Six months and 100 years ago (or so it seems), in a time before social distancing, masks, runs on sanitizers, and hundreds of thousands of coronavirus pandemic deaths, we booked a three night stay at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center outside of Denver, CO. Of course, the resort closed due to the pandemic, but it reopened on June 25 (with safety measures in place) five days before our scheduled stay. We all had been looking forward to this getaway – and to seeing my sister and her family who live nearby in Colorado – and we decided to keep our reservation. We’re glad that we did.
We flew from Orange County to Denver on Southwest. I was surprised how busy both airports and the airplane was. Everyone wore masks, though, and kept to themselves. Last year, we took the light rail from the airport to a nearby station and then took a hotel shuttle to the airport. This year, the shuttle wasn’t running, so we just took an Uber, which, despite not having car seats and just strapping the kids in the seats and hoping for the best on the quick 15 minute ride, we will always do from now on – so much easier!
The resort had a totally different vibe than last year. It was way less populated and much quieter, which was nice. We checked in early and settled ourselves into our “family room” – a larger room with bunk beds and an extra TV for the girls.
Most of our time, obviously, was spent playing in their large indoor and outdoor pool complex. We did it all – splash pad, water slides, hot tubs, lazy river, infinity pool, and water fountains. Vivian is a strong enough swimmer that we allow her to swim in a pool without us. Lillian’s swimming is coming along, but we still want to be close to her. William developed a no fear attitude and he’ll run and jump into the pool even when you’re not looking, so you must always, always be watching him. My sister and her daughter joined us for three of our four days at the pool and between the three adults and four kids, we were all able to remain safe and have fun.
This year, only one restaurant in the resort was open, but we never went to it. You could order “take out” at the pool or Grand Lodge and that’s what we did for each meal. We were able to eat distanced from other people without interacting with servers. One night we were even able to heat up leftovers from a few prior meals and eat those. We also ordered a lot of strawberry daiquiris at the pool – nonalcoholic ones for the kids – and slurped those down.
When we weren’t swimming (or napping after swimming), we went putt-putting, went on a Colorado scavenger hunt, played lawn games, and did crafts.
Although we have spent a lot (like, a lot a lot) of time together these past four months (seriously, it’s been a lot), it was nice to spend time together somewhere outside of our house. It was also so nice to see my sister and her family and give the cousins some bonding and play time.
We hope to be back in Colorado again next year and we hope that this awful pandemic is finally a memory by then!