Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Boys Day Out | Manitou Springs, CO

We've had an extra kiddo around the past couple days and our already small apartment becomes noticeably smaller in size even if the addition is just a 4 year old.  I decided to take the boys over to Manitou Springs.  Truman and I had checked out a playground there right after we moved and I knew it would make a good place for a picnic and some playtime.  

There's a Subway on the edge of town where we stopped to grab some grub for our impromptu picnic. Subway currently has the cutest Mickey satchels and the staff at this specific location was especially patient while the kids struggled to stand still long enough to place their orders.  

Food in hand we headed towards the playground.  Before reaching our original destination I noticed a playground on the right.  I turned in and found free parking (a score in Manitou).  Grabbed the lunches, my phone, and the key, locked the car, and headed for a near by picnic table.  Truman and his friend were exploring what the playground had to offer.  I enjoyed my sandwich serenaded by the sound of the park's adjacent creek.  Pure bliss!

The park we happened upon is named Memorial.  It seems well visited.  We met several families playing on the playground.  The sand area was enclosed in what can best be described as a tiled art piece.  Once they had tired of playing we expanded our perimeter to check out the rest of the park.  A hollowed out tree had been turned into a play house.  The boys enjoyed crawling inside and peeking out the windows.  There was even a "free library".  They had fun pretending to check out books.

I convinced the boys it was time to move along and we began our trek through town to the other playground.  Along the way we found the "fountain of youth", a penny arcade, and numerous fun shop fronts to window shop.  The arcade would have been a kid pleaser had I not realized that my wallet was back in the car.  The kids were fine with climbing on and off the rides, but at just a quarter a piece per ride you could become a hero pretty cheaply.

We made it to the second playground the boys still had plenty of energy and hopped right on the futuristic equipment like the disc swings in the pictures.  Playing came to an end with the need for a bathroom and lucky for us there was one nearby.  This public restroom was clean.  I was easily able to check the boys room and allow them to use the bathroom alone, while guarding the door of course.  Truman's friend came out first and so I opened the door, "teacher voice" on deck, ready to reprimand.  It was a pleasant surprise to peak in and find Truman actually using a public potty on his own.  Proud mom moment!

Several hours had passed and nap time (for Truman at least) was long over due.  Our journey to the car was slow.  I let the boys set the pace.  Truman found his own beat listening to a street performer singing and playing guitar.  Of course we had to stop and dance.  No wallet, so we left one of our cookies as payment for his lovely tunes.  Another vendor's sign said homeless.  We gave him a bag of our chips.  It felt good to be creative in a way to pay it forward. 

They were drawn in to this little area highlighting what looked like a round pump house.  They enjoyed walking the planter walls and running around the building.  While they were playing I watched people coming in and filling cups or simply drinking from their hands water coming from a fountain off the pump house.  The boys wanted to try, but their was nothing written on the signs about drinking the water.  I didn't know anything about this while we were out today, but apparently their are 9 mineral drinking fountains throughout the town.  It is common for residents and visitors alike to visit each fountain and taste test the water.  We will definitely be back to do this in the future.

Truman had met his limit and I was meeting my own limits.  Finally making it back to the lot where we parked, I needed to scoop Truman up and carry him the rest of the way to the car.  Note to self: next time I will grab the stroller from the trunk.  As we approached the car I noticed the passenger side window had been left open.  Open enough for someone to reach right in.  My purse with wallet was in the seat.  Panic swept over me as I thought about a friend who's purse had just been stolen locally a few weeks ago.  Thankfully everything was still in the car.  This says a lot for this little town!

Boys loaded and buckled, I began the drive home.  We hadn't even made it out of town before a look in the rear view mirror revealed two sleeping kiddos.  In my book, that's a win!

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