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Thread: Need advise/experience of the Colorado Sparkler

  1. #1
    Softball Junkie #7sDad's Avatar
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    Default Need advise/experience of the Colorado Sparkler

    DD's team (from MA) is attending the Colorado Sparkler this summer (June 25 - July 1). This is our first time and we're trying to decide whether to send her alone (they have a player only room), or have 1 parent go with, or go as a family and make it a vacation.

    DW is happy seeing a few games all summer, so 7-10 games over a long week is not her idea of vacation. DS is 13 and also does not enjoy spending 5-6 hours at the field, unless he's the one playing. However, I'm sure both of them would enjoy some pool time and could maybe do other things while DD is playing.

    For those who've been before, is there enough downtime between games to have family days/time and do things away from the fields? From what I see, Monday is a travel day, T-Th is 4 games with one of those days being off, and then Friday starts double elimination, flying out Sunday.

    We have to pay for the room anyway, so I'm torn on whether another $600 for their flights makes sense. The Rockies have been on our list of things to do with the kids, so this could be a good chance to fit that in. DD will just be turning 16 and has never traveled alone. So that also could be a good experience for her, but I'm not sure how she feels about that.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    I love Colorado, but you have to be realistic about Denver. Denver is one more medium size city surrounded by suburbs--like most, it is a series of strips malls and Wal Marts. You can see all you want of the greater Denver area in an afternoon.

    To really see "the Rockies", you will have to drive 90 minute or so from Denver.

    My suggestion?

    Your DD flies to Denver with her team. She plays the pool games without you. You and your family fly in for the double elimination tournament. You watch those games and go to the Coors' brewery in Golden in your down time.

    After the tournament, drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park (90 minute drive from Denver) and spend a few days. If possible, stay at the YMCA of the Rockies.

    I love the outdoors...I could spend weeks hiking around the RMNP.
    Last edited by sluggers; 01-11-2018 at 02:18 PM.

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  4. #3
    Pro-Staff Everything WARRIORMIKE's Avatar
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    I love Colorado too. Great scenery and even met a DFP'r out there too. Being that we have done Colorado twice already, we may send up WarriorAngela by herself this year. Kind of a get away from parents and enjoy softball on your own sort of set up. For first time, make it a family trip. Yes the Rockies are awesome as Sluggers had mentioned. You will get a day off to check out other places. Wyoming is about 3 hour drive north. Also white water rafting. However I would recommend doing that the last day you are in CO, only cause you will be sore the next day.

    Heres a video I did of our road trip. Met a guy from West Virginia or Tennessee when we hiked in Utah.They went to the Sparkler tourney too. Hes the bald guy in the video. They drove all around the country .
    Last edited by WARRIORMIKE; 01-11-2018 at 03:11 PM.
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  6. #4
    I can talk softball all day TexAg1998's Avatar
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    Done it twice. We made it a family vacation both times because thereís always a day or two when the team is not playing at all, especially if you get there Saturday. Thereís time for team bonding in the evenings, like movies or escape rooms or whatever, but take advantage of the off days to do family stuff. If DW and DS donít want to go to the fields, then they can go to Garden of the Gods or Estes Park or any of a number of other things. We also drove so we could spend even more time together and so we could see more of our beautiful country.

    Bottom line for us was that these days we have available to spend together as a family while the kids are still at home are limited, and we take advantage of every opportunity we get to go on adventures together. Even if itís something weíve done before we look for ways to make it different. Not everybody is like that, but thatís what does it for us.

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  8. #5
    I can talk softball all day Elk Grove Hurricane's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I have never been, but have a lot of friends who have. Their advice: it's an ish-load of softball, if you have family members who are just not into watching another kid play, or even watching their own DD play 6-7 games over a week, they probably won't be happy if you go for the whole tournament. Most think this is a trip for the player and anything a family does has to be to support that player, hopefully the player is having the time of her life, do whatever you can to make sure she does. Most didn't do any sight-seeing (but we are from Northern CA so it isn't nearly the trip you are making, think if you were heading to upstate New York and could theoretically visit Niagara Falls whenever you wanted). Even the day off was spent mostly with teammates, as the kids who were playing wanted to hang with the team. All in all, it's expensive, nobody expressed any regret about going, but nobody considered it a trip they needed to make every year.

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  10. #6
    I can talk softball all day Bubrox's Avatar
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    Our family has gone to CO every year since DD1 was in 12's. (Soph in College now). DD2 is now 2nd year 14's. The Colorado Rockies are on a road trip the week of the Sparkler. Not back until July 2nd. You would think they would have a homestand during the Sparkler. There's tons of things to do for everyone. Our favorite is Estes Park and Rocky Mtn. Natl Park. Like others have said, most teams play only 2 games a day within 3 days to start and then a day off one of those 3 days. Fishing licenses are cheap. River rafting is fun. We look forward to this trip more than any other Tournament of the year.

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  12. #7
    Softball Junkie Orange Socks's Avatar
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    I recommend drinking lots of beer at the various brewery establishments!!!!

  13. #8
    Certified softball maniac Momo'sDad's Avatar
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    Loved this event - had a great time in and around Denver and Colorado Springs (Jr Sparkler), but it was a very long trip. If you can build in extra days for a true family vacation, I'd say go for it (send DD alone, then fly out later in the week as Sluggers suggested), but otherwise, it may be tough to get real value for the amount of time you'll be out there.

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