We had a wonderful time!!! The pictures are posted here - though many of the animals are a bit blurred. We mostly saw them in the evening or early morning and since a flash won't work from that distance & I didn't have a tripod they aren't all crystal clear. We also took a lot out of the car window while driving along trail ridge road in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so breath-taking and the pictures really do not do it justice. It was overwhelming to see & at times scary to drive through!!
We left out the morning of the 17th and spent on night in Amarillo and the 2nd night in Denver. We could have made it on into Estes Park, but our reservations weren't until Sunday afternoon. Speaking of reservations...all I can say is that pictures can be quite deceiving. The place we had booked our stay at online was not really what we had anticipated. I won't put the link to the place, but they were green...so if you plan to go to Colorado Park and you see a green cabin don't stay there!!! When we arrived we immediately knew that we wanted to look for other accomodations ~ so we put together a scouting party (My daddy, my sister and her husband, and me and Michael) & headed off to find somewhere else to stay. Now I can rough it, but we all wanted to relax...and that couldn't be done there!
We went to the visitor's center and got a few recommendations and ended up staying at Bugle Point Condos, which are connected to Creekside Suites - both very nice and so beautiful! I have pictures of my own up as well. Within an hour we had everyone moved over and in much better spirits!!!
That night we just vegged...my sister and I went to the store to get food for dinner and everyone else got unpacked. The next day we started our excursions. We went horeback riding & had a steak dinner prepared for us on the trail; we went river rafting and got frozen from having water fights w/ the other rafts on the river; we hiked at Bear Lake, Alberta Falls, and found a few other trails while out and about on these two relatively easy strolls!
Michael and I spent a couple early mornings and late evenings just driving around looking for wildlife and one evening went on Trail Ridge Road where my nephews went sledding. Michael had done it earlier w/ them, but this time was too cold! We say rams while we were up there, too!!! It was so breath-taking...we were just about at 13,000 feet I think! When they were all out the first time, I took a solo trip over to the Stanley Hotel in town. I missed the last tour of the day so I just walked around on my own. The hotel is supposedly haunted and is where Stephen King was inspired and wrote The Shining. Even though I didn't have a guide I started imaging the kinds of stories they would tell and eventually even spooked myself. At one point I went into the manor, which seemed to be totally deserted, but before I got entirely inside the foyer I turned around and decided I didn't want to venture off alone in a haunted hotel!!! Yeah, I know...there was nothing really there, but I had just built up so many stories in my head while walking around the place!!
Friday morning when we got up to leave I was ready, but at the same time didn't want to leave. I could easily live in Colorado...I would want to live in the city, maybe Denver, so I could drive out to places like we stayed just for the weekend. I loved the weather - I know it was summer and the winters aren't the same, but it would be worth it. It did rain a little one day, but it was not muggy at all. That was the best part. We could really tell the difference as we were making our way back to Houston. We'll go back, though...I know that! Michael is ready to go again! I would like to go during the winter next time, though and go to a ski resort. Estes isn't really known for skiing, but it is a beautiful area.
Well, it's back to work now. It's been nice to not have to worry about answering the phone or emails!