Water World

With summer winding down, and school getting ready to start, we thought it was a good time to do one last family activity. None of us had ever been to Water World, so Daddy took a vacation day and we drove to the other side of Denver to visit the largest water park in the U.S.

I’ll admit I was nervous, because I did not know what to expect. I mean, my only experience with water parks was the indoor park at West Edmonton Mall. Plus, my kids do not know how to swim. What would we be able to do?

Water World is pretty accessible to get to. The parking lot was huge, we had no issues getting there and getting in. I had read some of the FAQ online, so I knew where to get tokens for the lockers. If you are planning to open your locker repeatedly, you might want to opt for the day long locker, which is $8. I only needed to lock up my purse, so the $1 locker was good for us.

I found we could rent life jackets for the kids for free, so we set them up with those. They were fine with that, and it gave me more peace of mind. All we had left to do was pick what to ride first.

(map courtesy of Water World)

The park is spread out (translation- lots of walking!), and we started our visit by choosing Raging Colorado, a raft ride we could do as a family. Squeals of delight came from our raft, and begging to ride it again. So we did. There was a girl photographing families, but sadly our photos are unavailable. We visited the Thunder Bay wave pool (which incidentally is smaller than the one at West Edmonton Mall), and the kids got a big kick out of that.

Finally persuaded them to move on, where we went on their favorite ride, Lost River Of The Pharaohs. This too was a family raft ride, but it featured a dark tunnel with mist and mummies. They wanted to do it repeatedly.

We wrapped up our visit at Big Top, which features a water spraying funhouse, silly shores pool, and Monkey Business, a low-key slide for two. We took the gondola back up to the North Shore Area, where we had started our day.

You could spend all day there- there is plenty of shade. A lot of people brought big coolers in and set up a base camp with towels. Definitely something to consider. We opted to make our visit a short one, but with the fun all four of us had, we’ll definitely be back. Though Water World is a little pricey, discount coupons can be found! And consider going mid-week. The lines were not too bad for us going on a Wednesday, when school had already started in some districts.

* I was given free passes for my family to visit Water World through USFG. This review is my honest opinion.

Hiking Mt Bierstadt: Stupid Ideas Melissa Had

This post, I mused while hiking up Mt Bierstadt, had several titles. One title was, The Day I Did Not Die. But I ultimately felt that Stupid Ideas Melissa Had was more fitting.

Mt Bierstadt, as viewed from the parking lot, 7:30am

First, let me say thank you to Cindy, who was awesome enough to watch Wingus & Dingus for us for half a day. Naturally they were great for her, not the attitude Mom & Dad get.
Secondly, thank you to Jo & Geoff, my hiking buddies. Especially to Geoff, whom I could not have done it without. For real.


Okay, so when people said Mt Beirstadt was one of the easier 14ers to do, that DOES NOT mean easy. It means easier. Like you hike already and can totally do it. Perhaps I did not “condition” myself enough to tackle a hike of this length.

Length. I swear up and down, every site said this hike is 7 miles roundtrip. This is hands down the longest 7 miles known to man!

Perhaps my decision to donate blood 2 days before this hike, wasn’t the best timing.

Acute Mountain Sickness, isn’t so cute. Yeah, I got the crazies when we got up high. My symptoms included headache, rapid heart beating, shortness of breath, fatigue, and confusion.

I really thought I was going to be okay. I envisioned the hike *much* differently than it actually went. I thought, I’m in good shape, I can totally go on a Class II/Class III mountain hike/climb.

I did have enough water and plenty of food. I did not have enough warm clothes.

The views were amazing! Truly breathtaking (pun intended).


The views

Jo & I on the trek up

Once we reached the Class III stuff, having to scramble up rocks with our hands, I was ready to cry and quit. And I would have, if Geoff would have let me. He pushed me, encouraged me, holding my hand, sometimes pulling me up. As obvious as it sounds, we conquered a mountain! We found the USGS marker, ate a small snack, drank more water, and then the 40 mile/hour winds made us want to descend. Plus you know, I had the crazies.

USGS Marker at the summit

I made it!

Summit King

On the rocky descent, we found Jo & her hiking buddy Elisabeth (who we had ditched to start the ascent of the rocks). I hugged her hard, gave some encouragement and went down as fast as I could.

Once the crazies were fading, and those 40 mile an hour winds were less, I was able to pose for a pic with my fella.

Geoff & I in a less windy spot.

Going back to the car was painful. I was exhausted, and I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the next. I did have the energy to chat with a mom who was also tackling this mountain as her first 14er, with her husband and 10 year old son. Yeah, there were a lot of kids on this hike. What troopers!

We made it back to the car, and clocked this hike around 6 hours. I was happy with my decision to bring flip flops to wear home in the car. Even happier that I had taken the advice of the guy at REI and put vaseline all over my feet before putting on my socks. I had no blisters, no blood, just soreness in my feet.

Mountain Conquered, 1:15pm

Back at the car, putting Bierstadt behind me, literally

Well now that it is over, would I do it again? My body says, in the battle of Melissa vs the Mountain, the victory went to me. I hurt oh so much. Leaning towards no, but my two little guys are begging to tackle their own mountain. Too soon to say. Would I recommend this adventure to others? Absolutely. Pushing yourself to the point of tears, seeing God’s creation from on high, it’s something you need to experience. But for heaven’s sake, prepare for it!!!

-Complete pictures of the hike are on my Shutterfly site.

Viva Streets – August 12

Live Well Colorado & Bike Denver are partnering together again to bring the 2nd Annual Viva Streets. 23rd Ave is closed from Park Hill to Stapleton for a day of healthy eating, biking, walking, and play. Last year’s attendance was 7,500.

Here’s the details:

Sunday August 12th, from 10am-4pm. There is a bike parade that kicks off at 10am. Then you are free to explore all the tents, including a Chipotle Activity tent, yoga & rumba demos, bike safety, gardening tips, and so much more.

This will be our family’s first time there, and I’m excited to spend my Sunday afternoon with the kids being out and active.

Want more info? Check out the website:  http://about.livewellcolorado.org/vivastreets