Wow, this summer has passed by SO fast! Weather-wise, I’m not complaining, though. It’s been SO hot in Denver this season. We have had something like 60 days of 90+ degree temperatures so far. That’s just unheard of here in the Rockies. It topped out at around 105 or something near that. So, so hot this year. Long gone are the days of the past, when the temperature would hover around the upper 80′s, then we would get a nice rain shower every single afternoon that would cool everything off, and it would get nice a sunny/cooler for the rest of the afternoon, into the evening. Ahh, those were the days. So, this summer has been quite busy for the Farrell family – all things considered anyway. It started out rather slow, days being filled with video games, playing outside, and asking when lunch will be served. But then after it began to get just too hot to venture out, without risking heat stroke, things had to get a little more creative. Every summer, I sign the boys up for a free bowling club at the local bowling alley. This is cool, because every week I get an email, with vouchers good for the entire week, where they can bowl two free games every day of the week. So we have gone bowling a few times – the boys love it. Once July hit, the boys got to go visit their nanna, poppy, aunt, and uncle in Florida! After they got there, they went to Legoland, a Marlin’s baseball game, countless pools, the Vero Beach timeshare, and the beach. Rough life, eh?! I’m so glad they went, and so glad that the 9 days they were gone went by so quickly (for me anyway). I have to tell the truth, I was very, very stressed over them being gone so long. That was the longest we have ever been apart from each other. But Kathy and I got through it. We filled our time by ourselves by doing lots of romantic things like going to dinner together, drinking wine, and just relishing the deafening silence in the house…for a while anyway. It’s strange – as a parent, you always want peace and quiet when you children are home…but when they are away, you miss that dull roar like you wouldn’t believe!
So, after they returned from Florida, we let them rest for a few days before heading off for a small family vacation within our beautiful state of Colorado. We drove down to Colorado Springs and got a hotel room for three nights. This became our “home base” of sorts, from where we would get up and drive to different locations for our day trips. The first place we went was up and around the back of Pikes Peak – to see where my father was laid to rest some 14 years ago. I had not been there in those 14 years, because I was afraid to feel the emotions that I knew were inevitable. It took a little research to find the place, but once I was pretty certain I knew where it was, off we went. Once on the highway to get there, it was very, VERY strange because I just knew where we needed to go without really looking at the map very much. I knew that we had to make a certain left turn off of the highway, I knew that we had to go on a dirt road, I knew that the place was at the top of a large hill…then once we got to the actual grave yard, I knew by instinct where I needed to go. After about 10 minutes of looking in what I was sure was the correct area, I was able to find my father’s headstone. It is just a small plaque, placed in the ground at the base of three beautiful trees. When I approached the area, it was completely covered and, again, I instinctively began brushing aside the dirt and leaves before revealing the plaque. This took my breath away for a moment. I thought I was prepared to see it, but I couldn’t contain myself once I did. We stayed for a few minutes, took some pictures and I told my boys about their grandpa, and what a wonderful man he was. One of my biggest regrets in life is that he never got to meet his grandsons. He would have been so proud of them, and I hope, of me as well. It was a hard trip/visit, because I don’t handle things like that very well, but I’m definitely glad I did it. I sure do miss my father.
Ok, enough of that. So the day after visiting dad, we decided to drive down to Canon City, CO to visit the Royal Gorge. This is one of the wonders of the world. It’s the highest suspension bridge in the US, and one of the highest in the world. Something like 1,200 to 1,300 feet, straight down. There’s a number of cool little attractions that are in the same spot too, so there’s more than just the bridge to see. The main thing to do, however, is to walk across the bridge itself. Now, if you know me, you know that I have a paralyzing fear of heights. So, by default, this is not exactly a fun time for me, walking across this bridge. Add to that the wind that whips through the canyon causing the bridge to sway, the *wooden* slats that comprise the bridge floor (complete with sometimes large gaps between the boards, so I can see how far down my doom would be), and the fact that it is legal for cars and trucks to actually drive across the bridge while pedestrians are walking on it…well, you can begin to understand my building anxiety. I walked across the bridge and back again…but I can tell you that I was not happy about it! Yes, I’m a wuss, but I’m okay with that. But after back on solid ground, I was definitely glad that my boys and Kathy were able to experience the Gorge. If you’re ever in Colorado, you simply must visit there. It’s something you’ll never forget.
The next day we were still a little tired from all the walking of the previous day, but decided that since we were down in the Springs, we were determined to make the most of our time there! So off we went to the Cave of the Winds. This is a HUGE network of large and then very small caves and tunnels that go way back into the side of the mountain. It’s a neat thing to do, and again, if you’re ever in Colorado Springs, you must go. The tour lasted about an hour, and we saw some of the most beautiful cave formations that exist in the world today.
Each day on our vacation ended with the obligatory trip to the hotel pool/hot tub! My boys LOVE to go swimming. I remember being the same way. We probably could have had a successful vacation in their eyes, by just going to a hotel and letting them swim all day! They are little fish, I swear.
One of the evenings we were down there, we got to meet up with some of our oldest and best friends, Amy and Axel! We went out and had cheap appetizers and beers, while talking about the old days. It was really fun to see them.
So all-in-all, it has been a great summer for my little family! It’s always a challenge to keep the kiddos entertained, especially while attempting to stick to a budget! But, we were able to do just that, and I think they had a great vacation. School starts back up on the 27th of this month, and with it comes early mornings, homework, and more of a regimented schedule.
Fall is coming and I couldn’t be happier about that. I hope we have a long, super-snowy winter this year. We got robbed last year in that department, so we’re definitely due for a good one!
Sorry it’s been so long since my last update on this, but I was having some computer issues that I was finally able to fix (on my own, nonetheless!) – so now I should be able to get on my neat little blog and update you all on the minutia of my life, and all the exciting things I do…or don’t do, as the case may be!
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave your comments, and I’ll be updating soon! Peace.