Happy FOURTH OF JULY! And, by golly, what a way to spend it....absorbing the atmosphere of the place John and I have loved ever since choosing it for our honeymoon destination. I was eager to soak in the parade, small town community feel, and festiveness of the day - but also reluctant to lead the charge as I'd been hustling our family along since Saturday with all of the "must do" activities - and now it was time to slow down the pace.
Hunger won out and kicked everyone in to gear though - no free continental breakfast at this place. The front desk clerk recommended a good cafe for breakfast (that I admit believing we'd have no chance of getting into given it was on main street where the throng of people were attending a parade - but, I (tried to) kept my mouth shut and went with it).
Outside view of our lodging.
The parade was kicked off right as we walked down the hill from the hotel (fortunately we were able to walk everywhere, a huge blessing as pulling our vehicle out with valet costs each time would have been atrocious....much less parking being a problem). The parade began with the crew of bikers that just completed a 50 mile ride. We were thinking of participating, but....(ha ha!!!)
And, these pictures pretty much sum up the crowds along all of main street. It was a pain to weave through, but it totally warmed my heart. Especially all of the dogs and little kids dressed up and in attendance...
After feeling like we were lost (and a tad grumpy) on a number of occasions we found our destination and were told we only had a 15 minute wait. Glad I bit my tongue...
While our kiddos were by no means perfect on this trip, especially in terms of getting along, they were just about as great as we could hope for. They tend to draw closer on these kind of trips as they are forced to rely on one another to be each other's buddy. However, they do have distinct personalities. Mikayla wakes up early, but wakes up slow - she doesn't really appreciate Brayden's hyper personality from the moment he gets out of bed (as evidenced on vacation....he's not quite that happy on school mornings!). Heck, we were all tired of Brayden's "Happy Pestering" upon waking up....just too much when we were trying to work as a team to get where we needed to next. He's such an otter! But, for the most part, they enjoyed each other and were a team. The new i-pad minis they'd earned money to buy were also priceless additions to the trip (especially when driving). We did have to institute proper etiquette in restaurants, though - that they would look the server in the eye when ordering and not trying to finish their game.....
After a hearty breakfast, we meandered over to this kid area along the main street.
They were too big for the inflatables, but not too big to play in the river and experience just how cold the mountain river water at 9000 feet feels like....
Around the corner, we found these trampoline attractions - worth the money to give our kids some actual "fun" besides window shopping and eating while in the town.
Then, we asked a kind security guard to take our annual "Fourth of July" pic - not a bad backdrop...
What a cute little Starbucks. I started conversation with a gentleman while John was in the store with Brayden. Talked about where we live, our liberal city - but the benefits of working with college students through our church. It was pleasant. Later, as we walked back by, he called out and stopped me to tell me that his wife actually attended our church while her father spent summers getting a Masters Degree at UofO....what a small world!
Dogs and puppies were everywhere...sometimes we couldn't resist.
This little three month bulldog's name is Otis. I wanted desperately to take Otis home with us.
So did Mikayla.
The Art and Cultural Center of Breckenridge. That whole town is just so classy, beautiful, cozy....warm. No wonder we couldn't wait to return.
We headed back after hitting up some shops for t-shirts and sweatshirts, and another store for ice cream. Time to get a nap in, some time in the pool/hot tub, and regroup before going to dinner and watching fireworks.
We had a great server - she gave us a trivia quiz on "Forrest Gump" - which we definitely failed. But, it was fun nonetheless. Great atmosphere...ok food choices. I need to remember to order the ribs and split them with Mikayla if we ever go again. The clam chowder was not a good choice (but the key lime pie kind of made up for it!).
I was surprised but relieved when the family decided to bypass the fireworks and instead just return to the room. Mikayla was worried about thunder clouds - that we would be exposed to lightening. Brayden just didn't care as much, and John and I were just tired. We were told we wouldn't be able to see the fireworks from our hotel, but actually, when standing at just the right angle at the window, you could actually see them. It helped me to feel like I didn't miss out on the opportunity. And, the bonus, at the end, I was steps away from my bed. While we were savoring the experiences of this trip, the fatigue of all of our adventures was setting in for all of us. And tired equals cranky - and cranky steals joy from it all. Time to go to bed.