15 Years Later with 6 Kids {Durango Trip 2013, Pt. 1}

July 28, 2013

15 Years Later with 6 Kids {Durango Trip 2013, Pt. 1}

We honeymooned in Durango, Colorado, 15 years ago this week. Though we've been heading up here every summer since, this year is extra special because we are returning 15 years later with 6 children. We would've loved to have gotten away without the kiddos for our anniversary, but with Number 6's arrival only 3 months ago, traveling with the entire fam was the best for all of us. Anniversary trip and summer vacation all in one, to one of our favorite places on earth, and here's why... 

Every family is different. Ours finds great satisfaction in simple traditions and rediscovering discovered pleasures, again and again. One of our simple traditions is to stop at the park at the edge of town when we first arrive in Durango. Because every other year there has been a new baby with us, this park has seen our family grow, and our boys have made special memories here.

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I love that the boys don't need much to feel like they are on vacation: fun snacks for the road, audio books, new scenery...fresh air...streams and rivers...a train whistle...

Durango Trip Part 1

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...I truly believe our kids respond to what we portray as the greatest joys in vacationing. If we revel in being together, they will too. If our focus is the agenda, theirs will be too...and you know how fun it is when everyone's overly focused on sticking to the agenda. :)..._DSC0050

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...so, instead, it is savoring and resting-- not scheduling and packing it in-- that is the focus when we arrive at our destination. Sometimes, the destination is to rest and BREATHE.

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 My in-laws lovingly gifted us a package they won for us at our school's fundraising Gala, that included a night at the historic General Palmer Hotel. We felt incredibly blessed to have a night of such pampering and Victorian sophistication....

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 (We had a 3 room suite...they don't actually ALL fit on this bed. :))

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 So much of what makes family trips and vacations special is the new contexts in which you can engage some of your children...

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 ...and seeing wonders through your children's eyes...

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 ...and, to save up for that special meal (sushi at East By Southwest!) to enjoy with the entire family, not because it is the most convenient or economical, but because incorporating gentlemen training and tastebud orientation is high on our priority list...

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 And speaking of simple pleasures, the boys spent a few hours exploring the shallow river's edge...

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 ...catching water snakes...

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...and telling stories...10

Vacationing with six young ones is no walk in the park, and not all moments are precious and memorable for the right reasons. Parenting doesn't end when you are on vacation, you know? Vacations can be downright exhausting...but my sweet husband reminded me today that the kids are at the age when they still think being together is better than anything, and that they will have as much fun as our attitude is in being with them. And, this week, I am giving thanks for the privilege of being together with my crew.

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