Sunday, August 30, 2015

Colorado

This past week, my mom, dad, and I went to Colorado to visit the CU Boulder campus and also do some exciting hiking and bike riding while we were there. It was a BLAST! I seriously do not think it is possible to be bored in Colorado! Here are the highlights of our trip and some pictures to go along!

All packed up and ready for adventure
First off, the campus is at the base of the flatirons, so even if you are crammed with class work and other boring college junk(as I will be, if/when I attend the school), you can at least go outside and enjoy the view while you get that junk done. 

Campus and the Flatirons


Saturday afternoon, when we got there, we checked into our hotel and headed straight for some food - food is always the best way to start a vacation. After eating, we took a drive up the long, winding mountain road to see what places we might hike and find a good view. Later, we met up with an old friend of mine, Bronwyn, who took us to a local pasta restaurant and showed us around the local restaurant/business scene known as Pearl Street. One of the best parts about this trip was getting to see her and catch up after more than 3 years. After pasta, Bronwyn took us to this amazing place on Pearl Street, called Boulder Baked, that serves made-to-order cookies and we made sure to visit a few more times before leaving Boulder.



Waiting for pasta

After pasta
Sunday morning we went for a short but steep hike partway up the mountain. About 60% of this hike was uphill and at elevation, so while it was somewhat short, it was not easy. When we got down to the bottom, we headed over to meet Bronwyn and her family at her Residence Hall, as they call them. We all piled into a van and headed off to a local chinese restaurant for lunch. 

lounging on a rock-chair

team photo

the top-ish

I took a climbing route



Monday started off with a tour of all the main parts of campus and i got to see a really old tree! The tree was next to the building known as 'Old Main' because it used to be the main, and only, building on campus. When the college first opened in 1876, there was nothing but the building and a tree on the campus. Now, Old Main houses a Lego model of Folsom Field(the schools football field) and a 'Hall of Fame' of sorts, where they have pictures of many famous people who went to CU Boulder. Some cool people I was surprised to see in the Hall of Fame were Steve Wozniak(co-founder of Apple. He was actually expelled for hacking into the schools main-frame) and Matt Stone(who writes South Park, along with Trey Parker). We went to the 'C4C' for lunch - the C4C(Center for Community) is where students eat most of their meals and also where my tour started. 

now

then
Tuesday was our last full day in Boulder so we needed to do something exciting. What better way to finish off your stay in boulder than hiking to the top of the first and second flatirons! It was a long, rocky, uphill hike - gaining a total of approximately 1500 feet over the entire length. I ended up climbing up a lot the way which added some extra excitement! The view from the top was amazing and totally worth the work to get up there. You can see the peak of the second flatiron from the top of the first and it so happened that some people had just finished climbing(like real climbing) to the top of the second right when we were looking over at it. After such a long hike, we needed food, so we met up with Bronwyn and her boyfriend Tyler to get some classic college food, pizza!





Wednesday was the day we were leaving, so we slept in. We were leaving Boulder and heading to Winterpark, where our old neighbors have a condo they were letting us borrow for the weekend. On the way there we stopped by their house in Parker to visit. Their daughter, Kirsten, was in my kindergarten class and I really haven't seen her since then. It was super great seeing her again and catching up and looking back at our kindergarten/first grade classes and telling her how all the people changed and which ones I still knew and talked to. This all made me realize how much life changes in 12 year(holy crap I just realized it was 12 years...that's very long). When we arrived in Winterpark the first thing we did was walk up the road and rent some bikes for the next 2 days. Then we asked where we could go to get some good food and headed over to get some fish tacos. After food it was time for sleeping again; sleeping is so much better on vacation.



Thursday we went for a wonderfully gigantic breakfast at a local restaurant and then returned to the condo to get ready for a bike ride. We followed along a trail known as the Frasier River Trail and some other trails which was really quite flat. Riding in this part of Colorado can really be very easy if you stay away from the hill/mountain. Between all the mountains it is pretty darn flat so you can ride for a while without seeing a real hill - for some this is a blessing but for others it is quite boring. Thursday night we went to a restaurant that turned out to be quite fancy. I got a burger, a rather large burger, and it was very satisfying! I'd been craving a burger all week!

Ride prep
front brake works!




team photo round 2

check out those stickers!
Friday was our final day in Colorado and to be honest, I was excited to return home and see my friends. Friday morning we went to another local restaurant for breakfast which was once again large. On the way home I was swayed into getting a pair of Birkenstocks which ended up being extremely comfortable. We went for another ride, but this time on some trails that were a bit more exciting, though still pretty flat. When we got back to the condo we cleaned up and hungout for a while, and then we went to return he bikes and eat our last meal in Colorado - Mexican. We returned to the condo for the last time, packed up our bags, and went to bed as early as possible.



Just a few more photos

Spotted these guys on the way to the airport 
View from the hotel - unreal

Thanks so much to my mom and dad for making this trip possible! And thanks to Bronwyn(who might not even read this, but just in case) for showing us the local scenery! Also thank you to the Painters for allowing us to stay in their condo for a few days!