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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cave of the Winds

Finally, Eric's pick for our Colorado vacation.  Cave of the Winds--a perfect place for our rock hounds and for our daughter to experience since she got her Geology badge in scouts this year.  It is not wheelchair accessible (of course), so Azure and I waited upstairs and I read my book.  Our daughter said it was a good thing I didn't go, because even if I could walk, I couldn't fit. Imagine her surprise when she found out I have been down there before.  :)

Of course, no trip to a mine is complete without a little panning for treasures once you're done.  Fortunately, Cave of the Winds provides the opportunity for that to happen.  You can by a bag of stuff in the gift shop and the use the water trough outside to see if you have any treasure.  I think this was the kiddos favorite part.  :)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Colorado Hot Air Balloon Festival

It was my turn for my choice on our Colorado vacation.  We happened to be in Colorado Springs the same weekend as the Colorado Balloon Classic.  We started our balloon experience by attending the Balloon Glo on Sunday night.  We have been to hot air balloon festivals before, but never with so many balloons and never with such an air of festivity.  We arrived at the park to watch the Balloon Glo and found food vendors and hundreds of people sitting on the ground to watch the balloons.  Anticipation was in the air.  Then, the balloons  were inflated and stood up in honor of the military.  It was quite a sight.

The great news was that we could watch the Balloon Launch Monday morning from our hotel parking lot.  We couldn't see the balloons actually launching, but we could watch them in the air. :)  What an amazing sight and a great way to begin Labor Day!!!

Smokey the Bear

What are your hot air balloon experience?
What is the best hot air balloon you've ever seen?
Have you ever stayed in a hotel and had a wonderful bonus experience?
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

North Pole City/Santa's Workshop

Our son's pick for our Colorado trip was Santa's Workshop at North Pole City.  We have never been there as a family.  We tried to go when our daughter was 3 and we were in Colorado for a wedding.  But, she was a little terrified of Santa at that point, so we didn't subject her to that torture.  But, this time around, both kiddos were excited to go check it out.  It's a good way we weren't in a big hurry, because traffic up the mountain to North Pole City crawled at a snail's pace.  Heading up the mountain must be a popular tourist event--there were tons of cars but not all of them stopped at North Pole City.  Crawling at a snail's pace probably keeps everyone safe.  I don't think I'd want to travel the mountain roads any faster.

The trip to North Pole City was our first real glimpse of some of the fire damage from this summer.  We did  not go up close to see the damage, but could see the burned trees during out trip up the mountain.
We did get to see helicopters dropping seeds, fertilizer, etc., everything needed to hopefully start regrowth before the rainy seasons.  All who were spared damage from the fires were so grateful to the firefighters.  There were thank you signs all the way up the mountain.  Colorado had been through a traumatic summer.

Our trip to North Pole City was an experience for me and Azure.  It was the first attraction we've ever been to that gave us a paper about Service Dogs.  Good to know we were officially welcomed in all shops, food areas, show houses, and Santa's house.  :)  Also good to know that I wasn't allowed to take him on any rides.  Can you really imagine Azure seat belted beside me in a roller coaster???  :)  Or, sliding down the peppermint slide?  Oh wait, I can't get on them myself anyway.  So, we didn't ride any rides (or plan to).  I'm glad the park was kind enough not to charge admission for me in my wheelchair.  I wasn't planning on riding any rides anyway. I'm thankful that as a wheelchair momma, I can still take my kids to enjoy attractions in Colorado and not have to pay for things I am unable to enjoy fully.   We spent the day watching the kiddos on their rides and trying to find accessible pathways through the park and stay out of the rain.  (We weren't always successful).  We did follow instructions and stay away from the animals.  Makes me wonder if we would be welcome at a zoo??  Anybody out there know?  He did absolutely wonderful and even managed getting run into by a kid running down the mountain with grace.  He did better than I think I might have if I had been the one hit.  He just looked up curiously and then graciously let the kid pet him while I talked to the mom.  What a sweetheart!!!  If we could ALL learn to forgive and love again so freely when accidents occur.

The rides were tons of fun and the type of rides our kiddos enjoy most of all.  Unfortunately, our daughter was too tall for some of the rides.  But, she was fine to ride her favorite ride (the carousel) and spent time shopping with me.  It was so fun to hear Christmas music all through the park, see the Christmas themed rides, and even visit the North Pole.  We still didn't visit Santa's House, but walking by it was no big deal.  We came home with all kinds of great ideas for our hometown--The Christmas City of the High  Plains.

Concentrating hard--Check out my tongue

The North Pole was really made of ice.  Good things the kiddos tongues never really touched it or we might have had a "Christmas Story" moment on our hands.

What are your experiences with Colorado this summer?
How did the fires affect you or those you know?
Have you had experiences with kids scared of Santa?  How did you help them overcome that fear?
What are some other "must see" attractions for a wheelchair momma and her family?
What are your favorite amusement park rides?
How can you celebrate Christmas all year?

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