The next day we headed to Denver Colorado. (Exciting sidetone: We got our 52nd license plate on this leg. Thank you South Carolina driver in Kansas!) We have some very close friends who moved from Spokane a few years ago and we were excited to hang out with them AND excited to not eat out, or sleep in the same room with all of our kids. They treated us to a lovely picnic dinner near UC Boulder and under the shadow of the gorgeous Flatiron mountains.
The next day was the 4th of July and we opted to drive up to Breckenridge to participate in the small town 4th of July. It was a fun parade and the town center had quite the party going on. It was a pretty town with a river running through it, which claimed some flip flops of Faith's (the FOURTH pair of shoes she'd lost on the trip!!). I included a picture of Levi doing what toddlers are forced to do on super long sightseeing road trips: napping in super uncomfortable umbrella strollers. We drove home and had some downtime, but the more adventurous of us REALLY wanted to hike those Flatirons. We left the really littles at home with Emma and took off. Hiking and chatting with the Nebekers was my favorite. Gabe actually RAN two of the flatiron hikes, in the time it took us to we walk the one, but he's kind of a show off.
The next day we found a church close to my cousin's house and then visited my cute cousin Spencer, wife Erin and darling kids...all of whom we adore, but the REAL reason we were stopping in was to see cute baby Tatum and she did NOT disappoint. We got on the road, got stuck behind MAJOR 5th of July traffic but ended up in Salt Lake. We got to hang out with Cade and Stacy for a night. Ryan dropped the teenagers at EFY and BYU cross country camp and, more importantly, made sure to grab some Swig cookies for me!
Normal boring ride home to Spokane but it sure felt LOVELY to be home. No re-entry issues when the trip you took was quite a bit of work. I was happy to spread out in the house and not pay restaurant fees for every single meal that went in our mouths. BUT! I also felt extremely grateful for the things we saw and then time we spent together. Long road trips have so much value, I think, and I'm grateful for we were able to do it. PLUS: I even got to cross off a Personal Progress value project at the end of it!