When I arrived off the plane in Colorado I was greeted by hugs from my aunt and cousin. It was a happy Rooney Family Reunion. The time was 3:00pm MST, but my body was set to EST which would be 5:00pm so we went out for a bite. We stopped at the first of many excellent Mexican Restaurants throughout the week. Over the next couple of days, my family made our way south through Colorado, then turned westward for to make it to our final destination of Mesa Verde National Park.
Along the way we stopped at The Springs Resort and Spa (The Springs Resort and Spa P.O. Box 1799, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 – http://pagosahotsprings.com/ ) in Pagosa Springs to visit the natural hot springs. We spent a day relaxing in the hot springs… the quite literal HOT springs truly deserved the description hot with the temperatures of the twenty pools ranging from 90?F to 111?F. Even though the heat of the August day reached all the way up to 86?F, the heat of the springs did not faze us crazy Rooneys, we charged right into those boiling (not really) pools and never turned back. We spent the rest of the day pool hopping from temperature to temperature absorbing all the sulfur we possibly could. That night we finished off the perfect day of relaxation by enjoying the movie Iron Man (ironic I know… such a action and energetic movie) on a giant projector from the heat of the springs while sipping at a gourmet hot chocolate.
The next day, our relaxation was done, and we set off to Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde is a National Park famous for its cliff dwellings (http://www.nps.gov/archive/meve/cliff_dwellings /cliff_dwellings_home.htm). After driving a couple miles up the side of a mountain, we reached the top of Mesa Verde. We then waited in an incredibly long line to our tickets, but it was all worth it. That afternoon we toured two of the different cliff dwellings, Balcony House and Cliff Palace. Each of those dwellings were lived in by Pueblos in the 1200s, and over the past 800 years the houses and rooms have withstood so much, yet are still standing erect today. I mean can you imagine our houses being around in over 800 years.
Of the two dwellings we visited, my favorite was Balcony House, taking the tour gave you a true sense of adventure as you climbed up a 100 foot ladder and through a tunnel about the width of your shoulder. Even though Balcony House was my favorite, Cliff Palace was truly incredible. After visiting Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings I truly understand the idea of “There is nothing like seeing the real thing.”
Then just as we think we are heading back to our comfortable hotel room, my uncle told us that we were making one last stop…. The Four Corners. The Four Corners, or NUCA as we grew to affectionately call it is the point in the USA where New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona meet. Four Corners is pretty much a giant slab of concrete, but I think visiting there was the most fun I had all vacation. All the way to NUCA, my uncle was joking that it was just like Las Vegas only without all the lights and money. Family fun moments like that are what make vacations fun. Whether going to incredible places like Pagosa Springs or Mesa Verde, or simply having a good laugh with family, vacations are meant to be an enjoyable escape from the real world.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.