Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Colorado March 2009

I had never been to Colorado but thought it was a state I could really like so I was excited to go visit Adrienne for more reasons than just missing her to death. I got to Denver on Saturday afternoon and we headed up to Estes Park. It was a beautiful drive up there with a ton of bikers. I was amazed at the numbers. I kept asking Adrienne – where are they all going? I guess they were probably headed up to Rocky National Park or just enjoying the gorgeous drive up to Estes Park. Either way, I was definitely jealous of them. The weather was perfect for cycling and the scenery, though quite brown, was beautiful.

Estes Park is a very interesting town. It isn’t very big but it is on the edge of the Rocky National Park where I would love to go back and camp with Adrienne sometime. We had lunch at the famous Stanley Hotel which was the inspiration for the hotel in The Shining and used in Dumb and Dumber. Adrienne really likes salad with seven lemons.

After lunch we shopped a little downtown and then headed back to Denver where we met up with Dana, Brady and the cutest little twins you’ve ever seen, Frannie and Wenona. We stole Dana away and the three of us went out and got some drinks in downtown Denver. I really enjoyed seeing Denver and we went to some great places but I mostly enjoyed getting to know Dana. She is someone who is really close to Adrienne and has been for a long time and to not know her has seemed weird. I was very glad we had the chance to spend some time together, laugh and also have a chance to get a feel for Denver itself. Dana and Adrienne found their new favorite club and I’m pretty sure they have been regulars there since I left. What was the name of it again? The 316 Club or something? From the looks of the bouncers and the people going in and out they would most definitely fit in.

On Sunday morning Adrienne and I went to her church and then went to Garden of the Gods. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and my pasty white skin was so excited to see the sunshine. Garden of the Gods is an amazingly beautiful park which was given to the city of Colorado Springs. The rock formations are incredible and Adrienne and I enjoyed the opportunity to be outside in the sunshine enjoying the beautiful place she lives. Thank goodness we did too because there were a few rocks that were about to topple over. Don’t worry, we got them set back upright.

After Garden of the Gods we decided we hadn’t hiked quite enough so we went to Palmer Park and walked around where we got great views of Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. There were these weird plants that were growing up there that are supposed to bloom sometime in the near future. I’m super curious what they are going to look like so Adrienne, this is a reminder to go back up there and take some pictures for me!

After our walk at Palmer Park we went downtown Colorado Springs and had happy hour at a local brewery. Darn I forget the name of it. Anyway, we sat outside and people watched and listened to these crazy people behind us who insisted on talking to me when Adrienne went to the bathroom. While there of course Santa Claus drove by in his red VW Beetle. Oh don’t worry, Mrs. Claus was in the passenger seat brushing his beard. That wasn’t weird or anything.

On Monday we woke up to far different weather. We had reservations to go to the top of Pike’s Peak on the COG so we headed over to Old Colorado Springs where the COG is located but when we got there they informed us that due to blizzard conditions at the top of Pike’s Peak we couldn’t go all the way to the top. We went up anyway to about 13,000 feet, instead of 14,000, and still had amazing views and learned some interesting things about the history of the area. I really enjoyed getting more of a bird’s eye view of the valley. I want to go back at a time when they have the crazy car race to the top. I think that would really be something to see.

After we came down the mountain we shopped in Old Colorado Springs. From there we went to on a short hike up near these falls (Helen Hunt Falls) because we were hoping to find the super sneaky backway into Seven Falls. We didn't find it but we got to see some pretty waterfalls.

Then we went to the Broadmore which is this georgous hotel where Adriemme is going to get married to her Sugar Daddy someday. We walked through the grounds, around the lake, looked at the swans, shopped for Adrienne's wedding dress, you know - all the normal stuff. :) They were putting out spring flowers and it was beautiful.

From there we went to the Air Force Academy to see the chapel. The chapel is amazing. It’s size alone is overwhelming but the stained glass throughout makes it a beautiful piece of architecture. The school was on spring break so there were no cute military guys around but I guess that’s ok since I would be almost 10 years older than even the oldest now. I’m getting old.

Oh, one more thing – remember how I mentioned the beautiful day on Sunday. It was in the 70s and sunny I think. When we came out of the chapel it was snowing. Less than 24 hours later – snowing. I guess that’s Colorado for you.

That night we had the best ribs I’ve ever had and enjoyed watching this dad with his adorable daughter. She had Down’s Syndrome and to watch them together as he helped her eat copious amounts of chili was great. We had done so much we were both tired so we went to a movie and then called it a day. Phew.

My last day was of course full of fun as well. We went and looked at some townhomes one of which Adrienne actually ended up purchasing (YAY!!!) and then we went to the Olympic Training Facility and took a tour. I always forget just how long an Olympic length pool is. Being there made me wish I had the drive and skill to be an Olympic athlete. Their lives are pretty incredible.

Oh course our adventure and activity packed weekend would not have been complete without some airport drama. I arrived at the airport at 3:50 thinking my flight was at 4:45. Nope – 4:15. So I started running. I figured there was no way I was going to get through security, ride a train and make it to my gate in half an hour. Let me tell you, running at altitude was not the easiest thing I have ever done – although I didn’t even notice until I got on the plane and had to gasp for air. It was a new experience to be running through a gigantic airport with my name being paged as a “last call”. Thankfully, I knew there was another flight or two that night, although I didn’t know seat availability, so I wasn’t TOO worried but I still wanted to make it. I slid to a stop in the plane, they closed the doors and off we went.

I told you I was missing Adrienne. Subconsciously, I wanted every moment I could get with her!


Anonymous said...

We sure did a lot! I miss you!


Rebecca Ragan said...

So sad I missed you! Maybe on your next trip, you can make it up to Aspen. We have a guest room!!! :)