My husband’s family works hard to schedule a family reunion each year. Yes. Every year. There are 27 people in his family and one on the way in January. All but two of us made it this year, and our brother in law who lives in Colorado Springs found the most amazing place in Winterpark, CO, for family reunions. The YMCA’s Snow Mountain Ranch of the Rockies is your one-stop-shop for family stuff, particularly when you’ve got 14 kids. They have huge cabins (I use that term loosely) fully equipped to mash all of you in one place. It’s a gigantic property tucked in the mountains right outside of Winterpark, very private but easy access. Hill tubing, hiking, tennis, rock climbing wall, crafts, ping pong, basket ball, indoor swimming, playgrounds, horse rides, archery, volleyball….did I leave anything out? Oh yeah! You can even have weddings there, with a stunning view of the mountains.
These kids kept busy. You may cringe at the idea of 25 people in one house (I’m with you) but really, it was a great, relaxing time to be with folks I love and hardly ever see, AND wash my soul with the beauty of God’s creation in September. I mainly hiked and read and helped the children make s’mores at night over the camp fire. There was a lot of napping, as you’ll see, and family dinners, and some memorable competitive volleyball games. It was lovely to feel COLD, knowing it was still in the mid 90’s back home in Austin. I could not get over the gold aspen leaves. Walking trails carpeted in these little leaves felt like I was walking on solid gold. The evergreens caught millions of them in their branches; it was like they were decorated for Christmas. And we saw moose! Wild moose munching amongst the trees. They saw us before we saw them, and we nervously stared at one another until they decided to move on. Tiny pinecones that’d make Martha Stewart have a stroke were everywhere. We had fun collecting them. We always take family pictures one day, but this time we didn’t have a tripod. Krissy was undaunted; we pulled a minivan up, opened the door and I set my camera gingerly on a seat, hoped it was angled ok, hit the timer button and fled to the frozen, smiling group in the field. I think it turned out ok! Enjoy, and go see some mountains!