First trip as a family of three!


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North America » United States » Colorado » Denver
August 17th 2019
Published: August 24th 2019
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Sat: Y’s first flight, first baseball game!

After passing Y’s 2 months mark, things got a little easier and we wanted to restart our travels. We picked Denver because neither of us has been there and it would be a short 2-hour flight. Baby steps 😊.

Friday was all about getting ready. This was going to be a different trip and mindset for V and me as new parents. I think I have everything…except! I realized that the 4:30-am bus from Millbrae to SFO doesn’t run on weekends. Oh no! The only other option was 3:55-am bus to make our 6:30 am flight. Aaand, that’s the last one before BART starts running at 6 am. With a 4.5-month-old, Uber/Lyft are out. This led to 2:30 am alarm, ouch.

Going through security with the baby in the carrier was a breeze. I was able to keep him strapped. Y was wide awake from 2:30 am until he finally passed out in my arms before takeoff. Y threw a fit before passing out as usual. Baby crying on an aircraft was more echoing than I thought. Maybe I'm numb to him crying but having that many people in close proximity in a closed environment made me very conscious. But soothing him starts with my calmness. Calm down, calm down… The flight attendants let me stay standing until the last last moment. That helped a lot. Y woke up just in time for landing to save his ears and be happy, good job.

First thing to do was to install a car seat on the rental. Yep, the rental car seat was flimsy as hell. It took V long time to secure it. Also, the seat material was waterproof vinyl and made Y sweat a lot. We thing it traumatized him of car seat after the trip. Next, we made a stop at Target to pick up diapers I had ordered. We also had lunch and changed into shorts/skirt there.

We parked a few blocks from Coors Field. $10 all day seemed very skeptical but it turned out to be real as we saw more of them popping out closer to the game time. Unbelievable. Union Station was much-needed AC oasis on this 90+ degree day. We walked to the Convention Center via 16th St Mall. The famous blue bear at the Convention Center was cute 😊. Another AC breather there. Next, snack at Milk Market. Topped it off at Biker Jim’s for a unique dog.

Coors Field was really accessible including the aforementioned parking. Just walk right into it. No wonder the fan showing was good despite the match up. We had the seats in the Rockpile, the cheapest and the most unique seats in the house. Y was enjoying it too, getting love from many people 😊. His lack of sleep was definitely a concern though. Mamava nursing pod was a lifesaver. I leaned about it since one of the local libraries has one. It seems that most of the sports venues now have Mamava.

We left the game early but it was way past Y's bedtime. We were also hungry. V had 15 minutes to spare at Whole Foods while I fed Y. Coordination. Y was understandably cranky after a long long day.

Sun: Rocky Mountain National Park

Stopped by Lyons’ the Stone Cup. Although the town was dead, the moment we turned the corner of the coffee shop, we saw that the entire town being there, forming a line and all on this Sunday morning. A band was playing too. Standing in line to get a quick morning pick-me-up was a little overkill but who knew this place was so hip? We got to the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) entrance ~10 am-ish. The days of being the first car in the parking lot are behind us.

I had Bear-Lake-to-Emerald-Lake and Ute trail planned for us. Apparently, Bear Lake is Lake Louise of RMNP and the parking lot was full. Even all other lots where the shuttle stops were full. Ranger told us that we’d have to go back to Estes Park to pick up the shuttle!! She told us to go explore other places in the park and come back in 2-3 hours. She clearly was confused about why we were all fixated with Bear Lake. She was right. Ute Trail gave us an amazing view. The trail starts at 11,000+ ft so we don’t have to do the climbing. We got one of 5 spots at the trailhead which was not much more than a turnout. It was so windy, I thought we’d lose the car. That’s an exaggeration but seriously, I was getting pushed around walking. The footing was rocky too. I was definitely NOT going to carry Y. Just compare V and my knees to see who’s clumsier. It was a bit chilly too and my lips were completely chapped.

On our way to Bear Lake, we were seeing nothing but cars going the other way. Crossing fingers! Yep, we snugged a great spot. Late birds got the worm? The hike is probably better early morning while it’s cooler and the sun hits the mountain behind Emerald Lake. This hike totally reminded me of Joffre Lake in Whistler. It was insanely popular, went through a series of lakes, and was a very mild hike.

I wish we had more time in the park but this will do for now. A quick jolt from Kind Coffee in Estes Park for the road. We restocked water at Safeway and had yesterday’s left over for dinner at home.

Mon: 100 degrees from Boulder to Mile High Stadium

It was so hot already. I just wanted a big thing of iced coffee from Dunkin’ for breakfast. First stop: Flatiron loop hike in Boulder. The paid parking lot at Chautauqua Park was completely full at 9:30 am. Nearby street parking was metered and was also taken. On a weekday?? When we started the route, school buses dumped groups of kids. The first part of the 2-mile loop was exposed and mildly climb. With Y in the carrier, I had sweat running down my front and back from the get-go. The foot of the flatirons was rocky but it was a pretty easy hike if it wasn’t for this heatwave.

Food! We grabbed a sandwich at the market on Pearl Street. We hiked along the creek from the west side of the Central Park to Pearl Street and back but this heat wave was just beating us all. The baby carrier was just pushing it for Y.

One last agenda for the day: Broncos vs Niners at Mile-high Stadium. We took note from the baseball game a few days ago not to look for food after the game. We got it done at King Soopers before we left Boulder. A quick stop by Avery Brewing for a great beer but Y wasn’t very happy there. It’s been stressful for him. I noticed a tiny blister on Y’s finger and cheek :’(. Time to back things off.

There was traffic to Denver. Glad we left early. Off-site parking is at Pepsi Center and the community college. At Pepsi Center, there was zero sign about Broncos, nada. We didn’t even see a mob with Broncos gear. At community college parking, we finally saw spotty people with jerseys. Either pre-season game or we were too early. Again, under $10 parking a short 15-min walk was unbelievable.

The entrance was backed up and it was brutal in this heat. Poor Y was still strapped in the carrier 😞. A lady suggested stripping socks and hat off of him. Good idea now that the sun is gone. Mamava was hot and stuffy but after all day of sweating, it didn’t make a whole lot of difference. Sorry to say that beer selection is very poor at Mile High. There is nothing but Bud, Coors, and Shock Top. We did 360 and there was 1 Goose Island stall which wasn’t moving at all. We had two half-price (single seat) tickets and I snugged one of them at the row by itself slightly lower than the nosebleed section. The security guy let us both sit in that row although the other ticket was 14 rows behind. Dope. Despite being mindful, after
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Rocky Mountain National Park
one last stop at Mamava, walking to the car, and driving back to the house put us past Y’s bed time again (face palm).

Tue: Red Rock

After a rough day yesterday, Y was able to sleep in, yay! We’ll take it real low-key today. It was going to be another hot day. The only thing we had going was the photo session at Garden of the Gods at 5:30 pm. We took our time making our way to Colorado Springs via Red Rock Amphitheater. The amphitheater was hot and exposed but definitely amazing! It has a rich history and is free to visit! There were a bunch of people running around the seating area in this heat, hard-core!

Late lunch in Colorado Springs downtown. So dead here…where is everyone? We checked in, rested, regrouped, and headed out for the 5:30 photo session at Garden of the Gods. This crazy park is also completely free to visit and literally 20-min drive from downtown. We found Bobak on Airbnb experience and couldn’t be happier! He did a fantastic job with Y and one hour zipped by. Before we left, we drove through Juniper Way Loop. Sun was on
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Rocky Mountain National Park
the verge of setting and the view was stunning. Late dinner at Mason Jar in Manitou Springs was pretty hearty and comfy, minus Y losing it. Note to self: avoid sit-down restaurant after 7 pm.

Wed: Epic sunrise to wrap things up

Our friend mentioned catching the sunrise at Garden of the Gods. I did a quick research and flirted the idea but I knew it would be farfetched with Y. Somehow, I spontaneously woke up a little before 6 am. If we left right now, we could still make it to the sunrise. V was on board. We got ready super fast, gathered things, grabbed Y, and off we went! At Mesa Overlook, there were a few other cars with people also catching the sunrise view of the red rock with Pikes Peak in the back. It took a good 20 min or so since 6:20 am sunrise for the sun to hit the face of the rocks. Nothing like those rocks turning fiery red. After taking some epic pictures, we moved on to the north parking lot on Juniper Way Loop and hiked down to where we were yesterday. The sun was too high by 7:30
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Rocky Mountain National Park
am and the rocks were no longer bright orange. We made one last stop at High Point Overlook but it wasn’t much of a view. On to Dunkin’. Starving.

After checking out of Airbnb before 10 am, we went back on the road to Denver. First stop in Denver was to drop off leftover diapers for donation. From there, we hit LoDo around Central Market. V found Snooze an A.M. Eatery. Pancake flight was on point, minus Y not having it at all. He wanted to sleep but was too loud to sleep…? He passed out by the time we got to Central Market. Well, might as well hit a brewery while he’s sleeping. Right. He woke up the moment we got to Great Divide Brewing. It didn’t have the atmosphere of tolerating a crying baby. We left without a drink.

Next up: Sweet Action Ice Cream. Another Dunkin’ gulp for me to wash down ice cream. This stretch of Broadway was pretty quiet, perhaps being that it was a mid-week. There were many theaters in this area. Mascarpone chili blackberry and sweet corn ice cream were yum! After a pit stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up
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Rocky Mountain National Park
food to go before heading to the airport. There was traffic through downtown. So glad V looked because we would have been late otherwise.

Y fought before falling asleep in the airplane again but slept through the flight, phew. He also woke up just in time for landing so I can feed him and his ears won’t be as uncomfortable. Good job again. From there was a struggle to get home. Something really didn’t want us reaching home! The AirTram was operating in the wrong direction that it took forever to get from the terminal to BART station. There were a few spots on the highway that were single lane due to construction = traffic. I finally put Y to bed and showered. Of course, Y had to wake up early morning and be cranky. Rough night.

It was nice visiting Colorado finally, making family memories, and a dry run for future travels with Y. V and I both enjoyed and learned 😊. With that, that’s a wrap for my maternity leave :’(.


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25th August 2019

Ar Garden of the Gods...
you were about 20 minutes away from my home in Woodland Park. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Colorado. It is never to soon to break a baby into traveling! Our daughter was three months old when we went to Southeast England and London. She cried most of the time. Oh well!

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