Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spelunking with Sister

The spectacular Becca chose to spend part of her fall break with us and we had a great time, despite Denver's attempts to keep us indoors. Twenty-degree weather? Everyone into the car - it's time for the great outdoors! Except that then we chose to head to the outdoor's indoors. Do you follow? Ok, so we went spelunking. Not up on your "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" vocabulary words? We went to a cave. This one.

Standing Gemma. That's what she does. Stand.
Walking would be absurd. Would you like to zoom in:

Surprisingly, it was not crowded. After a brief walk between the car and the entrance (during which Donovan pleaded with me to warm up his face because it was going to freeze off - he wasn't really exaggerating) we headed into the always-54-degree cave climate. We love caves. LOVE. I also love all the stupid jokes tour guides have, and that my kids really do think we're going to make them crawl out that very tiny opening with that century-old rickety ladder, or that the tour guide really did leave for her lunch break after turning off all the lights. Like Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom (for Donovan) and the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom (for Ainsleigh), as soon as the lights DID come back on, they pronounced it the BEST part of the whole tour. The marks in my hand from where Dono's nails dug in beg to differ.

Donovan, pretty sure he's enjoying this

It reminded me of the time I went to the Nutty Putty caves with some friends (Melinda, Bead, Heather, I'm lookin at YOU). That was back when it was open to all. Or, rather, to those who could find it. Or, rather, to those who could find it and didn't ask whether or not it was ok they were there. Anyway, we went with a group of people and, of course, we stopped off to get flashlights. Except, that being poor college students, we got the cheapest flashlights we could find. And they may have also been the smallest. Cue ominous foreshadowing music. I think we had been in the caves for about 30 minutes and the group had become spread out and it was just the four us when ONE BY ONE our flashlights died. And there we sat, in complete darkness. We knew the rest of our group would have to come back that way before they got out, so we really weren't scared (were we?). I've been told that within 15 minutes of being in can't-see-my-own-hand-an-inch-from-my-face darkness, you begin to hallucinate. Maybe that's true if you're by yourself. Or maybe that's true if you're with other people who aren't hilarious in daylight, let alone a precarious situation. Or if you didn't think to start a BAND in complete darkness. Then again, maybe that WAS a hallucination.

Ainsleigh, enjoying the gift shop

Anyway, my point is, I prefer the cave tours with electric lighting even if it does come with a tour guide with stupid jokes. I didn't have to bring my own flashlight. And I could laugh confidently when the lights went off for a minute while my kids' anxiety levels shot through the roof.

It was a lovely way to spend a frigid day, and we capped it off with Thai food before Becca and I headed to see the Harry Potter movie. And all of THAT happened after we were at the gym at 6:45a with the lovely Sylvia. If that's not a winning day, I don't know what is.

More pictures later?


Melin said...

Oh, that was great. Caves are great. And Nutty Putty...oh the dark memories, I think that one falls on the list of "outings where are stupidity should have killed us, but our ignorance saved us."
Did Gemma have a good time standing in the cave? she would have been a fun one to move around in the dark, just to throw the tour guide off...

laura said...

omg, that picture of Gemma is my new desktop background. I want to squeeeeeze her.

Becca said...

Haha she looks so funny when she's like she's too small to be acting like people.

Mr. McMurray said...

I'm dying over Gemma's darling sneakers! They are just too cute and match her own littleness perfectly!

Angie said...

Great idea!! We are going to do this one. Adam loves caves, you'll have to ask him about that one sometime.

dvecchio said...

I love nutty putty - got stuck in there once for about 2 hours - head first into a dead end. great times! where was this cave?

TheKunks said...

What a cute hat and baby! Adventurous family...looks fun!