This trip has been in the works since last July when we saw a National Parks IMAX at the Cosmosphere in Hutchison, KS!
Philip has put countless hours into planning, researching, and making reservations for this trip. The final master plan is quite elaborate and is kept in the binder pictured below (front cover compliments of Moriah):
I joked that if our house burnt down, after the family was safely out, this is the first thing Philip would grab! ;)
Our journey started on Tuesday, the 12th. That was also Melissa's birthday, so she and I went out for a delicious and fun breakfast date and then I watched their kids over lunch so she and Devin could go out. (These pictures are not trip-related, but super cute and they happened on the first day of our trip).
I hadn't babysat the twins in a while and they had changed SO much sine they'd been at our house (they are almost ONE!) They were into Ev-er-y-thing. My house is NOT baby-proof! =)
Caleb and Treyson are good buds (how adorable are they??)
While the Penny kids were there, I was able to do last minute packing, check things off the master packing list and get the house tidied.
Philip worked that day and we left around 4:30 to drive four hours to Colby, KS. This is close to the border of Colorado and was a good place to spend the night before driving to Denver the next day.
The boys playing chess on my iPad in the van
On Wednesday morning we had a Fantastic breakfast at the hotel and hit the road.
Before we left the boys wanted a picture with this cool car(?) in the parking lot
We got to Denver just before noon and met up with our Eglin friend, Andrea, at their house (they graciously let us park our van there while we're gone!) She had to run out for a bit, but left us a delicious lunch!
What a spread!
When she got back, we chatted for a while and then piled into our (very full) van (we had NINE pieces of checked luggage!), picked her daughter, Lily up from gymnastics and headed to the Denver airport.
The airport has one of the Nicest USO lounges we had ever seen, so we stopped by, and stocked up on snacks before heading to our gate.
We had some extra time, so Moriah and I went for a walk around the terminal, did a bunch of window shopping, tried perfume and lotion samples and she used some of her trip money to buy a beautiful sterling silver ring.
Couple shots from the plane:
Pretty sure this is Nevada
We flew Southwest (which doesn't have assigned seating), and a really nice guy gave up his seat so Moriah and I could sit together, and then Another really nice guy who was in our row, let Moriah have the window and he sat on the aisle! Philip and Caleb were behind us and Keenan was a few rows ahead (having a Great time, seated between two Air Force guys - one a helicopter pilot and the other a C130 pilot). =)
We had to get really creative with our luggage after getting off the shuttle at the rental car complex:
This is how we do it! =)
We got a nice Nissan Quest and drove to the sweet VRBO.
Our home sweet home for a few nights
Beautiful flowers by the driveway
After we unloaded everything, I went to buy groceries and Philip got us settled while the kids enjoyed the backyard:
A beautiful pool..
...and putting green!
I was initially shocked by the slot machines and video poker, etc at the airport when we got there (I did't remember them from the last time we'd been), but was even More surprised to see that they had them at the GROCERY STORE!! What a strange city...
That was the first day and a half of our trip... MUCH more to come!