Category Archives: Travel

Family fun at Colorado’s YMCA of the Rockies

The bad news: Tessa and Reed noticed immediately that there was no TV in our room.

The good news: They never mentioned it again.

Last week a group of Colorado bloggers was invited, with our families, to enjoy all the fun that the YMCA of the Rockies Camp has to offer. My extended family had already been to the YMCA camp near Winter Park years ago (for a family reunion at Snow Mountain Ranch — don’t ask about the melted TV, which is, perhaps why there are no longer TVs in rooms) but this was my first time at the camp near Estes Park.

We arrived about an hour before the summer solstice. I was thrilled to find that there is a labyrinth on the sprawling grounds, so at the moment the earth reached its extreme point toward summer (northern hemisphere) and began its 6 months slide toward winter, I walked a labyrinth to mark the change. It was a calm start to a whirlwind couple of days.

For the next 42 hours we biked, tie-dyed, saw a Godspell performance from a traveling youth group, ate 5 square meals (very good for cafeteria food), sang karaoke, shot arrows at the archery range, played ultimate frisbee and flag football, went swimming  and enjoyed games night with the other bloggers and their children.

A few of the things we had to forgo were the zipline, the sing-along, mini-golf, hiking, the skate park, wall climbing, massage, fishing, a scavenger hunt, yoga, horseback riding, animal classes and history workshops. And about a chamillion other activities.

There was so much offered that our orientation packet was 25 pages long. Chock full, with something for everyone.

Which is why the Y is famous for multi-generational family reunions. Grandma can play bingo while Gramps goes fishing, the kiddos play games and Dad ziplines. Mom? Massage, of course. If you go in the winter, you might even gather around a cozy fireplace. (It’s all fun and games until the TV melts).

We thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Crazy Bloggin’ Canuck, Mama Bird’s Blog, Lifenut, Denver Parent, Eat Play Love, Greeblemonkey, and Julie Marsh and our 21 children, Our hostess, Laura, definitely had the mostest. Here are just a few shot to share:

If you ever get the chance to visit YMCA of the Rockies (and you don’t mind the emphasis on the “C” part of “YMCA”), my children and I heartily suggest you take it.

Disclosure: We were guests of the YMCA camp for purposes of experiencing it and writing a straight-up post about it.

Here are some posts by my colleagues about our YMCA adventure:

Homes Sweet Homes

Eden is hosting the Gimme Shelter carnival. Go on over to see the other people’s shelters and maybe add your own.

Here are highlights from the places I’ve lived.

Family of origin. Sheri, Tami and I shared a basement bedroom during my school years. We didn’t feel squished or deprived of daylight — it just was where we lived. It was a happy place. My sisters and I laughed and created and fought and teased and bonded tightly in a suburb outside of Denver.

College. My roommate and I held a surfing party one night and broke all sorts of rules. As well as a couple of ironing boards used for surfing. In Kansas.

Japan. I had to take off my shoes at the door. It was a teensy apaaato (apartment) with only one room (of three) that was heated in the winter or cooled in the summer, which were equally brutal in central Japan. It was the room where I slept and read, bundled up under the heated kotatsu table during the winter or splaying myself in front of the a/c during the summer.

Condo. I got a mortgage on my own for a 2 BR condo in a west Denver suburb. I lived here when I met Roger, and after we married it was the first place where we cohabited.

Syria. We sold the condo, our cars and most of our stuff, and stored or gave away the rest. We moved to Syria for two years and lived in a spacious flat with polished stone floors, a wraparound balcony, and an oil-burning boiler/hot water heater. We turned it on only just prior to using hot water, and left it off the rest of the time.  We had to have the tank refilled on occasion, and that was very expensive. I loved our coffee-in-the-morning rituals there. And watching Tim Russert on Meet the Press on Sunday evenings on NBC Europe. Oh, and toilet paper was not flushable.

Victorian. When we returned from Syria, Roger and I bought our first home together, an 1891 Victorian in Denver proper that had one bathroom and no closets. It housed well all the old-world souvenirs we brought home from our travels. This was the place we brought Tessa and Reed home to as newborns. It was where we erected all sorts of kid-proof gates and pushed plastic prongs into electrical outlets. It’s the setting for hours and hours of home movies of the first bath, first crawl, first food, first step, first birthday, first time on a bicycle. However, by the time both children were potty trained, it was clear we either needed to add a bathroom or move to suburbia.

Full circle. We now live 2 miles from the home I grew up in, where my parents still live. We’re on a cul-de-sac, a space where the kids can free-range safely, much the way I did as a kid. Tessa and Reed have their own rooms, which they switch occasionally. Here they laugh and create and fight and tease and bond tightly.

And we have 3 bathrooms. My slice of heaven.

To enter your own Gimme Shelter post, visit the awesome Eden.