July 2018 was our final month in Boulder. From July 13 – 19 we were in Montana and Yellowstone, from July 25 – 31 we were in Seattle and California, and on July 31 we flew from California to New York on a one-way ticket. It was a busy month but we did have some good free days to enjoy our city.
We swam in the Boulder Rec Center pool; visited the library and local parks for a final time; took a trip up to see Boulder Falls and the Carousel in Nederland above town; spent a night in Evergreen with Sally, Dick, and Noi; and spent the night at Evie Fleetwood’s house the evening before Evie’s birthday party. Photos and one video follow.
The emotional peak of the month was visiting the Boulder Library for the last time. Sydney and I have a custom of writing thank you notes when appropriate and we decided to write one to all the librarians in the children’s section of our library. The library was so important to us in Sydney’s first five years: story times galore, hundreds of books checked out, the indoor play area, and the new outdoor park. Sydney dictated a very moving note to the librarians on one side of the card and I wrote a heartfelt thank you on the other. I wish I had taken a photo of the card.
Sydney handed the note to one of our three favorite librarians. I could barely choke out a few words that we were moving and instead simply tapped my heart to let her know how important the library, the other librarians, and she was to us. Sydney and I then left and sat down in another part of the library.
30 seconds later the librarian came running after us. She was in tears (happy tears). She told us how she was having a bad day because it was so hard to live on a librarian’s wages in Boulder and that our card had put everything into perspective, making her realize why she does what she does. We hugged each other and I shed some tears myself.
The second vacation Sydney and I enjoyed together this summer was a seven-day trip to Montana and Wyoming to participate in my Company’s Yellowstone Multisport Adventure from July 15 – 19.
We started our trip by flying into Bozeman and spending two days with my friend and work colleague Reno, his wife Heather, and their daughter Hazel who is almost a year younger than Sydney. We had a great time touring Bozeman, jumping on the trampoline, and taking an outstanding rafting trip down the Gallatin River where we saw dozens of bald eagles and a flock of pelicans.
We then met the tour group, which was a bit smaller than normal given a last-minute cancellation: three families consisting of four adults and four kids plus our guide Laurie.
I would say this was a very good trip, which means it did not quite live up to our normal family tour standards of “outstanding”. The simple reason was there were not enough kids on the trip. But despite this, everyone had a great time and Sydney loved Yellowstone and the group nature of the tour. Here are a few things we did:
Rode horses in the wide open spaces of Montana
Swam in the natural hot springs pool of Chico Hot Springs
Ate dinner in the Wild West-style Old Saloon, established in 1902 in Emigrant, Montana
Explored Yellowstone’s mudpots, geysers, and fumeroles
Hiked along the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Earned Junior Ranger badges from the National Park Service
Skipped stones into the Yellowstone River
Took a wagon ride to a real cowboy/cowgirl cookout
River rafted on the Gallatin River
The highlight was probably an evening wildlife viewing drive, where a bison walked right across the road in front of us with an excited Sydney yelling out “There is a bison walking right across the road in front of us” in case the van full of people didn’t see it for themselves.
This was a special tour for me for two reasons. We started our family tours back in 2005, 13 years ago, with a similar Yellowstone tour in which I was a tour participant along with my niece and nephew, Erica and Brian. It was fun coming full circle with my own daughter. Even better, Sydney did not really know what I did for a living before this tour and now she has at least some idea.
I was very happy when Sydney asked me “When are we going on our next Zephyr Adventure?” Answer: June 2019 in Colorado!
On July 13, 2018 Sydney and I move out of our townhouse at 420 Terrace Ave in Boulder after having lived there for one year, two months, and 13 days.
I wanted Sydney to be able to remember this, her first house with her dad, and so asked her to “show” the house via video. I first let her watch the video I created of the townhouse when I put it up for rent (below), so you will see a few references to that. This might not be of much interest to those of you subscribing but I wanted Sydney to have a record of this. Sydney loved it so much we had to do several takes to shorten the video because she wanted to explain everything and eventually she watched it three times – all nine minutes and seven seconds!