Saturday, November 9, 2013

We survived the Colorado flood 2013

You may have heard about the massive flooding in Colorado back in September?  Well we just so happened to be vacationing smack dab in the middle of it all!  Excuse me for the long and delayed blog post but I definitely don't want to forget this adventure of a trip!

What little boy does not love watching airplanes take off?!

We usually head up to Colorado early Fall to escape the hot San Antonio temperatures with Brian's family.  This year it was just Brian's parents, us and the kiddos. We headed out on a Tuesday afternoon after picking Brayden up early from school.  We figured both kids would sleep most of the plane ride and we were mistaken!  Brayden did not sleep at all and Sterling slept a little off and on.  Brayden was just so excited and pretty much talked and played with Daddy the whole way.  We flew into Denver Tuesday evening and got to meet Uncle Keithy for dinner.  We got to our hotel way past bedtime and both kids were still in good spirits.  Got everyone to bed and about midnight Brayden (in the bed next to us) woke up crying hysterically.  Well since Sterling was also in our room we did not want him to wake her up!  Brian and I took him in the bathroom to try and figure out what in the world was wrong and the moment I picked him up I knew he had a fever.  He was burning up and we could not get him to stop crying!  Luckily I did pack medicine and it was even a battle to try and get him to take some.  Brain finally took him out of the room and went and walked around with him (both shirtless, shoeless, and walking around a hotel lobby after midnight...) He got Brayden to calm down a little, brought him back to the room and laid in his bed with him and luckily Brayden finally fell back asleep.  Brayden slept until 10:00 the next morning, later than he has ever slept before.  When he woke up, his fever seemed to be gone and thankfully he was in a great mood.
 We stayed at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs once a couple of years ago and it was absolutely gorgeous.  This Fall the Broadmoor opened up a new section way up the mountain called The Ranch at Emerald Valley.  The area has several cabins and a lodge all secluded in the mountains.  We were so excited to try out this new area and all of the fun activities they had to offer.  Guests are not able to drive their own cars up the mountain and must take the Broadmoor shuttle back and forth when they want to come and go.  It is about a six mile drive up a steep windy dirt road that takes about 30 minutes.  We got up to our cabin and it was absolutely gorgeous, beautiful inside and out with spectacular views of the mountains.  I didn't get to take as many pictures of our cabin as I would have liked, you'll hear why if you keep reading!

Our gorgeous room!

Brayden's bed tucked away up there!  Close those little curtains and it was perfect for him...except when he fell out just that one time in the middle of the night! :)

View from the porch of our cabin

Our cabin "the hill house"

Me and my girl enjoying a break from the rain
Luckily the guys were able to get a  quick round of golf in before the rain started

  It started raining not long after we got there and continued to rain, and rain, and rain.  We had seriously some of the best food I have ever had at the lodge "bbq" that night.   We had such a great time and also enjoyed getting to know the other guests. There are several chefs working there that really outdid themselves and we all walked away very full and very happy, the food was AMAZING!!!  Here are some pics of our first night:

Meals were served in the lodge, very cozy and quaint and just large enough for the guests to occupy

Brayden and daddy enjoying their dinner

This girl! :)  Sweetheart rocked herself happily in her carseat while we ate

Oh these two!  They sure have fun when they are together!  Here they  are showing off some of their dance moves and apparently some pretty funny facial expressions too!  Brayden sure does love his PaPa :)

And she rocked herself to sleep, such a good girl!
And apparently Brayden really liked the ice-cream too!

It rained through the night and we woke in the morning to find the area with rivers where there were not rivers before.  The damn at the lake broke and the whole area began flooding.  I wish these pictures did the damage justice, I have never seen anything like it in my life.

 As the day went on and we were pretty much holed up in our cabin, the situation began to get worse and a little bit more serious.  They had been trying to work on the road but every time they dropped rocks and started getting it drivable it began raining again and washed out all of their progress.  At about 3:30 in the afternoon a woman from the Broadmoor knocked on our door and told me that we should start packing our bags, they were working on the road and they were going to get us all out of there that afternoon.  At this point they had the water and electricity turned off as well.  This is when I officially started freaking out...I couldn't imagine driving down that mountain in these conditions with my two sweet babies who were currently upstairs sleeping peacefully.  So, we packed up our stuff and brought it down to the lodge to wait for our rides down the hill.  As we sat at the lodge we watched mother nature at work as huge hundreds of year old trees fell to the ground and the flooding continued. Finally they came and told me that we would be the first to go so I went to find Brian and Brayden.  As I walked up poor Brayden began throwing up...Poor buddy, just what he needed was to get on an incredibly bumpy car ride!  With no time to waste they loaded us and our luggage up in a four wheel drive jeep and since there were no car seats Brian held vomit soaked Brayden and I clung to my sweet Sterling for dear life.  I promise I am not being dramatic here, it was a seriously scary ride.  They drove over rivers and heavily flooded areas that could have washed our jeep down stream in a heart beat.  I literally prayed the entire way but am proud to say I was only brought to tears at one point during the trip.  Finally we got through the worst stretch of road and were met (very happily) with a suburban equipped with car seats that would take us the remainder of the way down the hill.  After about five minutes of this we were stopped by a dump truck filled with gravel who had slid down and was now stuck in the middle of the street blocking our way out.  We waited here for about 45 minutes while tractors pulled the dump truck out of the way.  Anyone that knows Brayden knows that he loves tractors and trucks so was definitely having a great time watching this show!

 After what seemed like the longest day in history we finally made it down to the bottom and it had started pouring down rain again.  At this time the Broadmoor was at 100% occupancy so they had a hard time finding rooms for all of us to stay.  They first took us to this three story brownstone which was very beautiful but definitely not conducive for staying with small children.  So we waited there while they found us somewhere else to stay.  Meanwhile our poor sweet Brayden starts throwing up again!  He was SUCH a trooper!  We got extremely lucky and they ended up getting us one of the grand cottages where we stayed before which are absolutely gorgeous and comfortable and perfect for our family.

Since Brayden is pretty into trains, we were really excited to take him on a "real" train ride.  We took the royal gorge route train which was about an hour from where we were staying and got to go on a train ride and have breakfast. It was a beautiful ride down by the river and he had a great time but mostly just liked climbing all over the train floor, seats, and tables...

On the deck:

The Broadmoor had a new restaurant since we were there last called "Play" which had all kinds of video games and a bowling alley!  We were excited to take Brayden bowling for the first time!

GaGa is an old bowling pro!

I almost forgot to mention that Brayden was starting to act more like himself (no more fever or throwing up) but had at this point had broken out into an unidentifiable full body rash...uugh!  Sterling had also just started coming down with a fever.  Both kiddos are such troopers though and were great with a little advil!

We headed on to the next leg of our trip to Breckenridge for our last two nights.  On the way out we stopped at an amusement park called Santa's Workshop.  Debbie and Eddie stayed in the car with Sterling while she took her nap while Brian and I took Brayden to the park.  The three of us had such a blast riding all the rides and I definitely enjoyed all of the Christmas music and decor!  

Look at that gorgeous Colorado sky!  Beautiful, perfect day!

Brayden has no fear and wanted to ride every.single.jerky and spinning  ride...Which resulted in a very nauseous mom and dad!  So glad we were able to get out and enjoy this beautiful day after all the rain we had experienced!  It was so much fun spending some time with just Brayden and giving him all of our attention :)

After getting into Breckenridge we found our house for the next two nights.  We had a great house right in town and walking distance to the Gondola.  During the off season they have a "fun park" at the top of the mountain with all kinds of activities so we headed up and checked it out!  Brayden had a blast going down the bobsled slide and playing in the bounce house.  I headed down early with my S girl because she was still not feeling good and I wanted her to get a good nap.  Sweet baby fell asleep on the short Gondola ride down and even slept in my arms as I walked back to the house.

I have got to give my amazing children some serious CREDIT!  They both got sick, slept in unfamiliar places, and spent quite a bit of time in the car...which resulted in lots of carseat naps!  Precious sleeping babies...

After a great family vacation we were all tired and ready to get back home!  Just a couple from the plane ride home:

As always thanks to my wonderful inlaws for another fun trip!
Until next year Colorado,

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