Colorado Thanksgiving | Kim Kelley Photography

It was a last minute decision to head to Colorado for Thanksgiving.

We usually spend the holiday with friends here in San Diego. Either one of us will host or we meet at our favorite hotel in La Jolla and spend hours stuffing ourselves on their buffet.  This year we planned on more of the same, since we hate traveling during Thanksgiving week we considered nothing else. Come to find out….all our usual friends had made plans to travel themselves!

Harper asked me to call Gramps and Nana Kathy and ask them to come out for the weekend. I said I could, but I really thought SHE should face time them and ask herself, as they would have a MUCH harder time telling her no than me!

Sure enough, they felt terrible they couldn’t spend Thanksgiving with their granddaughters here in San Diego, but they already had made plans with 13 other family members, including 3 of their OTHER grandchildren, and were hosting at their house in Boulder.

That’s when the guilt trips started.

They asked Harper to come out to Boulder, so Harper immediately turned and asked me. I laughed.

Then Harper begged all night. I ignored.

Then Nana Kathy texted me the next day and said we should really consider coming out. And added this little nugget : “It’s been a LONG time since all 4 of you were out here for a holiday.”


So I approached Tom about flying to Colorado for Thanksgiving.

It went like this:

Me: “I’ve been looking at flights to Denver, they are not too bad, what if we go to my parents house for Thanksgiving?”

Tom: “No. No interest.”  Then promptly jumps in the shower.

Smartly, I left the room. In the past, that kind of abrupt response would prompt me to start my tirade about how we need to do …..(you can fill in the rest however you would like, but the bottom line is, I am saying how we need to do what I want to do. )

Luckily, the hot water seemed to drill sense into Tom. And he came out ready to discuss. The saying Happy Wife, Happy Life is a term that is thrown around a lot when we are out with friends, joking around, however it’s not a code of conduct we live by. So I was happy to see that he had come around while mulling it over in the shower.

I told him I found good prices on Frontier.  Don’t be fooled. Now that we know Frontier, the “new Frontier”, we won’t be flying them again. They used to be the ultimate airline, based out of Denver, mini TV’s in front of every seat. Loved them.

Now, they charge you a price for the seat, that seems reasonable, you purchase it, then the real costs start rolling in.

Seat assignment? $18

Luggage? checked-$30, carry on- $25

Diet coke? $3

I misplaced our boarding passes on the way home and I was freaking out wondering how much it was going to cost me to reprint them at the gate! (Free. Surprise, surprise).

I told Tom I didn’t buy him a seat assignment on the way there. I bought one aisle, one window and the middle seat came free. That would cover me and the girls, he would just fend for himself.   He acted like I told him he may be strapped to the wing. Or he may be down with the luggage. He was shocked, and I think saddened, that he didn’t mean enough to me to purchase a seat? Good grief. He’ll have a seat to SIT on!! It just won’t be picked ahead of time!

Well, regrets are costly. He ended up in the very last row, pinned against the window by a big cowboy, and in the row with the single mom and a baby. Sorry Tom. Needless to say, he bought himself a seat for the flight home.

Despite the guilt trips, the push back, the last minute travel plans and the horrible airline, the visit to Boulder was a success.

Baking cookies with Nana Kathy, shopping with Aunt Megan and Kendall, sleep over with Kendall and a trip to Greyson’s workplace (a farm!) to visit cows, calves, horses and other big farm animals (prompting Harper to give up her weekly plea for a dog and instead ask for “larger” animals…thanks Greyson!)


Kim Kelley San Diego Photographer



There were magic trick lessons all week, (that by the way, have continued now that we are back home, and NEVER end! Thanks Gramps!) And helping with Christmas decorating. Another questionable pastime, as I’m feeling a little resistance now that we are trying to decorate our OWN house. There’s a little bit of been there, done that, after they decorated my sister and my dad’s house last week!

Kim Kelley San Diego Photographer



This is the early shot of the 3 of them hanging xmas lights on the deck. You see Payton is ALREADY thrilled. She actually is happy to help, even though her face says otherwise. The anger comes from Harper getting to help Gramps first. And also me telling her to go get in the photo. But the lights got hung, and there lots of laughs, so I know it wasn’t as bad as she suggests in this mug shot.



Finally, the shenanigans of Thanksgiving dinner.

This is what we came here for!

The cousins shot.



The “It’s good to be the younger cousin” shot.


The “You can’t ignore me…even if you’re working on college term papers….I’m not going away” shot.


Finally the rest of the crew gets sick of waiting, And Aunt Jan has agreed to take a Haakinson family photo, so pile on kids! There’s black Friday shopping to be done!


The whole crew…Payton doing a good job representing her Austrian heritage in that dress and those braids. And I’m in the same damn sweater I’ve been bringing to Colorado for the last 10 years. Seriously people, I lost my ability to shop for myself after the kids were born!



And finally, a lot of laughs with a few rounds of Telestrations the day we left. Harper, Payton and I could all play this game successfully with little fanfare. But throw Tom, Gramps and Nana Kathy into the mix, now you’ve got a bunch of atrocious artists and preposterous guesses that change the entire make up of the game, and no one can get through a round of pictures without almost soiling themselves.  It was a great trip out to Colorado. Thanks for the push to make it happen Nana Kathy!

Kim Kelley San Diego Photographert-giving-7t-giving-9t-giving-8t-giving-10t-giving-11Kim Kelley San Diego Photographert-giving-13t-giving-6t-giving-4-2


**Please note the single blurry photograph of me. Thanks go to Tom for that beauty.


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  • Leann RobertsLove the pictures and stories! Looks like great fun!ReplyCancel

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