Tag Archives: colorado

my new favorite (american) city

No, I’m not kidding.

Colorado Springs is my new favorite city in America.  The mountains are majestic, the weather (in the spring) is perfect, and well…  I didn’t want to come back home after spending three days there.

We spent a majority of our time at the Olympic Training Center.  My brother (the rockstar) qualified for the Junior Olympics in air rifle (yes, it’s an Olympic sport.  Really.), so my family and I trucked (or in my case, flew) up to Colorado to cheer him on.  The OTC is, for lack of a better word, inspiring.  I can easily see why a young athlete would want to live there.  Heck, I want to live there!  World class facilities, the Colorado mountains, and oh yes, an unlimited supply of food in the athletes’ cafeteria.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

But lest you think we spent all of our time stalking Olympic athletes and drooling over giant plates of food (only athletes are allowed to eat in the cafeteria anyway.  Tyranny, if you ask me.), there’s much more to see and do in “Springs” than play the “guess the country flag” game.

While Matthew fraternized with athletes from around the country, my parents and I went to Garden of the Gods and drove the winding road to the summit of Pikes Peak.  Literally jaw-droppingly beautiful.  I haven’t spent much time around mountains, but I’ll tell you this: it would not hurt my feelings to live where the air is a bit thinner.

See?  Told you it was amazing.

Sadly, I don’t have much to report in the way of delicious restaurants.  That is THE one aspect in which Colorado Springs was… well… less than exciting.  I was expecting local eateries, Trader Joe’s, you know…  Austin-y things.  And “Springs” didn’t deliver, unfortunately.  But I guess the mountains make up for all of that.  Or at least I’ll keep telling myself that.

After spending three days in Colorado, I told my brother that he needs to kick himself in to high gear so he can become a “resident athlete” at the Olympic Training Center.  So that I can visit.  And also so he can be successful.  But really so that I can visit.

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hey, wanna go to denver today?

10:00 am – Hey, wanna go to Denver today around 2?

10:05 am – Sure, why not?

And so began a whirlwind, less than 24-hour long trip to the Mile High City.  I had never been to Denver before, and neither had my fearless travel buddy, but after looking up the weather forecast for Saturday (high of 42!), we packed our fleece jackets and headed north.

After two short flights (DAL to TUL to DEN), we stepped off the plane and in to downright chilly weather.  Which, after a summer packed with triple-digit days, was nothing short of amazing.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see my breath.  Ever.

I wish I had tons of tourist tips to share with you, but since I spent a total of about 4 hours in the city, I only have a few suggestions:

  • The 16th Street Mall is adorable.  It’s a pedestrian walkway lined with restaurants, quirky memorabilia stores, and even a Southwest Airlines porch.  Pedi-cabs transport tired tourists from one end of the strip to the other.  (And trust me…  If you’re not used to altitude and you’re as out of shape as I currently am, those pedi-cabs will look VERY tempting after about a mile of walking.)
  • We had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery.   It had great ambiance, pretty reasonable prices, and, as you’d expect from a brewery, delicious beer.  Try the jalapeno cheese dip.
  • Go to the Rockies.  Seriously.  They taunted us the entire time we were in the city because we didn’t have enough time to trek out there.  Rest assured that next time I travel to Denver, my first stop will be the mountains.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

I absolutely loved Denver.  The weather was beautiful, the mountains are RIGHT THERE, and walking through the city feels a bit like walking through a storybook.   I can’t wait to go back soon and spend more time there.  Now if only I knew how to ski…

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