Near the beginning of October, I began asking people where the best drives are to see some great autumn foliage. over and over again i heard "Estes Park"! i'm sayin, multiple, multiple people suggested that drive. so, i begged erin to come with me.... i had to do some pretty sweet talking since she had just gotten back from a vaca and needed to unpack and catch up on work. she's my random unplanned adventure buddy.
back to Estes: i loved the suggestion, but really, the drive up was pretty lackluster. it was all evergreens. no reds and oranges and yellows like i was really looking for. actually, it was kind of funny because the only colorful trees we ended up seeing were those that were planted in a park by humans. i understand the real beauty that people talk about in Estes is through the National Park. i didn't do that... so maybe that's where everyone was talking about.
the kids were pretty darn well-behaved.... until we stopped to get sandwiches at the smallest/most crowded subway ever. that's where the boys decided it would be a great idea to take their shoes off as i was ordering. goooood times.
trying to find a fun park to eat at was a challenge, but it forced us to explore the town. we ended up going to a playground in the mountains that was not public... i'm pretty sure it was private for the condos but we were desperate.
it had a little picnic table and a small playground with a swing and tetherball. seth and kelsey played tetherball for a while.... at one point seth said "did i win the chicken dinner!!?" funny boy! luke was married to the swing and gave his little high-pitched holler when he was slowing down too much.
wanting to get a nice photo op, i suggested we head up the little trail that ran next to the "park". luke carried his sandwich the whole time and was rather distraught when it dropped into the dirt. all that sadness went away when we discovered a little squirrel who seemed like he needed a turkey sandwich on wheat.
our little walk didnt last long since i am terrified of bears and was certain that us + food meant that a bear was behind every rock. i tried to mask my panic... but that doesnt mean i didnt make the party pack up early.
on our way home, we spotted a crap-load of elk at a golf course in Estes! Literally 50 or more of them just chilling.... the resident old guys, who i am sure had been sitting there all day, gave us a little educational lesson on them. it was cute. the boys had fun. and i felt like the trip had been a little more worth it after getting to see so many elk and so close!
then it was time to find the perfect leaf to take home. this turned into "cover me with leaves!" by seth, collecting sticks by kelsey, and playing with action figures by lukey!
on the way home we ran into a heard of them crossing the road! erin and i were stoked but the kiddos were much more interested in the movie being played in the car. meh.
it's these sort of unplanned adventures that i love to do. i feel like the less expectations i have about something, the more fun i end up having! and, i got to see my fall colors as we drove past the farms near boulder and erie! win, win.