Category Archives: Colorado

Epic SchoolKids – an epic adventure

My family and I went skiing this weekend at Keystone, and experienced the Epic SchoolKids program (free skiing in CO for kids K-5). The kids had a blast, and my husband and I even got some alone time on the slopes while the girls took a lesson. We also experienced fun on the mountain, other than skiing and snowboarding. Stay tuned for my full post with pictures, but here are a few photos to get a glimpse of how much fun we had.


TUBING!

 

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Black and … Clear

I recently experienced my first parenting fail moment and thought I’d reflect on it and share.  We attended the nutcracker ballet last weekend, as we do each year, and I promised both girls they could pick out a nutcracker to take along.  Target had them on sale, but I thought they were regular priced at $10.   Due to the sale, not much stock was left at our local target, so the kids had to pick from a limited selection of left over, picked over nutcrackers, most of the ones left were painted black or brown.

20161218_181600My oldest picked an angel nutcracker, as you can see from the picture and there was also one Clara nutcracker left, but my youngest really wanted a soldier.  She calmly and quietly said, “I want a soldier, but I want a clear faced one, not brown-faced.”  I couldn’t help but look around, considering I am and they are Indian-American.  At that moment, their mommy became a whopping mixture of both brown and red-faced.  No one heard, but I couldn’t help but wonder where I failed as a parent that my child wanted a white nutcracker; a child, mind you who was born a month after the Obamas entered the White House and hasn’t seen any other President yet in her short lifetime.

Then I realized as we talked more in detail that they are just not exposed to multi-cultures here in our homogeneous, yet firmly liberal city or town.  My daughter said when we go to the shows, no one performing is like us, nor look like this soldier (the one she opted to buy).  She said everyone on the shows we watch are also clear-faced so she wanted what she thought was most appropriate for the nutcracker.  I told her in larger towns, and at the the traveling DCPA productions, multi-cultures are indeed represented, and it’s just that the local productions we see are reflective of the population in our local Colorado.   From the mouth of babes, though, it helped me understand that I do need to take more steps to expose my children to more Indian activities, and Bollywood productions, and perhaps even different cultural events.   At the Nutcracker ballet, a sweet young boy came up to my daughter who was hiding her nutcracker at first, and exclaimed, “I have the same one but mine has a pink face.”   I was screaming on the inside considering how embarrassed my daughter was earlier.  But, I also noted that color was indeed noticed by children this little, and that this is the reality of our world and it’s our job to educate and mentor our children.  I replied, “oh great… this is a unique one and can do the same things yours can.  Isn’t that great?”  He smiled and took off, but this small event really did open my eyes.

obama-cover-750x1125It made me realize that no matter how innocent kids truly are, they perceive things through activities, shows and such, and what we expose them to.  The American girl episodes do not help either with its cast of characters, or the TV shows they watch from time to time.  Everyone is “clear-faced.”  Children certainly don’t intend to discriminate in the same illegal manner that adults may, but they distinguish attractiveness based on what they see and experience, and TV and movies are a huge part of this.  My sweet young daughter was embarrassed about what happened, so I don’t force the issue any longer, but when possible, try to show her things I think will help her self-image, and perception of the world around her.   Ironically, as we checked out at Target, the people magazine cover struck me and my daughter smiled too as I showed it to her, but she was indeed embarrassed about her innocent comment earlier.  Black or white, it does not matter, but I hope we can see past race some day in their lifetimes.  Judging from who was elected President recently, his appointees and what he proclaims to stand for, I say we have a long ways to go.

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Don’t miss Elf Training Camp at The Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado*

mplogofullIf you enjoyed Fondue Fairytales, Superhero Sundays and fun-due Scarytales, then don’t miss out on Elf Training Camp at the Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado!  Saturdays and Sundays (Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17th and 18th) are for fondue fun with the whole family. Enjoy food, drink and elf-themed training, and you can meet Santa’s head elf!

doubledippingfun1The melting pot is a great experience for kids and you can put those etiquette or cotillion classes into practice.  Hold on to your skewer, this is the only place adults and children can indeed double dip, love every minute of it, and no one will complain.  Adults pay $45, and children ages 4-12 are $25, with kids 3 and under free – this price includes the fun and food.   Reservations are required and space is limited, so call 303-794-5666 to reserve your spot, and dip, dip, dip away!  With four courses, each elf in your family, and the parents will leave here full and ready for holiday shopping.    The entire four-course meal and fun took about 2.5 hours, so be ready for some food and fun for the kids.  It’s so well-organized and paced just perfectly.

doubledippingfun2Finally, please remember to dress in layers as the activities are in the tents outside, but honestly, it was so warm in there with the heaters, we were all comfortable and toasty.  As you can see from the pictures, the kids had a great time, and it was nice to spend some uninterrupted time with them… okay, the elf interrupted a lot with a ton of activities for them but we thought it was good to keep the restless little ones busy and working.  All in all, kids and parents were super happy.

Disclaimer: My family and I were compensated in exchange for posts/social media coverage of this event.  We were compensated with free fondue for all of us.  The views expressed here are my own.  NOTE:  This post was delayed due to a family/life emergency.  

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Why you should buy a Toll Transponder in Florida, Colorado, California, etc.

If you are a frequent traveler like I am and renting cars everywhere you go, you are probably heading to places that have toll roads, and if your extended family lives in a state that has tolls galore, be sure to look into toll transponders and buy one.  California has a monthly fee – I used to travel there a lot and got one, but the $2.00 a month minimum charge is a turn off, if you are traveling infrequently.

Regarding transponders, I can speak for Colorado, California, and Florida.   If you go more than once a year to a place that has toll roads, and there are no fees (Colorado and Florida have no minimums or fees), it’s wise to get a transponder or look into the rules for the toll roads where you go.  Here is what I discovered:

For the past few years we travel to and from central Florida a lot and each time e went, the rental care companies got super rich off of us-  even if we used the toll roads for 2 out of our 5 day rental, we got charged $3.95 per day no matter what IF we used even one toll road – this is maxed at like $20.00 generally but that adds up.  Plus you pay all your tolls too!  So, at $20 per trip (convenience charge), it is better to just buy your own transponder at Walgreens, Turnpike Service Centers, or Publix stores.  You reload them, add your rental vehicles as you rent them, and you can also share the transponder among family members and friends.  So, it can go in any vehicle in the state.  In Florida and Colorado, there are no monthly minimums or service charges, making the transponder a must have!   And, in Colorado, your toll rates are discounted if you have the E-470 pass, so it is certainly worth having, just get the one that you can move from vehicle to vehicle, unless you live there, of course.

Happy traveling!

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Wilderness Aware Rafting – Amazing family fun!

Rafting 2016 July 16We went rafting as a family for the first time.  The last time my husband and I went rafting was when we were still engaged to be married, so this was truly a treat.  Wilderness Aware (WA) is a great company, located in 20160716_123242Buena Vista, Colorado., and they do more than just white water rafting.  WA offers full-day and half-day rafting trips, a dinner float (this one is so cool), multi-day trips, including camping or B&B stays with rafting included.  You can also book zipline tours, horseback riding, and bike trips through WA.  Their website is great, easy to use, and offer discounts when you book on-line.

SAM_0647WA facilities are great!  The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful.  Once you arrive on-site, you can change there, buy water, and apply sunscreen (they provide this).  If you do a full day rafting trip, breakfast is provided on-site too!  You meet your guide and get your gear, and then receive a safety demonstration.  We had Isaiah as our guide and he really hit it off with our kiddos.  SAM_0654He even let my eldest row with him.  She loved it!

It was their first time, and the half day lower browns canyon (Class I and II rapids) really made them feel comfortable.  They are actually ready for Class III and IV now.  But mom and dad may not be, just yet.   The dinner float was assembling when we returned to Buena Vista, and it looks so interesting – You float down, and eat at a grill, and then return back. The views SAM_0660are breathtaking on the raft, and Colorado is so scenic, so I can imagine how much more amazing it would be to have a nice dinner and a glass wine along the Arkansas river while admiring the view.  We had fun rafting as a family, and I know we will return next summer, if not sooner, to take in some more of the fun.  We want to try zip lining as well, and Wilderness Aware is a great company to book trips through.   DCIM101GOPROThey are organized, and made us all feel special. They sent us information before the trip and kept us well-informed on construction in the area, best route to take, and what to leave behind in the car. All in all, our first rafting trip as a family was a huge success, and we are looking forward to a return trip very soon – thanks Wilderness Aware for an amazing whitewater rafting trip.

Disclaimer: I was compensated with a free family half-day Lower Browns Canyon raft trip in exchange for promotion and this post.  The review is honest, and the opinions expressed here in are my own.  

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