We drove south through Rocky Mountain National Park and saw some pretty amazing sights! Grampa Phil was familiar with this area so it was not new and Owen was busy counting motorcycles. I don't know how much he really took in. :-) He did notice that we were "up high!".
Amazingly enough...these pictures were taken from the car window.
When we got to Todd and Julie's house, Owen cheered, "whoo hoo, Grampa!" I don't know if he was cheering for all the driving that Grampa did or the fact that he threw Owen's ball back that had been thrown up to the driver's seat. We did not see Todd until the morning after our arrival, but Owen was already following him very closely (with his eyes) and Todd let Owen wear his headband.
Owen got busy right away playing with toys from the neighbor boys. Owen was in boy heaven with all that dirt and rocks...sorry Julie...depending on the kid...I should call it "kid heaven" because it will be a wonderful place for you and your little girl!
Owen wanted to "help" Julie so we found some dirt and a shovel...
Julie's beautiful home is just above a beautiful river that we visited and threw stuff into.
Owen learned a new word: moving water is called a "river" but he called it a "viver."
Auntie Julie was so great to "build" Owen a tent out of the couch cushions and a blanket, but before we could get a picture, Owen escaped.
This was not new: trying on people's shoes!
Once again, the neighbor's were great enough to let Owen ride this adorable bike and gave him this helmet. He loved to ring the bell and ride in the driveway with Julie.
We did take a ride around the "block" (2.5 miles) in the burley and we are convinced we need one in MN!
Popsicles were a daily occurrence...no one argued!
Owen's favorite thing about Julie's house was helping with chores. He loved helping feed the horsies, Geri and Sadie. Julie says they are still asking for the little boy who gave them a ton of treats! When he went to feed them hay, he'd throw it at them and say, "Here you go, Sadie!"
Gramma Momma and I then walked around the "block" and Owen couldn't stay in the stroller the whole time. So, he got a ride...
We found a playground...
a helicopter ("hopicopter")...
and a water pad (water fountains to play in)...
and blew bubbles...and that was all in one day!!!!
Then we went to see Todd race his bike in this beautiful place. Owen once again found lots of rocks and dirt to play in...
and throw it in the "viver"! See this one in the air??
Gramma Momma got in a cleaning mode and Owen wanted to help sweep...
but he fell and got a "fat lip". Julie called him a tough guy. He liked that.
He got to compare fat lips with Gramma because Gramma had bumped her lip the day before. This led to Owen comparing "owies" with Grampa too. Just another excuse to have a popsicle!
"Miner Guy" to lead the way. It was a neat tour, 1000 feet underground and into the mountainside.
We got to pan for gold...
and play in the water...no, Julie didn't push Owen in...
but he did fall in...twice! So here he is petting the roaming donkeys with no pants on. What am I going to do with this boy?! :-) Luckily, I did have dry pants and a blanket in the car.
Owen felt left out of the "belly Picture" so we let him join. Yes, mine is the pasty white one: I am four months along in this picture and Julie is six months...Owen is two years along. :-)
Grampa Phil finally let someone else take the wheel because we wanted to get home a bit faster without stopping and we were driving through the night. I took over at midnight and was movin' along with the cruise set at 75 (the speed limit in SD!!!). Some sort of intuition or premonition told me this was going to happen, but, just before two, a deer jumped into my headlight. I did not see it until it was on my car so I don't think I ever hit the brakes. The radiator was busted wide open, fluid was draining, we lost speed and power. We were all okay and Owen barely woke up. Three angels helped us (one pulled over and asked how he could help; he called the small-town sherriff who came and called another small-town tow guy). Among the three of them we got a police report, a tow, a rental car and re-packed it, and we were back on the road by 5 in the morning. Other than a car and some sleep, not much was lost. Faith was fed as we saw God protect and show mercy. It was not a total loss, the car will get fixed (after 40 hours of labor), and we have another car to get around in.
We were home by 11:30 on Sunday and we were all a bit tired. Owen slept hard for a few days and is still sleeping in to about 7 or 7:30 these days. Praise God! :-)