Friday, May 13, 2016

Here's What's Been Happening on Vacation

Well, we've been on vacation for a week and one day. I guess I should have written more posts along the way, but I just didn't get around to it. The house we rented in Colorado Springs is just the best. It's more or less like two separate apartments in one building because I have a den with a TV, a bedroom and a bathroom downstairs and my dad has the same upstairs (along with the kitchen). All of this to say that I've spent my evenings catching up on my television shows that I haven't been able to watch the last few months. The alone time has been just as great as the rest of the vacation.

Here's a breakdown of some of the things we have done over the past eight days.

Day one, Thursday, May 05 - Denver Mint, Colorado State Capital

Day two, Friday, May 06 - A tour of Hammond's Candy, a tour of Coor's and a trip to the Denver Botanic Garden

Day three, Saturday, May 07 - Went to Boulder, toured Celestial Seasonings, drove to Colorado Springs

Day four, Sunday, May 08 - Church at Northside Church of Christ, Seven Falls, and church at Pikes Peak Church of Christ

Day five, Monday, May 09 - Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Cripple Creek, Manitou Cliff Dwellers, Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods

Day six, Tuesday, May 10 - Fly fishing in Elevenmile Canyon, US Olympic Training Center

Day seven, Wednesday, May 11 - Horseback riding, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

Day eight, Thursday, May 12 - Rock climbing in Garden of the Gods, Train ride to Pikes Peak

Day nine, Friday, May 13 - River Gorge Park and a train ride alongside the Arkansas River

It's been a fun-filled vacation and we have one day left before we head home on Sunday.

Friday, May 6, 2016

We're On Vacation

Well, I'm on vacation. That's right, folks, I left during the middle of my home renovation to take a vacation. I'm quite sure nothing will get done while I'm gone; but, for the record, the trip was planned months before the house project was even a thought.

My dad and I are in Colorado this time around. We flew in to Denver yesterday (May 5) and are here for another day before we head to Colorado Springs for the rest of our trip. After arriving in Denver, we picked up the rental car and drove downtown as we had reservations to tour the Denver Mint at 3:30 p.m. We arrived at the mint about 2:45 p.m. and waited outside for them to open the gates about 30 minutes before the tour. While we were waiting, a guy named Danny from Nebraska came to stand in line. He had taken the train and arrived in Denver that morning and was meeting up with some friends that afternoon to go hiking and camping. He had his backpack with him and backpacks are prohibited at the mint. The guard told him there was no way he could take the tour with his backpack. Long story short, my dad offered to let Danny put his backpack in our car so he could go on the tour. This is the difference in me and my dad. My dad generally thinks all people are good. I generally think all people have a bomb in their backpack. Danny took us up on the offer and we were all able to go in and enjoy the tour.

The tour lasted about 45 minutes or so and was very interesting. Afterwards we all went to the gift shop and I bought some of the National Park quarters. I am a quarter collector in the sense that when the state quarters came out, I had loads of fun collecting them and got a set from both the Philadelphia and the Denver mints. I really didn't know about the National Park quarters. I had seen a few, but didn't realize it was a new series until a month or so ago. So, I bought all the sets that the Denver mint had to offer because in Alabama it's harder to find coins minted in Denver since Denver minted coins are for areas west of the Mississippi River and Philadelphia minted coins are circulated in areas east of the Mississippi River.

After the gift shop, we went back to the car and Danny got his backpack and went off to meet his friends. Danny from Nebraska who works at Whole Foods, you were super nice and I'm sorry I was skeptical of your backpack. I hope you had a nice camping trip with your friends. By the way, Danny is a coin collector by way of his grandfather and knew a lot about coins and the value of gold and silver on the market.

Once we parted ways with Danny, my dad and I went up to the state capital and walked around for a bit. They have tours there, but it was late in the day and the doors were closed so I'm sure the tours were done for the day. We then decided to go to the hotel and check in and then go get some dinner. We ate a local steak restaurant not far from the hotel and my dad obliged me by walking there. It was less than half a mile away and walking does a body good. After dinner, we walked back and called it a night.

On Friday. we went to the Hammond's Candy Store and took a tour. We watched them make candy canes which was a very interesting process. The tour lasted 30-45 minutes and it was only my dad and I on the tour. Our guide's name was Lisa and she was very nice and very passionate about candy and her job. It was actually a very interesting tour and I'm glad we stopped by there.

After the candy store, we went to Coor's Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado and took a self-guided tour. It wasn't the best tour I've ever been on, but it was still interesting and at least I can say I've been there. While we were riding the bus to Coor's, the driver mentioned that Buffalo Bill's grave was close by. So, we rode up the mountain to see it for ourselves.

We then ventured back into Denver and walked around the Denver Botanic Garden. Since we are members of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, we were supposed to get in free. As it turns out, it was plant sale day and so garden admission was free to everyone, although there were a few places in the garden that were closed. The garden was very nice though and I think we both enjoyed it.

Once we were done at the garden, we went back to the hotel for a few minutes then on to dinner at Bonefish which was close to an outlet mall. The mall had a Le Crueset outlet store and I decided that I must stop by there. The prices on the dishware were still expensive so I passed on buying anything. I did however make a stop in the Saks and Loft stores and got two dresses and two tops in record time. I could have spent a lot more time in Saks, but my dad was waiting in the car and I didn't want to make him wait forever.

So far vacation is off to a good start. I'm looking forward to moving on to Colorado Springs where we are sure to do more adventuresome and fun things.