I realized, mid-blogging about our Texas vacation, that I never finished blogging about our wonderful trip up to Cheyenne to see my friend Maiden. :) You can view my other posts about this trip to Denver, and then on to Cheyenne, here, here, here, here and here. I was trying to go for writing a separate post about each of the places that we visited (the Cheyenne Children's Village in the Botanical Gardens, the Governor's Mansion, etc) but when you are short on time, as I seem to be, and you really want to just cover everything, than sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And that means, you get everything else in one post.
I wrote my Texas vacation posts this way, and it still covered four posts. So maybe I'm sparing you- you tell me. :) In a perfect world, each post would be written like an article you see online about a really cool family place to visit. However, I have found that I don't live in a perfect world, and I was putting too much stress on myself to write that way. So you get messy, real-life Tegan posts instead. Life is messy and that's okay.
Anyway, on with the post!
First: the Laramie County Library
Maiden really wanted to take the kids and I to the downtown library in Cheyenne. I love books, and the kids love stories, so I was all set for it. I did not expect a fantastic learning play place for the kids right in the middle of the children's section of the library! It was amazing!
|I love this statue! To me, this is quintessential motherhood.|
Second: the Wyoming State Museum
Rick and Maiden were very excited to take us to the Wyoming State Museum, also located downtown. The first stop in the museum after checking in (it was free!) was the children's area. This area, in it's own room, had a miniature fort from the mid 1800's, complete with buffalo robes, an Army cot, gray wool blankets, a bugle and a very cool replica of an early flag. There was also a dress up station where kids can dress up as mid 1800's Army soldiers or early pioneers just arriving in the new opened West. Or the kids could make lunch on a chuck wagon, complete with cast iron pots and blue plates. There were dinosaurs to play with and more. The kids spent quite a bit of time in here playing, it was fantastic!
|Cant' forget horses in the Wild West Frontier of Wyoming!|
After the kids spent some, but not enough, energy playing, we explored the rest of the museum, which was not fun. None of my children were being obedient and were quite full of energy. It made for a very stressful trip for me. I hate being "that mom" who can't keep her kids under control.
I did manage to catch a glimpse of the coal history of the state (Wyoming has more coal deposits than any other state), some of the old Army uniforms, lots of dinosaur fossils (there are several species of dinosaurs that were discovered in Wyoming), the Native America artifacts (very beautiful) from the area and tour the modern art exhibit (apparently there was a recent contest).
Third: Military Appreciation Day in Cheyenne
On Saturday, we headed downtown to check out the train station (Maiden's son is also a train lover like Little Man). It turned out that the city was hosting a Military Appreciation Day. It was a carnival atmosphere, complete with military displays of robotics engineering and EOD, a miniature jet the kids could sit in, food, fun-shaped balloons for the kids and more. We spent a bit of time wandering around and exploring. I was very impressed that the city had done so much to show their support of the military, and their families.
|Local news doing an interview.|
|The Cheyenne Depot (now a museum) in the background.|
After spending time at the Military Appreciation festivities, we grabbed some lunch at the local brewery which was located in the old train station. The food was pretty good, although the service was fairly slow.
After lunch, we headed over to the Cheyenne Depot Museum, which the kids really enjoyed. Cheyenne was, and still is, a big train town. There are several main lines which run through the city and the city has a large rail yard. There was even an old round house; I'm not sure if it is use anymore.
The museum had the history of the trains and how they came to Cheyenne, as well as the impact on the local economy. I didn't get to read any of this however, as the kids just wanted to walk really quickly through the museum (of course) and look at pictures. Note to self, and readers: if you want to read things in a museum, don't take small children. I knew that already, but I take my kids anyway because I want them to see museums and take in the culture, even if it's only in pictures at this point in their lives. (I really need to start making treasure hunt games out of displays.)
|Checking out the rail yard and old round house from the second story window.|
|Another statue that I love, outside the train station.|
The trip to Cheyenne to visit Maiden was so wonderful. It was really great to see such a great friend again. Rick also took me on a tour of some parts of the base, which was very neat. I had planned on leaving that Saturday afternoon for Denver, but there were severe storms moving through in between Cheyenne and Denver, and I decided to stay one more night. It was really nice to spend more time with Maiden - bonus time, if you will.
Sunday morning I packed the van and got the kiddos loaded up and we drove back down to Denver to my friend Marjorie's house. We stayed the afternoon, and then went swimming with my friends from Tinker who are now relocated in Denver. It was a wonderful evening at the pool - the temperature was perfect, the kids had a great time in the kiddie pool and it was wonderful to see my friends Bibi and Virginia again and catch up.
I love, love, love that when you travel in the military, friends are usually close by and you can visit and catch up. It's a very special thing.
I left the following morning for Albuquerque. The drive was very uneventful. We drove through some amazingly beautiful fields in northeastern New Mexico. Just acres and acres of purple and pink flowers blooming on rolling green fields. I wish I could have stopped and run with the kids through them. It was all I could do to keep my eyes on the road. We had smooth and sunny weather the whole way back.
|Not the afore mentioned glorious fields of flowers in northeaster New Mexico. I believe this is Pike's Peak in Colorado (but I'm not sure . . .)|