Sunday, we took yet another step toward normality, loading up the car and driving up to the mountains to stay for a couple of days.

A few weeks ago, Erin and I talked about doing a little trip after the kids finish school, and Erin had the great idea of having it be a kids’ choice trip. We found surprisingly reasonable hotel rates in Avon (near Vail) and Breckinridge, and let the kids pick. They both chose Avon, so on Sunday we were Avon-bound.

It’s just for a couple of days and we’re letting the kids set the agenda, so it mostly involves eating pizza and ice cream, watching cartoons, and walking around by the river. All good stuff in my estimation, too.

Check in wasn’t until 4, so we got things ready in the morning and then went out for a nice brunch close to home before trekking up. Amelia had a very fancy hot chocolate.


It’s nice doing a Sunday to Tuesday trip over Memorial Day weekend because we basically miss traffic by traveling and those weirdo times. We had a pretty smooth trip up, but it was rainy and cold, so maybe not ideal walking around weather that first day. Fortunately, at least the rain stopped when we got up there and we were able to get outside. Our room is was great, and has an enormous terrace with a great view out back.


Back to my original thought about this being another step toward normal, I have to say it was something of culture shock walking into the hotel, because at this point here pretty much no one is wearing masks. Again, Erin and I are vaccinated, so we are OK, but we are still being extra careful with the kids. We are having them wear masks indoors, and generally wearing masks when we’re with them so they continue to feel comfortable doing it.

Still there was a point where I went down the lobby to get something on my own and didn’t wear my mask. It could very well be the first time I have stood in an inside public area WITHOUT a mask on in over a year. It was pretty weird.


The kind of weird I could definitely get used to, for sure, but weird nonetheless. It just makes me more and more anxious to get the point where the kids can finally get their shots. 

Anyway, after we got settled in, we took the dogs for a nice walk along the riverfront. Even though it was cold and gloomy outside, it’s the mountains so its beautiful in all weather.


I love walking along the river. The sounds, the sights, the smells…everything about it is wonderful. The kids love it too, and Henry took every opportunity he could to toss stones in the water. After the walk, we ordered some pizza, hung out in the room and watched a movie together.

No, COVID is not gone and the pandemic is not over yet. But we are starting to feel a shift and see a light at the end of the tunnel. No spiking the football yet, but I think many of us are starting to give more thought to what might be safe baby steps forward.

And after the year the kids have been through…all the changes, the isolation and drama…we felt like they deserve a little time to be in our collective happy place, eat snacks and goof around. It’s a short getaway, but any time up in the mountains is time well spent, and we are thankful to be here.