Road Tripping Around Colorado

As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, I recently spent some time in Colorado. My friend Kathryn moved out there last fall with her husband and their ridiculously cute baby and last Wednesday, I flew out with some other buddies, Laurel and Jess, to visit and to see the beautiful sights that we had heard so much about.

And beautiful they were.

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Our home base for the week was Denver and we spent a good amount of time walking around and exploring the different neighborhoods like Cherry Creek, Washington Park (or Wash Park, if you’re cool – which I’m not), and Larimer Square. We even found our new calling, which is to become a world-famous and unbeatable 4-person ping pong team after we completely dominated an outdoor table at a bar/restaurant called Ace. A note to restauranteurs – have ping pong tables at your establishment. Everyone loves them and hilarity is guaranteed to ensue.

We managed to drag ourselves away from ping pong long enough to take in some of the other sights that Colorado has to offer. It was especially nice since we lucked out in a serious way with the weather; it was warm and sunny most days and we were usually able to ditch our coats and enjoy the sun.

First up on the agenda was a road trip to Vail. Along the way, we stopped in Georgetown, which is a tiny town that was founded during the gold rush in 1859. It’s cute and small and is probably be mentioned somewhere in a dictionary’s definition of “quaint.”

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If you’re ever in the area and looking for some seriously good caramels, stop in at the Georgetown Valley Candy Company. You won’t be disappointed.

We continued on over to Vail and had an outdoor, slopeside lunch and strolled around the village. They were having a festival where a bunch of local restaurants prepare the same cut of lamb and visitors would vote on which they liked best. The prices (Vail seems…wealthy) and the fact that we had recently hit up a candy store pretty hard kept us from participating.

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After we had our fill of Vail, we backtracked a bit and arrived in Breckenridge (or Breck, if you’re cool – which I’m not), where we stayed overnight. Breckenridge is probably my favorite spot that we visited, which is saying a lot since everything in CO seems to be awesome. It’s an old town that housed miners during the gold rush and there’s just an old-timey, historic feel to the area; I’m a sucker for historic buildings and charm (and killer views don’t hurt) and this place had plenty of all of that.

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As if all of that isn’t enough, there was a jerky wagon to boot.

Colorado 046I mean, come on – give the rest of Colorado a chance, Breckenridge.

We took a gondola ride to one of the many peaks, we bopped around town, and we filled our purses with fudge and – you guessed it – jerky. What can I say? We’re ladies.

We visited Boulder one of the days that we were there and had a great time admiring the University of Colorado Boulder and strolling around a farmer’s market and the pedestrian-friendly streets of the downtown area. I would love to go back one day and get a feel for the hiking and other outdoor activities that the area has to offer but we were happy to leisurely explore the area this time around.

On our way home, we made a stop at Red Rocks, which is an outdoor concert venue that is set into the rocks in such a way that makes for ideal acoustics. It’s a really impressive sight and a ton of really well-known artists have played there over the years.

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Colorado 070If anyone would like to sponsor me to fly back to Red Rocks and attend an event, I will be more than happy to do so. I won’t be picky about which event I attend, although I would like to casually point out that I like Steve Miller Band/The Doobie Brothers and Bruno Mars more than John Mayer. Thank you for your consideration.

We wrapped up our trip by scalping (read: legally purchasing at the ticket window) tickets to the Colorado Rockies game on Sunday. I don’t remember ever having gone to a pro baseball game outside of Fenway Park, so it was a lot of fun seeing another park and cheering on the team.

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After the game, we went enjoy some of what Colorado is widely known for – beer.

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The Great Divide is one of many smaller-scale breweries in CO and is located right near the ballpark, so that stop was a no-brainer. We took a brief tour of the brewery and some folks in the group sampled the wares. It’s a small but fun bar/restaurant/brewery and the people working there seemed knowledgeable and serious about beer.

On our way to the airport on Monday morning, Kathryn took us by Snooze, which is an apparently well-known breakfast spot in Denver (among other locations in Colorado). We were suspicious about the hype – after all, how good can pancakes really be? – but we all left believers. We had a hard time figuring out whether the pineapple upside-down pancake was really better than the donut and coffee pancake, but we agreed to disagree and decided that they were all dangerously good.

Luckily, the food coma that we all had slipped into made our goodbyes easier and we hopped on the plane to head home. It was such a great trip and we’re hoping that Kathryn doesn’t mind us making it a regular occurrence to hop a plane and crash with her for weeks at a time.

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