This post brought to you by Lady Coach.
Apparently, late nights and bedding down in a cozy-closet doesn’t promote sleeping in: Poppy crawled into bed with the coaches around 5:30 AM. All righty then! Gman managed to keep knocking out the Zs until almost 8:00, though, even after rolling off the bed in a tangle of sheets. Breakfast buffet at the Best Western was definitely a win. And Lady Coach’s evolution into a coffee-drinker was confirmed!
After Coach wrapped up some work all headed back to the room to clean up and reload the truck. It was at this point that the two older kids (monkeys?) decided swinging from the curtain rod in the semi-closet was a fan-stinking-tastic idea. <insert frustrated face here>
The wall wasn’t strong enough and they came crashing down with rod in hand. Their faces were priceless as they waited to see Lady Coach’s reaction (Coach was on the phone in the hall). There are always choices to make as a parent and always the consideration that you never know which memories will stick in your kids’ brains forever. So, Lady Coach laughed. Hard. Once the kids saw laughter their faces relaxed and they laughed, too. But, eventually the laughter stopped and consequences were laid out – HARD. Just because something’s funny doesn’t mean there won’t be a price to pay in the end. Both kids had to go with Coach to confess their wrong-doing to the front desk and apologize. The hotel staff said they’d call us later to let us know what the bill would be and the kids knew they’d be responsible for paying it. There were lots of tears in an unexpected but good learning experience. Then it was time to hit the road.
It was 10:00am and Team Hovis was headed to Colorado Springs. It was a two and half hour drive without stops. But, with all the potty demands required by the three-year-old it took FOREVER. Coach had a conference call at 1:30pm mtn so a mid-day lunch stop was brought to us courtesy of the City of Pueblo’s – Mineral Palace Park. Lady Coach and the kids enjoyed a picnic and playground with a riveting game of tag while Coach took care of bizness. After feeding some almond butter sandwich to a sweet but insanely brazen squirrel, it was back to the truck for the final leg of the day’s journey.
FINALLY, we pulled into Focus on the Family’s headquarters. Wow. With the mountains in the background and the beautiful architecture in front of us, it could’ve been breath-taking. Instead, though, Lady Coach and Poppy went running in on a desperate search for the nearest potty. Once all the physical needs were met we were able to explore.
Focus on the Family has some well-done programs and we were impressed with the set-up – especially considering the whole experience was free. Coach grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey and passed the love for it on to the kids.
The entire downstairs level of the visitors’ center was set up like Odyssey – Whit’s End, the A-Bend-A-Go slide, the streets and stores, the radio theatre, a dress-up-like-the-characters area, the train, the Imagination Station, etc. We spent a couple hours there but could’ve done more. At Whit’s End we had to try the Wod-Fam-Choc-Sod and the Raspberry Ripple – neither disappointed! On the main level was the G Harvey exhibit as well as the large bookstore. Would definitely recommend this stop to anyone passing through Colorado Springs!
The fun didn’t end there, though. Coach did such a great job planning out this trip. Next stop: Great Wolf Lodge, just seven miles away! The big kids went to the one in Grapevine several years ago so E and Gman spent the ten minute drive telling little Poppy everything she could expect from it and how excited she should be! A quick stop upstairs to change into swimming suits and off to the water park we went! Though a bit chilly (in the CoachStaff’s opinion), it really was as great as the bigs had promised. E took on the wave pool and then did several slides with Lady Coach, Coach and then all on her own. G-Man spent all his time in the fort shooting new friends with the big water guns. Poppy stuck to the toddler section and her imagination created a world all her own – there was a restaurant, a hand-washing station, some need to drag herself around the whole pool on her belly, and many many many trips down the slide. We finally wrapped up and cleaned up so we could head to the buffet for dinner. It was set up perfectly for families with a separate line with kid-friendly foods so everyone got plenty of yumminess. Gman had (wish now we’d counted exactly) probably 14ish mini-corn dogs and several hot dogs plus other stuff (this will be pertinent later). After all the bellies were full it was time for bed. It was only 8:00pm, but after so many late nights and early mornings we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. All snuggled up, everybody watched America Ninja Warrior while Lady Coach got in a workout, and then zonked out almost immediately.
See you tomorrow!