I have come to the conclusion that Garth and I are the bomb-diggity at planning vacations. We are so amazing at it, we should probably do it more often haha.
Back in May, Garth set a goal to have his best month of sales and if he reached his goal, we were going to go to a Broncos game. Peyton Manning is pretty much his hero, and Garth wanted to go and watch him play while he is in his prime.
On Tuesday, October 21st after Garth's classes we got on the road and drove for 8 hours to Sheridan, Wyoming. I was a little worried about going on a long road trip with a toddler but for the most part it went really well! I had new toys waiting for him when he was bored and lots and lots of books. We also loaded some movies onto the iPad which really helped when it was dark out but he wasn't sleepy.
When we arrived at our hotel in Sheridan, Garth and I were so exhausted and ready to sleep, unfortunately, Grant decided he wanted to party all night. They had a nice playpen already set up in our room when we got there but Grant wouldn't have it. He slept in the bed with us and kept me up all night long!
The next morning, we woke up and ate the best hotel breakfast I have ever had. We honestly wanted to come back and stay on the way home just for the breakfast haha.
Whenever we stopped for lunch or gas, we would let Grant run around a bit which made him really happy!
After 7 hours of driving, we arrived in Denver just in time for dinner! We stopped at Ghengis Grill. Garth and I had already planned out all the places we wanted to eat at before the trip, and I knew this had to be one of them. We ate there last time we were in Denver, but I was 2 months pregnant with Grant and sooo sick that I spent most of the trip throwing up, rather than enjoying the amazing food. Luckily this time around, I got to eat a lot :)
|So happy to be out of the car!|
The next day we went out shopping and headed to Rodizio Grill, my favorite place!
Afterwards, we took the train to the Bronco's game! The anticipation had been killing us all day because everywhere we went people were dressed up in blue and orange, all over the city.
It couldn't have been a nicer night. All I wore was a hoodie and it was perfect. I couldn't believe the weather, after all it was almost the end of October. I quickly learned about the sunsets in Denver. Garth told me about them, but I am glad I got to witness it for myself. The sky was gorgeous every single night we were there. Every night when the sun goes down, not only is there an absolutely gorgeous orange and blue sky above the peaks of the rocky mountains, but there is never wind, and honestly the evenings could not be more enjoyable.
Grant had barely woken up when we got to the Stadium so he was a little reserved and quiet for the first half, trying to figure out where the heck we were, what was going on and why everyone was screaming.
After he "woke up" and downed a whole cup of Lemonade, he was hilarious. He was flirting with all the girls and giving out high fives and fist bumps to everyone around us. It was so funny. he would actually stare someone down, hold out his fist and would not put it down or break eye contact until that person "pounded" his fist. He was so well behaved and sat on our laps the whole game! I was so glad we took him with us because he made it an even more memorable experience. Plus everyone thought we were the coolest for bringing him with us haha.
During the game some guy came up to him and gave Grant this button.
It was a great game, Peyton Manning was amazing as usual and the Bronco's WON!
Grant danced all the way back to the train station, there was lots of parties in the parking lots with music playing. Once we got our car, we went to DQ to celebrate. It was such an amazing night!
The next two days were filled with lots of good food, shopping and sight seeing! The last time I was here, I was impressed with how beautiful the city was. So again this time we drove through the city, around the University campus and through lots of beautiful neighbourhoods.
Because Garth spent two years of his life here, we had some people we just had to visit! Friday morning we went over to the Geist's, an awesome couple that Garth became close to when he worked along side them during his mission in Denver. Later that evening we went over to the Margaritas, the best Mother-Daughter combo ever and had a delicious homemade Mexican meal. Grant loved reading all the books at the Geist's and loved playing with Margarita all evening. It was awesome getting to catch up with everyone again.
Friday night we went down to 16th Street Mall because... well that's where the party is at! Last time we visited Denver our hotel was right off 16th Street, so we spent a lot of time there and knew it is an awesome place to hang out.
I think if I HAD to pick a favorite day, it would have been Saturday. After more shopping and eating a massive lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings we headed downtown to the Summit Music Hall to see Andrew McMahon live in concert! When we were planning this trip, I thought it would be fun to check and see if there were any cool concerts going on while we were down there. When I did, and I saw that Andrew McMahon was in Denver that week... I almost fell out of my chair. To give you some perspective, I have been listening to and loving his music since I was 15 years old. He was in two different bands, one called Something Corporate and the other Jack's Mannequin and then continued on with a solo career. I have had a continual love for his music and to see him live was at the top of my bucket list.
I didn't even care that I had a toddler, because as soon as I knew it was an All Ages show, I knew there was nothing stopping me from going to that concert haha.
Once we got into the venue, we realized it could not have been more perfect for our current situation. There was a large standing place by the stage and then there were some seats and tables in the back, where Grant could stay. I was worried about his little eardrums but he was far enough back that it wasn't loud at all.
The first opening act, was an acoustic solo artist who kind of shouted the whole time but Grant liked it and danced along. The second act was soo good! They were a band called Hunter Hunted from L.A., which could be described as a musically less mature, electronic, version of Guster. We downloaded their EP as soon as we got home. They had a violinist touring with them which only made it more epic.
I almost died when Andrew McMahon came on and started playing. He was even more talented then I knew. Not only are his songs meaningful and beautiful, he really knows how to rock out on a piano. I was expecting him to play songs, almost exclusively, off his solo EP and new album (Which thankfully he played alot of) but I seriously almost died when he played a bunch of his older songs (both from Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin). It's probably safe to say I cried through the vast majority of the concert.
Having Garth and Grant there made the concert even more memorable. Garth was so nice taking care of Grant while I could go closer to watch. And then I would sit with Grant while Garth went closer to take pics and videos. We were a perfect team. Grant loved the music and he stayed awake through the whole concert, right up to the encore that is. Garth was such a good strong daddy carrying him all the way back to the train station, on the train and then to our car, even though his back was pretty much shot after that.
|Smiling through the pain|
The next morning we got up and went to church with the Pages before we headed on our way home. I haven't mentioned the Pages yet because I was saving them for last. They were the best part of our trip and made it so much better, fun and manageable. They let us stay with them the whole time we were there and fed us breakfast every morning! But our favorite part was our evening chats with them each night when we arrived back from our adventures. We are so blessed to have them in our lives and we were sad to say goodbye!
We drove 10 hours that day and stopped in Bozeman, MT where Grant slept soundly on the second bed all night (yesss!). Definitely a lot better hotel experience on the way home!
Our week in Denver was better than we both could ever have imagined. We got to meet up with some wonderful people, see the most beautiful parts of the most beautiful city and Garth and I both got to see our heroes in action. Sometimes looking back I am amazed at how we managed to fit all that fun into that one week.
Somehow we made it through 30 hours of driving with very little fussing from Grant! He was an angel all week as we took him everywhere with us and never put him to bed on time. I was just baffled about how amazing of a child we have. It never ceases to amaze me how much fun Garth and I have together and it was so nice having this mini break to spend so much time together. I can't really explain how much I love being with my boys, they made every experience that much better, and I will never forget our first real road trip as a family.
Here is a video Garth put together of our amazing time in Denver: