Travel with kids, Parenting, Experience, Education

Five Keepsakes from Our Mom & Son Road Trip Out West

My parents were staying at their apartment inside their airplane hanger in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. They were there for just a few more days and had been sharing reports of the seasons changing, and we didn’t want to miss it. I’m not going to lie, travelling without Matt is not something I ever like doing, but he encouraged us and said we would have fun, and we did!

Travel, Autumn, Colorado, Leaves
Big horn sheep
  1. How important it is to have a one-on-one adventure with your child. Being together with Jackson day and night over several days and more than 1,300 miles showed me a new dynamic to our son and to our relationship. We achieved adventures together, high-fived each other, and experienced new things together for the first time – like hearing the singing sands in the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.
  2. Layer activities for to pack an educational and experiential punch. Where my parents stay, the nights are so exquisitely dark that you can see the milky way. During this visit was a new moon. We watched a YouTube video on phases of the moon, bundled up outside in our pullovers to watch the sky change from twilight to dark, starry, black, and used a star map on our tablet to identify the stars and planets. This made it special for all of us and was a great kid/grandparent activity. This could be a great gift or craft for studying the phases of the moon. 
  3. Road trips are a great time to discover new and not new music. My favorite mellow discovery was a cover of Tom Petty’s Free Falling by John Mayer.
  4. Bring binoculars. For the last several road trips I have been bringing along the binoculars Matt bought me for one of my birthdays and I often bring them right back home without being used, but this time we had them at the ready to spot some big horn sheep. These binoculars are the best value as of 2017.
  5. Pack toys! Evenings in the cabin saw us putting together Lego creations and racing Hot Wheels down the four lane elimination downhill racetrack. Kids love it when you play toys with them.

I would love to hear your stories of adventures, and great presents and finds that made it special.


  1. Donna F. McCracken

    This was a great time to share in the things that we found to do! Things are always better when doing them with people you love!


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