Cool Down at Denver's Union Station
I know I have mentioned the splash pad at Denver's Union Station before, like a lot, see here and here and here, and here , but it just hasn't got old for us yet! We just really LOVE going downtown as a family and splashing in Denver's Union Station fountains and having ice cream! I, not so secretly, love it when even my HUBZ recommends it as an outing for us all! Union Station splash pad has his heart over all the others for these reasons:
1. The tree lined splash pad provides some shade from the heat.
2. There is a perfect cement bench perimeter on the pad perfect height for seating.
3. It's large enough, length and width make sense for all the splashers as well as passerbys to enjoy and not feel crowded.
4. The LOCATION! Beautiful downtown views at a HISTORIC site, with NEW restaurants and best of all... Milkbox Creamery and Pig Train Coffee just steps away! (And potties inside Union Station!) I also spotted a kiosk inside from ACME Burgers selling, quick bites like salads and sandwiches which is worth skipping packing the lunch bag and trying sometime. Parking CAN be a pain sometimes, BUT we've mostly always been lucky, OR we have taken the Lightrail all the way in!
It's a special day when we can spend it OUTSIDE together, no matter WHERE it is, but as hot as it has been lately, someplace with WATER was a PLUS! We have a pool bag in our linen closet off the garage door and in it we have hats, (goggles for swims classes) sunscreen, and towels. I want to keep clean undies in there, because I have managed to forget those a couple times for changing them afterwards and that makes for an uncomfortable drive home. So when I cam home from pilates on Friday and husband threw out the idea to go downtown, it didn't take long for us ALL to get ready! The girls dashed off to their rooms to reemerge suited up!
I slapped some turkey sandwiches together and tossed in what I had in the fridge. This time we had cut a watermelon a couple days prior, so it was perfect to open up the fridge and have a large tupperware full of pre-cut, juicy red melon to take along! I LOVE when things work out so smoothly! Always makes me think the day ahead was meant to be! I found a great set of three straw bags from the thrift store last year- it was dead of winter, but I just knew they would come in handy and I was right, glad I bought them anyway! I have used the smallest basket as a purse, and the largest as a pool bag, and the medium sized basket has proven to be a perfect lunch/snack/travel bag. I tossed in a bag of baby carrots, a can of Lay's chips, and some other odds and ends and we were out the door! Oh, we also like to have these plastic purses for the girls with a couple waterproof toys like bouncy balls, cups and Barbies that can "swim" to take along for splash pads.
The girls brought an emoji bouncy ball, they won it at the carnival a few weeks ago, along this time and made it made for a fun little water soccer pickup game- perfect World Cup spirit happening and even some other kiddos joining in. Let's just say the grin on their Baba says how happy the day was made. Especially since their Baba is a soccer player, coach, ref, former Syrian national soccer team member himself...shall I go on to prove his enthusiasm for futbol? We have been taking the girls to soccer sessions on and off since they have been about two years old. They are currently enrolled in a camp through the Colorado Rapids Academy training center and they are finally getting into a stage where they are actually dribbling and passing and making goals and starting to comprehend the game. Not to mention all those one on one sessions with one of the best coaches around in their back yard! Those back yard games are actually quite entertaining!
I am actually typing this in between icing my wrist which I sprained pretty badly from swinging Remy in the water! You can see it in the video below (scroll down after ALL those photos!) OUCH! My girls are NOT so little anymore! It's hitting me, um literally, just how much they are growing and changing and I am declaring this the last summer of babydom...in a lot of respects! One is headed to kindergarten, the other to pre-school, and I can see we are headed towards a new phase of childhood and slowly leaving baby and toddler land behind us. I am very much SOAKING up this stage where the splash pads are gold to them and savoring these days that I have numbered where they beg me to lift and twirl them and make a fool of myself, and they aren't embarrassed by my dancer jumps in the background. I know this is a SHORT, SWEET season in life and I am LIVING for it. This old lady is gonna pick 'em up and twirl them as long as my brittle wrists will allow! I may be falling apart, but that won't stop me from lovin' on these girls!
When we arrive downtown, we have learned it's easiest for hubz to drop us off with all the bags, then I go find a spot to park ourselves and he finds a spot to park the car. This time, I JUST caught some people leaving and snagged their chairs and there was a lonely table at the end which was actually nearest the Milkbox Creamery, AND in the shade- double score! Husband also found front row parking- it's a sign! The day was made for us! If anyone from Union Station is reading this, more tables and chairs PLEASE, oh AND trash/recycle units nearer would be helpful! I know the trash bins might be a matter of limiting stench, bugs, and unwelcome persons possibly scrummaging, BUT, we see many people dump and litter simply out of laziness and it is hard to find a trash bin close by. I feel like ALL the tables and chairs get utilized, ALL the times I have been there. It may be a chicken and egg situation, but I truly believe if you HAVE them, they will be used! I imagine all the chess tables and chairs at Bryant Park in New York- let's do this Denver!
OF COURSE, no visit to Denver's Union Station for us is complete until we have a cone from Milkbox Creamery which scoops up ice cream from Little Man Ice Cream. I may be a stickler about certain sweets in my home, my girls have never had soda, (well Arlo accidentally was given a taste at a birthday party and I about had an aneurism) but they HAVE certainly indulged in the wonderful world of frozen dairy! I mean, my first job was at Dairy Queen, of COURSE this is a house of lactose ambassadors! I don't think they are as into it as I am, I always end up finishing their cones plus mine, and they tend to stick to the classics, chocolate or strawberry, but we all enjoy our licks! This time Baba had Space Junkie, one of our all time favorite flavors, Arlo had strawberry cheesecake, it was just okay, Remy stuck with her tried and true chocolate, and I tried raspberry chocolate chip, good, but I miss the banana flavor. Since we were experiencing a heat wave here in Denver last week, the lines for ice cream were LONGER than usual, and the ice cream was meltier than I had ever seen it since the cooler doors were probably open quite a bit, but we still enjoyed it!
Anyway, since I personally am sort of living out this summer as if it's potentially my last as a momma to little littles, you'll be seeing a LOT of posts over the next coupIe months and I wanted to document this day specifically with video, because I never had before. So much videoing I have missed out on with my "big" camera all because I was so very busy initially with TWO babies and never found or had or MADE time to figure out how to record video on it as soon as I got it. Bummer, but thank the good Lord we have these beautiful smart phones, because they shoo some pretty awesome memories just fine. I recently looked back on a few, and they create beautiful heart pangs too. So VIDEO. Don't forget to scroll over to "Video" and just shoot it! Capture their tiny voices, zoom in on their elbow dimples, scan over their little fingers and knuckles, their heads of baby hair, their thighs, and record those phrases, those amazing little beings learning to SPEAK! Gah! Life is wonderful and I hank God I am a momma to TWO beautiful, HAPPY, energetic girls.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July coming up! Celebrate our America hard and happily. IF you want an amazing PATRIOTIC read, I LOVED this, and now I am sparked to re-read it... "My Love Affair with America: The Cautionary Tale of a Cheerful Conservative." Speaking of Independence Day and all that red, white and blue, Denver's Union Station is hosting some festivities on July 3rd! They are having some live music and happenings for their Stars & Stripes Express Fest. We don't have plans yet this week. We never seem to get it together to plan ahead for the Fourth! I keep telling myself it's because the girls are still so young, but I think this year they will definitely be ready and able to stay up for the fireworks no problem. We almost always are in the back yard, hot, and we seem to always have a BBQ all on our own, but I want to get a little more organized and have a THING. I grew up having my aunt and cousin over every year, and I love those memories of me running down our street barefoot to the end of the cul de sac, arms to the sky with my cousin and feeling like the fireworks spraying confetti into the night were showering down on us. They seemed so grand, so sparkly, so BIG and magical. Every year I have watched fireworks as a momma, I watch the girls and their eyes and try so desperately to fall into them as they glitter with reflections of the bombs bursting in air. The Fourth of July means a lot to me.
Fireworks and fires are banned here in Colorado, a bummer, but hoping to catch a major show from a major city display nearby. What are your plans for the Fourth?! Any ideas on how to make it special with toddlers? Any traditions? Would love to hear in the comments!
Thanks for reading guys! Stay cool, and SAFE this summer! And now, a lot of photos, you know me, AND a video at bottom!
Wearing: I am wearing a black Diesel dress from ages ago, which has turned into my swimsuit coverup dress somehow. My hat is from Davis Hat company in Delta, Colorado, but THIS $10 option from Walmart is cute! Rubber sandals are from Target but looking for a style similar to THESE. Sunnies are from Madewell. Remy's Shopkins suit was from online last spring, but look at THIS adorable cactus Shopkins suit from Walmart and less than $10! Arlo's pink swan suit is from Children's Place online this past spring, but THIS pale pink swan suit with tutu is so CUTE! Both girls are wearing Natives X Little Miss Collab. Their towels were from the Dollar Spot at Target back in May and were only $5! However, found THIS pool floatie printed towel from Bed, Bath & Beyond and its only $10! Husband's shirt, sandals and cactus print shorts are from Ross.