We have started a new tradition: a carriage ride through downtown Denver to see the lights of the city.  This has charm written all over it.

We invited my parents to join us, since – in this life stage, anyway – a few extra adults on hand are helpful for any tradition, especially a plan that involves a train, buses, and city traffic.  I’ll go ahead and not forge that path on my own just yet.

The boys loved it.  Tucker never stopped smiling.  I have to agree: it was a pretty magical ride, with the clippety-clop of the horse hooves, the fluffy blankets in the carriage, and the canopy of lights overhead.  Magical.

Such a perfect something must certainly be followed by a perfect dessert.  We went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and each chose a gourmet caramel apple.  (Tyler literally groaned his way through his apple, such was his delight.)

We had such a fun time, whiling away the evening in a perfect temperature, turns out we missed the last train home.

Oopsie Daisy.  This adventure just became a learning experience.

A little investigation showed us we were not forever stranded downtown (although I admit I was thankful I had memorized the phone number on a passing taxi cab, when Tyler pointed out so very many twos in one place).

We only needed to walk six blocks, take a bus to another train station, and wait for the C Line that would come again at 9:25.

(Where’s a stroller when I need one?  For someone to push me in?)

The boys were troopers.  My dad whipped out his best entertainment techniques, leading us in the Hokey Pokey and Father Abraham while we waited for the train.

The boys also had their first encounter with homelessness and schizophrenia.  It was happening all around us, to us, in a loud way.

“Mommy, why didn’t you give that man all the money you have?  You have money in your purse.  Why didn’t you give it to him if he’s hungry?”

My sweet child.  I wish I had a good answer.

“Mommy, why is that man screaming at us?  What is he trying to say?”

His mind isn’t working tonight, lovey.  Just stay close to mommy.  And stop talking.

Hey, guess what?  We found the C Line.  We made it home.  We fell into bed.

And we’ll do it again next year.

Or, you know, the first half of it.

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