eat in kitchen that had a mountain view.  It was definitely a great weekend jam packed full of fun!

View from our suite

The first night we just went out for a nice steak dinner and relaxed in the hotel room because we planned on getting up super early in the morning to start our "touristy" sight seeing :)  Our first stop was Red Rock Canyon.  It was beautiful and the trails were easy for the little ones so we started hiking and found some beautiful rock formations.  Then we went to Garden of the Gods.  Definitely a must see for everyone!  The formations are stunning!  We only went to the main garden at the time because our time was limited, but we promised to go back and headed towards our train depot to head up Pike's Peak.

Red Rock Canyon
 We arrived at the depot grabbed a quick snack, browsed the gift shop, and got ready to board our train.  We were only able to go up 12,000 feet, but the views were breath taking.  It was a cool, clear day so you could see all the way to Kansas.  Not to mention the beauty of all the streams, rock formations, trees, etc.  The mountain itself was beautiful and I am happy we scored some great savings on the train ride.  The kids loved it and we did too.  The guides were really knowledgeable and gave history on the mountain, train, and even answered all the questions everyone had.  I definitely recommend taking the Pike's Peak Cog Railway if you ever visit Colorado Springs area.  Definitely worth the money and time to see and learn about the mountain.

Pike's Peak Cog Railway

Once we were done with the train we only had a couple of hours because it was 2 PM and most activities and parks close at 5 PM in the winter.  We decided to take a quick trip to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.  My daughter chose that one and I am glad she did.  It was really cool to see the actual dwellings and to get an idea how they lived.  We were able to climb into the rooms and learn about each use as well as constructions of the rooms.  They also had a museum with many artifacts and history which was really cool to see too!

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

By the time we were done we decided to just drive through Pike's Peak National Forest.  We ended up driving until we got to Deckers, which is a small town with a beautiful river running through the mountains.  My hubby stopped to take a few pictures and we headed back home since it was getting dark and it was dinner time.  We picked up a pizza to bring back to the hotel where we ate and then went to bed.  Everyone was pretty exhausted after all the fun we had.

Deckers, CO

Our last day we ate a good breakfast at the hotel and headed out to Red Rock Canyon to hike the other side.  I must say it was gorgeous there too!  We climbed a rock formation, snapped a few pics, and then headed back down.  We also made another stop at Garden of the Gods.  We took more pictures and hiked a trail to get an overview of the gardens.  After our morning hikes we went to the nature center where we viewed the exhibits and the kids bought their souveniers (both chose books!).

Garden of the Gods with Pike's Peak in te background

Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods (and proof my hubby went of vacation with us...lol)

Our last stop before hitting the road was Squeak Soda Shop.  You must go here if you have kids!  Even if you don't have kids you should still stop.  They can create any flavor and color of soda, which is just really cool!  They have a very basic menu, but it is good.  Grilled panini's, hot dogs, quesidilla's, popcorn, etc.  We grabbed some sandwiches and the kids were able to play for another hour or so.  They have a Wii and tons of board games to play.  Before we left we made sure to get some ice cream for the road.  The kids decided to get cookies and cream ice cream while the hubby and I chose to get floats.  I got a purple graham cracker  soda with blueberry cheesecake ice cream...YUM! And the hubby got a yellow grandma's apple pie soda with vanilla ice cream (his was really good too!).  Another plus about this place is you can actually have your soda bottled to go.  That is pretty awesome!  They have hundreds of flavors from candy cane to black cherry to marshmallow to green tea to cream soda to...well you get the idea.  Tons to choose from!

I'm glad to be back home and as you can imagine I have some catching up to do.  I am trying to get to everyone's comments and will...I promise!  Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. Awesome photos ! Sounds like a great time had by all ! Have a wonderful day !

    1. Thank you! My hubby is quite talented behind the camera and so is my daughter :) We had a great time and am so glad we were able to have this experience!


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