at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Family Vacation & Colorado Adventures

Our long awaited family vacation has come and gone, but we created some lasting memories while we were there!  We spent a week out in Colorado – most of the time in Breckenridge with a little time in Denver at the end.  I think we had a total of 19 family members out there at some point in time!  We had parts of 4 families from Michigan and 1 family from Colorado.  The quick summary: we skied a few days, played lots of games, laughed a lot, ate lots of malted milk chocolate robin’s eggs, and had a few near medical emergencies.

And now, for the details…as best as I can remember them!

Day 1: Saturday

Tom and I left for the airport in the morning, we had no issues getting through security with my Enbrel shot, and we arrived in Colorado shortly after we left (with the 2 hour time difference, that is).  My dad was already there and picked us up from the airport in this little rental car.  We barely fit in with all of our ski gear!  I think he underestimated my packing requirements (see: Packing Challenges).  But, it worked, and we were soon on our way toward the mountains and Breckenridge.  Of course, we had to be on the lookout for the Jetson’s house as soon as we got into the mountains.  If you’ve driven this route before, you know what I’m talking about.  If not, have a look:

After a quick stop for a delicious lunch of green chili at Hilldaddy’s Wildfire Restaurant in Idaho Springs, we were back on our way.  We were ahead of schedule, so we decided to make a pit stop in Frisco, where Tom was able to find some new gloves (after melting one of his mittens on his Winter Camping trip this year), and I found a new pair of ski pants that actually fit and match my coat – and were on sale (win!).  After that accomplishment, we continued on toward our condo in Breckenridge.  It was a GREAT location with a BEAUTIFUL view!  See for yourself:

The condo was 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and slept 8 – though I think it was supposed to sleep 10-12.  And, it had to sleep 12 that first night.  So, some of my cousins got to enjoy sleeping on air mattresses and had a sort of slumber party in the living room!  Tom and I lucked out, and got our own bedroom.  Not quite sure how that happened…but it was nice!  The living space was a little tight, but we were all grouped up playing games anyways, so it worked out!

Of course, being so high in the mountains, the altitude was catching up to some of us – and ultimately resulted in the random fainting of one of my cousins, a call to 911, and a conversation with several EMS guys.  Fortunately, she was completely fine; we got some sleep and everyone was feeling much better in the morning.

Day 2: Sunday

Sunday was our first day of skiing.  It was the only day that my cousins from Denver were available to ski, and it turned out to be the best snow of the week.  We had fresh powder all day – very fresh, seeing as though we were skiing in a snow storm!  It really was great skiing, though it took me half the day to get back in the groove of things.

After a full day of skiing, we headed back to the condo for food and games!  My Colorado family was supposed to go home that night, but due to the bad weather, they decided (with some encouraging) that it would be much safer to just spend the night in Breckenridge and head out in the morning.  Never mind the fact that this gave them a few extra hours to play games with the rest of us :) 

Day 3: Monday

Monday morning was a non-ski day for us.  We had some game time in the morning before my family from Denver had to take off.  That morning marked our first few games of Suicide Spades – the game of choice for me and a couple cousins.  It’s very intense but lots of fun!  

Looks intense, doesn't it??
 If you’ve ever played regular Spades, the only difference here is that every hand one partner has to go nil (take zero tricks). 

We pretty much played games at every spare moment we had.  Our list of games played throughout the week includes: Hearts, Spades, Euchre, Progressive Rummy, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Yahtzee, Curses, Oh Hell, Ticket to Ride, Egyptian Ratscrew, and probably some others that I can’t think of right now.  Thankfully, I’m not the only game freak in my family :)

Four family members departed late in the morning, and headed back to Denver.  But, not to worry, we picked up another one of my aunts and a cousin later in the afternoon! 

Day 4: Tuesday

Yes, I appear to be more of a hot Inferno here than Tom's Baby.
Tuesday was our second ski day, and I felt much more comfortable on my skis.  The trails were also mostly groomed, so it wasn’t as tiring on my legs as skiing through the powder.  The last run a few of us did before lunch was a double-black called ♦♦ Tom’s Baby. 

Ironically, four of us had been looking at the run on the way up and said “no way” would we ever want to do that one.  But, that’s where my dad led us, so that’s where we went.  Besides, with a name like that, I had to do it!  It ended up being one of my favorite runs we did!  We took our time, went slowly and all got down without incident.

After lunch, I wasn’t feeling so well.  I had my one and only tumble of the trip, plus a ski boot that was digging into my leg.  I took a little break in the afternoon and skied pretty lightly.

It was a very beautiful sunny day.  The only problem was that none of us had applied sunscreen – big oops!  Fortunately, I had my turtle fur up and my goggles on, so the only thing exposed was my nose.  Many others were not so lucky.

A couple people had really bad reactions with puffing and blistering…I think they had second degree burns...but we won’t go into that. 

Four of us piled into our little bedroom on Tuesday night to watch our first movie of the trip: The Sixth Sense.  One of my cousins had never seen it – plus, we had to stay up until her brother arrived.  Yes, we added one more to our company that night.  One of my college-aged cousins had to come a little later in the week because of school.  He flew into Denver, on a flight that was delayed, and just barely made it onto the last shuttle from the airport to Breckenridge.  He was dropped off at the condo somewhere around 1:30 a.m. I think.  It was a late night for a few of us!

Day 5: Wednesday

Wednesday was another non-ski day for us.  I really enjoyed skiing every other day.  It gave my body time to recuperate, which I needed.   This was the only day that Tom and I went into town.  It might have been nice to explore the town a little more, but we did go onto lots of shops and stopped at Starbucks.  I wanted to find some sort of Breckenridge shirt, but somehow couldn’t really find anything that I liked.  So, I settled on a nice new shirt from the Columbia store instead!  Tom also found a nice new jacket there, which he wore for the remainder of his ski days.

Wednesday night some of my Colorado family came back again.  Tom, my dad, and I all left that night to make some extra room at the condo and shifted lodging over to a house one of my other aunts had rented in Breckenridge.  We had seen her family briefly on the ski hill, but hadn’t spent much time with them yet.  The house was huge, but cabin-ish – it had a very large moose head mounted on the wall, as well as a jackalope.  Yes, a jackalope. 

This was our second movie night.  We made my dad watch Tommy Boy, because he had never seen it.  I’m not sure he can quote it yet like the rest of us, but he seemed to like it!

Day 6: Thursday

Thursday was my last ski day.  We started out immediately for the very highest chairlift, the Imperial Express.  It was great skiing up there!  We were all very near to 13,000 feet – but only one of my cousins and his friend dared to climb up to the 13,000 mark.  You have to take off your skis and climb a steep hill, which was more than I was up for.  Unfortunately, my cousin took a good tumble down his first run, cut up his face a bit and broke his ski.  He was fine, but we had to get Ski Patrol to come and take him down on a stretcher since skiing one-legged is a bit too much of a challenge!   

The rest of us skied a couple more runs there, then soon headed down along a ridge toward some really cool bowls, and skied one of my favorite runs: Whale’s Tale.  

After all of these hard hills, I was getting pretty wiped!  We skied a couple more runs then headed in for lunch.  I had a light afternoon of skiing, wanting to leave on a good note. 

Thursday night we had a couple other family members join us at the house.  I got some good cousin time in, and we had some delicious spaghetti with my uncle’s famous sauce!

Day 7: Friday

Friday was our last full day in Breckenridge.  Tom and a few of my cousins decided to go over to Keystone to ski for a day.  My legs and knees were toast, so I decided against it!  I had a relaxing day of lounging, playing games and hot tubbing.  Our remaining family members came over to the house that night, and we had a fun time hanging out and playing games. Some of the family had to start driving home, and so we had to part with some of our group.

Day 8: Saturday

Saturday morning we had to get up and leave the house.  Most of the family was headed home, but Tom and I got to spend an extra day in Denver with my family there.  We had a relaxing day, with of course a few games.  I also got to meet one of the newer pets in the family: Mellie.  

I really liked this dog…she almost made me want to get one of our own. Almost.

Day 9: Sunday

Our flight home didn’t leave until late in the evening, so we still had most of the day to hang out with family.  We did brunch at IHOP, then headed over to my cousins house, which I had never seen before.  That was very fun, and we got to watch a movie in his theater room.  With it’s room-darkening curtains, real screen and nice projector, I think it tops our family room setup!  We watched Boondock Saints II since Tom and I had never seen it.  I liked it alright, but I still think I like the first one better.

We had one last dinner with family before we had to head out for the airport.  Leaving was sad, but we had such an awesome week.

The airport was uneventful, other than the fact that we rode back to Michigan on the same plane as one of Tom’s co-workers and also the Grand Rapids Pacers, wheelchair basketball team!  We didn’t get in until 11:30 p.m. and still had to wait for our luggage.  By the time we got home it was quite late – but it was all worth it to maximize our time in Colorado!

Overall, we had a wonderful time with family and I really enjoyed spending time with my cousins (and aunts and uncles, too!) – especially those that I don’t get to see as often.  I think we all left thinking one thing: We have to do this again!

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!