the great american road trip take 4: glenwood caverns, vail and breckenridge

One of our children has a serious fear of heights, one of them will (and has) ziplined down a mountain slide - I'll let you figure out who's who.

So it was almost unfair to start our day with one child's biggest thrill and another's biggest fear - but that's just the kind of parents we are.  Punk prayed most of the way up the cable car ride to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Kooka spent her time peering out the windows, and Yoda repeated my mantra over and over "we're fine Punk - we're fine."

It was a repeat trip for us, so at least he knew what to expect, and once at the top, it was all fun and games: Lazer Tag, 4-D movies, riding down the mountain in an alpine coaster, playing in the jail - plenty of adrenaline-pumping adventures - and a heart stopping one.

Kooka and I decided to zipline down the mountain.  I don't know what I was thinking when I climbed the 12-story tower (which was already sitting on top of the mountain - which we had to ride a gondola to get to). I guess I assumed that there would be some sort of safety precautions taken for something like this.

I was wrong.

I am not the type to get freaked out by rides.  I will go an absolutely anything - loops, hairpin turns, speed - none of that phases me.  When something seems poorly maintained or unsafe - that's when I usually back out.  So Kaia and I plant ourselves into this little two-seater 15,000 feet above where we usually sit, and patiently wait for the attendant to help harness us into this contraption.  But wait - there is no harness.  There are no handles, there is nothing - and I mean NOTHING except one, tiny lap belt, that he doesn't even bother to check. He's about to push us over the edge, and even Kooka looks worried, so I give her my most reassuring mom words, and withing seconds we are launched into the atmosphere.

I'll admit, that the ride down was fun - once we caught our breath, it was a fantastic view. but we shared a panicked glance when we realized that there was nothing to stop us, except some sort of mid-cable contraption for us to crash into.  The top of our car ricoched off of this thing and send us zooming up the zipline backwards.   We could see Sharon in the zipline next to us cheering, while Kooka and I screamed for our lives.  If you've ever had a team of linebackers try to pull your chair our from under you while simultaneously dangling half a mile above the surface of the earth, then you have a pretty good idea of what this felt like.  If not, take my advice and use the 8 bucks that it costs to ride this thing and buy yourself a double espresso. In fact buy TWO double espressos.  You'll get half the adrenaline and twice the enjoyment.

After a few more coaster rides, we decided to head back down the mountain and back towards home.

Dinner was a two hour stop in Vail, where we ate blue-corn enchiladas, nachos with french fries on top, and Anaheim chile' rellanos at Los Amigos restaurant.  With all of the natural beauty surrounding us, I am almost embarrassed to admit how much we all loved Vail. It's as clean as Disney World, and nearly as much fun.

 The kids played on a full-scale pirate ship playground, danced in the fountains, devoured chocolate covered twinkie and ice cream at Rocky Mountain Chocolates, and Punk found his dream car made entirely of Legos.  Yoda danced in the street to live music coming from the pubs, and loudly applauded each one with "Dood job guy!"

Chocolate dipped Twinkies and Ice Cream
Punk's Dream Car

It was a pretty "dood" day overall.
Photos to come - when the ap on the ipad stops acting up.