Colorado Trip (Finn’s First Birthday)

Our flight left at 6:00am on Tuesday morning. We got up at 3:40am, dawdled around for forty minutes, and left at 4:20am. Due to poor planning and a series of unfortunate events, we suddenly found ourselves down to the wire. I completely botched the security screening (had to walk back through the metal detector a few times, our stroller got stuck in the x-ray machine and held up everything). By the time we got to our gate, it was a ghost town. First of all, it was very early in the morning, so it was dark and none of the shops had opened up. Second, everyone had already boarded the plane. Anyway, we made it. Jaime sat in between her parents and I sat across the aisle between two strangers.

That flight went well. Stephen slept a little and the flight was smooth/on time (3.5hour flight). We arrived to find the Mulligans waiting right at our gate. Jaime gave Stephen a much-needed diaper change while I rounded up our luggage. We arrived on Finn’s actual birthday so we went back to the house and started getting ready. Gavin and Steve left to go buy a grill while Krystle and Sherry did food-related stuff. By the time we did the actual birthday celebration, Stephen was down for a nap (he missed the whole thing).

Wednesday we went to the Denver zoo. Both of the boys were extremely well-behaved and we stayed for about three hours. That story is better told with pictures. We went out to eat for dinner and Stephen behaved quite poorly.

Thursday was home improvement day. Steve and I did our best Tim Allen impressions. After Krystle and Steve made two trips to the recycling center to dispose of all the moving boxes, Steve and I a) installed a bunch of hooks in the garage and hung stuff up b) installed tennis balls-on-a-string to assist the Mulligans with parking in the garage and c) installed two baby gates. Then Steve and Krystle installed baby-proof locks on the cabinet doors. We went out to eat again that night and Stephen couldn’t have behaved any better. He was well-behaved and ate a ton of regular (adult) food.

My in-laws flew out on Friday morning and we just hung out all day at the house. It was rainy and cloudy all day. We made dinner at the Mulligan house. I figured I could make biscuits by strictly following the recipe but it did not work at all. Krystle swooped in and saved them, though, and all the food was good. At least I was able to make the mashed potatoes by myself and leave several pounds as leftovers.

The flight back included some screaming by Stephen and some banter with a stranger who had the unfortunate third seat in our row.

When we were flying into Denver, the landscape looked like a desert. I thought that was just a certain area, but it seems to be the entirety of the Denver area. I assume it’s because of the altitude; it all looks like a field that has been devastated by wildfires. I was not a fan. The altitude and arid conditions meant I blew blood out of my nose all week. I suppose my body would have adjusted eventually. On our flight back, the guy sitting next to me had grown up in the D.C. area and lived in Denver for the past ten years. He said it took him about 18 months to adjust to the landscape when he moved to Colorado. When we were coming in for a landing in Virginia, he was marveling at the landscape. “It’s amazing. It’s so green.” He just kept saying that over and over. That really intensified my it’s good to be home feelings. I can’t wait for Autumn colors. Shouldn’t be long.

So yeah, it’s good to be home. It was a great trip, though; we had a lot of fun. I have a ton of image editing to do. I can’t even get started on my vacation photos until I get caught up on this portrait job I did last weekend.

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