firsts, does and don'ts of colorado

- Get to bed before 2:30 a.m. to get more than three hours of sleep
- Watch Veggie Tales to stay awake while packing
- Bring a sweater, since everyone knows restaurants are always cold
- Bring socks for DVD player headphones which are rather uncomfortable to the ears (see below)
Yes, I pride myself with my useful inventions.
- Never continue if your sure the tire is having problems
- Don't dance on the side of the interstate while waiting for a tow truck
- Don't squeeze four girls in the back of an already packed van
- Don't forget hotel keys
- Don't ever go into any store with mannequins and 1970's music. Even if the t-shirts there might be affordable souvenirs. You'll regret it.
- Don't stick your finger in an open electrical outlet

The Bergmann very first tire blow out! How exciting! Our excitement ebbed after the hour wait for the mechanic to power drill the stubborn wheel off. We were three hours from our destination, in the middle of nowhere Colorado (which is practically desert)

- First ever tire blow out
- First time we couldn't get the tire off the van
- First time we piled suitcases on the side of the highway and sang songs
- First time I ever went canoeing
- First time I stayed in a hotel suite with broken air conditioning
- First time eating melted craft cheese
- First time meeting half my cousins
- First time baking in high altitude. My brownie reputation went down the tubes, though my relatives were nice enough to lick the pan clean

We sang a song..."I've been traveling this road for miles..." Pardon our looks of utter excitment

Lily lake itself! After an exciting hike and billions of pictures, we cooled off. I had rode in the car with Ironman and Superman (five and three respectively) and after I helped Superman out of the car, he declared he loved me. My cousinly heart snapped in two.

The nicest lady in the world let us move into her house free of rent. Besides shocking myself on one of the uncovered outlets (the house was being renovated) and tripping up the stairs, I adored our "homestead".

Don't walk barefoot in Colorado. Don't jump out of a car with flip flops on to change a tire. Cactus hurts.

The most amazing rope swing that made you dizzy.

A rather blurry homestead. And our newly fixed up van.

Family photos! The nice photographer was rather overwhelmed by our large, obnoxiously loud, bossy family. She handled it very well, although I think she enjoyed the engagement shoots of my cousin better (who got engaged the second day!!)

Hopelessly outnumbered, we girl cousins made the best of it. We enjoyed giving piggy back rides, babysitting the countless toddlers, and going down town to take an old fashioned photo, complete with 1800's clothes!

Picnic lunches were a common occurrence, and we thoroughly enjoyed them. The best part was feeding the prairie dogs ginger snaps, or making sure the toddlers ate something.

Hannah, myself, and my closest cousin, Abigail. We had so many fun sleepovers, oreo chats, deep conversations and canoe outings. One of the best nights was watching Ella Enchanted which we all detested just as much as we couldn't stand the new American Girl movie of Mckenna.

Downtown with some of the cousins!

My second ever glass elevator ride! We amused the shoppers whether we were shopping, walking, or dorkily smiling as we rode the glass elevator.

Salt water taffy is only the best in Estes Park. If you've never had it - it's one reason worth going!

First ever not-so yellow-bellied marmot. We snapped this photo over a highly dangerous trail ride for a fifteen passenger van. With barely enough room on the road with a 1,000 foot drop on one edge and jagged boulders on another, this was definitely a memorable nightmare. As I sat in the back dying of altitude sickness,  it was not something I wanted to repeat.

"Look mom, the top of the mountain!" The view was breathtaking, but the ride still haunts our minds. It was raining most of the way down, as you can see by the ominous clouds.

The coolest five passenger bikes ever invented!

One of the Uncles raising up a new generation of fishermen.

Siblings and Abigail! The handsome guy to the right of me is my twin brother, who I saw very little of, since he was hiking up 11,000 ft mountains and fly fishing.

Ironman showing off his fish he caught all by himself. He boasted about the "blood", although Caroline didn't seem too excited. And in that case - nobody else did either.

If you were bored enough to reach the end of this post (extra brownie points for you), I'll sum the trip up as bittersweet (towards the end) and absolutely wonderful.

I leave now, to weed the jungle which I use to call my garden.


  1. Looks like you had a fun time! ;) And you have a 15 passenger RED van?! Oh my. My family has had a red van for 17 years. We just recently bought a new one; a boring white one *tear* {but the air conditioning does work on this one. ;)} but I miss the red one. :)

    This totally sounds like our family 8 years ago. ;)

    These pictures are lovely! It was very enjoyable seeing what you did. I loved your "singing" expression. haha.

    And CO is beautiful; very similar to our mountain home in AZ. :)


  2. Looks like so much fun! Loved all the pictures. And let me tell you a secret: I've always wanted to go to Colorado. So next time, bring me along, okay?

  3. Our garden resembles that of a jungle too. Complete with a little dog who thinks she's a lion, and baby rabbits that she thinks are her prey.


  4. I loooveed seeing all the pictureS! Your trip, again, looks amazing!

    You looked lovely, in all the pics. dearie!

  5. lol:) Oh, Bethany.

    I enjoyed your post.

    Sounds like you made a lot of memories. :)

    How did you shock yourself? (If I may ask?) Sounds pretty interesting. :D

  6. I get brownie points! Honestly, though, I wasn't bored. Loved this post. Family trips are such chaotic fun.

  7. seems like you had a nice trip :) and well, now Christian is aller than you ;)

  8. @ Mikailah - well, technically it's a twelve passenger, since we don't have the last seat in. :) But family vacations definitely wouldn't be the same without our dear old van. And don't be too sad about having a white van - I've had a bunch of adventures in our neighbors fifteen passenger white van! Though red is a more exciting color, of course. ;)

    @ Kendra - you should've told me - we had an extra seat. :) But here's the deal: you take me on your missions trips, and we'll tote you around to Colorado, Texas and the like. :D

    @ Annie - not so much of a jungle anymore, thanks to handy inventions called hands. Now, if I can just start the weed eater...((and yes, Caroline is adorable!))

    @ Kara - thanks m'dear! The vacation was wonderful - and I miss it already...but that's what makes it so special. *coughs* And I always look good in my photos. *nervous laugh* ;)

    @ Anna - I shocked myself by trying to turn off the bathroom light while brushing my hair. Since I thought I was talented enough to not look where I was putting my finger...

    @ Abby - oh, yay! Although after my brownie high-altitude experience, I won't be able to send you a pan for reading to the end. ;D

    @ Marieanne - oh, yup, I forgot that I was taller than Christian when you came...yes, he grew taller than everyone, I think even my dad! But people still think I'm older, anyway. ;)

    Thanks for all the comments!

  9. Love the pictures! Hope you all had fun (I'm sure you did:D)and hope your garden isn't too mean to you.:D

  10. Oh yes. Bailey had been texting me when y'alls car broke down. I was rather amused. ;]

    I also enjoyed hearing all of y'all in the background as Bailey and I chatted on the phone. Bergmann clan sounds a lot like our family! ;]

  11. Looks like you had a blast! If I ever go to Colorado, ill have to remember your tips. And I might just have to try the sock trick :)

  12. Sweet! :) Your brother is almost as handsome as my 16 yr old brother. Almost, but not quite. I may be a bit partial however, don't make me put on my defensive big sister gloves....

    Loved all the pictures! Looks and sounds like you all had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing them! :)

  13. @ Savannah - well, I must say that wasn't the best photo of m'dear Dupe, but I must resent -- he's pretty awesome. :) *pulls on defensive little sister gloves*


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Maira Gall