A Pandemic Vacation

The most comforting feeling is walking through your front door after being gone for a while.

We left our little bubble for the first time in over a year. It was only for 48 hours, and we only went an hour and a half away, but it packed the punch of a week long international vacation. Not to mention, it was our first time staying in an Airbnb (I know, we’ve been living under a rock), and we brought our dog with us. Why not rip off all of the bandages at one time? 

My kids were very excited and asked every 30 seconds for 4 hours when we were leaving. It was their first time staying in the same bedroom, and the first night they were up until 10:30 PM (bedtime is 7:30) chatting and giggling like teenage girls. Except, instead of conversations about cute boys, they took turns saying, “I’m a little puppy. I want a carrot.” Riveting stuff. We tried to go in there to tell them to go to sleep, but that added fuel to the fire. As soon as we closed the door, the craziness ensued, so we waited it out. Gosh, I can’t wait for the days when I get to stay up waiting for my teenagers to get home. 

Our dog was the most affected by being away from home for the first time in such a long time. I swear he didn’t sleep at all, mostly because it was an older house and every little noise required his inspection. When we got home, he was so tired he couldn’t even muster the energy to jump up on the couch. Poor guy. 

So what did we do on vacation? “Vacation”. Well, the first few hours we were there we went for a hike. The kids loved exploring and letting off some energy. At one point, Rory was being Mr. Independent, and I said, “Watch where you’re going because there are cacti that are hard to see.” What happened 30 seconds later you might ask? He fell on a cactus. His knee was full of very small needles that we tried to get out, but ultimately his pants had to come off to eliminate some of the ones remaining. Poor kid was sitting there in his Daniel Tiger underwear when a nice lady came by offering us a first aid kit. When we politely refused, she then offered him a salt water taffy which sounds a bit strange, but she was very innocent. I’m sure she only had them in her hiking pack in case her glucose got too low while she was hiking alone. My husband then had to carry R back to the van in his underwear (R, not my husband). Thankfully when you’re 3, embarrassment isn’t an easily felt emotion. 

After the first hiccup, it was a nice trip. We went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which is extremely kid friendly. I highly recommend feeding the giraffes for $3. Easily the best money we spent on the trip. It wasn’t overly crowded on a Tuesday morning, but we still spent more energy than we anticipated trying to social distance, avoid touching things, and sanitizing our hands constantly. 

The last day, we hiked at Garden of the Gods. The kids and dog were pooped after the first trail so I don’t have a ton of advice to give you about the trails, but the one we did was completely paved and perfect for kids. G fell asleep as soon as his head hit his carseat after the first hike, and I made the ultimate mom mistake – we stopped at the visitor’s center, and I woke him up. A quintessential 2 year old tantrum ensued. It was so epic that a nice older lady said, “Don’t worry honey, it gets easier,” as she walked by. He was fine once we found a map for him to carry. His mask was completely covered in snot on the inside, but naturally that didn’t bother him. 

Oh, and on the way home we tried In ‘N Out Burger. Colorado just opened its first three locations last year, and there has been SO much hype. This is my unpopular opinion, but I wasn’t impressed. There I said it. 

That was it. Our mini vacation ALL the way down to Colorado Springs. Like I said at the very beginning, one of the best parts of vacation is the huge comforting hug you get from your house when you walk through the door. Best. Feeling. Ever.


  1. Michelle Railton says:

    Being from Cali, I know it’s controversial to say but I totally agree with you- In N Out is overrated. Shake Shack on the other hand was one of my fave haunts in NYC when I’d visit/come down from Cornell during grad school. There’s one at Edgewater Market in Denver that Rich and I need an excuse to drive “all the way to Denver” to try. 😉 CO Springs IS a far destination these days, good for you for prioritizing this vacay and adventure beyond our Lafayette limits.

    • Traci Dietrich says:

      I’m glad a Cali native agrees! There’s a Shake Shack in Boulder now! Nick and I tried it last weekend – much better than In N Out.

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