HUGE treat to have my cousin and her kids come visit us for a few days! It was just what the doctor ordered... all our friends gone and here come new friends!
Julie and her husband just moved from Hawaii to Kansas (military family) and their shipment of furniture hasn't even arrived yet! So she loaded her kids in the car and drove TEN hours to come see us! Yay!!
I haven't seen Julie in five years, her littlest, Eric, was a teeny baby last time we were together, and we didn't have John Paul or Luke.
When we were children I spent countless hours with Julie and her siblings. We were together constantly, at the beach, the lake, her house, our house, other cousins' houses, my granddaddy's house. We were just together. a lot.
And it was so good to be together again.
They arrived mid-afternoon and we played and cooked and ate dinner and then Matt and my Dad returned from a big hike just in time to watch the boys (5 of them!) while the girls and Julie and I went for a bike ride around campus.
The next morning we said Hi to my mom on FaceTime and then headed out hiking - to the Poudre Canyon and one of our favorite hikes.
This is just a great, kid-friendly, walking in the river kind of hike. Matt did a lot of mountain biking back in this area too.
The kids and Matt engineered a great dam.
Then we headed back to the cars and down the canyon to a great picnic spot for lunch. We have eaten out of this cooler so many times this summer! yum!
Back in Fort Collins we headed to City Park. The girls had ridden through the park the evening before and were anxious to go back to play on the play ground and climb trees.
We even fed some ducks.
and took a really awesome group photo on the swing!
(left to right Caroline, Julianna, Luke, Lydia, Will, Isaac, Eric, John Paul)
The girls winding down a bit before dinner...
And the following morning? Nowhere we'd rather take our guests than Rocky Mountain National Park!
We drove Trail Ridge Road
parked for some snowball battling...
more awesome photos...
And finished the day with a hike up to Emerald Lake.
Despite some initial reluctance these kids turned out some remarkable hiking!
And the hike was worth every footstep! Great views and lakes and just perfect for our crew.
and my favorite picture from the whole weekend -
Julie and I have a LOT of history. So thankful to share these days with her and her kids!