Sunday, June 22, 2008

Woodland Park - The City Above The Clouds

Cfiles7413We're on vacation.  On Friday, we flew from Nashville to Denver.  We landed amidst thunderstorms and strong winds.  After we landed and got our rental car, we travelled out of the airport at 9:00pm and all around us were lightning storms - no rain, just flashes of lightening.  It was a great introduction for the boys to Colorado. 

Woodland_parkWe drove 2 hours from the airport past Colorado Springs and up into Woodland Park to finally arrive at our friends house, the Ham's.  Britt, Michelle, Jack, Dylan and their newborn Bennett, used to be our backyard neighbors.  We're coming up to visit them after Krissy was invited to sing at the Pike's Peak Christian Artists Festival and Woodland Park Christian Church over the next 10 days. 

The boys are best friends and when they get together it's like they've never been apart.  Britt and Michelle are so sweet to host us for so long.  I hope we don't become a nuisance.  So far, though, we've had a blast.  Here's what we've done...

PikespeakcoloradospringsOn Saturday we watched Jack & Dylan's last baseball game.  They live in a beautiful part of the country.  Woodland Park sits below Pike's Peak - one of the tallest mountains in the area - over 11,000 feet.  We woke up on Saturday to crystal blue skies and headed straight to the baseball fields.  On the way, you have a majestic view of the Peak - covered in snow.  We watched them play for a while, then Krissy and I headed just down the street to the festival for soundcheck and Krissy's first set.  The setting for the festival is breathtaking. Sitting on the lawn, you face a view of the stage and Pike's Peak in the distance.  It's gorgeous.  Krissy's set went really well.  We met some wonderful people that hosted the event.  We also met a great band called The Sonflowerz.  We spent time talking to the band and their parents.  It was a good time of fellowship and encouragement.  The boys and the Ham's spent a few hours at a Baseball season ending party where they had burgers and hot dogs.  They had fun, they said.

Later that day, we went dirt bike riding.  Britt invited us out to a friend's house that live on some acreage.  The boys and I had a blast riding for over an hour on the open range on the edge of Woodland Park.  I rode with Alex on a 4-wheeler.  Kaden quickly adjusted to Dylan's bike and wanted to go fast!  Alex also got on Dylan's bike and was very careful, but always had a smile on his face.  I eventually got to ride Britt's fast race bike.  WOW - was it awesome.  I definitely want to do that again. 

That evening, Michelle and Britt invited Danny and Suzie and Trevor (the people who owned the land where we rode) and their boys (Nate and Sammy) over for dinner.  We grilled pork tenderloins and ate until our hearts were content!  Later, we roasted marshmallows at the Ham's backyard fire pit.  It was awesome!  Kaden stuffed 3 S'more's in his mouth.  He loved playing with the fire.    The boys watched a funny movie called "The Sandlot".

We had a great first day. 

GreenmountainfallscoloradoToday, we started our morning off with breakfast at The Pantry in Green Mountain Falls - a small town just southeast of Woodland Park.  All 9 of us pigged out on pancakes, sausages, bacon, eggs, omelets, cinnamon raisin bread and more!  Yum!  After that, we went on a beautiful hike up towards the Green Mountain Falls.  There had been mountain lion's spotted up there - I have to admit my antennae's were up on the lookout, but we didn't see any.   I kept telling myself what to do just in case. Talk in a low voice, face them, don't look them in the high, make yourself big and slowly back away.  Luckily, I didn't have to use this technique. 

Michelle hiked with Bennett - I was amazed at that.  We made it about halfway and then it just got too steep for us all - especially Michelle and Bennett.  So, we headed back down and enjoyed the scenery of the area on the way down. 

The boys played in their basement for a while.  Kaden's been really curious about a couple of mice that have gotten stuck in the window sill of the basement window. They will probably die because they have no way of escaping.  Poor things.  Kaden and Alex have also been jumping in the Ham's trampoline a lot.  It's been fun.  They have a basketball hoop on one end so they can slam dunk little basketballs in there. Kaden's been jumping non stop and loves it when anyone jumps with him so he can sit there and get thrown up in the air!  He laughs so hard! 

Later that afternoon, Krissy sang another set at the Pike's Peak Christian Arts Festival.  The Ham's came and watched. Krissy did great.  It began raining hard just after Krissy finished her set with the song "Downpour".  Maybe she shouldn't have sang that one so convincingly! 

After that, we went to one of the area sports parks and played flag football with the boys for over an hour.  It was a turf field.  Really nice.  Britt, Kaden and Dylan played against me, Alex and Jack.  We had fun.  Soon, some other kids came and joined us for a little while.  It was fun!  Alex was playing like a wildman - he's ready for tackle football.  He was running through the other kids and making great catches and scoring big TD's. Kaden was also playing great - running past other kids and juking around to make some scores.

We had a nice dinner that the girls prepared that night and the boys watched the first half of Transformers.  Tomorrow morning we'll watch the rest.  Britt has to work in the morning, I'm not sure what we have planned.  I'm sure he's wiped from the weekend.   

It sure is beautiful out here. We're getting used to the high altitude - drinking lots of water, using chapp stick and drinking more water.  I'm a lot more tired than normal up here too. 

The Ham's have been great hosts.  They've treated us so well.  We love it here!  Stay tuned for more updates from The City Above The Clouds!

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