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any ideas?  7-11 told me i need to pay cash for amazon gift card i can't find any gas stations that sell it. are there any other options? 

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I Will not be posting pics as we used our phones for the pictures and they do not do it justice and i don't have the time to upload them. You can google the names of the places to see the pictures which are unbelievable. If someone would like to post the pictures send me a PM and I will send you the relevant  pics.

The trip was planned in 4 days and by the time we left we had the first week planned but for the remainder we remained open and flexible.

Trip was 2 adults and 4 kids aged 5-12

Total Price for hotels, flights and car for the trip was 730k UR points. 300K Marriott Points. 16k Hyatt points and $1500 cash.

We brought along some pots and pans with the idea of looking for hotels with kitchens.
 
All the Shuls that I reached out to were either closed or not allowing visitors. The Sole exception was Chabad of Palm Springs that had an outdoor minyan in 110 + degrees.

Hotels were limited as far as housekeeping, bell service, pools, spas etc..

Day 1 .
Flight to Denver.  The airport and flight was more crowded than we had expected but everything felt safe and clean. 
After arriving and renting a suburban, we went to target, East Side Kosher and the Pizza Shop to  stock up food and supplies we bought an indoor grill and some disposable outdoor grills. We Then drove 1.5 hours to our first destination, Estes park at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed at the Estes Park Quality Inn which turned out to be clean and comfortable.  We had a 2 floor room.  The first floor had a king bed, pull out sofa and bathroom, and the second floor had a private room with a double bed and bathroom. Both floors had a little porch.  We had a BBQ dinner at Estes Lake. The views were beautiful.   

Day 2.
We were up and out 8am and headed to Trail Ridge Road.  The views were absolutely unbelievable!  There are no words to describe and the pictures don’t do them justice.  In Colorado there are so many different types of mountains.  From one observation point you can see rocky mountains, green mountains and snow capped mountains.  We saw the snow melting into lakes and rivers.  There was lots of wild life too!  We saw elk, moose, cows, marmot and chipmunks!  Due to the high elevation we all felt a little unwell, lightheaded and a little dizzy and out of breath  The kids had fun climbing in the summer snow and we saw the continental divide, where the water runs either to the pacific or atlantic oceans.    After finishing the drive we ended up in Grand Lake and ate our picnic lunch .  Another gorgeous lake with magnificent views!  We decided to rent a boat and ride around for an hour.  The kids had a blast taking turns driving the boat while listening to Mordechai Shapiro on the Bluetooth.  We  loved seeing all the homes right on the water.  They were big, beautiful and had boat garages!  The whole town was so charming.  After our hour rental was up we got back into the car for a 3.5 hour drive to Snowmass (about 20-30 minutes away from Aspen).    The views were amazing and again there was lots of wild life.   For some of the drive we were on what felt like a dirt road for quite a while.  We saw the Colorado river many times and drove through tunnels that were built right into the mountain.  We checked into a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen at Viceroy hotel.  It was super clean!   

Day 3
After breakfast, which took a while because the fancy Wolf  stove only registers certain pots and not the pots we brought from home, so in order to cook we are putting our pots inside the hotels.  So it took a really long time to make eggs!  We finally headed out and our first stop was a 10 o’clock free guided nature wildflower hike in Snowmass.  This hike was about 1.5 hours long.  Although it was a nice hike the kids complained most of the way and it wasn’t very exciting.  We saw some wildflowers, learned about the Aspen trees whose roots interestingly connect to each other underground, and saw a beaver dam.  After the hike we drove about 20 minutes to Aspen.  We took the silver queen gondala up Aspen Mountain and saw amazing views!  The 10 minute ride was exciting for the kids, We ate our lunch at the top of the mountain and walked around a little We then went back down on the gondola and walked around the streets of Aspen.  It’s a charming area, lots of fancy shops and outdoor dining.  By 3pm the kids had enough and we headed back to the hotel to swim. 

 Day 4.
After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast, we headed out to the Grottos Loop Hike.  We wanted to do Maroon Bells but we could not get a reservation.  Our destination was about 20 minutes away but somehow we missed our exit and drove an additional 20 minutes on a really scary narrow road right on the edge of the mountain.  This is a famous road called Independence Pass or Colorado 82.  It’s a 2 way road but sometimes only one car fits on the lane, and the cliffs on the side were really scary.  The views however were breathtaking!  When we made it to our destination we noticed the sign for the exit was twisted which is why we missed it.  We parked, applied sunscreen and bug spray and began our hike.  We started walking over a small pedestrian bridge over a creek.  We ended up off the trail path for a while but then found it again.  We saw ice caves and gorgeous water falls!  There was some fun climbing up and down some steep rocks.    After exploring and hiking for a while we went back to the car to get our lunch bag and brought it back to the bottom of the waterfall to have a picnic lunch.  We then climbed on some of the rocks in the water.  Back at the hotel We walked up to the outdoor mall, it was quite a hike up, got a drink at the westin hotel and sat outside overlooking magnificent mountain views.

Day 5
We packed out of the Viceroy in Snowmass.  This took longer than expected.  Although we were living out of our suitcases, we had to pack up all our kitchen things and this took a while.  We really enjoyed our stay there.  The staff there was so nice and they all maintained a really high level of cleanliness, constantly disinfection and cleaning.    We finally left at around 9:15/30am.  It was a long ride to the Royal Gorge Bridge and park.  We had to take Independence highway again, the very curvy narrow and steep road.  It was really scary at times!  We finally arrived at 1pm and had a quick lunch on a bench.  The views were once again unreal.  This was a suspension bridge from one cliff to the next and below is the river.  It was amazing!  Walking across the bridge was very scary for some of us.  When we got across the bridge we walked around a little, went on the merry go round and then we headed to the gondala to take us back.  When we got to the gondola, it was shutting down due to an incoming storm.  We got stuck at the park during the lightning storm which was breathtaking to watch and waited it out at the theatre.  We were a little concerned about all the people in a small room and all those germs, so as soon as the rain got lighter we waited on the covered porch. When it was over we walked back across the bridge, bathroom stop, and into the car.  We drove 2.5 hrs to Gunnison where we were spending the night.  We arrived at the Days INN and upon a quick inspection we realized this was not a hotel we can stay in so we went the Nearby Holiday INN Express instead.   
 
Day 6 and 7

We were on the road by 8am and arrived at our hotel Mountain Lodge Telluride at around 11am.  We booked a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen. However, due to Carona, they were not allowing for early check in.  We had to come back at 4pm.  This was a bit of a bummer since we were  looking forward to settling in.  We drove to town, found a nice park for a picnic and some frisby, walked around and found a farmers market and then bought ice cream from the supermarket.  We took a nice drive to see the Bridal Veil water fall and then went back to the supermarket to stock up for our 3 day stay.    We finally arrived and the check in process was unique because of carona.  The front desk texted us with a code to a locker that wasset up out front.  In the locker was our key and map of the property.  There was no one to help with the luggage.  we parked the car and then we schlepped the bags to our room  This was not easy, traveling with 6 people and lots of luggage up a hill.  We quickly unpacked the kitchen and put up some Shabbos food.  The room was hot as there is no AC in the hotel.     After Shabbos lunch and Naps We walked to the center center of town which was a short 5-10 minute walk.  It was such a charming little area, with a central plaza, cafes and live music.  We also saw the mountain bikers biking down a mountain path.  They took the gondola up the mountain with their bikes, and then road down.  It was a lot of fun to see.  We found a small playground and rock climbing area for the kids.  The views in Teluride were pretty amazing.

Day 8
We got out a little before 9 and drove 1.5 hours to Mesa Verde National Park.  Once we arrived it was another 45 minute drive to the first view point.  We enjoyed seeing the cliff dwellings.  It was so fascinating to see how they built homes and communities right into the mountain.  Unfortunately, because of Corona we were unable to actually go inside.  We visited a few spots where we were able to see different dwellings and pits.  We then went on a short hike (most hikes were closed because of corona and because of a forest fire).  The hike was a bit disappointing it was advertised as adventurous and steep with some rock climbing but that was not the case.  Perhaps the exciting part was after the point where the hike was closed off.  The end of the hike was a nice view, but it wasn’t worth it. 
When we got back to our hotel, we ate dinner and then took the free gondola to the town plaza, enjoyed some live music for a bit and then back up.  We stopped at the market to buy ice cream and then walked to the hotel. 

Day 9 
We managed to get out of the hotel a little before 8am and drove to Moab, Utah.  We arrived around 11am and were able to check into the Hyatt place hotel.    We then went to the Arches National Park.  Wow wow and wow!  It was like nothing we have ever seen!!!  I can’t even describe it and will have to look at pictures to understand.  Different rock formations, arches and windows…..all natural Gd made!  We stopped at a few and the kids had a blast climbing up to the top.  The climb up was fun, when they got to the top it was nerve-wracking as  there was a cliff on the other side.
 
Day 10
We managed to get out by 7am today!  We left Utah and drove to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  What should have been a 5.5hr drive turned out to be close to 7hrs.  We were about 1.5hr away from our destination when we saw a sign saying the East gate to the Grand Canyon is closed!  We had to drive all the way around the mountain to enter from the south gate.    When we finally arrived, we used the bathroom and had a picnic lunch.  Then we walked around the South Rim.  The views were amazing!  The long drive was exhausting, and no one was up for a big walk or hike.  We spent around 3 hours in total at the Grand Canyon.  A little bit of walking and then a drive to the village and one other viewpoint.  We then drove 2.5 hrs to Kingman, Arizona to spend the night.  We stopped at Wallgreens for supplies.  Checked into the Springhill Suites hotel, shower, dinner, bed. 

Day 11
We left for Palm Springs. to be continued.


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