Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The badmansard family took a trip to Colorado to visit friends and family.  We crammed the van full of kids, goldfish crackers, various DVD viewing devices and a couple of puke buckets and off we went.  We’ve never done a Colorado road trip before.  In fact, I’ve never set foot in Colorado.  If you’re thinking to yourself that you’ve seen pictures of me on snowy mountains, it is true.  I’ve ironically been to the Bavarian Alps but never to the Colorado Rockies.

Where we went-
5 days in Fraser (near Winter Park) to stay with my brother and his wonderful wife and their kids who are 6 and 4, just like my two younger kids.

1 day in Keystone to visit John’s niece and her son (who are my kids’ cousin and cousin once removed?) as well as another niece who was visiting from St. Louis.

2 days in Boulder to visit John’s college roommate/former colleagues who just left their respective ad agencies to launch a new shop, Grenadier.

Miles traveled on 2005 minivan- 2242.

Favorite discoveries- Freddy’s, which is like a Kansas Steak and Shake. 

What we did- everything.  Hikes, raft trip down the Colorado, horseback riding, summer fun in Winter Park and Keystone, a visit to Sulphur “fart smell” springs, zip lining, gyroscoping, Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide, playing in creeks and lakes, planetarium, beautiful scenery/mediocre food at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, yummy dinner at Tabernash Tavern, shopping, panning for jewels and enough trampoline/bungee jumping to cause bruising.

In my brother’s mountain place alone we saw 10 elk, deer, chipmunk and foxes.  The YMCA even had goats, sheep, cows and kitties.  And the stars were amazing.  We were able to watch the August 11 meteor showers from my brother’s hot tub on top of a mountain during a clear cold night.

My brother and his wife Meghan were such great hosts.  My brother should start a business called “Andy’s Grand County Family Tours.”  He knew exactly where to go, the best way to get a discount and the ideal time to avoid crowds.

Child most likely to live in the woods-  Gus.  He loved hiking and looking for sticks and rocks.  He mastered bike riding.  Before we left St. Louis he could barely hold a two-wheeler upright.  A couple of days into Colorado he’s riding confidently and taking fast turns on gravel roads. He also bought a Daniel Boone hat with the souvenir money.   

Child most likely to author “The indoor guide to Colorado”- Audrey.  Not much enthusiasm for hiking, horses or rafting, but she excels at shopping, souvenir seeking, hotel pools and watching TV.  That joke aside, she too had a great time as she reluctantly rode Peaches the horse and went down the Alpine Slide.  She will certainly remember this trip as the vacation where she got her ears pierced.   Audrey turns 10 in early September, but we waived the “gotta be 10 to pierce your ears" rule so she could get her ears pierced during a special vacation. 

Most fearless child- Mimi. She’s not afraid of heights, mountains, ski lifts, horses or fast slides.  We didn’t know that.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Best traveling companion- Kay.   Pleasant, enthusiastic and willing to try all of the activities.  At 11, she was the oldest of the kids.  She directed many of the activities and kept the 5 younger children entertained.  She also perfected a front handspring and a triple flip on the trampoline.

Bad mansards?  - of course.  To be revealed soon.

Rocky Mountain National Park.

Devil's Thumb Ranch.

Mimi, age 4.  Having a great time.  I was nervous.

Mimi and John.  Again with the thrill seeking.  

family picture at Keystone Mountain.

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