Sunday, April 09, 2017


Train travel has always seemed so romantic. Such a unique way explore off the beaten path. The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway (that's a mouthful) boasted to be the #1 tourist attraction on Trip Advisor and it came with rave reviews. I was a little skeptical about the length (5 hours!) and cost ($200 and that's with a 30% discount!) and the fact that me and Maddox were the only ones actually excited about it (although he was a little nervous because he just watched a Nova special about train crashes. That boy and his Nova. He spouted off train facts almost the whole way up). But this was something to check off the bucket list and there weren't many other options of where to spend the day so I was grateful everyone else (grudgingly) obliged. The first almost hour is just getting out of town and the scene was nothing too spectacular so I was beginning to have my regrets. Jason spent the whole time studying for a big licensing test he has coming up and Kylie just took a very expensive nap. But once we started our way up the canyon and made our way to the open air car, it took my breath away. Hugging the edge of a sheer cliff to a roaring river below, towering Ponderosa Pines with snow capped mountains as a backdrop. It was just beautiful.

We stopped for a quick lunch and stroll by the river. Which always leads to rock skipping contests. I wish we would have had little bit longer to explore around in the fresh mountain air. The recorded message promised lots of snow so we were sure to pack snow pants and gloves, the boys were a little disappointed they couldn't build a snowman.

So the overall consensus was that it was a photographer's dream for me, Maddox and Ryder gave it 4 out of 5 stars only because I wouldn't let them buy anything from the concession car, Jayden liked it more than he'd like to admit (although he would rather be snowboarding), Kylie was bored out of her mind and the highlight for Jason was when we rolled past a group of people camping and they all dropped their pants and mooned us. It was pretty much his favorite past time in high school so he has a great appreciation for it-ha! But now Maddox and Ryder won't stop dropping their pants and mooning everyone at home. What is it with boys and butts??

Ryder requested a photo on this statue. And when Ryder requests a photo, you never quite know what to expect. Love that little ham.

We drove through Shiprock New Mexico on our way here and were in awe by this massive jagged rock jutting up in the middle of absolutely no where. It was too dark to take a picture and I mentioned to Jason how I wish I had gotten one. We were going a different way home but he made sure to go out of his way so that I could get my picture. That's how much this boy loves me and I kinda sorta really like him back.

Ski Board Bums

The novelty of spending time on the mountain as a whole family has not worn off, not even close. Ryder is still on the beginner hill and is very vocal about wanting only dad to help him, which is understandable since I only managed twice for us to not fall into a crumbled heap while helping him off the lift. I'm sure the lift operator rolled his eyes every time he saw us coming. But he's catching on quick and it won't be long before we can all tackle the bigger slopes together. And by big I mean a green or blue run at the most. Jayden, Kylie and Maddox continue to impress me with how much they've improved, especially Jayden. He is his father's son afterall. He is determined to get better and faster, where as Kylie is more like me and just has fun making her way down, don't get me wrong, she's still pretty fast but is content on not pushing herself to the extreme. Oh what fun it is to ride...trying to think of a clever way to tie that song in, but I'm drawing a blank. It's just fun. Snowboarding was the definite highlight of the trip, but the pool came in a close second. You would think these little Arizona babies would ever tire of swimming, but they don't. The first day there was a rainy and cold one, we debated back and forth about what to do, but in the end we took the easy way out. We slept in, enjoyed a nice continental breakfast with a side of life sized chess, then spent a good couple hours in the pool and hot tub. Jason is such a fun dad to get right in there playing sharks and minnows. I am quite content to sit and enjoy the view from the hot tub, but so glad they get at least one fun parent. In my defense, I did play one short round of sharks and minnows and I'll never admit it out loud but it was kind of fun, I just don't mix well with cold-ish water. 

We eventually got dressed and made our way to the historic downtown for a late lunch and overpriced candy at Fuzziwigs. It was a soggy walk but totally worth it for RGP's flame grilled wraps. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

We went to Walmart. Which seems to be about the last place you would want to find yourself while on vacation. But it was such an unexpectedly fun trip. We let the kids stock up on all the junk food they have been deprived of since our New Year's resolution, they had sausage sword fights, jumping contests and family votes over donuts vs sugar cookies and deli trays. Everyone was in a good mood, lots of laughing and inside jokes and just the kind of random memory that will put a smile on my face years from now when I come across the video of Jason running through the aisle to jump and reach the sign hanging from the ceiling.

And then a day together on the mountain with crystal blue skies, it doesn't get much better than this.

They all got so made at me for snapping this picture, but it was one of my favorite memories of the trip, all gathered around the lap top watching the go pro videos and laughing hysterically when Maddox fell and landed on Kylie's board then hitched a ride on her board before she fell and did a front somersault. We watched it at least 16 times. It's the moments like these that I love. And when we're piled together on the pull out playing a rowdy game of Play Nine, or running on the treadmill with Kylie, Jason judging diving and belly flop contests with all the kids in the pool, or snowball fights on the mountain, or how the boys would hide at the bottom of the stairs so that they could "scare" us every single time, or Kylie getting so excited about hot Cheetos, or the moment when we realized we had all been using someone else's toothbrush. Yes, no matter how grand the vacation is, these are always the golden moments I want to remember.