You know, it's been a weird spring. We had a relatively mild winter with lots of warm sunny days in February and March (interspersed with some snow, of course, but still, lots of days at the park in the middle of winter), and then sometime in April, things took a shift toward the cold and wet, and have stayed that way for over a month. This is very unusual for Colorado, and we are not pleased. The amount of wetness has been just totally insane. I really wish we could give some of it to California, because it's way more than we need or are used to.
Also, not sure if I ever mentioned it online, but Torsten changed jobs a little over a year ago, and our schedules shifted with the change, and it's taken us awhile to adjust to the new routine. The change in weather has felt more dramatic for that reason, I think... suddenly we are much more dependent on playing outside than we ever used to be. Thankfully our patio is covered, so when the kids get stir-crazy we can at least go outside a little, but it's not the same as running around the yard, horsing around with each other, playing on the swings, and going for walks.
This past weekend, the weather was still dubious (and in fact we did have rain and thunderstorms each evening), but we were so stir-crazy, and so happy to have a three-day weekend of family time with no work, that we decided to take a risk on the weather and drive an hour to the Colorado Springs area on Sunday in hopes of getting some good, pretty, active time in. Luckily for us, we were rewarded with weather that was cloudy sometimes, sunny sometimes, but only rainy during the portion of the day that we spent indoors.
We visited Helen Hunt Falls, which is accessible from the road without a hike, and then did the short (1/3 mile) but steep (200 feet in elevation gained) trail up to see Silver Cascade Falls, which was worth it even though Annika cried the whole way up because she wanted me to wear her instead of Torsten. Luckily she got over it at the summit and was perfectly cheerful the entire rest of the day. Callum also had a little moment partway up the trail after Torsten scolded him for walking too close to the edge where he sat down and refused to continue, but got over it after a few minutes and actually sang the entire rest of the hike.
We had lunch at Manitou Brewing Company, which was delicious (pork belly burger! Also Torsten said their beer was amazing). We walked (and Callum scooted) around Manitou Springs, which is adorable, in a touristy but beautiful way. We headed over to Red Rock Canyon to hike but it was closed because it's been so wet that the sandstone is currently very fragile (see? Too wet! California, please take our rain!) so we headed to Garden of the Gods instead, which turned out to be fabulous. We'd been there before, but somehow not realized that it's more than just the Central Garden; there's a ton of open space and lots of different hikes and it's all stunningly beautiful. We did stick to the Central Garden only because it has wide paved paths that were perfect for Callum's scooter, and it's enclosed enough that we could let Annika run around without worrying that she would, I don't know, fall off a rock or into a body of water or anything like that. We even brought Montana with us (poor, neglected puppy used to come with us on every outing until we had kids... now it's sadly much rarer for her to accompany us on long treks), and she had a great time too. We got home just before bedtime, everyone happy and tired, and both kids slept until 8:30 the next morning, so: WORTH IT.
The rest of the weekend was more low-key but also lovely... swim classes... friends over for lunch on Saturday, where we grilled out and were thankful for both our patio roof and our patio heater... a trip to a garden center for flowers for our barrel planter... the cooking and consuming of much delicious breakfast food... and lots of quiet family time.
It was the perfect balance of activities and down time, the kids were happy and well-behaved, and I think all four (five) of us came out of the weekend feeling rejuvenated on family time. Exactly what we all wanted. Even the dog.
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