Ashley Does: Choosing Adventure Over Stuff Part II

As a family, we have chosen adventure over stuff, and it’s turning into an amazing decision!

Our birthday adventure in Maintou Springs was a fun alternative to having another birthday party with tons more presents the kids would never really use again.

Don’t quite know what I’m talking about? Be sure to check out Part I here first!

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Sunday was a blast. We had breakfast and headed out to North Cheyenne Cañon for some hiking. We stopped by the visitor’s center, but even though it was within regular business hours, no one was there! We couldn’t get a map so we just kind of took off on a random trail.

It would have been really nice to have a map, I am not going to lie. We had no idea where we were headed or how long we were going to be out so instead of seeing the falls or anything else that the Park boasts, we just walked for a bit and then returned to the car.

Even though it was a hike “fail,” it was a beautiful park and we really enjoyed our short walk!

Once we were back in downtown Manitou Springs, we finished our tour of the natural mineral springs and found both my favorite, and my least favorite! Taking the top spot with a mild taste and refreshing fizz was Navajo Spring. It is the spring for which the town was founded and several local businesses use the water to make lemonade! Iron Spring was not my fave – but it definitely lived up to its name! I can absolutely see why physicians used it years ago to treat iron deficiency because I am sure I got plenty of my daily dose of iron in the few sips I took!

While touring the natural mineral springs in Manitou Springs, we came across this AWESOME little library that made my nerd heart so happy!

We spent the rest of our time in Manitou Springs at the penny arcade. Honestly, this was more for me and Joe than the kids – though they also had a great time! We got to enjoy classic games from our childhood and help the girls rack up tickets to exchange for such arcade treats as slap bracelets, candy, and miniature Slinkies. It was a ridiculously fun, nostalgic experience!

There are change machines throughout the multi-building arcade but we opted to bring change to stay on budget. It would have been really easy to just keep feeding cash to the machines and getting more quarters, but we were on a budget and the easiest way to stick to it was to have a finite amount!

Caroline’s favorite thing about the arcade was definitely the rides! Everyone loved Skeeball and the video games.

The Take-Away

Our decision to go off and have adventures as a family rather than throw birthday parties may seem kind of crazy. It has taken some getting used to not only with our kids but our families and our girls’ friends. However, the rewards have far outweighed the confusion.

Aside from the obvious personal benefit of me not having to host a children’s birthday party in my home (refer to Part I if you aren’t sure what I mean!), we aren’t getting as bogged down with stuff as we have in years past. We are always grateful for any gifts that we, or the girls, receive, but with three kids our home has become overrun with stuff. And I have found that the more stuff we have, the less they play with any of it! It’s been really nice to pare down and not feel so overwhelmed by all the stuff in our house.

Taking off as a family and having amazing adventures has been good for us. We have more things to talk about, photos to look back on, and memories to share. They say the kids are only little once, and “they” are right. I’m so excited that we are coming up with plans together, executing them, and enjoying the fun (and handling the bumps in the road) together!

I hope that if you are in the Colorado Springs area you will check out some of the activities and locations we explored! I know you will have the best time and make amazing family memories of your own.

Until next time!

The Team Y5 Take Away: Get out there and do life with your family! You will all love it so much more than another crazy party with a ton of gifts!

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