02 December 2013

A Snowy Vacation, or That Time Ben Fell into a Hot Spring

My parents seem to inexplicably have leftover timeshare points every year. Not inexplicably (because they are very generous people) they always let us use some to take our boys on little trips that we otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. Last year we went to Estes Park, and this year we got to go to Steamboat Springs!
We got into Steamboat just before dinnertime, dropping off our suitcases and whisking the boys off to have dinner. We chose a place called Fiesta Jalisco, which I had been to on a visit to Steamboat years ago, and still remembered was good. Not at all surprisingly, my memory of anything having to do with food is impeccable, and Fiesta Jalisco did not disappoint. Great way to kick off our vacation.
We got up the next morning planning on getting in one of Steamboat's few natural hot springs that isn't stinky, but were foiled by the fact that it would cost forty dollars for all four of us to go. Forty dollars may not sound like much, but Ben and Sam have the attention spans of gnats, so it would have been forty dollars for less than thirty minutes of hot spring time. No thanks. We went to the resort's outdoor spa instead.
We still wanted to see some hot springs, however, so we pulled out our trusty GPS unit and went to do some geocaching/sight seeing. 

Ryan at the Black Sulphur Spring

The cache was near the Lithia Spring, not far from downtown Steamboat. We all piled out of the car, and Ryan and Ben headed over to the spring while Sam and I consulted the GPS. The minerals in the Lithia Spring make the water a foamy white, completely the opposite of the Black Sulphur Spring. It's also surrounded by concrete, with an opening for the spring that is flush with the water level. I don't have a picture of it, and here's why:
Ryan and Ben headed over to the spring as soon as they got out of the car. Ben, not being two yet, doesn't have the er, depth perception or experience needed to walk around a white hot spring that's even with the level of the white concrete, if you get my drift. He walked right into the water. Ryan, standing less than two inches away from him, was able to pull him out quickly enough that he was completely okay, albeit stinky from falling in a natural hot spring. 
We changed his clothes and gave him a snack and let him sit on Ryan's lap in the front seat of the car, so within minutes he was happy as a clam (smelled like one, too), so Sam and I were able to find the geocache. Success!
Triumphant selfie!

We went to a fun Italian restaurant that night called Mazzola's. They had the best strategy for keeping kids occupied at dinner that we've ever encountered! Each boy got a pizza pan and a small ball of pizza dough. The waiter told us that they could make whatever they wanted, and the cooks would bake it and bring it back to us. The boys, who take after me, weren't interested in sculpting--they just started eating the dough. But I saved some and managed to get this photo:

I made their names out of dough. Can't you tell?

It started snowing that night, and didn't really stop until we left, so we kept the boys entertained with movies. The resort had this neat child playroom, which we took Sam to while Ben was napping. Check him out!

He put together a puzzle! (with help, obvs.)

We took the long way back to Laramie so we could visit Ryan's grandmother and uncle in Denver. They live in Arkansas, but made the drive out to Colorado to visit family. It's been so long since Ryan's seen his grandmother that I've never even met her, so this was a real blessing.

Grandma Marjorie was so sweet to our boys, even though Sam decided to play zombies and spent a significant amount of time pretending to eat her brain. What a nice lady. I'm so thankful that the boys and I got to meet her. She's living with Ryan's mom, now, so we'll have many more opportunities to see her again!