We were invited to go on a trip to Colorado with our friends Elizabeth and Phillip. It was the most amazing adventure our family has experienced. Elizabeth is an excellent road trip planner. She should really start a blog to share all her tips. They plan to visit every National Park in the US while their kids are growing up. They have visited quite a few already! I hope we can do some more with them as well, hint, hint…please invite us again. Ok, so they did invite us on another trip, but I had a baby shower to host and Justin has to go on a business trip to Brazil. Please ask us again, as this was THE BEST adventure EVER!!  Our adventure took us from Dallas to Colorado Springs, to the Garden of the Gods, to Rocky Mountain National Park, to Westcliff, to the Great Sand Dunes, and back to Dallas again. Here is the map from http://www.Colorado-Directory.com.


The only thing not on the map is Westcliff, which is a small town near the Great Sand Dunes. We stayed there for several nights, as Elizabeth found this amazing location for looking at the stars. This is an incredible town with views only seen in a few parts of the world, here is a quote from http://krcc.org/post/westcliffe-sliver-cliff-designated-dark-sky-community “The International Dark Sky Association certified the neighboring towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff in southern Colorado’s Wet Mountain Valley as the world’s ninth Dark Sky Community. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis reports”. We were able to see the Milky Way clear with the naked eye two nights in a row for hours on end. I have never seen such things with my own eyes! We woke Brielle to see the sky on the night of the fourth of July. It was better than any man-made fireworks, as this was created by God. You will be able to see some of the photos further below. It is not easy to photograph stars or the Milky Way, but my friend Elizabeth is an amazing photographer and was able to capture it beautifully. (By the way it is just one of her many talents. She is not a photographer by trade. In fact, she resigned her career position at Duke to be a stay at home Mom and raise her three children. She is amazing in all that she does!).

We drove from Dallas to Colorado Springs the first day. We left early enough that first morning to make it to Colorado Springs with plenty of daylight hiking time to explore the “Garden of the Gods”. It is National Natural Landmark located right in Colorado Springs. There are great hiking paths that even our kids had no problem walking. Mind you we had 6 kids ages 7 and under! They were troopers and enjoyed hiking and exploring. Probably too  much, as we had to corral them from time to time, as they liked to venture off on their own and climb things they shouldn’t (especially our twins!). I can’t even adequately explain how awesome this place was, so I will simply share the photos. They do all the explaining themselves. God is an amazing creator of beautiful things!