Last weekend, Jon didn't have quite as much homework as he has had (he is almost one class away from graduation with his Master's!! I'm so proud of him!), so we packed up the kids and went for our very first, semi-spur-of-the-moment family vacation!
I had realized before Parker was born that we'd never gone on a trip that didn't either include extended family or wasn't on the way to see extended family, so going somewhere just the four of us was a very special treat. A month or two ago, I'd seen a brochure for the Dinosaur Train in Durango and thought that would be such a fun Father's Day idea, but we didn't know what Jon's schoolwork would be like. So, when it didn't look too bad, we made some quick reservations, put the boys in the car and drove the 3-ish hours to Durango when we got up on Saturday and drove back in time for dinner Sunday night.
SUCH a quick, wonderful trip! I think I took 800 pictures just in those two days, but here are some of my favorites:
Jon told him we might see some deer or elk on the drive, so Nathan started looking for them as soon as we left our neighborhood. We also spent the entire trip looking for his "letters of the day" - A and N. ;)
We're in Durango!! We stopped for lunch at Serious Texas BBQ and ate on the patio so we could watch the rafters on the river. Such a beautiful day!!
Jon and I had our honeymoon in Durango at this little bed and breakfast. :) I can't imagine going through life without this man. Love him so.
Hiker boys. We drove out of town and found some little trails to explore. Nathan was so in his element. He ran and jumped and picked flowers for me and threw rocks and smashed bugs the entire afternoon. I'm pretty sure he would have gladly lived there forever. Jon and Nathan were both in outdoor heaven.
These two were best buds this trip. :)
Us plus one of our cuties. :)
Jon brought a slingshot he'd had from when he was a kid and taught Nathan how to use it. So cute to watch!
Me and the little.
This guy was SO tired by dinner time. He just zoned out through the last half of it. And he had his first experience with shelled peanuts - I looked over and he had bitten off the top of the peanut, shell and all. Ha! The highlight of the night was getting to throw his peanut shells on the floor.
When we got back to the hotel, we did a little late-night swimming just to make it the best day ever in Nathan's book. Especially since we were staying in a hotel - he was SO excited about staying in a hotel that he couldn't go to sleep until after 10 and he was up at 5:30am.
Early, early morning. Road trips are just too much fun to sleep. ;)
Happy Father's Day!! We went and got the hotel's continental breakfast, which was another HUGE DEAL (I'm pretty sure Nathan had one of everything they had to offer) and then we told Nathan we had a little surprise for him.
It was the Dinosaur Train based off one of Nathan's favorite TV shows also called Dinosaur Train!! I LOVE his reaction when he walked up and saw it!!
Ha!! Such a goose!!
Such a weird, crazy, kid. I just love him.
We got all checked in for our great train adventure! The kids got little bags with goodies in them.
Waiting to board!!
When we checked in, all the paying passengers had to have pink bracelets on and Nathan asked the ticketing guy what they were for. He said, "It's so you are allowed to get on the train." The three of us got our bracelets and then Nathan said, "WAIT!! What about Parker??!" The man said he didn't really need one and Nathan said, "But you just said you needed a bracelet to get on the train!! He has to get on the train!! We can't leave him here!" Parker ended up with a bracelet. ;) Ha!
We weren't excited at all.
Not one bit. ;)
Buddy the dinosaur came by and danced for everyone on the train. Nathan thought it was hilarious.
The train basically just went through town, stopped and went back the other way. They played music from the TV show, they had roaring contests, they encouraged everyone to wave at all the people they saw outside the train and then they had fruit snacks and Capri Suns for the kids. Basically, it was like the best day ever for a certain three year old. ;)
One of my favorite pictures of all time.
After the train ride, they took us to a little side yard and we got to meet Buddy. Nathan had four different activities he had to do to become an official member of Buddy's Nature Tracker club, so he dove right in so he could get his ticket stamped and then get his membership card. ;)
He found a "fossil" (also known as a shark's tooth). He had to dig for other fossils as well and he got to jump in a bounce house.
Then he got to feed a gigantic tortoise.
He got a Buddy tattoo. And he has been SO careful with that tattoo that he STILL has the remnants of it on his arm a week later. ;)
And my favorite part...
Yes. That is a LIVE baby alligator. Nathan walked right up to the man and asked to hold it. He ended up holding it three different times.
Just disgusting. Notice the look of absolute joy on their faces. Blegh.
At one point, Nathan was holding the alligator and he shoved it toward Jon, face first and was like, "Ha! Rawr, Dad!"
This is the same kid who is scared to the point of hysterics over a fly or a moth or a cricket.
He's an "officinary" member of the Nature Trackers Club!!
He was SO PROUD.
Afterward, we ate a picnic lunch by the river and then did a little bit of walking through town. We stopped by the fun candy store in town and everyone got a small bag of sweet treats to help keep some of us awake on the way home. ;)
This little sugar did SO good! I was so proud of him!
We finally headed back home about three in the afternoon. I took a sleepy Parker out of the carrier and set him on the seat to take the carrier off and he immediately fell back asleep right on the pile of stuff. Ha!
And this little one didn't even make it out of the city limits before he was fast asleep. We wore those boys out!
Such a fantastically fun trip!! I am so excited to do it again someday soon!!