This year we had no Christmas plans. We knew we didn’t want to travel. I am a terrible cook. Our friends were busy. And then I found a screaming good deal at the Gaylord Rockies. I was pumped.
I planned this elaborate gift baskets that I’d set up in the room before the kids arrived. I bought snacks. I remembered swim suits and goggles and snow gear, to take advantage of the ticketed outdoor events that were going on. I was ready.
And then Matilda got the flu. Not the stomach flu, which everyone assumes you have. The legit Influenza B flu. Girl was down for the count. She missed a whole week of school, her Christmas concert, her holiday parties, her friend’s Nutcracker ballet. It was intense. But she got over it. She had 2 days to sleep and recover, everyone else was healthy. We were in the clear.
We check in. Wilson sneezes. I repress all memories of the last week and convince myself that we’re fine. It’s fine. He’s fine. We go to see ICE! It’s so fricken crowded I can’t even see the sculptures. Apparently all of Denver decided that December 23rd was the best day to stay at the Gaylord with us. Cool. (I mean, it’s like 9 degrees in there, so it was literally cool.)
We leave ICE! and Wilson is just done. Poor kid spikes a fever and just wants to go back to the hotel room. LUCKILY I had awesome swag bags waiting and a room full of snacks. SADLY I had just spent a bunch of money on this weekend and didn’t want to spend it inside our un-upgraded non-suite hotel room.
With Wilson down with what I assume was a very contagious Influenza B and us being at the hotel on what I assume is the busiest day of their year because it was packed, Matilda and I ventured down to the front desk to beg them to adjust our reservation. The only thing worse than being in a beautiful and fun hotel with a sick kid for one night was being there for 2. The staff at the hotel was amazing, she quickly adjusted our stay and offered any flu supplies we needed. We did what any other mother-daughter duo would do at a hotel with an expensive spa: we hit the pool.
The pool is what I’m most looking forward to enjoying when we head back this summer! They have an outdoor pool with a lazy river, a huge indoor pool with a slide. It was pretty nuts for the holiday weekend, and a little chilly with the giant garage doors open, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m looking forward to the lazy river this summer, and the pool-side restaurant with chicken nuggets my kids both approve of, a small miracle in and of itself.
After the pool, we picked up the boys for free 3-5pm s’mores outside. Matilda had fun. Wilson ran around (the ibuprofen had kicked in by this point). It was crazy crowded, which I don’t think is the norm, but the staff was wonderful.
We had purchased tickets to snow tubing and bumper cars, but they let us reschedule them for the following week, when we were heading back for the Cirque show. Matilda and I sent the boys back to the room while we went ice skating.
Once everyone woke up, we at goldfish and animal crackers in bed until Build a Bear opened. We headed down to Mistletoe Village, made our bears, and then headed home for a lazy and quarantined Christmas Eve at home.
While we didn’t get to stay overnight, our second attempt at the holiday fun at the Gaylord, was much more successful.
Overall, I’m hoping that one day we’ll be able to go back without sick kids. Fingers crossed that the stars and room rates align for a summer stay. It’s a wonderful staycation, close to home with lots to do and a welcoming and accommodating staff to help with anything and everything you need.