Aspen, Colorado.


Kinda not easy to get there.

Independence Pass scared the crap out of me in a “Are those the CLIFFTH OF INTHANITY??” way.

We learned that this might not be a family place.

When did they put LA in the middle of Colorado?

Well, that pretty much sums it up. The Pantier Family Adventures continued this past weekend, and, well, we discovered that just because a place on the map says it’s family-friendly might not mean that they know what that means, exactly. Know what I mean?

As in, just because you have “fried mac & cheese wedges” (what the?!) on the menu, it doesn’t mean that anyone in the restaurant knows where the high chairs are or that kids might need cups with lids. And cups should not be shaped like martini glasses. Or a brandy snifter.

Ya feel me?

But we did not go down without having fun. First, Hank spied something he might like.


And then he knew what to do.

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And then the kids spied something they might like.


And they knew what to do.

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And then Holden’s alter ego, the Weird Face Guy, came on full force.

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I swear he doesn’t always look like this. And I know I say that ALL THE TIME. Maybe I just can’t see the weird faces in their nano second appearances like the camera can.

Oh who am I kidding.

Dude’s just got some weird faces.

This one has learned to HAM.

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And we really like it.

After day one in Snowmass, we decided to try our luck at the farmer’s market in Asssspen. It was lovely and tidy.


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And then I spied something that I might like from across the street.

And…when I looked through the telephoto lens, I discovered the price tag on the green asssspen boots. Can you see it? Let me read it to you.


No wonder that lady behind them wouldn’t step too far away. Still…I wonder if they come in my bigfoot size?

I must confess, the streets of Asssspen are quite lovely with flowers slipping over wonderful architecture everywhere.


And someday, when there are no tagalong kiddos with sticky paws with me, I might go in here.

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But for now, we’ll stay with what we know. Scrubbable places. And places that will bring you crayons so you can color on your menu and where the check comes very, very timely. A place like…Vail.


This is my favorite summertime place in Colorado. And it might just be a few others’ as well. Like these guys.

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(Darn that straw. Someone please Photoshop that out.)


And since we’re on a mini-vaca, the boys spied another treat shop and thought they’d have a look-see.

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Ewan marched right in and started saying, “That!” to nearly everything stuck behind the case that he could see. The final winners? A chocolate-covered strawberry for one and a scoop of ice cream for the other. Fine, fine choices, I’d say.


And how do you follow that up? With a pirate ship, of course.

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This is perhaps the coolest play area I’ve seen in a while. And the coolest play area deserves the coolest Dad, who just managed to shove Ewan down the slide before all of the other kids there could get in line.


And then he patiently waited for him to emerge again and find his way back up to the top.


Then, after more sliding and a few minutes of swinging, we had to find Holden (who had been but a blur the entire time at the park), and drag both boys back to the car for the trip down the mountain and back home.


Oh were we ever happy to be home. I think that was the fastest we’ve ever unpacked our things and the best night of sleep we’ve had in quite some time. But then again, any night of sleep without a toddler on your head or a 5YO’s foot in your asssspen is a really good one.

So here’s to Asssspen, with its private jets and Prada/Burberry/Luis Vuitton stores and $9 cups of coffee. I shall try you on again someday, but for now, we prefer chocolate on our faces and dirty knees and elbows while we yell, “Aaaar Matey!” at passersby and don’t get the evil eye. Besides, I’d bet my flip flops feel better than your pinchy high heels walking on the cobblestones.

Peace out.