We can now add Colorado to the list of states that Brady and I have been, because it was both of our first times. This past weekend, Dave, Brady and I spent 48 hours there, soaking up as much as we could in just two days. And it was a whirlwind experience!
We were invited by Chevy to experience a brand new Chevy Equinox as part of the 2018 Chevrolet Crossover Road Show, and the folks at Chevy were so good to us, and we’re quite grateful for this experience. We loved it!
Road tripping to Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Here’s how the trip went down …
We flew into Denver on Friday morning and met some of the Chevy team at baggage claim. They quickly took us out to get acquainted with our car for the weekend, a 2018 Equinox Fwd Premier 2.0T in the fancy orange burst metallic color — you could spot it from a mile away. We also met with a safety expert to talk about proper car seat installation, because not only did we have Brady’s infant seat with us, but the Chevy team had also installed a convertible seat for him, and we used both. From there, we drove about 20 minutes to the kick-off party, held at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace — a very cool event and retail/dining spot in Aurora, just outside of Denver.
Once we arrived at The Hangar, we had a chance to go around and talk to Chevy experts, learn more about the crossover line of cars, and most importantly — talk safety.
Learning about family safety in Chevy Crossovers
Chevy is all about safety, particularly family safety, with its crossover cars/small SUVs, and they offer amenities like the teen driver system, in which parents can ensure the car doesn’t go over a certain speed and can get a report of how their teen was driving when they weren’t with them. There’s also a cool rear-door reminder program, in which if you open one of the back doors before your trip, the car will remind you to open the back doors when you arrive, so you don’t unintentionally leave a kid, pet or personal possession behind (called the Rear Seat Reminder). And then, the big safety stuff: allll the notifications you could imagine to keep you from crashing. For instance, when you start to veer out of your lane while driving, your seat vibrates and there’s a little light that tells you to straighten out. Same thing when you’re approaching the curb while parking and so on. As Dave put it, “This is the safest car I’ve ever driven.” Hands down.
We spent about an hour at the event, and then hit the road to begin our weekend of exploring. But first, we actually stopped at a restaurant in Denver to visit with one of Dave’s childhood friends from Maine, who just happened to be visiting Denver at the same time as us. We hadn’t seen him, or his wife since our wedding more than six years ago. It was great to catch up with them, because it always feels good to connect with people you haven’t seen in forever.
After we left the restaurant, we made our very long trek to Glenwood Springs, up in the Rocky Mountains. There was a ton of traffic on a Friday afternoon (lots of people heading up to enjoy the mountains for the weekend, just like us), so we were in the car for quite a few hours, but it gave us time to try out all of the features of our ride, check out the mountain vistas and more. I even pulled out my computer and took advantage of the car’s WiFi hotspot to get some work done, when things were really stop and go (Dave was driving at that point, of course). Love that WiFi hotspot feature!
During this part of the road trip, I absolutely loved seeing what some of the mountain towns you’ve always heard of, like Avon, Vail, etc. look like from the road, because you can basically see them in their entirety from the elevated highway and pass them on the way to Glenwood Springs. I’m sure everything looks very different when covered in snow — but over the summer, there’s a lot of greenery and sunshine, and they are all quite small too — but quaint — so very much unlike the busy-ness and crowded Bay Area cities, where we spend most of our time.
That evening after a long day of travel, we arrived in Glenwood Springs, just in time to check into our hotel, get Brady settled in his bed, order some delicious take-out from a nearby restaurant and hit the hay.
Hiking Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs
Perhaps the highlight of our whole weekend was the adventure we took on Saturday morning to Hanging Lake, which was only about 15 minutes from our hotel. Quite honestly, we hadn’t made any plans ahead of our trip and weren’t really expecting to do anything outdoorsy, because we thought it may be too hot and not really the scene for Brady. Well, after some convincing by a local and a few people on Instagram, we decided to take on the Hanging Lake hike. And boy are we glad we did.
It was a one-mile trek up a rocky mountain path, and it wasn’t easy. I wore a backpack full of snacks and water, and Dave wore Brady in the Ergo — so we had some big loads with us. It brought back so many memories of when Dave and I would do hikes and other outdoor adventures in Marin, when we lived in downtown San Francisco and were kid-free — fresh air and movement and exploring in nature — all the good stuff. While it’s a little different to have Brady in tow, it was totally enjoyable. I slathered him up in SPF 50 and he wore his hat, but I kept making sure he wasn’t getting too much sun — and that was really my only worry. Other than that, I was loving the experience, which was just under three hours total.
We encountered friendly people on the trail, took a ton of pictures and absolutely BASKED at the views of the waterfalls that we got to see at the top. (And fun fact, we also learned that the hikers heading up the mountain have the right of way, so remember that next time you’re out there.)
Going up was harder than going down for me, but Dave felt like going down was harder for him with the added front weight of Brady and trying to stay balanced. And for the best part? Having skipped his normal morning nap, Brady actually fell asleep in the Ergo on the way down during the hike. It was adorable!
Once we made it to the bottom, we felt tired, worked and pretty proud of ourselves, having done a tough hike at a high altitude — because yes, the air really is thinner there.
But going on that little adventure — that we may have missed — was just awesome and just what we needed to really feel away from home and on a vacation. It made me want to do some more outdoorsy stuff with Brady in our own backyard soon too, because rocky terrain is truly nature’s gym, and you know I love me some gym time.
Fun fact: Getting back into our car after the hike was pretty welcoming, because our ride had air-conditioned seats, which is now something I’m obsessed with and want to have. Anybody else??
Exploring downtown Glenwood Springs and the vapor caves
After our hike, we took a pitstop at the hotel to shower and change, and then went to the adorable and tiny downtown Glenwood Springs area to walk around and have lunch.
We ate at The Pullman (great food, bad service) and then, I let Dave and Brady do some more exploring around downtown, while I went to check out the Yampah Vapor Caves and Spa.
I had read about the Yampah Vapor Caves before our trip and knew I wanted to give it a go — because Glenwood Springs is known for its hot springs, so I had to do something related to them. Basically, these heated caves are natural hot mineral water steam baths underground in the mountain that are about 115 degrees, and you go down in them for 10- to 12- minute increments to get detoxifying benefits. I decided to pay the $12 to go down one time, and I barely made it 11 minutes before heading back up. Truthfully, it was a little creepy to be down in a cave with strangers dripping and sweating (and the locker facilities were super old and small), but I actually did feel good afterward, so I think I needed it. The hot air felt cleansing in my lungs, and I love a heavy sweat on the skin.
The price of admission gives you access all day, and there’s a solarium where you can hang out between dips in the cave, but I only had time for one steam session and was a-okay with that. I haven’t been in a steam room or sauna in years, and it does give you some feel-good benefits after you’ve cooled off and rinsed off too.
From there, I decided I wanted a little pampering, so I got a quick hair washing and blowout at the Yampah Spa. The girl did a decent job, and I was happy to have someone else deal with all of my hair for a change. However, I was still a little heated from the caves, even after showering, so in hindsight, booking the blowout directly after being underground may not have been the best idea.
The rest of the afternoon, we hung around our hotel, got Brady to bed at a decent time, and did round two of hotel room take-out for dinner, which was so delish once again (we ordered from the Riviera Supper Club). There aren’t a lot of restaurants in tiny Glenwood Springs, and yet the food we chose all weekend was pretty darn tasty. Lots of veggies and lots of desserts were consumed!
Trekking back to Denver
On Sunday morning, knowing that we had a long trip ahead, we basically woke up and shipped out. Glenwood Springs is about three hours from Denver on a good day, and we were expecting some traffic. The good news is that we didn’t hit much traffic, but I’m still glad we gave ourselves enough time, because the Denver airport is massive and hard to navigate.
We arrived 90 minutes before our flight and just barely had enough time to check in, go through security, pick up some boxed food and get to our gate. I had done a layover in Denver before yet didn’t quite know it was such a big airport. So here’s your PSA if you have travels through the city any time soon — give yourself a TON of time. Wow.
Both of our flights were pretty easy this weekend, and Brady did great — sleeping a lot in Dave’s arms, which is always good for me, because then I get to sit back and relax. The flight to Denver is only a little over two hours from Oakland, so it’s just enough time to listen to a podcast and catch an episode of your favorite Bravo show, and then it’s time to get up and get off.
We arrived home on Sunday afternoon, got unpacked, started some laundry (literally everything we brought was dirty and worn, so it all got dumped into the hamper) and prepared for the week ahead. And as Dave and I were eating dinner last night, we remarked that we’re so glad Chevy invited us to take this little adventure, because I don’t think we would have made the effort on our own to go to a tiny mountain town like Glenwood Springs, hike, try new things, get off the grid for a bit and explore, and it was totally worth it!
I definitely liked Glenwood Springs and feel like we did a lot in our short time there and saw most of what we could during the summer, and I’d totally be interested in seeing what it’s like in winter too. I’m not much of a snow bunny, but have always wanted to learn to ski.
We were pretty loose with Brady’s schedule and went with the flow — which isn’t always the case during the week, as we’re tied to home a lot for Brady’s naps and bed-time, and everything worked out just fine. Brady loved the adventure, and we loved the change of scenery and family time together too.
More about the Chevy Equinox
I can’t end this fun trip recap without telling you a little bit more about that sweet Chevy Equinox we drove. And by the way, the Equinox is Chevy’s second best-selling vehicle, with nearly 2 million sold, and we can now see why people love it too. Dave and I both took turns driving throughout the weekend and as we said goodbye to the car when we left it off with the Chevy folks at the Denver airport, we decided we’d miss it. It was good to us. And it’s a good-looking car.
The size of the car was just right, with plenty of room in the backseat for car seats and in the trunk for both luggage and a stroller. But perhaps my favorite feature, was of course, those air-conditioned seats, with the WiFi hotspot coming in at a close second.
A little bit about the Equinox we drove:
- Keyless open and keyless start
- Back-up camera (the most advanced back-up camera I’ve ever seen with a 360-degree bird’s eye view of vehicle)
- Power sunroof
- Leather seats and steering wheel (loveeeee leather)
- Bose 7-speaker system
- Chevrolet MyLink system
- Apple CarPlay (we used this a lot!)
- Wifi (the coolest option — obviously, only for the passenger to use, drivers need to drive)
- Lots of airbags!
- Heated and air conditioned seats (why doesn’t every car have A/C seats?)
- Satellite radio
- Bluetooth phone connection
- Forward collision alert
- Side blind zone alert
- Teen driver system
- Rear park assist
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Road-side assistance
- 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty
- Gets about 25 miles per gallon, combined city and highway driving
- And more …
The car we drove retails for about $40,000, with all of the options. And it’s truly a safe and comfortable car, perfect for a little family like us. I really enjoyed it, particularly the fancy interior — because we spent a lot of time in there in just three short days.
Thank you to Chevy for hosting us and encouraging us to find new roads on this fun family road trip! Traveling is something that we love to do, and I’m glad we’ve introduced it to Brady so early on in his life, because we’ve got tons of trips ahead of us!
Hope you had a great weekend as well, my friends! We’re back to the usual this week, and I’ll see you again soon for fitness and food. Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: Our travel, car and accommodations were covered by Chevy. We were also provided with gift cards for food and experiences. However, all thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own.Family road trip scenes in Colorado with @chevrolet on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
Have you ever been to Colorado?
What’s the best hike you’ve ever done?
What’s your favorite feature of a car?
Do you prefer summer or winter for outdoor adventures?