Sunday, March 20, 2016

Colorado Cousins

We are enjoying these American holidays that we had forgotten about. President’s Day! Our kids school had a half day and two school days off, the weekend and then President’s Day. All pretty fabulous and a great time to get out to Denver to see our Colorado cousins, aged preschool and toddler.
We last made this trip two and a half years ago, from Germany. We stayed at the same hotel and noted that everything seemed much smaller, the beds, the bathroom, the pool! We ended up getting another room just to fit us all in. We enjoyed the American food near the hotel but after a few months of easy access to it, the excitement just wasn’t the same. Deep dish pizza and endless fountain drinks are a highlight when coming from Germany but coming from East Coast suburbia, they barely get a nod. Though we are happy to report the waffle machine is still working at our hotel and was just as much fun this year as in the past. As was the basketball court. Regulation height is regulation height apparently.
We reserved a tour of the US Mint and in typical fashion, were running late for the tour (despite lots of verbiage about getting there thirty minutes early). We plugged it into the navi and took off, arriving just minutes before. Phil was the last person in before the tour door shut. We saw the coins in production, learned that they are produced based on supply and demand. 2009 saw something like 9 million pennies made and 2015 saw 15 million pennies. Rationale was that people were saving their pennies during the housing crisis. When learned that it costs two cents to make a penny and ten cents to make a nickel but on everything else, the profit margins go way up. We were excited to see a new quarter campaign about national monuments. We were disappointed to see that New Jersey had not made one yet but their slated on is Ellis Island, which seems both New York and New Jersey.
The kids skied and played with cousins. Everyone loved seeing how much the cousins had grown and what all their new tricks were. We were impressed with their skills in gymnastics and swimming. At soccer when our little cousin scored a goal, seven of us family members watching, stood up clapping and cheering. We quickly sat back down, realizing that it may be a bit much at a four year old soccer match. But rest assured, we are dusting off our contacts at FC Bayern….
It’s amazing how fast the time goes. Seeing the differences in what our kids liked to do in Denver over the span of two years was crazy. We only got one of our kids to the zoo this time. But seeing our mostly teenaged kids compared to the little cousins was shocking. It really was not that long ago that our kids collected sticks and sorted them into various piles in the back yard. Even in Germany, Tori was tying the twins to our big tree with her rope. Now the rope is abandoned in the back yard, half affixed to a tree in a project long forgotten. But ice cream unites. At one point the cousins wanted to go for ice cream. We happily went along. A sweet memory of when going out for ice cream was the height of excitement and sleep overs and parties and dances were so very far away.