2010 Colorado vacation top 5 lists

Cambres at Pikes PeakLast night, we returned from our 2010 Colorado vacation.

I won’t bore you with all the details, and if you want the photos, go to my Facebook profile and look at my photo albums.

Here’s some top 5 lists:

Top 5 favorite things

  1. YMCA of the Rockies–the experience, the opportunities, the proximity to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park
  2. Cumbres and Toltec Railroad
  3. Mt. Evans
  4. Seeing relatives in Denver
  5. Every day, we were in the 70s and 80s (occasional low 90s in the cities) while Dallas was baking at over 100

Top 5 lessons learned

  1. Long drives are worse than flying, but they aren’t that bad with occasional stops, technology (DVD player, laptops, etc.), and family fun.
  2. Clayton, NM is a good stopping point between Dallas and much of Colorado, and the Holiday Motel in Clayton, NM is an excellent, low cost, family-owned motel.
  3. My 1½ year old tolerated the trip very well.
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Alpine Visitor Center isn’t that great. I took that route to get to Denver mainly so I could see the west side. About the only great thing between there and Denver is Berthoud Pass on US 40.
  5. YMCA of the Rockies has super fast internet.

Top 5 things I would do differently in the future

  1. Less time in Colorado Springs and Denver, more time at YMCA camp and non-urban settings.
  2. Made my kids a bit older so either A. we could have dumped them in the YMCA camps and did some things on our own or B. they would want to come along with us on some more adventurous stuff. But not to worry, they will get older some day!
  3. Pay someone to water my grass while I was gone. A generous neighbor helped with the front yard, but the (locked) back yard looked like hay when I returned.
  4. Find more non-chain, family-owned lodging (not including YMCA, which was great). The places we stayed weren’t bad, but good, non-chain places have a “soul” that the chains lack.
  5. Take a picture of the front entrance of everything we visited. That would have been an excellent record of where we went.

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