… to awesome Boulder, Colorado for a week. So here’s my experience and photos to go along!
Our cute KIA
Arrived in Denver around 7p, picked up our cute little KIA from Hertz, and drove onto Boulder. Met the friend we stayed with and went out for food – in my case, yummy ginger crème brûlée.
MMM ... Beer
Friday morning we filled up on a fabulous breakfast and shopped the Pearl Street mall area – tons of stores and great artisan craft stores, with plenty made in Colorado. After more shopping (and I mean a lot), we took a break and toured Boulder Beer Company. Well, and of course, tasted Boulder Beer … all 9 different ones :) After a quick nap (heh) we went to our friend’s Boulder International Fringe Festival 2009 solo performance “Room to Grow.” It was really good and made my friend teary eyed, and with the excitement, we finished the night with a drink.
Look at that sexy hair!
Up bright and early, we hit the Rockies and climbed to the top. And when I say climbed, I mean drove up the nice paved road to the top. We did stop plenty of times for photo ops and got sun burned and wind burned and hailed on all in the same day. That’s Colorado weather for you!
Bear Lake just after rain
Next we relaxed at Bear Lake (still in Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park) and hiked around and saw waterfalls and hugged trees. Literally. Starving, we filled up on a carb-infested dinner of ‘Joe’s Pasta’ and garlic bread back in Boulder.
Sunday, we took it easy. We filled up on a HUGE buffet that was amazing. I even had vegetarian eggs benedict. Then a walk down the river in Boulder’s city center, a tour of Celestial Tea (their only factory is in Boulder) and again, tasted plenty of their teas. Plus, they were having a tent sale with massive price cuts. I stocked up.
Made from CO grapes
Still thirsty, we enjoyed sipping wine at Boulder Creak Winery while touring their facility. The wine was great and the winery run by a woman … yea! Then we went onto another Fringe performance – “Good Girls Don’t, But I Do” – which humorously explored the do’s and don’ts of dating from a variety of perspectives. A lot of singing, dancing, flirting, and fun 50′s dresses. Afterwards, we went to the local Fringe artist hangout and had a few drinks while watching some VERY, VERY interesting “stand-up performances.”
On Monday, I went exploring by myself and spent the day in Estes Park, just outside of Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park. I explored the town, ate yummy pie, shopped around, and sampled more wine (this time Valley of the Wind Winery).
I ate lunch while walking around Lake Estes, went on a 4 hour horseback ride and finished off with a cowboy-esq dinner – steak, ‘tates and beans. YUM!
The next day, ow! That saddle took its toll on my tush! But after pancakes and crepes, I was feeling better. We drove down to Colorado Springs and hiked around the Garden of the Gods.
Look how high I am
It’s an area very similar to Sedona Arizona, with a random assortment of red rocks and dirt in the middle of the Rockies. Next, we explored Pikes Peak – 19 curvy miles, steep cliffs, and 14,000+ feet later, we found ourselves immersed in clouds, rain, snow and hail. We still got out and took rather quick photos at the summit, just to prove we were there.
We made it!
Our little KIA didn’t appreciate the climb up, nor the first gear descent, but our brakes remained below 198 degrees and we weren’t affected by the tornado. So I think that was a success. However, wearing flip-flops that day, not so much. Cold, we headed directly to the hot springs after that. Really, really hot springs. Burning hot 112 degree springs! The Indian Hot Springs Resort advertised geo-thermal cave baths. Just imagine dark, mineral caves with little pools carved out and steaming hot water filling them. It was … cleansing.
Hot, hot springs
It took multiple breaks and cool showers to not over heat. But it was a one time experience I’m glad I have. And apparently, going from hot to cold to hot to cold makes your skin ever so smooth the next day.
Sadly, that was our last day. We said our good-byes, looked at the mountains one last time and went to bed for the VERY early drive to the airport. A few time zones later, I was in a lovely Prius with a belly full of Mexican flautas. Mmmm. Such a great vacation!