Yesterday B and I boarded a plane in Tulsa (way too early in the morning – I think I slept walk through the entire process!) and arrived in Denver as the sun was rising over the Rockies. A nice way to start the weekend!
Since we had some time before we could check in to our hotel, we grabbed some breakfast and headed to downtown Colorado Springs. As we exited the interstate to turn onto Tejon Street, it was all blocked off. We noticed hundreds (not kidding) of school buses and masses of people headed downtown. Great a lively day where we thought we’d get to experience some of the local flare. Boy did we! After parking and walking to the main downtown area, we were greeted by thousands of onlookers and what seemed like tens of thousands of miliary uniforms. Apparently we arrived in the middle of some type of military appreciation parade. The parade went on for two hours. Yes, you heard that correctly, two hours. While we watched a bit and popped in and out of shops along Tejon, the uniforms and high school bands kept on coming. …the twirling flags reminded me of my good old days of jr. high and high school band… Anyway, we though the lady in one of the shops was joking with us when upon asking about the parade she told us it was to go on for 2 hours. What…a long time! So, during the parade and hours after, we were able to enjoy downtown and browse through local shops and galleries.
Today we ventured to Pikes Peak. We were total tourists and enjoyed every minute of it! First off, I must say, thank you daylight savings. That extra hour of sleep was wonderful! After sleeping in, we took off to Manitou Springs to catch the 10 am Cog Railroad train. This was quite fun. Upon arrival, we boarded the train and headed towards the summit of Pikes Peak. When we arrived there we were greeted with a temperature of 22 degrees and a windchill of -10. Yes, -10. It was super cold (50 mph winds) and I could barely stand up! I spent a total of about 10 minutes outside at the summit and the rest inside looking at terrible souvenirs. No, I didn’t buy any, but the nice thing about having a quintessential 1980’s name (thank you Lori for naming your children with the most popular names of the 80’s!) is that you can find any key chain, shot glass, or pocket knife personalized and ready to show off! After hanging out at the top for 30 minutes we boarded the train and headed the 8 miles back down. It was a great trip and worth the 3 hours!
We then tried out a restaurant I found on Happy Cow (a veggie/vegan food website which has never steered me wrong) and it was just as delicious as the reviews! Yum, Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. We then walked around and peaked in all the t-shirt, trinket, art galleries, and hodge-podge shops along the main street. I did end up finding a sweet vintage pin and 3 vintage birthday cards from the 1950’s!
Enjoy some pictures from the trip so far. Tomorrow we are getting up bright and early and driving to Canon City to see the Royal Gorge Bridge and then The Garden of the Gods in the afternoon. We’ve made a deal to stop along the way at any random store that catches our eye, so hopefully we’ll have some good random pictures and finds when the day ends tomorrow!