Sunday, April 10, 2016

Shiny Rocks

I was looking for ideas for a "spring break Staycation" post for work so we invited the Hanlins to spend the night and go adventuring with us at the beginning of March. On Friday night we had an impromptu party when Nick stopped by and then Justin joined us. That was fun! We had dinner then played games. Mia went to bed and I stayed downstairs with her so she wouldn't be scared. The boys were all 100% fine with that because Dave let them stay up way late. Like midnight late or something crazy like that. They loved it. 

And since they were all up so late I let them sleep in so they wouldn't be grumpy! We had German pancakes for breakfast and check out the size of them! We all decided we've never seen them grow quite to big.


Our first stop of the day was a visit to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. They give you a scavenger hunt when you arrive which was a good way to start but it wasn't too long before the kids lost interest in the scavenger hunt because they were just excited to see all the cool gems and minerals there.



 This was Mia's favorite - a crown made of local gems!

 




All of the items in this case were carved from minerals!



They have a cool exhibit downstairs called Blaster's Uranium Mine where you can learn about mining...


...and see fluorescent minerals. Those were very cool!



We even got to see a fossilized dinosaur bone.


This marble is the Colorado state stone:


And this was just a cool green rock. (Probably should have written down what it was...)


When we got back to the car I asked the kids if they thought they'd have fun when I first told them where we were going - they all said NO! Well, did they have fun?  YES! They all loved it! And we were all amazed at the gorgeous things and colors this earth creates!!

Next we planned to go have a picnic and hike around at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. About that. It was early March and even though it was ridiculously nice down in Littleton (thus the shorts) it was still snowy and cold up the hill. If you look in the background behind the kids you can see the picnic table...


So, we had our picnic in the car. (About a week later I went to put something int he back seat of my car and thought "why are there potato chip crumbs back here!?"  Oh yeah! Picnic...)


Just a little snow...



I never did write up that post for work because my plan didn't work out quite as I had hoped. However, we did have a super fun time with the Hanlin kiddos! And really that was the point. 

Where will our next adventure be? Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cripple Creek - BUST

For our first mountain day this year we went to Cripple Creek. Now, I know that they have casinos up there so I researched it first to make sure there would be other stuff to do and enjoy. There appeared to be enough to fill a day up so we decided to go. When I was a kid I loved going to these old mining towns (Cripple Creek, Central City, etc.) and I wanted to see how things fare there. It was a major disappointment. In Central City there are a lot of casinos. In Cripple Creek - everything has been turned into a casino! It's so sad! They've been required to keep the old buildings so there are still beautiful old buildings to look at BUT they are now marred with casino signs every few feet.


The buildings are gorgeous but... see all those signs? To give you a little perspective every single building you see in this picture holds a casino. This is only half of the main street and of course there's the other side of the street too. That side has a few shops and there are a couple bars sprinkled in for good measure. There are HUGE parking garages for the casinos too but they've been given a brick facade to hide some of the ugliness.

In case you don't understand, I love old buildings in mountain towns! They make me giddy. Which gives Dave a reason to laugh at me.




Dave took this picture (below) because I also get super excited about old houses, especially if they have gingerbread trim and all sorts of fancy details, and this one behind me (waaaay in the back) also happens to be teal and aqua which is even more fun.


Anyway, the other "things to do" were greatly exaggerated online but we did enjoy a ride on the Cripple Creek Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.



I also love old trains and really did enjoy this ride. Here's where it gets good...



You see the old buildings? Remnants of days gone by. Gets me all fired up. It was really an interesting ride through mining country - I think the guide said there were 500+ mines just in Cripple Creek!

And it's beautiful country. This is called Echo Valley. The conductor blew the whistle to demonstrate - said you can hear it 10 miles away - that was fun to hear. And look at all the mountains in the back. This is from an elevation of 9494 feet. Gorgeous!




There's one other curiosity in Cripple Creek worth mentioning - donkeys. They meander through town now and then and just hang out. Another remnant of the old mining days.



Silly donkey.

This was a sad farewell to Cripple Creek as we'll never be back here. Absolutely not worth the trip. I'll have to find my old western towns somewhere else. That said, it was still nice to get out for the day and  take a nice little break.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Kiwannawhaat!?!?

While in the produce section one day Dave and I decided we would be adventurous and try a Kiwano Melon.  They're those orange spiky melons in the rare and unusual fruit section.  The cashier asked if we'd ever had them and said they're green inside.  And they're "different."  Well, we know how to live it up so we bravely paid $3.99 for one Kiwano and went home with our treasure.  Here's what we found.


Here's the crazy outside:

They ARE green inside!!  And not AT ALL what we expected. I'm not sure what we were expecting but this was not it.


So, you cut it into pieces and then you sort of push it against your teeth and suck. You don't chew the seeds you just swallow. Seriously interesting experience. 



It took me several tries to really figure out how to eat these correctly. Don't chew the seeds just slurp and swallow. Dave was a good coach. 

And, they actually taste pretty good. The cashier at Sprouts was exactly right when she described them as "different" - that really is the most appropriate word.  They're not amazing good but they aren't bad at all.  They're different! We won't buy them often because they're $3.99 for one little melon about 6" long. Plus they aren't just always available like, say, kiwis are.

Oh and the most fun thing about Kiwano Melons is this:


They turn your tongue green!

Kiwanos are related to cucumbers (thus the seeds) and they come from Africa. I think everyone needs to try one just for the experience. And, in my party planning brain, I can't help but think these would be awesome for a Halloween party - alien brains or something!  heehee!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lund Reunion 2015

Last week (well, when I started this post it was "last week" but now it's been a few weeks...) we had a fun Lund Family reunion.

Micah was coming home from his mission and everyone was there to greet him.


It's so rare to have everyone in town all at once so on Saturday we took cousins pictures. We'll start with the silly face picture because, let's be honest - that's always the easiest one to get full participation on!


da boys!


the girls

And everyone!


The WildLunds:




The WonderLunds:


And we had fun at a Colorado Springs Sky Sox game (Star Wars night! with fireworks and all):


Till next time!  :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Weekend Fun


We took a much needed break from our house this weekend and just had fun. Friday night we went to Wicked. Dave hadn't seen it before but he knows and loves all the songs. It was great fun - he was sort of like a kid at Christmas.  :)


On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Festival. We had to go this weekend because it was buy one get one free entrance and that saved us $21. And really that's the only way to go. You can read my official review for work here. (That's my real reason I had to go. I mean come on, we're giving out prizes for a sweepstakes so those of us running the dealio probably need to try out some of the offerings - you know, to make sure they're fun, right? Right! btw, don't worry about leaving comments there. ;) )

 
 Twig the Fairy


 Great Balls of Fire show


Dave got to hobnob with the nobility (they liked his shirt!)

 
And he liked looking at the swords...


 
and horns 
(so he can call his wife when he needs her.  Hmmm! He thinks we're in the Flintstones or something perhaps?)

The KamiKazi Fireflies had a cool show:






 Waiting for jousting to start...

 


  




Mostly the food was expensive (no surprise there) - the corn was delish but the gyro was eh.  




It was fun day - but quite hot.  We were used to all the rain and nice temperatures we've been having and this was the first hot day so it took us a little by surprise.  We needed more water and sunscreen. But we always need more sunscreen. As Justin says - we are the pastiest family ever.  ;) 

And with that we have a serious ton of work to do on the house before the family ice cream party here on Wednesday!