The Next Vacation You Need


It’s no secret. You guys know how I feel about summertime around here. And you can sugar coat it all you want with your talk of “dry heat” and “but remember winter”… You get as cranky as I do – you’re just not writing it down.

This month, though, our family’s mood, sanity and need for the Great Outdoors was saved! Northern Arizona is truly outstanding, but sometimes — just sometimes — you need real, live mountains. Big mountains. Colorado mountains.

Enter beautiful, accessible, affordable: DURANGO.
label it

Did you know it’s a measly 7 hour drive from Phoenix to Durango? With kid friendly, playground-ridden stops along the way?! (Here’s lookin’ at you, Chick fil A and Mickey D’s!)  7 hours — that’s like 3 DVD’s, 10 new library books, 1 car seat nap and a wake up. Glory in the highest!

Thanks to, our family found an affordable but swanky condo right across from the Purgatory ski resort, and woke up to this sub-70-degree sight every day.  **Ahhhhhhh**IMG_3240

Those are called “trees”.
Incidentally, the plethora of pines had our 2.5-year-old convinced he landed in a perpetual Christ

Even in the summer, we super recommend being so close to a ski resort if you vacation in CO! The family suited activities are endless…

The base of the mountain hosted tons of toddleresque hot spots.  A bounce house, a big sand pit, our own miniature “river” and watering trough – both perfect for splashing. And plenty of seating for parents on vaca.

For bigger kids?? A zip line, bungee-trampolines, gondola rides, mountain biking, and — our favorite — the Alpine Slide!

I’m telling you, this thing is so fun – you won’t even care that you gulped a bug 15 feet into it.


Hiking lends views like no other… And if you can travel with your super babysitter in-laws, you and the hub can savor the sights together! (Thanks, Gram and Aunt Liz!)

**Writer’s Tip: If you’re 5+ months preggo, plan to pause for some breathers. Love that crisp, thin air!

But of everything in Durango, there is one absolute, hands-down, over-the-top-gorgeous must-do: the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

IMG_3085A real deal, functional steam locomotive that lends the most scenic and interesting view of this beautiful country.

Ride with open windows along the raging river, above the breathtaking gorge, past the remote farms, and into Silverton just in time for lunch.

…..Scenery, for example:

Plus, if you have a toddler boy, he’ll REALLY think it’s Christmas! #bestdayever



So this month, if the heat makes you feel loony, just start laying plans for the next chance you have to venture to this gorgeous, relatively nearby area. Just once.

As for you, Arizona: we’re cool. I can tough you out for 3 more months.
But you really have your pal Colorado to thank for my good graces… this time.



  1. LOVE this post! My husband was in Durango earlier this year to ski with friends, but we hadn’t considered it as a summer escape. Talk about a palm-to-forehead moment. 🙂 Will add it to the list for next year’s summer inferno.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here