Easy Out West
Last week I packed up the car, with ALL the pool floaties and toys and shoes, and snacks, and put in our portable DVD players for our movie, I bought them Toy Story 2 and Remy loved it, and we headed out to the western slope to Olathe to visit my Dad, or Pa as he is known by the girls!
Husband was traveling, a big soccer tournament across the globe, so when the cat's away, me and the meeces like to get away. A visit out west to relax and stay outdoors and sneeze from hay cuttings, out to the hay farm where the girls can stuff the goats silly with weeds, throw on their rubber boots and dash out back first thing in the morning, before breakfast, to climb gates to pet horsies. There's two new ponies, one born on Easter, his namesake, and Jackson Saw. The girls get just as excited as I do and always share how much they miss Pa and Lucille after we've been away too long.
Olathe, a place where we have evening strolls after dinner to the back of the property to relax and spot cactus or wild asparagus going to seed and kick piles of horse manure along the way. We sadly couldn't build a fire for s'mores with a burn ban in effect. Presently there are several forest fires burning here in Colorado and we pray for rain and relief and Mother Nature.
Out west, we stay in Pa's home where guitar and organ music fill the living room and the girls dance in the middle of a big, soft rug to songs written by Pa himself. There's a front porch where toys are sprawled out and the girls play while we sip evening coffee and try to catch a breeze. A place, safe and warm, an environment where creativity blooms and ideas ignite like the sparklers they so cautiously held out spelling their names across the mesa landscape, Poppers snapped under bare toesies and hummingbird and bumble bee spottings reassured us that pollination persists despite the extreme and dire situation our fuzzy little yellow friends are in the midst of.
Did I mention Pa cooks us delicious meals and we have had grass-fed beef that he raised himself? Oh, well there's that too! Oh, and the EGGS! Fresh, hearty, filling, beautiful eggs fried up in a cast iron pan in the am. And not to brag, okay gonna do it, my Dad makes an incredible Cab Sav AND has meade perfected! I love sampling his corkings. He is self-taught, pretty much in everything from computers, to Greek, yes he can read Greek, to music, to vintner. Well anyway, this is not a bad place to be. See some past visits here, BABY faces, and THIS ONE with my TEENY girls! Or pumpkin patching out there! And look at these GIRLIES eating S'mores! And PEAR PICKING! I LOVE revisting these past posts and cherish all the visits...
So, you can imagine why we like to try to get out there as much as we can. Every time we visit, we see something new, adventure around a new scenery, shop a little local yocal and find TREASURES, and we always, ALWAYS make amazing memories. This time around we took a drive out to Escalante Canyon- jaw-dropping scenery you would NEVER know exists until you drive back past the highway. The rocks, the colors, the texture and the surprises at every bend! One rock reminded me of fudge cut open to reveal the marbly goodness inside. We packed a couple sandwiches, some chips and ate on the rocks. The girls were a bit tired by the time we arrived to our picnic spot, and it was TOASTY out, so we didn't stay nearly as long as I would have liked! Part of the deal when you travel with kids. You're on their schedule.
But a GREAT thing about traveling with kids, is all the fun places it takes you! We went swimming at the local recreation center one day and the girls, as well as myself, had a BLAST! It was shallow half way through at only 2.5 feet, so the girls could easily touch the bottom and I felt comfortable sitting on the edge within arms reach at times. It was also a TINY, postage stamp sized pool and there were TWO lifeguards on and the girls had one to two sets of floaties on! There was a fun little slide shaped like a bull frog and Arlo zipped down it so fast and would clim up the laddr and zip down over and over- all on her own! I popped in the pool and started to give the girls a swimming lesson, but we ended up playing hungry bull frog, I was inspired by the slide okay, and I would hop around making frog sounds, pretend to slurp them up like flies and capture them and kiss them. Sort of a new spin on the classic shark game.
The girls adore Lucille, Pa's wife, and she gives them enormous amounts of love and attention, kneeling down and giving direct eye contact. Holding them on her lap as they read to her, and allowing them to waltz right into her bedroom and see what sorts of incredible things she has been creating. Lucille is a very talented and accomplished visual artist, her sculptures are incredible, and her icon work, and her projects she always has in the works, and this time Remy fancied her fabric hearts!
On the last day there, we headed up to Crawford for the Pioneer Days, where their theme of "No Place Like Home," had a local country girl croonin' and local firemen hoisting up the girls into a train ride and blowing up balloons for their little pink cheeks. It was very hot this afternoon so we all decided after the train ride to head home for a late BBQ followed up with Peanut Buster Bars we picked up from Dairy Queen the day we went swimming. We had picked out a box to bring home to Pa. Man, those were TASTY!
It's always so hard to say goodbye, but I savor these times we get to head out there and bond!
Here's a few, or a LOT, of pictures from our time out west. Wishing everyone who may celebrate a Happy Eid! Have a wonderful weekend ahead with your family, and loved ones. hug and kiss them as much as you can! AND.... HAPPY Father's Day!!!
Wearing: Remy's smiley face tee and Arlo's sunshine tee are from Target, but similar sweet message tees by PEEK and Tiny Whales. Remy's floral trousers are Zara and Arlo's are thrifted vintage. Similar floral loose fit pants by Lilly Pulitzer here, or red floral gauchos by Sonia Rykiel. Both wearing Hunter Boots throughout. Orange swing tanks with smiley face and bright floral capri leggings are from Crazy 8. Blue floral dress and green farm dress both thrifted. Similar blue and white floral dress by Rachel Riley. Found a cute farm print tunic here or a fun Farm Life swing tank dress both on Zulily. I believe their Peppa pajama sets were from Costco last year. Remy's yellow dress was thrifted, no tags, and Arlo's Strawberry shortcake tank and red gingham bloomers were found in Olathe at a secondhand shop (the owner said I could fill a bag for $1 so they were like .03 cents or something crazy!) Similar yellow floral dress from Old Navy for $8! Or this one also from Old Navy for $15! Can't go wrong with red gingham on babes in the summer, in my opinion! But then again, I am a sucker for the classic and vintage pieces, I have even had a vintage shop on Etsy since 2012 called Rolypolyz where I sell my finds! Look at this Il Gufo dress if you feel like a splurge! Or this sweet watermelon option for only $25 by Rare Editions. Best of luck finding anything Strawberry Shortcake unless it's vintage or handmade with special fabric. I think this was handmade and it barely fits, but I HAD to have her wear it once! Too special! They are both wearing Converse sneakers. Love this white pair with sky blue soles!