Denver 2022 (First Trip As Fam of 4!) – Part 2

Hi! I’m up early this morning getting Dayton ready for his 6 month wellness checkup at our his pediatrician’s office. Sob! 6 months already? These days are absolutely flying by the second time around. I imagine it’s just going to keep going faster and faster.

Our first flight as a fam of 4 is now in the books, too! That’s honestly an experience I’m happy to have behind me. 😉

I mean, it went just fine…I was just a bit nervous about it. But it was ok!

You can read about part 1 of our trip to Denver here. Today I have part 2 for ya:

I woke up on the second day of our trip to beautiful SNOW everywhere! There was a huge snow storm the night before, but in the morning everything was all bright and sunny and sparkly. Denver looked gorgeous.

I kind of laughed/cringed at the all of the dog walkers out bright and early on a snowy Thursday morning. Dog walkers are champs! Y’all never get to take a break, whether it’s snowing or icing or raining or 105 degrees outside. Slow clap for ya.

Dayton is such a happy boy first thing in the morning!

Both babes slept really well on this trip. Milo slept his normal 11-12 hours each night in the pack-n-play. He’s aaaaalmost too long for sleeping in those, but I’m going to keep him in there as long as possible because he sleep so well when he’s contained like that. (And somehow, miraculously, he’s never once tried to climb out. I’m sure he’s strong enough to do it, but the thought apparently hasn’t crossed his mind yet. Knock on wood.)

Dayton slept in the primary closet right next to Nate and I, so we were able to hear him throughout the night. He slept his normal 12 hours, waking 2 or 3 times in the night to fidget and then fall back asleep. (Which is what he does at home, too.) He’s pretty good at getting himself back to sleep at this point. He kind of fusses for about 5-10 minutes, and then he’s back out. Proud of this boy for figuring out how to soothe himself back to sleep! Good job, baby D.

I had a very “Texas” moment first thing in the morning. Remember how I mentioned I loved staying at a Kasa rental so much? Really, it was so fantastic and 95% of it was a wonderful experience. The only flaw was that they forgot to put our parking pass in the apartment, and when we called them about it they said the property manager wouldn’t be able to get it until the next morning, but that our car would be safe on the street on that particular night.

No big deal…except the one night we had to park our car on the street was also the one night that Denver got a huge snow storm. Ha! Since this was a work trip for Nate, he had to be in his car bright and early, and it was covered in a layer of snow and ice.

I mean…clearly we had no tools to get the ice off the car. And the dang rental car wasn’t equipped with any ice scrapers. (Truly don’t know why not…shouldn’t all rental cars in Denver in the winter come with at least a little scraper/brush?)

Anyway, I took the first shift of defrosting the car while Nate got ready to go. I was standing out there with this dinky little plastic spatula, scraping away at the ice on the windows. Y’know, just smiling and waving to all the Denver residents walking past me with their dogs.

Feeling very legit on this particular snowy morning. At least I was wearing a coat/hat and didn’t show up in a pair of flip-flops! I feel like I know some Austinites who probably would have done that..

Nate took the second round of defrosting the car so he could head out for work, and I got my babies ready for our adventure!

First, I had to feed this baby some solids.

I used Milo’s stroller attachment as his high chair, which worked out ok for this trip. You don’t realize how much baby gear it takes to survive until you’re traveling and only have half of it! I missed our high chairs and swing and exersaucer the most.

Ok, random side note here. I was doing my makeup in Denver and glanced down and my makeup back and realized it’s about 80% Ilia products now. I’m so obsessed with this clean beauty brand!  I received my first blush product (this creamy multi-stick in “Ladybird”) from my sister Kylee as a Christmas present, and since then I’ve been trying more and more of their products. And I love them!

I’m trying to be more mindful of the products I use and how the affect both me and the environment.

I was curious how the Super Serum Skin Tint would hold up in the dry, cold Denver weather. I love it in Austin because it’s and dewy on my skin…and I was amazed by how hydrating it was in Denver, too.

Just a girl…obsessed with her SPF skin serum. It’s a very light coverage – kind of like a tinted moisturizer. But it applies like a hydrating serum, because it has a little dropper and you just drip some into your palm and then apply it onto your face.

Random, I know. But I haven’t switched foundations in about 6 years, so it’s kind of a big deal that I found one that I like better than my old tried-and-true. (My old one, btw, was just fine, but it wasn’t a clean beauty brand.)  Anyway, I’ll probably share more Ilia products in the future. I have a few others that I love, and a few that I don’t like so much. But once I find a brand that I love, I tend to latch on! I’m not super adventurous when it comes to my beauty products and I’d prefer to just stay put for a while and simplify my life.

I bundled up my babies and we were out the door! We had a mile walk this morning, and it was beautiful outside !

Ducks sleeping in the water. Milo thought they were pretty funny.

Ha, it’s so hard finding a balance with bundling up babies! I didn’t want Dayton to get cold, so I had him in this snow suit + a hat + a blanket that I laid over the entire car seat. When we got to our destination, he was sweating. (Which I guess I’d prefer to him being too cold?)

We made it to the Children’s Museum of Denver! It was fantastic. Milo played and played and played all morning. It’s a pretty large space (with an additional outdoor area that we didn’t use because of the snow). I only have little ones, but it seemed appropriate for kids of various ages. There were a few exhibits that children in the 8-10 age range were exploring (Milo wasn’t interested in those “big kid” spots) and lots of fun stuff that was perfect for my toddler.

Just standing at the entrance taking it all in and deciding where he wanted to RUN first! (We did a lot of running on this morning.)

I parked the stroller at the entrance, strapped Dayton on to me (facing out so he could see everything, too!) and got ready to chase the toddler around for a few hours!

The scarf exhibit is always a huge hit. There’s one of these at The Thinkery here in Austin, too, so Milo knew exactly what to do. 😉

They had this amazing play kitchen area with a “shopping” section of all Colorado produce. I love watching him explore and play and learn how to share with the other kids. He was truly in his own little world for 80% of the time. He’d play and play and play, and after about 10 minutes he would look up just to make sure his mama was nearby. Dayton and I would kind of smile and wave at him, and then he’d go back into his own play world.

I think my favorite thing is the way his little tongue sticks out when he’s focused on something.

Chillin’ with my Dayton boy!

I have approximately 8 trillion more pictures of my child playing at the Children’s Museum of Denver, but I’ll spare you. I’ll leave you with this final one of Milo’s tongue sticking out again while he’s coloring with pastels in the art studio.

It was such a fun morning!

We had another beautiful walk back home…

…happy! I love the bright sunshine on a fresh layer of snow. It’s one of the most beautiful things.

We all ate some lunch at home and took naps (myself included!) I think that all 3 of us napped for about 2 hours and woke up feeling sooooo much better.

After the babies woke up, Nate was back home and done with work. So we loaded up in the car and went to dinner.

Bierstadt is one of my favorite Denver breweries. They serve an authentic slow-pour German pilsner, and it’s the yummiest thing.

I also picked this place because they have this HUGE space, but when we arrived I found out that people under 21 aren’t allowed! Bummer. So we all hung out upstairs in the taproom instead.

Plenty of games up there to keep this little one entertained, though.

When you have kids and you eat dinner at 5 pm, you get the whole brewery to yourself.

Lager! Pretzels! Happiness!

There was a little corner of the taproom that has a stack of board games, and Milo and I “played” Candy Land for a while. (He like the colored game pieces that were shaped like little kids, and he pretended to talk with them.)

After dinner, we walked outside to the car and he saw the patio string lights and said, “Must be Christmastime!” My favorite.

After dinner, we stopped by this SUPER COOL new brewery in Denver!! It’s called Cohesion Brewing, and they do specialize in Czech-lagers. Here’s what I know from being married to a beer nerd: there are only a handful of breweries in the country that specialize in the old world style of open fermentation, and Cohesion is one of them. So that’s cool, because it creates a depth of flavor that most breweries don’t have! Also, they only do Czech lagers, so they have these nifty Czech tap handles that turn kind of like a sink nob. And the result is this delicious, creamy head that is entirely different than any beer I’ve tried before.

So cool!

We ordered several small pours to taste a bunch of them, but the boys were at their limit so I was mostly distracted by taking care of them. I told Nate I would come back the next day while the boys were napping so I could really focus on the taste and enjoy the experience.

They are such goons. Milo was OBSESSED with those paper coasters. I was amazed at how long they kept him entertained! (Side note: I’ve noticed that he will stay entertained with very simple toys as long as there’s no other option…)

Big Raven Bread had a little table on site, so we grabbed some cookies to enjoy later.

Thanks for carrying our cookies, Dayton. 😉

And then we packed up and took the babes home for their bedtime. That was day 2!

Again, kind of funny (yet obvious, I suppose) thing about traveling with young ones: the days end very early. When I’m traveling with just Nate, we’ll eat dinner around 6:30 and then go to a few bars or breweries after dinner and probably crash around 10 or 11. With the babies, they need to do their bath/bedtime routine around 6:30 or 7 in order to avoid a full out catastrophe. So that meant by 6 pm, I’m starting to check my watch and our adventures are over for the day. It’s just a weird change from the travel routine I was used to before kids.

Day 3 was a family day! Nate took the day off work and we just bopped around Denver all day.

Back story on this photo: for the past few months, Milo gets super opinionated about Nate and I taking videos of him. We have a little family instagram account where we share a trillion updates for our family members, and so I love taking videos of him talking and playing to share (and of course for my own memories!) But the second I pull out my phone, he waves his arms around and yells “NO PICTURES!!” Ha.

Anyway, on this morning I got him out of his car seat and was about to set him on the ground, and he said, “mommy, wanna take a picture with me?” AND I ABOUT DIED.

He did this ridiculously fake, cheesy smile. It was soooo goofy. I love these pictures to pieces! After we took the picture he rubbed my sleeve and said, “I like your shirt, mommy! It’s purple.”

And I died.

Dead. Done. He is the sweetest.

Helloooo beautiful Denver! The snow still hadn’t melted, but it felt warm and sunny. I didn’t push Milo’s coat on him because you only have so many battles in you…

Time for donuts! “I want the pink one!”

Habit Doughnut Dispensary was soooo delish. You can get the donuts plain, or order boozy injections of 2 oz of a premium spirit or other bev.

I got the blazed, and it was one of the tastiest donuts I’ve ever had! It was a glazed donut with a hand-torched finish, all caramel and crackly. And on the inside, the sugar had seeped down to create a custard base. Yum.

The only pink donut they had was a gluten free donut, but Milo reeeeaaally wanted a pink one, so that’s what he got! Haha. It was extra crumbly and messy. We went through lots of diaper wipes.

Hi fam! Not sure if we ever got a photo of all 4 of us on this trip…oops.

Blue Sparrow Coffee was beautiful.

I got my coffee and followed Milo outside for some running. (Because nothing screams “take a run!!” like a hot black cup of coffee, right?)

We did a lot of this “divide and conquer” game while traveling with two kids. Nate’s leg functions pretty well, all things considered, but it still has a limit for how many miles it can go in a day before he’s in a lot of pain and his ankle swells up. So I wanted to make sure he was sitting and resting it periodically, and Milo doesn’t really stop to rest. Ha.

So I would sometimes take Milo somewhere and run around with him while Nate and Dayton would sit in one spot (like inside Blue Sparrow Coffee.) And Nate totally returned the favor for me when he was able, like later in the day at the bookstore.

He saw the snow dripping off a roof and said, “the snow is melting like a quesadilla.” Nate and I just looked at each other like whaaaa? How did he come up with that? So clever.

It was a beautiful day in Denver!

We went over to Tattered Cover to do a little book shopping! They had a new location that I hadn’t seen yet. It was right across from Coors Field (my favorite baseball stadium I’ve ever visited!) and it made me kind of wish it was summer so we could go to a game.

I absolutely love this book store! It reminds me a lot of Book People in Austin with the little tags of staff recommendations.

Nate hung out with Milo in the kids area of the book store while Dayton and I shopped and browsed.

Dayton is still able to nap while we’re out and about. He still takes two naps (usually a quick morning nap and a longer afternoon nap), so it was nice to be able to have him take his morning nap in the stroller instead of bringing him back to the apartment.

We picked up a cute little books called “Don’t Push The Button!!” (I mean, I bet you can guess what the book is about…) and I’ve read it with Milo 8,000 times now. Literally.

Lunch was at Dimestore Delibar, this cute eatery in LoHi that had sandwiches and salads and such. I ate their autumn salad and it was DELICIOUS. I love it when someone else makes a salad for me, haha.

Their sandwiches were made from focaccia bread that was wrapped around the meat into a roll, and it was all toasty and crunchy and delicious.

The kids were pretty close to their limit, but we wanted to squeeze in one more afternoon stop. So we picked up the lunch to-go and brought it down the street to Hogshead, which is probably the Denver brewery I’ve visited the most!

Back when Nate and I were dating, we went on a week-long trip to London together. Neither of us had ever tried cask ale, and we were kind of mesmerized by it. The tradition and the taste and the culture of it is so much fun, and it’s hard to find in the States! (Nate got especially nerdy about the whole thing and did a very deep dive into cask ale, and no one is surprised by that…)

Hogshead in Denver serves traditional cask ale. It’s so yummy and perfect in the cold, snowy weather.

Milo had THE TIME OF HIS LIFE. I’m not kidding. He was sooo so happy to be given a quarter to play with the candy machine.

Nate had to go to a coffee shop next door to break a dollar bill in order to get that quarter, but Milo was soooo excited.

Runts FTW!

The banana was his favorite. (Gross.)

And baby D was just a sweetie the whole time. This one is so chill!

I got the kids down for their naps, and then since Nate was able to stay home on this day, I took off for a solo brewery adventure! I went back to Cohesion, even though I had just been there the night before. I’ve found that one of the side effects of motherhood is that my brain is especially bad at focusing on more than one thing at any given time.

Meaning: when I’m watching my kids, I have trouble having a conversation, remembering facts, tasting food or drinks, noticing my surroundings. I’m not saying this as a joke, either! My brain seriously feels like it’s short circuiting when I’m responsible for these two little babies.

So I wanted to go back to Cohesion on a solo date so I could fully enjoy the experience. And I did.

The babies woke up from their naps and we headed back out for one last evening in Denver!

This part is so funny to me..

We went to RiNo, which is an area of Denver that has a lot of restaurants, breweries, and foot traffic. Nate and I know the area fairly well, so we figured it would be a good place to spend the evening.

But once we got there, it felt different. I don’t know if it’s actually changed since I was there last, or it’s just that I was now pushing a double stroller on the sidewalks and so it appeared to be different. (Probably the latter.) They actually block off the street now to pedestrians, so it aaaaalmost reminded me of a Sixth Street Austin feel, except more craft breweries. But the breweries were packed and there was loud music and it was tooootally the type of thing I would have loved if it was a kid-free trip. But it wasn’t, ha.

So we’re walking up and down the street, and Milo is hungry and Dayton is starting to get cold, and every place is either A) packed or B) doesn’t serve food, or C) does serve food but it’s a formal sit-down restaurant which isn’t great for toddlers…

We’re getting closer and closer to bedtime and can’t seem to find any place to go, and then I remember that I saw a food truck parked outside Cohesion when I was there earlier in the day…

And that, my friends, is how I ended up going to Cohesion Brewing three times in 24 hours. Haha.

Dayton was happy to be all warm and snuggly inside…

…and Milo was happy to be eating a meatball sub for dinner!

And I took a very ugly photo of a mediocre sandwich.

I mean, not typically how I’d finish up a trip. I loooove visiting lots and lots of different places when I travel, but clearly traveling with babies means that I can’t check as many places off of my list.

I also learned that I definitely need to plan ahead and scope out a great dinner spot before the trip begins. Which is annoying for me, because I love being spur-of-the-moment when I travel and finding fun spots along the way. But that’s just not possible with the logistics of two babies (and naps and diapers and strollers and strong toddler opinions.)

I learned a lot on this trip! It will be easier next time.

This is the final picture I snapped: We woke up early Saturday morning to catch our flight back to Austin, and I was sitting in bed nursing Dayton while Nate was packing up his suitcase…full of all the Denver craft beer that he was brining home.

We did it! We did the thing. We made so many memories, had some good times, and learned a lot about how to travel with babies. Super thankful for this sweet fam of mine and all the adventures we’ll get to have in the future.

Thanks for reading! XO.

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