Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bees, Giraffes and Heifers

Our last day in Colorado Springs was a GORGEOUS day.  It was blue skies and 70's.  We went to the Broadmoor Hotel to look around.  It is SO beautiful there.  

We walked all around the grounds.  There was even a playground that Will Holden got to play on for a while which made his day! 

We agreed we would love to stay there if we went back one day.  I think at Christmas it would be amazing.  They already had Christmas lights up.  

The scenery was just amazing! 

We ate lunch at the Golden Bee.  It's on the grounds of the Broadmoor.  They have a lot of restaurants.  Some are very nice and have a dress code which made me nervous because we mostly took casual clothes but the Golden Bee was more casual.  

We loved it! The food was good.  The waiter throws "Bee" stickers on you.  It's so fun! 

I had the most amazing salad and French onion soup.  

We had been told over and over that we HAD to go to the zoo.  The Cheyenne Mountain zoo is just a couple of miles from the Broadmoor.  They are both in a very fancy and pretty part of town.  Everything on this trip was tricky because of Covid.  Some things were closed and a lot of things like the zoo required timed tickets.  So I pre bought our tickets the night before.  

The zoo was even better than everyone said.  They have this gondola sky ride that crosses the zoo.  It was so fun (and scary).  We rode it a couple of times.  It was SO fun.  

You get to feed the giraffes and we loved that.  They had so many great animals and it was just laid out so pretty! We stayed about 4 hours until they closed and we could have stayed a lot longer.  

These deer were just out eating free and we got so close to them.  

We just had a great day walking around and looking at the animals.  

They closed at 5 and we nearly got locked in because we were trying to use every minute.  

We drove downtown for dinner.  They have a cute square like downtown.  We ate at Skirted Heifer.  I had been told this was good.  It was burgers and fries and it was great.  

It was a tiny little restaurant and they had most of the tables moved out but we were able to sit and eat.  

Everyone told me to try Josh and John's ice cream.  We walked a few blocks and tried it.  It was so good. Hollis said it was the best ice cream she had ever had.  The night was so nice and walking downtown with my family in sweet weather was just a special moment that ended a perfect day.  

We loved Colorado Springs.  There were so many things we didn't get to do that I would love to go back and see.  If you are looking for a good spot for family to visit - this is a great spot! 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Planes and Peaks

We were so fortunate to have beautiful weather while we were in Colorado.  It was just very windy.  

Right when we pulled into Colorado on Saturday night - Scott's check engine light came on.  This made him nervous.  We had planned to drive up Pike's Peak on Sunday but we changed our plans until we could have his truck looked at.  So early Monday morning we went to a dealership.  It turns out - it was just a sensor that got affected by the altitude thankfully.  As soon as we knew that, we were ready to climb Pike's Peak.  

Sadly  - the winds were so intense - they only let us go to about mile 14 out of 20.  We have heard the construction is bad at the top anyway so we probably didn't miss much.  

We all drank a ton of water on our trip to keep altitude sickness away.  It worked great - none of us were ever effected.  But we all had to go to the bathroom a lot.  Thankfully that all the sights and parks have a lot of bathrooms - even if they aren't luxurious. ha! 

The drive up Pike's Peak was beautiful.  We stopped often to take pictures.  

I don't think I realized how much heights stress me out until we really started climbing.  I had to keep my eyes closed for some parts - it was so stressful.  

When we finished driving - we went to the North Pole amusement park that is right at the entrance.  This was built I think back in the 50's by a Disney artist.  It's SO kitschy and nostalgic.  I sort of loved it.  

They have a lot of rides but I guess because it was off season or Covid - they were only running a few of them.  We loved this sky ride.  

The kids got to visit Santa.  I hope this counts as our visit for the year. ha! Also - this is how you do Santa in 2020.  

There was a super fun zip line ride that we loved.  We rode it several times.  

We tried to go see the Air Force Academy but they were only letting military in.  I'm sad we didn't get to see it.  The Olympic Training Center was closed to visitors too.  But if you go when it's not Covid - go see both of them! 

We heard about this restaurant where you can eat on a plane.  It's literally called "Airplane Restaurant".  The food was not good but the kids thought it was cool.  And being a parent means sacrifice. ha! 

The waiters and waitresses all dress like flight attendants.  It's an experience.  

We had a great day together! But this wasn't even our best day...........more to come! 


Monday, October 19, 2020

Headed to the Wild Wild West

Back in February when the world was normal - we booked a trip to the beach in early June with the Ormons.  Then the pandemic happened.  So we decided to move our trip to Fall break.  Then school got moved out and they cancelled fall break.  We decided to still go even though the Ormons weren't going to.  And then Hurricane Sally happened and our condo closed for a few months.  So six days before we left - we still tried to find somewhere to stay at the beach and then just decided - how about driving 12 hours in the opposite direction and go to the mountains instead? We have never been to Colorado and thought it might be neat to experience something else.  So I planned a trip in less than a week.  I'm a planner who likes to research and put a lot into trips but 2020 has taught me you can't always plan everything.  

We left around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning.  We wanted to drive in the dark with no traffic as long as possible.  Of course the kids didn't sleep much.  And the fog was SOOOO heavy in Missouri and Kansas so it was a little tough until the sun came up.  And then we saw basically this for the next 10 hours.  Windmills and miles of nothing. ha! 

Our first stop was Colorado Springs.  We got there when it was almost dark so we didn't really see the mountains until the next morning.  We just stayed in a hotel on this leg of the trip.  Nothing special.  We needed a room with a sofa bed since there are five of us and an indoor pool for the kids.  That was our requirement.  

Sunday morning we were up early and got to the Garden of the gods right when it opened.  We decided to take a trolley tour first.  Our tour guide looked just like Santa Clause and went by the name Santa Fe. He was great and my kids 100% believe he was real.  

After our tour, we drove over to Old Colorado City which was about 2 miles away to eat lunch.  This is a charming little area.  It reminded me a lot of Fayetteville, AR but with bigger mountains in the background.  We ate at Mountain Shadow which was really good.  

The kids ate breakfast foods and Scott and I had sandwiches.  

Then we walked down the road for a little ice cream at Colorado City Creamery.  

Then we went back to the Garden of the gods to walk and explore.  It was a beautiful day.  It was warm but super windy.  

We had a great time roaming around and just looking at how beautiful it was! 

It's free to get in and tour which is so nice.  The family who once owned this gave it to Colorado and made them promise to always keep it free.  

If you haven't been - you have to go! 

I used to think they didn't look alike - but they older they get the more they favor.  Love these sisters! 

We had a fabulous day! 

We ate a really great Mexican dinner that night! 

And then Scott took the kids swimming.  Swimming in a hotel pool is always a highlight! 

I will share more of our trip this week! I LOVE planning trips and sharing them!