Sometimes, you just need a getaway. Adulting is hard. It can be tough to be married and even tougher to be parents. It seems so whimsical and romantic at first glance. The proposal, the wedding, the rings, happily ever after and cute, cuddly special deliveries from the stork. But, the stork didn’t deliver our son. I DID. And while he is certainly cute and cuddly, his birth was not so much. Ahh…reality.
The bills that followed his birth were also very uncute. The screaming for 3 months? Uncute. Toddler tantrums? Not so cuddly. And while Stu and I are blessed to be very happy in our marriage, being on call 24/7 as parents is unromantic. We can’t be spontaneous when he has a job with a schedule and we have to find a sitter. Not whimsical. Our topics of conversation are “Did you pay this bill or should I?” “Are you mowing the lawn today?” “I need your help holding our son down so I can change his poopy diaper.” Unromantic.
We love our lives and our family. But we needed time for just the two of us. We needed to reconnect. We needed to talk about something other than money, work, and poop. We needed a getaway. That’s why we headed off for Estes Park, Co in late October. Here are the highlights.
Estes Getaway Day 1
My parents came up to watch the boys on Thursday night so that we could head out early to get to Estes by lunch time. Boy, am I glad we did! We ate at a highly recommended place called Ed’s Cantina. If you are one of the many people who recommended Ed’s to us, thank you!
You guys, I’m such a picky eater. I wanted to try something outside of my comfort zone…but not really. I HATE wasting money and didn’t want to waste a dining out opportunity on something I may not like. But, I went for it. I ordered bison enchiladas! Sure, I asked them if they could sub the spicy sauce, but still, I tried something new! The waitress offered a queso sauce so it was a win! If you’re ever in Estes, try out Ed’s Cantina!
We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around and checking out all the shops that Estes has to offer. For dinner, we ate at Mama Rose’s, an Italian place that had a nice ambiance and delicious food.
After a long day of shopping and stuffing ourselves, we went back to our cabin to relax for the evening. If you are looking for a cozy cabin in the mountains, you should consider staying at Annie’s Mountain Resort.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the River Cabin. The decor is just what you’d picture for a cabin in the mountains. It was clean and cozy with an electric fireplace. Plus, our favorite feature, a private hot tub on the deck! It was so nice to relax under the stars after a long day.
Estes Getaway Day 2
On Saturday, we woke up early to head into Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove to the Bear Lake lot and began the 1.8-mile hike up to Emerald Lake.
The weather was beautiful while we were there but it was chilly that early in the morning, especially as we ascended up the trail. There was a little bit of snow on the ground but we were warm enough if we kept moving.
After our morning of hiking, we headed back into Estes to hunker down at The Wheel to watch the Huskers play Purdue. It was kind of fun to sit in a different state with other Husker fans and cheer on our team. At one point, a fellow fan nominated me to lead the “Go Big Red” cheer. I was only too happy to oblige. 😉
To celebrate a Husker victory, we stopped by Snowy Peaks Winery for a wine tasting. We started a tradition on our first anniversary of picking out a wine to keep on hand to enjoy the following anniversary. This time, we picked a delicious Apple Nectar mead from Redstone Meadery.
We were exhausted by this point. So, we decided to pick up a pizza at the local Safeway and enjoy a night in. This guy was also doing a little shopping in town. He was the only elk we saw up close the whole trip!
Estes Getaway Day 3
On Sunday, we slept in a bit and enjoyed a lazy morning around the cabin. Then, we packed up and went for brunch at Claire’s Restaurant. Again, we highly recommend it. Stuffed full, we hopped in the car and began winding our way back down the mountain and off toward home. I was missing my boys.
We decided that we are going to make a weekend getaway a priority every year. We don’t have the budget to take a big trip each time. Some years, we might just drop the kids off at Grammy’s and pitch our tent at a campground nearby. It doesn’t have to be fancy. We just have to be together.
Our lives are full and blessed. We love our son and our puppy. Stu enjoys his job. I get to stay home and watch our boy grow up. But we are adults with responsibilities and stress. We needed this getaway to remember why we chose each other and why we decided to build this crazy life together. There’s no one I’d rather hike a mountain trail with. There’s no one I’d rather yell for when I need a hand with a poopy diaper, either. Love you, Stu. Where should we go next year?
Our Family Christmas Letter 2016 - Shannon LenzDecember 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm
[…] Stuart and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary with a trip to Estes Park, CO. You can read about that here if you haven’t already. The gist of it is that we had a beautiful […]