Mommy does a happy dance!

It was the middle of September when we arrived back at the Cherry Creek State Park located near Denver, Colorado. We had an enjoyable and enlightening seven week sojourn that took us to the Midwest and back (I put a map of the trip at the end of this post). Family visits and exploring new territory made for a memorable trip.

Cherry Creek State Park

“Is that you, Ms. Ingrid”, the deer asked quizzically?

As pleasurable as the trip was, it was nice to be back in familiar territory and enjoying regular visits with our daughter again.  I was also relishing the full hook-ups.  After seven weeks of partial to no hook-ups, it was nice to be back in luxury.  Let the cleaning commence!

Colorado State Parks

We enjoyed a wonderful campsite at Cherry Creek SP and loved the neighbors

After getting caught up with chores, we found time to visit with old friends and connect with new.  Fellow blogger Larry, his wife, and sister-in-law were passing through the Denver area on their way back home in Tennessee. Larry and I have followed each other’s blogs for a while now. Thus, when the opportunity to meet up presented itself, we jumped at it.


Blogger luncheon – from left to right; Al, me, Pat, Bev, and Larry

Since we were camped at opposite ends of the Denver Metro area (well over an hour apart), we rendezvoused at the C.B. Potts Brewery in Highlands Ranch where the conversation AND laughs (and maybe even some Beer) flowed freely for nearly four hours.  Obviously, we all had a great time and now with both of us bloggers slowing down the travels, it’s time to get back in the kitchen.  Larry is always cooking up something yummy over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings and I can always use a little inspiration.

Daughter and I go for a hike in the Colorado Rockies

Daughter and I go for a hike in the Colorado Rockies

Ok, now for the BIG news…..  Before we left Denver around the end of July, our daughter, Ashton, had been talking about needing a change.  When she visited a close college girlfriend last spring in Texas, she started thinking about moving to San Antonio or Austin, Texas.  The thought came somewhat of a surprise to hubby and me considering she’s our little mountain goat who has always sworn she would never leave Colorado, but seems she may have inherited that gypsy gene after all.

Could this gal ever leave Colorado?

Could this gal ever leave Colorado?

So, there I was in northern Illinois visiting with my dad when the phone call from Ashton came in.  Hmm, it was an actual phone call versus a text message, which of course sent me into mommy worry mode immediately.  I hurriedly answered the phone, “Is everything okay?”  Ashton responded in an upbeat tone, “Yep, sure is.  I’ve decided to move to Phoenix, Arizona”.  SAY WHAT!

Ashton having a reflective moment at St. Mary's Glacier, Idaho Springs, Colorado

Ashton having a reflective moment at St. Mary’s Glacier, Idaho Springs, Colorado

In order to understand my utter shock you have to understand, during every visit to Phoenix that daughter made, she repeatedly announced, “I could never live here”.  To some St. Mary's Glacierdegree, she didn’t even like visiting, but considering her brother lived in Phoenix and we (her parents) spend a great deal of our winter in the area, she would visit to be with family, but always reluctantly.

I won’t bore you with all the ensuing calls, text messages, and emails that followed after her initial heart stopping announcement, but I would like to preface, not once did our daughter EVER ask us for our help or assistance regarding the move.  However, that didn’t stop hubby and I from going into parent mode and canceling our Upper Michigan Peninsula leg of our trip and returning to Denver a few weeks earlier than originally planned.

One of just many advantages to RV travel is the ease of changing plans.  A few clicks of the mouse here and a little research there and ta-dah ….. we’re onto Plan B which in this case included exploring South Dakota and eastern Nebraska on our return to Denver.  And if you all remember, Plan B turned out great!

Mommy does a happy dance!

Mommy does a happy dance!

Quite frankly, I was so excited for Ashton to embark on this new journey that I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.  I had recommended this move to her for the past couple of years and each time I even mumbled the thought, I was met with a rude dismissal.

Perhaps, she just needed a little time to mull the idea over.  Regardless, I’m one happy mom having both my children in the same city.  This year will have our family of four spending Thanksgiving and Christmas together for the first time in five years.

I’m still dancing, can you tell?  …..  Next up, the big move.

On our last day in Denver, we witness the eclipse

On our last night in Denver, we witnessed the eclipse


St. Mary's Glacier

Ashton and me – St. Mary’s Glacier, Idaho Springs, Colorado

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day


78 thoughts on “Mommy does a happy dance!

  1. no wonder you are dancing! what great news- phoenix clearly had to grow on her 🙂
    i fly out(on my own) on 25 for three weeks – hope we can made time for a meet-up,ingrid
    i am chasing my tail catching up with your travels, but will get there!!

    • I think it’ll take her a while for Phoenix to grow on her but at least she moved here with an open mind. I’m in town, and of course I’d love to get together. Just let me know what works for you. Maybe even a joint baking session at your place??? You can show me that nifty mixer of yours 🙂

  2. Oh how cool it is going to be to have the entire family together. I love the dancing mommy. Too cute. Please share our congratulations with Ashton. Enjoy all the wonderful family moments.

  3. How great for all of you! Very exciting indeed and totally understand your happy dance. Can’t wait to read all about the big move soon. Sigh… I think our daughter is going to be a permanent left-coaster… too far from home!

    • It’s tough when they move away and visits are limiting. We’ll see how long she stays in Phoenix. She’s still talking about San Antonio or Austin 😉

  4. That’s such fabulous news Ingrid! both of our adult children live in the same city and it is truly a gift to be close to them. Happy dance on! We mamas love having those ‘babies/ near by not matter what the age.

    • Yes, we do enjoy having the kids close by regardless of age. Daughter doesn’t start her new job until the 19th so I’m taking full advantage of her down time by going out and playing by showing her some of the highlights around the area. Not sure what she’ll let me blog about though 😆

  5. How wonderful that both your son and daughter will be together. Let the family celebrations begin! Lovely capture of the eclipse Ingrid. We were in Spokane at a concert, so no big skies for us. 😦

    • Thanks LuAnn. On our last night in Denver we ended up overnighting at the Cabela’s just south of County Line Road (we had exhausted our stay at Cherry Creek SP) and little did I know, but that was the perfect place to witness the eclipse. The parking lot was packed with photographers. I did have issue with the camera. No matter what settings I tried as well as using different focal points, on the second shot, the right half of the moon kept getting blown out. I also had trouble with the focusing while I was using the 2 second timer… grrr. Frustration! I’ve been looking at new cameras but still really like the flexibility of this one.

      • I called Panasonic and they did a diagnostics test over the phone, which seems to have helped mine a bit. You might want to consider doing that if you continue to have problems. Every time I think about a DSLR I remind myself how often I am hiking with mine and I know I wouldn’t want to schlep around lenses.

        • Thanks for that tidbit on the camera. I’m working on a post now that I’ll link back to you (Petrified Forest). Overnighting at the Gift shop turned out perfect. Thank you.

  6. We follow your blog and love it. Lots of information and great pics. Will you be doing a post about staying at Ben Avery? Our Rv travels will take us out west this year and our daughter lives in Desert Hills only a few miles from Ben Avery. We thought about staying there as well as the other Maricopa county parks.

    • Thank you and no I won’t be posting anything on Ben Avery, but if you’d like any information on ANY of the camping options on the north side of town, please feel free to email me at We’ve pretty much hit’m all over the past several years. Do let me know when you’re in the area if you’d like to meet for coffee 🙂

  7. How great to have both children in the same area! I guess Ashton did get some of that gypsy from her parents after all. I love how we all drop everything to pitch in and help:)

    • She did an amazing job preparing for the move, although she did have a good teacher (moi LOL). Her brother was willing to fly in and drive back to Phoenix with her, but we thought that was silly since we would eventually head in this direction anyway. Plus, with our assistance we could make the journey fun, and indeed it was.

  8. Now that was a reason WORTH cutting your trip short. What great fun for you and yours… I have gotten to the point that helping someone move has moved a little lower on my list of favorite things to do — but I’m still always glad to help out a friend or family member. So, we get it. for sure. Here’s to many great simplified family visits in the future!

    • Fortunately, daughter had everything taken care of and no physical requirements from us were needed. Caravanning together made for a very smooth journey and alleviated some of her stress. We even managed to take in a little sightseeing along the drive 🙂

      • I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than being able to help our daughter. But there’s a special joy when the kids manage to sort things out before you get a chance — Smooth is good, right!

        • We were so proud of the way she stepped up and took care of everything. Our only job was that of moral support and company. And yes, there was a special joy in seeing her manage this change with confidence and strength. Proud parent moment indeed 🙂

    • It certainly makes our winter travels obvious 😉 We’ll still take excursions but return to Phoenix for the majority of the winter. Now to think about summer travels with no obligations. Hmm, that list is quite long!

    • Thank you Sylvia. I’m having fun showing daughter around Phoenix. Once she starts her new job, she won’t have very much free time!

  9. Congrats on having your kids in one place. I was in Phoenix last weekend. Its a great place to be when it isn’t above 100 degrees! Tell her to check out Desert Botanical Gardens! I love it there.

    • Thanks. I’m already having to pick and choose my priorities on showing her around before she starts the new job. We’ve had some really great weather days, but it’ll start warming up again. So I have a stand up paddle boarding excursion in mind and another day it’ll be up to Jerome…. perfect place to visit in October. I have to remind myself that she’s not just here on vacation 😉

  10. AWESOME News – Have You Come Down from Dancing On the Ceiling!!!

    Mr. Craves and I are modern day gypsys and have the family in a little bit of a tither with the move to Florida. BroCraves is looking at moving to TX next year too. Just when the parents think we are settled and clicking along we shake things up on them (of course the last time we did this was 2005 and 2006). Plus the parents have no room to talk because both sets Summer one place and Winter in another place. Wonder where we get it, right?!?

    EXCITING NEWS!!! Happy Day Indeed – Enjoy 🙂

  11. Love the happy dance stick mommy, I have saved her for a future blog that I will post in in early spring next year. What great news and how wonderful that your children chose to live in a warm place during the winter. Christmas and Thanksgiving will be so much fun 😊

    • I’m already looking forward to the holidays this year. I certainly can’t complain about their location choice. Makes our winters very enjoyable. I look forward to your post when you use the dancing momma!

  12. What a wonderful surprise from your daughter to hear that she is moving closer to family. As much as we love to give our children the freedom to fly, to have them close by is simply the best!

  13. Doing the happy dance with you! Thanksgiving and Christmas will be extra special for you this year! As a mom with two kids (and grandkids) living in two different states I can only imagine how wonderful this will be.

    • Thanks Beth and yes the holidays should be enjoyable this year with all of us together. I’m sure it’s a juggle for you dealing with family in different states as it was for us.

  14. Ingrid – Congratulations on having both kids living close, as we can also attest to the great joy of again having both kids in the same town. Our son returned from Dubai last week, having been living and working offshore for almost 10 years.

    • Congrats on having your son back in Canada. Is this the son that recently got married? You must be thrilled. When our daughter spent a semester studying in Sydney, she loved it so much that she talked about returning once she completed her degree. I’m so grateful she never pursued that thought further because I couldn’t imagine her being half a world away. Will you be staying up north for the winter or heading down to Indio?

      • Affirmative, this is the one that had the recent wedding in Thailand. While he is returning for residency, he will continue working off-shore, so will be gone for 2 or 3 month contracts. Having had our son off-shore for about 7 years certainly gives me an idea what I put my parents through.

        Enjoy having both kids close.

        Yes, we head South shortly after our grandson’s birthday in mid January, arriving Indio on Feb 1st.

    • Thanks Susie. Our Denver visit was over pretty quick and we’re already in Phoenix for the winter. I barely had a chance to enjoy Colorado in all her golden glory.

    • Thank you Linda. We’re all settled in our spot at Ben Avery for a couple of months. So be sure and let us know when you’re in town 🙂

  15. It will be nice having the kids in the same place so everyone can get together more frequently. Again it was great to meet you and Al and you got a good shot of everyone – thanks for the shout out. I’m hopeful we’ll cross paths again as CO and AZ are both on our future visit list. I continue to be impressed with your photography.

    • Thank you Larry and we too will be bouncing between AZ and CO so keep us posted and let me know if I can offer any suggestions for AZ. There’s a lot of interesting and worth while things to see and do around Phoenix.

    • It sure will make our travel plans easier. With winter figured out, it’ll be interesting to see what we come up with for summer 😉

    • Yes it is! We moved away from extended family 25 years ago. So it’s always been just the four of us with the exception of the once a year visit back to IL.

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