Archive for the 'Fun' Category

Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado

This is NOT a sponsored post. I reserved (and paid for) our tickets online, and then we went with my sister and her husband on New Year’s Day. WE HAD A BLAST. If you’re in the area, you should GO.

HELPFUL HINT: If you’re using GPS to find the location, search for “Dillon Town Park.” If you try to search for Ice Castles, it will take you to where it was last year in Silverthorne.

The Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado are absolutely amazing. My husband was taking my brother-in-law skiing on New Year’s Day, so the ladies and I dropped them off at the resort and then headed into “town” to do some shopping. (“Town” being Dillon, Silverthorne, etc.) That afternoon, we picked them up at the resort when they were done, and we headed to dinner. After that, we headed to the Ice Castles. We’d reserved tickets for the 8pm time-slot at the Ice Castles, and seeing it at night was MESMERIZING. The lights inside the massive icicles are constantly changing colors.

It was cold but bearable. It was harder to walk around than what we thought. We anticipated it being slick (I mean, it’s made of ice!!), but we had thought it would be like walking on a hard-packed surface. It wasn’t! It was like trying to walk in icy, snowy, sand. This wasn’t a deal-breaker, but just something that would have been nice to know before hand. (And we have some fun pictures of my sister and I helping Claire get all the snow out of her boots at one point! They lose a lot in translation, so I haven’t posted them here.) 😀

All in all, we had a fantastic time!!

Claire and her uncle raced down an Ice Slide. (There was a longer slide, too, but the line was just as long, so we passed on that.)

The icicles were just amazing. The constantly changing lights and colors really added to the experience!

They look like bubbles!

…and feel like marbles!

Here we are posing with some massive icicles.

Don’t forget to look up!

A picture of the picture-taker, and the pictures I took while looking straight up:

In a few sections, the pathway was a bit of a tight squeeze! (Don’t worry. You don’t HAVE to go that way. I went that way ONCE, and that was enough for me. These two goofballs went through more than once.)

And there were tunnels you could take to other rooms!

I mean, come on. If you’re in an Ice Castle, you HAVE to take a selfie.

Is this water, ice, or lava? …or all three?

If you want to see this fountain in action, click on these two links:

Click here to see a video I posted on Instagram of the fountain.

Click here for another video I posted of the same fountain, and the different colors make it magical!

The *almost* full moon was hiding behind the clouds and just added to the ambiance!

So, if you haven’t done so already, get tickets for the Ice Castles! It’s an awesome experience! (Even those of us who aren’t too fond of the cold had an amazing time!) 😉

Claire’s First Concert – Katy Perry!

Claire turns 12 on Thursday, and the Katy Perry concert just happened to coincide nicely with this big event. Back in August, some friends and I purchased a group of tickets. They were nosebleed tickets, but we knew Katy would put on a great show regardless of the seats.

Fast forward to tonight.

Claire and another girl and I decided to take the stairs (as opposed to squeezing on the escalator with the mob), and we hoofed it to the second floor.

We make it up to the 2nd floor (our seats are on the 3rd floor) and an usher stops us by the stairs and says, “Are your seats on this level?” I say, “Nope. We’re in 320…upstairs,” and she says, “Would you like to upgrade to the floor for free?”

“…for real.”

They upgraded all 7 of our tickets TO THE FLOOR from the 3rd floor NOSEBLEED.


We were flabbergasted.

We were like 20 feet from Katy Perry. It was a fantastic show. Claire (and all the girls in our party) got one of the eyeballs they tossed into the crowd!! It’s MASSIVE. (I can’t stop joking about that. #ItsAllFunAndGamesUntil… #IveGotMyEyeOnYou… ) WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE. Wow.

And on a school night, no less.

Click photos to zoom.

Another friend was there and took this picture! I found us! (See the circled area. Claire is behind me with her pink cat ears.)

Here’s what the giant eyeball looked like while we were waiting. The eye moved around and blinked!

The eye was also used throughout the show. The sets were absolutely amazing!

**And, yes, we were very cognizant of hearing protection. We got all the girls concert earplugs that they could use last night and at any concerts in the future!

Meow Wolf

You’ve seen a couple posts about our visit to one of Santa Fe’s newest attractions: Meow Wolf, The House of Eternal Return. We had a fantastic visit! It’s an immersive art exhibit with a mystery woven through the stories & dimensions. It’s one of those places that is so hard to explain; you just have to see it. (And even seeing it won’t make you believe some of these things!) The interactive displays are designed to trick your eyes while expanding your mind, and we left wanting more.

The plan for our adventure was to leave Albuquerque (where we’d been to see the Balloon Fiesta), drive to Santa Fe and do a hike before lunch. We would do lunch and then pop over to Meow Wolf for a couple of hours before checking into our next hotel and relaxing in Santa Fe for the evening.

Well, we got to Meow Wolf, and discovered the line of people wrapping from out the doorway around the building!

So, we opted to take photos of the HUGE sculptures in the parking lot and then come back after dinner.

Our plan worked like a charm! Of course, because we had to come back, we only had two hours to explore and play. On one hand, it was enough. Our brains were overloaded and could barely process what we were seeing, hearing, and experiencing. But on the other hand, we could have spent at least two more hours there…and more! If it wasn’t 6 hours away, we’d have gone back this weekend!

From what I’ve researched, this exhibit is built into an old 34,000 sq. ft. bowling alley. Inside, there is a 2-story (maybe 3?) Victorian House. There are “portals” or secret entrances throughout the exhibit. Everything is interactive and either lights up, makes noise, or is more than meets the eye. There are no maps of the place. You’re set free to explore, at your own pace, in your own direction. It was busy when we were there, but rather than being a hindrance, watching others interact with the displays helped us stumble upon secrets we would have never discovered on our own. (The hardest part was remembering we were supposed to touch things!)

Here’s a shot of Claire and me looking for clues in the mailbox outside the Victorian house.

A magnifying kaleidoscope (searching for more clues)

When you check in, you’re given the option of purchasing ChromaDepth glasses. They make the colors and lights split and pop! You can experience Meow Wolf without these, but we HIGHLY recommend them for just that added oomph!

You can crawl through the fireplace! You find yourself INSIDE the fish tank in the living room! You can walk into/through the fridge! (I didn’t get photos of that, but some lady came up beside us when we were looking at the kitchen for clues, and watching her open the fridge door AND THEN STEP INSIDE AND CLOSE IT BEHIND HER was one of the most startling and hilarious things I’ve experienced.) You can take a tumble in the dryer!

You can walk through a hidden door! (One of MANY different types!)

One of Claire’s favorite parts was opening the space-age doors (in one of the dimensions). Be sure  your sound is turned up for the video. Click on the above photo to see the video or click here for the link. (It will open another page to view the video my Instagram account.)

In one of the hidden rooms, we discovered lasers piercing a theatrical-smoke filled room. We then discovered they were much more than a pretty display!

These lasers are also “strings” that can be played when your hand touches them! It’s ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL.


Needless to say, we’re smitten with Meow Wolf. These photos and blog posts are just a teeny tiny tip of the iceberg. We’re not even sure if we saw it all (and we’re pretty sure we didn’t.) We gathered some clues, but not enough to even come close to solving the mystery of what happened to the family that lived in the Victorian house. (But that’s okay! It’s so much more than the mystery.) When we make the trek back to Santa Fe in the future, we’re definitely immersing ourselves in another round of mind-blowing awesomeness.

**Why is it called Meow Wolf? As the story goes, those involved in the creation of it had everyone write down two random words on separate pieces of paper that were then put in a hat. One paper was pulled out of the hat: Meow. Another piece was chosen: Wolf. There you have it. 😉

Meow Wolf – A Tumble Thru the Dryer

One of the best parts of exploring Meow Wolf was stumbling upon regular ol’ everyday items that were transformed into mystical portals to another dimension. (What?? I told you it was hard to wrap your head around this place!!) Imagine our delight when we discovered that the dryer in the laundry room off the kitchen was more than meets the eye!

Let’s open the dryer to see if we can find any clues…

It’s a slide! What!? Claire goes first… Headfirst! (What??There’s no other way to really go into a dryer…)

There she goes!

If you look, you can see her feet!

She made it! (Dad took the picture from the cosmic side of the dryer…)

My turn! First, I sent my bag down the chute. (As one does. Duh.)

Here I go!

Don’t laugh too much at the astonished joy on my face. YOU try keeping your composure after going headfirst into a dryer!!!

I love how it looks like we’re being tumbled around in a dryer. Because we kinda were!


One of my favorite parts was when the the lady who went down before us yelled, “Hey! I found my sock!”  Hee hee!

Meow Wolf – The House of Eternal Return – Just a Taste

When we were in Santa Fe, we got to experience Meow Wolf, The House of Eternal Return. It’s an immersive modern art exhibit (for lack of a more precise description), and it’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. If it didn’t take 6-hours to get there, we’d go again tonight. NO JOKE. There’s a mystery to solve, and you spend hours there and not even know if you’ve seen it all. It’s so hard to explain, but when I can wrap my head around a bit more of it, I’ll do a more elaborate blog post. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Claire and I inside the fish tank in the living room of a Victorian house, and a larger picture of the “fish tank.” (No, really.) 😉

Balloon Fiesta 2017

Claire’s school Fall Break coincided with the start of the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, so we left on Thursday (10/5) around noon and stayed in Santa Fe (one of our favorite cities!) before heading to ABQ on Friday. Saturday morning, before the sun (we were at the shuttle bus by 4:15am!!), we experienced one of the most magical things EVER. We saw Dawn Patrol and the Mass Ascension. I can’t even describe it to you. It brought tears to my eyes. The pictures do NOT do it justice. We were right up next to the balloons! They were right above us and all around us! Absolutely amazing. *swoon*

Solare Eclipse 2017

Claire and I modeling our fancy freebie eclipse glasses. (She got to see it at school with her own eclipse glasses, so these were the ones we used here at home.)

I also made an old-school viewer. Here’s a behind the scenes shot. The wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so at one point, the viewer doubled as a fan!

Old School Viewer

A crescent in my fist

The eclipse shadows were so creepy and fun to play with! Look at the crescents and claws!

And then we got 93% of totality here. The crickets started chirping; the temp dropped 10 degrees, and it was like it was twilight, but the sun was in the wrong place. Such a wonderful experience!

Summer Fun

This summer, Claire and I will be trying to squeeze every last drop of fun out of the day! Some days, we’ll do various art or writing projects here at home. Most days, if the weather holds, we’ll be hiking old trails and new (to us) trails. We’ll try to keep every day exciting in its own way, and I’ll try to keep it chronicled here.

Today, we started near home and had a fantastic time.

Oh, and she’s 11-and-a-half now. What??

Flora and fauna on our hike!



Mummies in Denver

Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs

On Friday, we were able to arrange Dad’s work schedule so that we could whisk Claire away from school at the sound of the bell and head to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out the new Mummy Exhibit! (We are members of the DMNS, but we were given free tickets to check out this exhibit.)

Ever since Claire was but a wee lass, her favorite room at the DMNS has always been the Egyptian Mummies. Every time we’d visit the museum, we’d stop by and see the mummies. As what happens with toddlers and preschoolers, some visits to the DMNS would be shorter or longer than others, but regardless of how long we were there, a visit wasn’t complete without going to that room.

When I found out they were bringing a larger exhibit of mummies to the DMNS, I *knew* we HAD to go. (The Mummy Exhibit opened October 14, 2016 and goes through February 5, 2017. A special ticket required.) Going on opening day was just icing on the cake.

Quote from the website:
The exhibition is a rare glimpse at a collection of mummies from The Field Museum in Chicago, many displayed for the first time. Using modern technology and noninvasive research techniques, scientists avoided the hazards of unwrapping the fragile specimens and uncovered a wealth of new discoveries. Medical scanning, DNA sampling, and advanced computer modeling revealed a storehouse of natural and cultural information with extraordinary detail.

We were not disappointed!

It was absolutely amazing, mind-boggling, really. We’d never seen so many mummies up close…and not just replicas (there were a few), but these are the REAL DEAL. The only thing between us and these amazing specimens was a thin protective case, and thousands of years, which seemed to vanish before our very eyes.

This exhibit includes mummies from Egypt AND Peru, which was unexpected. (When I think “mummies,” I think of Egypt, so it was really fascinating to learn about how mummification played into the Peruvian culture, too.)

Cameras were allowed in certain parts of the exhibit, but the more delicate pieces were off limits to photography.

We spent an hour in the exhibit, and when we were done, I asked Claire what her favorite part was. She said it was a tough choice, but she settled on “The Gilded Lady.” This particular one was last seen in public at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. As you can see in the photo (which I was allowed to take), you can see her CT scan, and what she would have looked like (in the reflections).

Claire and "The Gilded Lady"

Claire and “The Gilded Lady” (click image to enlarge)

The juxtaposition of these ancient relics and the marvels of modern science used to see their inner secrets was amazing.

All evening, I thought about this exhibit. I just couldn’t wrap my head around what we’d seen and how old these specimens were. I thought about what these people would think if they knew that thousands of years into the future, they would be on display in a museum. Then, I was struck by two thoughts: On one hand, these people never wanted to be exposed. They did what they could to prevent tomb-robbers, and to protect themselves from the elements. On the other hand, they wanted to live forever…and now they have.

If you get a chance, you need to check out this exhibit. It truly is amazing.

Breaking the Rules

Okay, normally, “The Rules” are: 1) if it’s not actively precipitating, and 2) if it’s above freezing, we’ll go to the park after school.

Momma broke the rules today, and we went to the park when it was below freezing!! Why? Daddy & Claire got Momma a new coat, and IT’S SO COMFY. Red, puffy, awesome COMFY. (I sense a conspiracy.)

Park Day 01.08.16

In related news, Claire found her favorite thing: ICICLES.

Claire "rescued" a big one!

Claire “rescued” a big one!

I found a unicorn at the park!

I found a unicorn at the park!

Icicle 01.08.16

Claire found a wand.

Claire found a wand.

Looks like we may have to amend “The Rules” after all… 🙂