Last weekend, we packed our bags and headed to Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo! We have been there before a few times, but we’ve never experienced their Stingray Beach. The Stingray Beach is a zoo attraction that is only set up during the summertime and they give the guests and opportunity get up close to the stingrays, pet them, and even feed them. This was our first time there and we were beyond excited.
It took us a little while to figure out exactly how to hold our hands palm down to pet the stingrays, but once we all figured it out, we just couldn’t stop. My favorite part was Haddon’s face after he touch the stingrays. He would let out a loud squeal of excitement and pride. There are a few other attractions open during the summer, like a massive splash pad, but we will have to come back and try that on a different day.
The kids arms weren’t long enough to reach the rays, so we ended up laying them flat on the ledge. It seemed like a good idea until they stood up and we all realized that they were soaked. As most family affairs go, it’s all fun and games until someone has fish water all over them…
I can’t get over how much fun this was. The kids are still talking about it and we’re planning our next stingray visit very soon.
I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful and refreshing this trip was for us. It was our first time seeing the Rocky Mountains and our first time going on a hike as a family of five. We had such a great time and the views were breathtaking. We drove about eight hours to the Denver airport to pick up my brother and sister in law and their beautiful baby Charlee (see video below). One of my favorite memories by far is looking up as we drove into Denver and seeing the white caps on the mountains. Alex and I had a moment where we just held hands and looked at each other with excitement.
Our first excursions was the Piney River Trail. We had every intention of getting to the trail however it was closed. So we ended up doing a smaller trail right next to it. The drive up to the Piney River Trail was worth it. There were a few areas where the road was winding and there were steep cliffs right next to our truck. I wasn’t so crazy about the eminent danger, but I did enjoy seeing the cliffs, the trees and even snow on the side of the road. We of course, pulled over and Alex and the kids had a snow ball fight. It was really fun seeing snow in the middle of June. I don’t think we ever got over that.
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It’s no surprise that we are big fans of road-trips. We recently shared our road trip to Vail Colorado, our road trip to Waco Texas and are currently planning a 24 hour drive to Florida, which we are super excited about. We are a road trip family all the way and are embracing every inch of that title. I think it’s a combination of spending time together and getting a chance to explore as family. At first, I thought that maybe the kids would not be up for long car rides, but they really enjoy spending time in the car with us watching movies and anticipating our arrival (ahem asking are we there yet 100x). My favorite part of going on a road trip, is always sitting down with Alex and getting a chance to talk. It’s not often that we get the opportunity to sit for a long period of time (with the kids contained) so, we take it all in and really enjoy investing in our conversation. These days, most of our conversations revolve around our dreams, hopes and where we see our family a year from now. It’s really exciting stuff. I love being this guy’s wife.
When it comes to packing, we all have small bags with our clothes that we pack in the trunk space of the car. I’ll share a post on how to pack for road-trips later on. We also bring our strollers and a few tech bags. We try to keep the cabin as clear of clutter as possible to maximize space. One of the ways we’re able to do this is by having a well stocked carry-on (aka mom’s backpack).
I have such a hard time saying goodbye to vacations, specially when we had so much fun and saw so much beauty around us. In fact, there’s a huge suitcase sitting in my kitchen right now waiting to be unpacked and I’m hesitant to unpack it because it just means that it’s really over. ugh! I guess all good things must come to and end.
For sure, visiting Colorado with our kids, has been one of the coolest things we’ve done as a family and it was completely worth driving eight hours to get there.
We went on a couple of hikes in Vail and during our first hike, we got a chance to see SNOW on the side of the mountain. It was really cool to experience snow in June. So much so, that we stopped the car and Alex and the kids had themselves a little snowball fight. The kids loved seeing and playing in the snow without tons of layers on and I loved not having to worry about them getting sick.
These pictures are from our drive to Upper Piney River Falls Trail. The trail turned out to be closed at the time, but the drive there was beautiful and completely worth it. If you follow along on Instagram, I’m sure you caught the stories of our drive. It was breathtaking.
Coming from Florida, where we don’t see seasons, seeing snow on the side of the mountain in the middle of June threw us for a loop. It was a little bit of an oxymoron considering the weather was incredible! Regardless, the kids climbed on the snow, Alex threw snowballs around and it was so fun for all of us.
I’ll share a bit more in the coming weeks about our trails, views, and a few tips and tricks on traveling and trailing with little ones.
I love this picture so much! Grace’s face and excitement and Haddon’s sweet smile. These kids are such troopers and so much fun to be around.