Colorado Road Trip with Travel Ready prAna

Eleven years in, and the thrill of living in the state of Colorado has not worn off for me.  One of my absolute favorite Colorado road trips is east / west over the Rocky Mountains.  If you haven't traveled this stretch of I-70, you need to add it to your bucket road trip list. Colorado Road Trip This is a frequent Colorado road trip route for my family, whenever we head to Denver for the weekend.  Love the scenery along Colorado's I-70, as it dodges and weaves along the Colorado River in many places. The views obviously change with the seasons, both varying and beautiful.  My husband probably thinks I'm crazy, taking pictures with my phone on the journey.  Every. Single. Time. Favorite rest area?  Grizzly Creek, just a few miles east of Glenwood Springs.  It offers hiking trails and an easy stroll down to take in the Colorado River.  Simply lovely, and an excellent place to take a short break and stretch your legs.  And take some more pictures.  Every.  Single. … [Read more...]

Colorado Summer Fun with FREE Elitch Garden Concerts 2017 + Season Pass Perks

The school year is winding down, and it’s time to start plugging in some “don’t miss” fun events into your Colorado summer fun calendar.  Check out this upcoming music roster and incorporate some of the Elitch Gardens Concerts for 2017, and consider the perks of being a season passholder. There is no additional charge to attend the music concerts, they are free with park admission.  Plus, Elitch Gardens offers an excellent season pass deal of only $69.99 (more on this below), which will have you covered for lots of summer excitement. Located in the heart of Denver, when my family visited Elitch Gardens for the first time we had a blast.   My kids were ages 4 and 10 at the time, and both had fun.  These were our favorite Elitch Gardens Experiences we consider must-dos. We’d love to return some time and check out the water park area.  And planning our visit during one of these Elitch Gardens Concerts for 2017 seems like an awesome idea we may have to try. Elitch Gardens … [Read more...]

Goodbye Camper… Sold to an Ex-Con

About three years ago, we bought our first camper.  A 1979 Winnebago bumper pull, the only year Winnebago made a trailer style camper.  Built extremely stout.  After a little cosmetic TLC inside, it was a delightful starter camper.  We’ve made some awesome memories with it. Overall, it was just exciting and fun to own a camper… and we were grateful to have found such a cheap one.  But alas, it suffered two critical problems. Waaaay too heavy to be pulled by our Tahoe. The sleeping arrangements left much to be desired. Every time we pulled that sucker up to our local Grand Mesa, with an elevation of 10,800 feet, my husband would look at me and just shake his head.  “We’ve GOT to stop pulling this heavy camper with the Tahoe.” And every time he’d wake up cranky the next morning after a restless night spent trying to fit his 6 foot frame on one of the two restrictive sleeping spots, “I’m NOT going to sleep another night in that camper.” Osh no!  But I love … [Read more...]

Start Kids Early at Summer Adventure Camp

Living in Colorado brings with it the privilege of easy access to a gorgeous outdoor playground.  It’s a large part of why my family lives here, yet it still takes an ongoing effort to get out there and enjoy it.  Even though we love the outdoors, we get busy with everyday life. Then there’s those darn screens, always ready-at-the-helm to suck time.  So I’m constantly looking for opportunities to fit outdoor play into my kids schedule.  Avid4 Adventure summer camps is bringing in the reinforcements, and has got you and your kids covered this summer. "Sending our daughter to Avid4 Adventure camp was one of the single best decisions we’ve ever made as parents. We learned much about her as a person and she felt awesome about herself and her experiences."                                                                                       ~ Avid4 Adventure parent Avid4 Adventure Summer Adventure Camps I absolutely love the Avid4 Adventure’s concept of summer adventure camps. … [Read more...]

Inside Peek at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs

Good news for Coloradans, and other fun-loving families in the region.  You've heard of the legendary indoor water park resorts: Great Wolf Lodge.  Well, now is your chance to visit one!  Last weekend marked the official Grand Opening Celebration at their newest location: Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, Colorado. Although we live in Western Colorado, it was well worth the journey last weekend for my family to go check it out.  Suffice it to say… my kids didn’t want to come home.  Here’s an inside peek at the new Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs , and what to expect with your stay. Slow Beginnings… Colorado’s First Great Wolf Lodge Around 3 years ago, a developer with big dreams selected a prime location.  With fabulous views of the Rocky Mountains, sitting just to the north of Colorado Springs, ground was broken on a large hotel and convention center.  Alas, it never fully came to fruition. Locals tell a sad tale of a half completed hotel and convention center, sitting … [Read more...]

Why You Need to See Colorado in the Fall

A year-round outdoor lover, I’d have to say that Fall is my absolute favorite season in Colorado.   The Fall colors in Colorado showcase a breathtaking mix of golds and greens, as the Aspen trees start to change color and contrast against the pines. There are numerous driving routes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, available to behold this Fall splendor.  There's also an extensive trail system available for exploring, as the state is filled with outdoor lovers who love to go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and 4x4 off roading. Here are some ideas on best bets for accommodations, keeping your kids excited about the adventure, my favorite Colorado scenic drive, and when to come visit. Colorado ~ Where To Stay First off, what are your options for accommodations?  Well, I say go native.  And by that I mean... embrace a nice cabin with a fireplace and hot tub, if  you can! If you’ve never staying a luxury lodge style cabin… you are in for a pleasant surprise.  … [Read more...]

It’s Good To Know How to Talk To Youth About Marijuana

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Ahhh… summertime. Sunny days spent at the pool, barbecue cookouts, and a break from school.  Kids are typically left with more freedom and time to hang out with their friends during the summer months.  This makes it an important time to talk to youth about marijuana use. Did you know that according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, first-time use of most substances, such as drugs and alcohol, among youth peaks during the summer months of June and July? One of the best ways to deter underage retail marijuana use is for informed adults to be prepared to have some honest conversations with youth about the topic.  To assist in this endeavor, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has launched the Good To Know campaign to offer parents free information, tips, and tools. Good To Know ~ Talking To Youth Tips In … [Read more...]

What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana in Colorado

As all Coloradans are likely aware, this state now has the distinction of being one of the few locations in the US where retail use of Marijuana is legal.   This has brought about numerous changes to Colorado in recent months, including an influx of new residents. And a whole new ball game for parents to be prepared for. My kids are still quite young, but I’ve heard firsthand from Colorado moms about the new challenges that legalized use of marijuana has presented. One Denver area mom lamented to me how the primary argument she used to use with her son over recreational marijuana use, “it’s against the law”, has now become null and void, leaving her unsure of what else to say. His arsenal bolstered, he now enjoys pointing out to her, “See mom… it’s NOT against the law – there’s nothing wrong with using marijuana.” Especially for impressionable teenagers, you can see how this development has opened the way for the mentality: “Since it’s not illegal, it must be harmless”. New Free … [Read more...]

Top 5 Experiences at Elitch Gardens

America's only downtown amusement park, Elitch Gardens is located in the heart of Denver, Colorado.  For one admission price, you'll gain entrance to both this historical amusement park full of fun rides, and also an entire water park. My family recently enjoyed our very first visit to Elitch Gardens!  We stuck to the rides on the theme park side on this particular day, but would love to go back some time and also check out the water park.  Here were some of our favorite moments! Top 5 Experiences at Elitch Gardens #5 ~ Kids Roller Coaster Blazin' Buckaroo My 4 year old son is by far the wildest rider in our family.  The boy is fearless. Unfortunately for him... he's just not quite tall enough to go on the biggest and most thrilling rides yet.  [Mom sighs in relief.] So the biggest highlight for him at Elitch's was Blazin' Buckaroo, the family roller coaster.   Actually, we all liked it and rode it several times!  Every time we got off, he'd say, "Now I want to go on the … [Read more...]

Colorado Road Trip in the Legacy

Last weekend my family attended a convention in Denver.  Living on the "Western Slope" (west side of the Rocky Mountains), this meant a scenic road trip across the state of Colorado to reach the "Front Range" (the more populated east side of the Rocky Mountains, where Denver is located).  Plus, we had the exciting opportunity to borrow a 2015 Subaru Legacy for our mini vacation.   Among other things, this meant a sunroof. Sunroof's are always a good time! I love traveling on I-70 for a Colorado road trip, and think it's one of the prettiest and most impressive stretches of  US interstate in the country.  In many places, it hugs the Colorado River. Where the mountain passes were too steep, or geography just didn't lend itself well, they've built a tunnel or two through which you'll traverse.   Terrain through a few stretches (just east of Glenwood Springs is my favorite) will wind you through breathtaking canyons.  This was my first time doing so in a car with a … [Read more...]