When I meet new people (which has been happening quite a lot lately), I always enjoy talking about my family when the question inevitably pops up.
I mention that I’m close with my parents (and miss them fiercely), the age gap between my brothers and I, and that one brother lives in Denver and the other lives in Turkey.
And that’s after living in India. And prior to that, Mexico. And in-between, D.C.
While I love this fun fact and explaining that sister-in-law is a badass who works for the Foreign Service, in real life it means that we usually only get to see those guys (Spencer, Mary, Everest, and Atlas) once a year when they use vacation time to visit the states.
Last week was one of those annual visits. Chad and I hopped on a plane to Colorado (our third trip back since moving to Milwaukee) and we got to spend some time with my parents, Turkey fam, Denver fam (including my niece Nora and her brand new baby sister Vivian!), and extended family who were kind enough to meet up with us in Grand Junction and Denver. It was a great time, and I was thankful for some quality time before another year of long-distance communication passes.
Grand Junction highlights
After a horrific travel experience (including flight delays and a tragic 3-hour sit on i70 that led to 24 hours without sleep), Chad and I made it to Grand Junction, CO to my parents’ house. I stayed for five days, while Chad could only join for the weekend before flying back home.
Some of the GJ highlights included:
- Our nightly stay in the Airstream, parked out front.
- The pool! (Duh.) My favorite place in the world.
- While all time spent with my parents is special, this trip was especially unique thanks to their new addition: we went to Austin, Colorado to pick up their new puppy! Bijou is a sweet and spunky ausselier.
- Not one, but TWO meals from one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Tacoparty.
- A gorgeous drive and quick stop at the Colorado National Monument.
- A tour at the Suncrest Alpaca Farm in nearby Palisade with the entire entourage in tow.
- Wine and charcuterie at Maison La Belle winery in Palisade.
- Lots of giggles and playtime with my nephews Everest and Atlas, especially in the pool.
- A morning of hiking and scenery at the Grand Mesa with Spencer, Mary, Everest, Atlas and my aunt, uncle, and cousin Becky, Jess, and Lindsay.
- Lots of family time at the house, in the pool, around the dinner table. Shout out to everyone who made the journey to Grand Junction, including my grandparents Bert and Shirley, aunt Stacy, aunt Mary, aunt Becky, uncle Jess, cousin Lindsay, brother Spencer, sister-in-law Mary, and nephews Everest and Atlas. And of course to our wonderful hosts, my parents Rick and Michelle. 🙂
From there, everyone traveled to the Denver area for a final few days in Colorado before flying out of DIA. Everyone stayed in the Golden area, which is one of my favorite spots that’s loaded with easy-access mountain views and nostalgia for Chad’s college era at Colorado School of Mines.
Some Golden highlights included:
- My brother, Tyler, got to join us, along with his wife Natalie and daughter Nora. Plus…I got to meet my brand new niece Vivian! It was so great to see them and finally meet Vivian in person.
- It was also cool to see my grandparents get to meet their latest great-granddaughter!
- It’s always fun to see my niece and nephews interact and play together – they were so excited for cousin time. I got to put on my ‘Auntie Boo’ hat for a bit. 🙂
- Downtown Golden is as fun as ever – loved the new addition of Tributary Food Hall, which provided everyone with light options for dinner. I also had a margarita, to celebrate some exciting student loan news!!
- Grabbing a classic breakfast at Sunrise Sunset (my corned beef and hash was delicious).
- A quick and easy trip through DIA’s security finished off a lovely trip, along with Chad and Wally there for pickup at my arrival. 🙂
While it’s never easy saying goodbye, for now I’m feeling full (my cup runneth, my heart brims, my tummy feels the post-vacation bloat). Until next time!