Friday, September 30, 2016

This Californian Loves Colorado!

Almost two weeks ago I went on a little vacation to the beautiful state of Colorado. I was in awe of how active everyone was and how many hikes and trails were available. I pretty much fell in love with Colorado from the second I arrived. Before this trip I had only been to the Denver airport for quick connection flights. This time around I was actually able to set foot outside the airport and enjoy five days/four nights in beautiful Denver.  Initially only my husband was going on this trip since it was for his work, but I pretty much invited myself to tag along. Since the flight was going to be free (Southwest Airline points), the hotel was going to be paid for (company trip), and he would have access to a rental car...I really didn't see a reason not to go! 

Our flight from San Diego was a short two hours. We only lost an hour so the time difference didn't even hit us. We arrived right at lunch time so we quickly unpacked and headed out to find something to eat. We were conveniently staying in downtown right by the convention center. There were so many restaurants to choose from which made it easy to pick something. Afterwards we walked around their downtown.

On Saturday night my husband's work had free baseball tickets for their clients. I (of course) once again invited myself to this event. The Rookies were playing the Padres and unfortunately the Padres got creamed. The stadium was really nice though. We had great seats and were even in faul ball territory. 

On Sunday, my friend took me to see the Red Rocks. It is only about a 30 minute drive from Denver. Don't ask me in what direction because I was turned around from the get go. The Red Rocks have this pretty amazing amphitheater that is world renown for their acoustics. If I had more time I would have loved to check out a concert there. Around the Red Rocks you'll find really nice hiking trails. Unfortunately I was out of breath as soon as we started walking. The high elevation really got to me. Made me feel so out of shape! I kept telling myself, "Just think of it as altitude training for the Chicago Marathon." haha!

On Monday, I took the rental car and drove up north to check out the Rocky Mountain National Park. On my way there I stopped at Estes Park for breakfast and walked around the cute little town. I couldn't stay long since I wanted to spend as much time as I could at the park. Let me just say that the Rocky Mountain National Park did not disappoint. I was able to do a 5 mile hike and drove around enjoying all the views. I took so many pictures! Here are just some of the few I took from my GoPro or phone.

On Tuesday morning, I ventured out to go on a nine mile run in downtown Denver. Like I said, the altitude was truly kicking my ass but somehow after the first mile, my lungs just kind of caught on. I was able to finish my run with negative splits so can't really complain. I ran on the Cherry Creek Trail. This trail is actually very popular for bicyclists to get to work during the warmer months. The trail runs through the downtown canal system and then heads up to the suburbs. Well that was the route I took anyways. Even though I was right in the middle of downtown, it didn't feel that way. The run was actually very enjoyable.

And as if my nine mile run wasn't enough, I decided to rent a bike and see the city. I went all over downtown, Chessman Park, City Park, the State Capitol, Civic Center Park, rode by the Zoo, the Museum of Nature & Science, and the Botanical Gardens. I also got to check out the different neighborhoods around those surrounding areas. The best part about it was that I was able to see all that and it only cost me $9! What a bargain right? If you ever get a chance to visit Denver I highly recommend renting the B-Cylce bikes. They are conveniently located throughout the city.

The last day was just about sleeping in, catching a good breakfast and buying a last minute souvenir. I like to collect coffee mugs from every place I've been to. As you can imagine, I have quite a collection already. As I was packing, I was actually getting kind of sad to leave. I truly had a great time there and just wasn't ready to leave quite yet. During my five days I was able to see so much and luckily I was able to visit with old friends that live there now. One of them happened to be a friend I meet in Ecuador back in 2011! I ate great food, was able to continue with my marathon training, and went on some unbelievable hikes. If you ever get the chance to visit Colorado...GO! I would go back in a heart beat that's how much I loved it.

Have you ever been to Colorado?

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  1. Looks like such a fun trip - I had so much fun following it on Instagram! And seeing Dave Matthews Band at Red Rocks is totally a bucket-list item! :)

  2. I went to Denver last summer and it looks like we went to all of the same places! Except I didn't get to go to the national park because I was running Ragnar :) I'm so glad you had a good time!