Gayle and I went to high school together and got reacquainted as college freshmen. Later we shared an apartment. It had been way too long since we'd seen each other, so getting to spend time with her and her family was a highlight of this trip. Just awesome!
After saying our goodbyes, we went back to Durango. Because we spent more time on the train than we'd originally intended, we didn't really get to explore it that much.
We had fun at Fuzziwig's Candy Factory! Where else could you find an ice cream cone filled with M&Ms and Rice Krispie treats then covered in chocolate and sprinkles?
From there we drove east, making our way toward Colorado Springs.
Along the way we stopped at this rest area. Gorgeous! (Nothing like a waterfall to make you really need to go! Too bad the actual restrooms didn't work. Really.)
There were TONS of chipmunks around the stop. They must live off the messy travelers who pass through.
After seeing some more amazing Colorado scenery and crossing the Continental Divide ("Hey, look! The water's going the other way!"), we ended up in our destination for the night: Monte Vista,
home of Kelloff's Movie Manor Motel!The whole motel has a movie theme, as evidence by the theatrical masks on the building...
...and the stars' names on each of the guest rooms. We were tickled to be in the "Charlton Heston room," which just happened to be next door to the...
exercise room named after the Governator! Too funny!
Inside, the room was decorated with movie poster border and prints.
But the coolest feature was the room's big picture window that reveals the drive-in theater that's on the property! A speaker in the room allows guests to listen to the film on that screen or on the second screen just out of view to the right.
Since we arrived early in the afternoon, we had time to explore the grounds long before sunset.
What is it about these old drive-ins? We loved the old playground.
It was neat to see the date in the concrete to know just how long this playground has been around.
Even though we could watch the movie from our room, later in the evening we drove the SUV out to enjoy the drive-in the "real" way (of course)!
This was day 9 of our vacation, but it also happened to be our 15th wedding anniversary. So Brett and I spent the night of anniversary with a night at the drive-in with Night at the Museum 2.
When Brett and I were brainstorming ideas for our anniversary trip, we could never settle on a destination because there are so many places we want the kids to see, too. We just couldn't justify spending money on a trip that Ryan and Katie couldn't enjoy with us. That's why our "trip for two" morphed into this "vacation for four." We're so glad it did! We'll get our anniversary "night out" one of these days, but our Colorado drive-in movie date, snuggling under a blanket in the middle of June, was pretty cool!