We are on day four of our Colorado odyssey and we're having a great time! We've been doing day trips every day and have been able to see a lot of the main attractions within a 2-hour radius of Denver. The best way to share our journey with you is to give a day-by-day blow, but I'll write in more detail (including links to the places mentioned) when I get home (we just left Breckenridge so I stopped into a Library to check e-mail and update the blog). In the meantime, here are some highlights:
Saturday - We got in on time, picked up our car, and headed to the Capital Hill Inn, a beautify castle/mansion bed-and-breakfast in the capital region of the city. We walked over to the 16th Street Mall, which is a pedestrian mall, went through some shops, and went for a nice dinner at a trendy Mediterranean restaurant. Because I was tired and not used to the altitude, I got a little tipsy but mostly just had a bad wine headache. Then, we went to the B&B and crashed.
Sunday - woke up at 3:45am (5:45 EST) and couldn't get back to sleep. I managed to stay in bed until 6am, then we got ready for the day and went down for a delicious breakfast (this place brings a chef in!). We jumped on the road and headed to Colorado Springs, about a hour south of Denver. We drove up to Pike's Peak, one of the tallest mountains in the area, 19 miles up with an altitude of over 14,000 feet. It was very cold and a bit difficult to breathe at the top. Towards the top, with all the red rocks (there is no vegetation or much of anything up there). It made me think "this must be what Mars is like." Of course, there was plenty of snow!! Then we visited some that live in CS, went to Garden of the Gods, a natural rock structure park, and went out to dinner before heading back to Denver.
Monday - headed out to Estes Park at the foot of the Rockies where the famous Stanley Hotel is located (the Stanley is the hotel that Stephen King stayed which was the inspiration for The Shining. We took a ghost tour at 1pm, and it did not disappoint! I have several pictures that have orbs in them, and the fourth floor where the nannies and children used to stay was downright creepy!
After Estes Park we headed up to Fort Collins in search of New Belgium Brewery (to try their brew and get my nephew a Fat Tire pint glass. Unfortunatley, it was closed! We stopped at another micro-brewery and shot the bull with some of the local characters. Then we headed back to Denver and had a late dinner.
Tuesday - today we are in the Breckenridge area which is just beautiful. On the way here we passed many little mining towns and saw remnants of the past with abandon gold mine shafts in the mountains. Very interesting. Breckenridge was like a ghost town. We hit it during the "mud season" when the ski season is over and the summer season has not begun, so a lot of the stores and restaurants were closed. The good thing was there was no crowding. We also wanted to visit "The Brown," a bar that we had heard was VERY haunted, but it was also closed for spring cleaning.
Animals we've seen so far: elk, mountain goats, prarie dogs, longhorns, magpies, and buffalo.
Other observations: Nothing quite says "quaint" like all the giant Walmart trucks around. And - Okay, we get it! People like Starbucks! Enough already! Is there such a thing as overexposure?
So that brings us up to "now." More on our adventures when I can access the Internet again!