Well...you know what they say about plans (not that anything went wrong, I just thought that that sounded like a funny thing to say). Instead of barely blinking an eyelid, the kids, all three of them, woke up. They were so excited to be getting on the road that they were chatty and making all kids of fun awake noises. Thankfully that only lasted for about 30-40 mins and they did go back to sleep...for about 40 mins. They awoke with the sun. Upon seeing the sunrise and the beautiful desert landscape Livvy said, "My eyes are so happy".
Then, somehow through driver or navigator error, we made a wrong turn, heading down instead of up. But hey, the lady at the gas station where we picked up some breakfast burritos said that a lot of people make that mistake...so I think we'll blame the state for poor road markings. It only cost us about 40 mins in driving time.
After passing through Moab, we decided to stop at Arches Nat'l Park, Utah to let the kids get out and stretch their legs (and the adults too). We didn't actually go into the park, we just parked along the roadside entrance, walked over to the mountain, and started climbling. It was just what we needed. So much fun!
We were making such good time, Fruita, CO by lunchtime, that we decided to push on through and get to Estes Park that day. We thought we'd be there by 4 or 5pm. Well, we stopped for this and that, and eventually made it to YMCA of the Rockies (Mandy's dad so graciously paid for a three-bedroom cabin for us to stay in, and even got us in a day early!) by 8pm that night.
Even though it made for a long day, we were all glad just to get there that day. Sammy might have preferred to have stoppped somewhere sooner, around 5pm Sammy said, "Are we in Colorado yet?"- even though we'd be telling him for the last 4 hrs that we were in CO; "I don't want to live in here."
As far as the drive went, the kids did extremely well. Well, Ben could have been better, but for only being one, he didn't do that bad...and thankfully we had Oma sitting back there with him to keep feeding or entertaining him. We loaded the big kids up with different activities that were introduced at timely intervals that gave them time to play alone, time to play together, time to sit still and do nothing, time to be entertained, etc. It was a beautiful thing.