A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Colorado Adventures!!! (Days 1 & 2)

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Warning: This is only Day 1 & 2, but it is still a really long post! Luckily, if you don't feel like reading all of it, there are TONS of pictures, so you will still get the highlights of our adventures if you are too lazy too busy to read it all!

Colorado was a last minute trip for us. We thought Paul was having surgery in June. Four days before his surgery, we found out that it would "probably" be pushed back until August. A week and a half later we found out it would definitely be pushed back until August. At that point, we realized that if we wanted to get away this summer, we had to do it QUICKLY! We booked our trip the day we found out his surgery was being pushed back. That was a Tuesday. We left for Colorado five days later. (This is definitely not my normal vacation planning style.) Paul had always wanted to go to Colorado, and since I'm prepared to do whatever the hell he wants this summer, that's where we went!

We left on Sunday morning. Christmas wanted to come along.
"I can fit in your suitcase!" he said.
It was so hard to leave that sweetie boy!

I am scared of flying. Luckily, Paul lets me use his Ativan to calm my nerves. Without Ativan I am really concerned about crashing. With 1mg of Ativan, I am really concerned about crashing. Maybe I should take 2mg next time!? 

We flew out of HIA, which is a very chill airport. There were only two people in front of us in the security line. One woman was trying to get through with a huge order of McDonald's takeout complete with one of these...
A little more than 3oz, wouldn't ya say??

Paul had his game face on and let me hang onto his arm during our first take off. I cried, but just a little. I definitely like flying in the fact that in a matter of hours, you get to go to essentially a whole new world. But I do not like the lack of control I feel when I am on a plane. Every single noise, every single bump, every single tilt of the plane makes me think something is about to go terribly wrong and I'll never see my kitties again.

Obviously, we made it to the Denver Airport safely. But our vacation got off to a rough start because there was a huge  snafu with the rental car. Advantage Rental Cars was going to charge us $1400 to use the car Sunday-Friday. Again, there were tears. But Paul's cousin, Jen (who lives in Denver), saved the day. We would use the rental car for three days and borrow her car for the last three days. That only set us back $450, which is still a lot for only three days, but it was better than $1400!!! I could buy a freaking car for $1400. One thing I have learned from the whole rental car experience: DON'T rent a car on a holiday and DON'T rent from Advantage because their employee completely screwed us over.

Our cute little KIA after our rental car woes were resolved.
Paul gave them hell and I simply signed the papers.
Now we could relax and enjoy our vacation!

Driving through Denver, Paul noticed John Elway owned half the businesses...


We were tired from all of our travels and the whole rental car fiasco, so the only thing we did on Sunday night was settle into our hotel (Hyatt Place Denver/Cherry Creek- I highly recommend it!!!) and walk down the street for some yummy pizza. 

I decided that I would drink mojitos in Colorado, 
so that's what I had most nights with dinner!

Monday started with a drive to the top of Mount Evans, which has the highest paved road in North America. Mount Evans is part of the Front Range of the Rockies. We knew it would be beautiful, but we had no idea just how gorgeous it would be. We left at the butt crack of dawn because the earlier we got to the top, the more likely the mountain goats would be out. We really wanted to see mountain goats!
Ready to face the mountain!!!

As you will see from the pictures, there was no fog, so we had clear views. It took about an hour to get to Mount Evans, let alone start making our way to the top. Even the scenery on the highway to get there was gorgeous. We could see some of the Front Range mountains as well as some of the rolling green foothills. My dream was to be able to run or hike on the foothills during our trip.

The following pictures are all from our way up to the summit!

We saw some deer...

... but they ran away!

Summit pictures!

It. was. freezing. I was not dressed for the wind. 
Let's put it this way. Even if I had on my 
warmest running clothes, I would have still been freezing!

We saw the mountain goats and they weren't even scared of us!

Paul captured one peeing.

Mount Evans was Paul's favorite part of the trip. Oh, I forgot to mention.... Near the base of the mountain, we had stopped to take pictures. I ventured off near some trees to pee. I was halfway through peeing when I heard a low growl. It sounded just like a bear. I finished peeing, stood up as calmly as possible, and backed slowly to the car. "Paul, get in the car," I said quietly. As soon as we were both in the car, I told him what I heard. He was a little skeptical, but later on when I told his cousin Jen what I heard, she said it definitely could have been a bear. WOAH!

After our mountain adventure we were starving, so we made the hour drive to Boulder to get some breakfast and spend the next part of our day there. We could see The Flatirons to the West and I dreamed of running or hiking among them. Once we got to Boulder, we ate breakfast at Foolish Craig's and walked around the Pearl Street Mall.

It was hot, so kids were playing in the sprinklers at the Pearl Street Mall.

I bought these at a kitchy store. Someone is getting them as a Christmas present
but I'm not quite sure who...

Just being silly!

A string quarter was playing Summer from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Very appropriate, since is was 93 degrees out that day!

Next, it was time for our disc golf/running date. We found a disc golf course with running trails nearby. I got to realize my dream of running next to The Flatirons and Paul got to disc golf with the gorgeous mountains in full view.

Here are some pictures from my run:

Yes, the altitude kicked my ass. I had to walk at least 1/4 of the six miles I ran
It averaged out to an 11 minute pace but it felt like the exertion of a 6 minute pace!

Paul's view from the disc golf course. Those are The Flatirons.
They don't even look real, do they?

We were both exhausted from our adventures, but our day wasn't over yet! After cleaning up at the hotel, we met Jen and her husband John at a nearby bar. We chatted for quite a long time, then Paul and I had dinner across the street at Max's. It was a seafood place, so we each had a bowl of lobster bisque and shared a seared tuna salad.

After dinner, I totally crashed. Paul went for a nighttime walk to a nearby park, but I was beat! And tomorrow was going to be back full of more excitement, so I needed my rest!

Wow! If you read that entire thing, you deserve a cookie! The next Colorado post will re-cap Day 3 and that will be on Wednesday.
Have you ever been to Denver or Boulder?
Have you ever seen a bear in the wilderness?
Ever been to the top of a fourteener?


  1. I love seeing my beautiful state through your eyes!

  2. It looks like an amazing trip so far!!!!!!! :) :)

  3. Colorado looks so beautiful and peaceful! And $1400 for a rental car?!? I'm booking a trip to Thailand at the moment and the car rental is only $15 a day!

    1. Right??? My rental car in Hawaii was going to be $125 for the WEEK!

  4. Stunning photos! It looks like you had an amazing time.
    I love that your cat is called Christmas too :)

  5. Goodness gracious those are some stunning views!!! I have never ever seen a mountain goat...they're pretty cute! I'm LOL'ing at those band aids!

  6. Ahhh I've been wanting to go to Colorado for quite some time. Your photos only justify my want!! Also, glad you didn't see the bear/get eaten by the bear haaaaa no but seriously that would have been so scary.

  7. Did you really wear sandals on that hike?!!!! I think that is braver than calmly walking away from a bear!

  8. Your picture are seriously amazing! The Jesus bandaids are hysterical! And no to all your questions but one of my biggest fears of the outdoors are bears!

    1. I have never seen/heard one in PA but I know they are out there... not sure about in NJ though!

  9. Gotta love a vacation spot that's MADE for running and hiking. Everything is so gorgeous!!!

  10. Gorgeous pictures ( of the scenery and the 2 of you)! I love flying out of HIA ( although I hate flying in general). I had seen a bear when we were in alaska and then one time near my house!

    1. Ooh cool you have been to Alaska??? HIA is awesome I am a fan because I HATE PEOPLE hahaha.

  11. Gorgeous pictures!! Sorry that flying is so hard for you - glad it wasn't a bad flight!!!

  12. How fun! I haven't been to Colorado in years but I remember the altitude being killer on our hikes, I can't imagine running in it! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and make me want to go back!

  13. You and I would make terrible flying buddies. I am EXACTLY the same as you. When I flew to London, I took 5mg of Adivan and it still didn't help me. I love this recap! Can't wait for tomorrow!

  14. Did you know there's a race that runs UP Mt. Evans? Those people are practically mountain goats themselves. Great recap; I'm glad you like my state. :)

    1. Whaaaaa? That would take me 3 days to complete! I love your state. :)

  15. No no we DROVE up lol. Don't worry you are not the only one who thought I hiked in flip flips!

  16. I despise running but dammit.... I'd run with those epic backdrops.

    I'm laughing at the string quartet. What an appropriate song indeed..

    1. I know and they all looked like the Duggar sisters hehe

  17. Those goats are great! So scary about Peeh Bear.