Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Family Visit and Colorado Sightseeing




We were happy to have family visit us recently!  Our nephew and his wife visited Colorado for the first time on vacation, and after visiting Vail and Avon, they spent the remaining time with us. After enjoying a day with our family here we spent the rest of the time sightseeing with them. Top on our list for things to do was to take a drive on the "Peak to Peak" highway to the town of Estes Park. The views along this highway are beautiful, and even more so in winter when the Rockies are covered with snow. I've blogged about this scenic highway before, which you can read on this post.  In Estes we visited the historic Stanley Hotel for lunch.  If you remember this past blog post, my husband and I saw a "ghost" there on an overnight visit we made for our anniversary a couple of years ago.  Happily, did not see any ghosts on this visit, but our relatives were excited to see some large elk eating the grass in the hotel parking lot!

All photos and photo collages will enlarge if clicked on


After lunch, we took a ride into Rocky Mountain National Park. There we saw a large herd of elk in one of the meadows and lots of beautiful snow capped peaks, but surprisingly little snow at the lower elevations.  The winter in Colorado has been unusually mild this year, and snowfall at the lower elevations has been below normal, although it has been fairly normal at the higher elevations. We've visited Rocky Mountain National Park many times since moving to Colorado--it holds a special place in our heart--and we were excited to show some of it to our family members.


This is the view we had from Horseshoe Park Overlook in the park--breathtaking, isn't it?  No matter what the season, the park is wonderful to visit!

If you would like to read more details about Rocky Mountain National Park on my blog you can click here for the eastern side of Trail Ridge Road, and here for the Roof of the Rockies, and here for the western side of Trail Ridge Road.  I also have a post about Rocky Mountain National Park in autumn, which you can see here.


The next day we headed south from the Denver area towards Colorado Springs. It is always exciting to see Pike's Peak from the highway.  We had hope to take the cog railroad or even drive up the 14,115 foot (4.302252 km) high Pike's Peak--called "America's Mountain--but the railroad is closed during the months of January and February to the peak, and only runs on weekends to Inspiration Point. Because of snow pack, the road was also closed past a certain point.  So this trip we could only take in the mountain views from the ground.

To see a drive we took up to the summit of Pikes Peak in the summer click here.


We did visit the beautiful Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs, comprised of giant red rock formations that were created during a geological upheaval along a fault line millions of years ago.


We enjoyed driving and hiking through the park on a wonderfully mild weather afternoon.  We hiked up to the "Siamese Twins" formation to take some photos.....


...and also the 700 ton "Balanced Rock" formation!

To see more photos from Garden on the Gods from a trip we made during the summer, click here.


We also had time to visit Manitou Springs, a small scenic town located at the base of Pikes Peak, and known for its natural mineral springs. There we had fun tasting the mineral water that flows freely into eight public fountains in town, and looking at the shops and historic buildings in the area. I will show more about these springs on a future blog post.
Among other fun places, and things, that we did together with our nephew and niece-in-law was to visit the outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheater--where they returned the next morning to do a work out climbing up and down the stairs! We also drove into Denver to see some sights and to have dinner.  It was a wonderful visit, and we now miss them dearly.  It was so nice to spend time again with extended family members, and we hope more of our family will come to visit us soon!



Before I leave I wanted to share some photos of our oldest granddaughter's 4th birthday party. She had a party at a famous mouse party place where there are a lot of rides and fun games to play, and a wonderful time was had by all. It's hard to believe how fast our grandchildren are growing up, but we are certainly enjoying every moment with them. 



Spring will soon be here and that often means snow showers for us on the Front Range of Colorado, that will bring wildflowers in June. I'm looking forward to longer daylight, more outdoor fun and seeing our flowers grow.  What are you looking forward to in Spring?


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45 comments:

happywonderer.com said...

Such a sweet little 4 year old! The best way to enjoy where we live is sharing it with family and friends. I see so much more because of these kinds of visits. Lovely photos and your are great hosts Pat and hubby!

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely family photos ~ so loving ~ Wonderful photography of beautiful Colorado ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ahead ~ ^_^

Michelle said...

Estes Park is a favorite of mine. Such a beautiful place! Also love Garden of the Gods.

Ruth Hiebert said...

That is a beautiful part of the world. I have been to some of the places you mention and shows these pictures bring back memories.

Debbie said...

Beautiful country, the views are extraordinary!! I have not been in this part of the world since I was a young girl, I would love to see it again. Your images are gorgeous, you really captured the essence of the area. And your granddaughter, what a cutie, it looks like a fun celebration!!

Linda W. said...

I'll bet it was fun to show your nephew and wife around. Thanks for taking us with you!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Stunning scenery everywhere you look. What a nice treat for your relatives to be shown around Colorado by you and Vinny. Yes, your grandchildren are growing up fast, Pat. I remember when your son got married! Boy, the years have flown by.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat! I love the beautiful views of the park. Colorado is a lovely scenic states. So glad you were able to spend time with your family, looks like a great visit. Your granddaughter is so cute. Great photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

Tanna said...

Oh, Pat! It's so hard to believe how quickly our "littles" are growing up! Four already! Time flies! She is precious! Love all your Colorado photos and info. It is a beautiful state. Hope you have a wonderful week! blessings ~ tanna

Maggie said...

Colorado is such a beautiful State, we have fond memories of a trip which we took to Vail and Aspen many years ago. The scenery there is spectacular so it's completely understandable why you'd want to share it with you family when they visit. Just seeing it from the comfort of my sofa is a thrill for me.
The birthday party looked like fun!
Happy Mosaic Monday.

Cathy Keller said...

Grand photos! We'll be visiting family there in late summer! It's always good to go home! Wishing you well!

Kris said...

We live in Colorado in the spring, summer, and most of fall, and in AZ for the winter months. I love Colorado, and thoroughly enjoyed your stories and pictures. It is always so much fun to show off our beautiful state, isn't it?

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Looks like I have a few places to visit the next I am in Colorado! Thanks for sharing. How fun!

Barbara said...

Pat, you captured the Springs and surrounding area so well with your photos and descriptions. My family has lived in the Springs twice in the past 40 years, so I have many of the same shots you have taken. They are dear to my heart.

You did an excellent job of showing the sights to your family during their visit. It is wonderful to live in a place with so many interesting places to show off!

Vee said...

Aww those grands are growing so fast! Love the sweet look the youngest grand is giving her big cousin. It is always fun ti show family the sights. And you would be the best tour guide ever! (I would not be sticking my head in that balancing rock formation...lol!)

abrianna said...

Beautiful shots. Very pretty area.

Tom said...

...it's been years since I was in "Rocky Mountain High" country, I really should do something about that! Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you again.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful. Amazing views of the snow peak.

An Aussie in San Francisco said...

Beautiful photos! I like the one with the guy "holding up the rock" in the background!

Sylvia said...

Pat, Mountain photos never disappoint. Glad you had company and did a bit of sightseeing. Sound like a good time. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

Wow! Stunning scenery and beautiful photos.

jeannettestgermain said...

I guess I "lost" my comment to the google profile I once had...
Just to reiterate: lovely array of stunning places in Colorado (after California, I guess I would like to live in your state!). Thank you much for all the stunning, and fun events with your family with ALL SEASONS! I don't recall the huge balanced rock in the garden of the gods. Is it your oldest grand that has her birthday?
Hope you keep the power on!!

Lorrie said...

Happy 4th birthday to your sweet granddaughter. They do grow up so quickly, don't they? You live in such a beautiful area for exploring and scenery. My husband visited the Garden of the Gods once, while on a business trip. Looks like a fascinating place.

A Colorful World said...

Gorgeous photos! What a great visit with family!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What cute birthday pics! I know you are happy to be there taking part in all the fun. And how nice to have company. You went to some beautiful places and made some wonderful memories! Hugs!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It's always fun to see your own 'neighborhood' through new eyes -- and you live in a place made for showing off! I'm sure your nephew and his wife are still talking about their lovely visit and the wonders of Colorado. I really enjoyed seeing familiar places in a different season from the ones we are more used to. Beautiful pictures; I really enjoyed the tour.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh and I did enjoy sharing your granddaughter's birthday party -- and believe me I know what you mean about how fast they grow. I am so glad you two are able to be there for this amazing experience. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. (Our oldest grandson (who is a teacher like his grandfather) and his wife just bought their first home! His sister, the second-oldest, is a bit ahead of him -- already a mother herself and finishing her Master's Degree at the same time. Their younger brother is in Slovakia visiting friends from college .... all this and yet, I can clearly remember them at times like you show! Time really does go by quickly -- enjoy every minute!)

Lady Fi said...

Adorable family. And oh, those mountains are glorious!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

You two make the best tour guides, I know your family members must have been thrilled with all they saw. Love the photos of your granddaughter, I can't believe she is four already.

Rhonda Albom said...

This is such amazing scenery. I like the Garden of the Gods the best. It's almost hard to believe that these are natural formations. Your four year old niece looks like she's having a great time.

Mandy 'n' Justin said...

Beautiful images! That balanced rock definitely gives me anxiety, though! :)

Liz said...

What a beautiful area! The mountain range and the rock formations are amazing!

Lisa said...

Truly breathtaking! You captured the look and feel of Colorado perfectly. I'm always amazed at the beauty of the area, and the spectacular formations of the rocks in Garden of the Gods. Thank you for sharing!

SpicingUpIdaho said...

You packed a lot into a short amount of time! Thank you for sharing the pictures, I felt as if I were driving along with you to each amazing place! How wonderful it is to live so close to such incredible views and places to visit. I never tire of the sight of mountains in all their glory! And the granddaughter bday pictures are darling :) we are looking forward to spring, even though we got 3" of snow last night, lol... and more on the way tonight! :)

handmade by amalia said...

This looks like a lot of fun, Pat, and you certainly live in a beautiful part of the world. I love overnight guests, they turn you into a tourist in your own back yard.
Amalia
xo

Snow in Tromso said...

The Rocky Mountains are totally on my bucket list. Such a stunning scenery!!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Colorado certainly has some majestic views. Thanks for linking to Blue Monday!

Jann Olson said...

I love Colorado. We visited relatives and went to pikes peak and the Garden of the Gods. We rode the train and it was a lot of fun. Would like to return one day! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Rose said...

Sounds like a wonderful visit....you sure live in a beautiful part of the country.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

A beautiful area, and one I would really like to visit!! I love the balancing rock formation! Amazing.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Glorious snowy peaks. And your grandchildren look delightful.

Rambling Woods said...

Happy Birthday to your granddaughter...adorable children.. I would love to visit this beautiful scenery myself....Michelle

Lowcarb team member said...

What a lovely collection of photographs, such beautiful scenery.
So nice to see all the family ones too ... and yes, grandchildren are great, I treasure every moment spent with ours ...

Have a great weekend

All the best Jan

indah nuria Savitri said...

such a wonderful visit indeed! I haven't been to this area and I would love to go and visit Colorado as well

Barb said...

Hi Pat, Love the photos of several places I also enjoy visiting. I bet your guests had a great time. Julia looks happy to be 4! I'm doing a snow dance - we surely need moisture and maybe a storm will reach us by end of week.