After our wild experience camping in the mountains, my family headed to Boulder early. The first activity we did was walk Pearl Street. There were so many interesting shops there and we spent hours just walking around. I stopped at a coffee shop called Ozo Coffee Co., and ordered my favorite honey almond-milk latte.
The next day we toured Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. This was such an enlightening experience! We started off sampling tea in the lobby while waiting for the tour to start. Then, we watched a video about the origins of the company and then donned our lovely blue bonnets before heading into the production facility. Our tour guide did a great job keeping the information brief and interesting. One of the most memorable parts of the tour was the Peppermint Room. The peppermint tea must be stored away from everything else because its flavor is so strong it will contaminate everything around it! My eyes were so watery when we stepped inside! After the tour we spent way too much in the gift shop, but it was worth it!
After our tea tour we went to the tourist trap Casa Bonita. It was certainly an experience. The outside was very beautiful, as the name suggests. Once inside, you order your food from a small menu selection and then wait in a line to get your food served on a tray. Then you carry your food up to the eating area and are seated in a giant cavern containing a water fall and dive pool. We were seated right next to the water area. Every 15 minutes a diver came out and did a trick dive for your entertainment. There was also a terribly cheesy "gun fight" that happened at the pool during our stay. The performances were definitely sub par, but overall we had an amusing experience.
We explored the restaurant after eating. There were quite a few spots to discover! I always get sucked into buying a fortune at those weird fortune telling machines. My words of wisdom this time around were "many a false step is made by standing still." It alludes to the missed opportunities made by inaction and I enjoyed the message enough to keep the card.
After lunch we toured the Hammonds Candy Factory. Unfortunately, this tour was not nearly as exciting as the Celestial Tea factory. I do not recommend this "tour." We stood in one room for nearly an hour while our guide droned on in an uninteresting fashion. We were anxious to leave within the first 10 minutes. The candy shop itself was nice to stop in afterwards though.
To celebrate my sister's birthday, she chose a sushi restaurant for us to dine at. I cannot remember what any of us ordered, but the food was fantastic.
The next day we headed to Denver. We first went to an art fair to look for pieces to bring back home to Wisconsin. My mom makes sure to find something to add to our collection on every trip we take as a family. Decorating our home is the best kind of souvenir. On this trip, we found some awesome metal sculptures that now live on our back deck. I love going to art fairs in other states. It's great to see the variety when traveling!
After the fair, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I positively love science museums! My favorite exhibits in this museum were the animals halls, mineral exhibitions, and a special exhibit on bioluminescence.
That evening we went to a bison restaurant called Ted's Montana Grill. Their complementary chips and dip were to die for and I ordered their popular Avalon burger without the blue cheese. We all left pleasantly full. I've been trying to shy away from posting about restaurant meals, but this place was phenomenal.
The next day, my family went to the Denver Botanical Gardens. I always enjoy botanical gardens. There are so many photo opportunities and I enjoy reading about the different plant species. Most gardens also have rotating sculpture exhibits, which are enjoyable as well.
The sculpture exhibit on display was called "Pixelated." I thought the sculptures were cute, but the rest of my family felt differently. They thought them childish and did not think they complimented the landscaping. I tried to take a photo of each piece, but unfortunately one escaped me. It was in the children's gardens and I got overwhelmed half way to the sculpture by all the screaming and running around.
I appreciated the bonsai exhibit. Bonsai is an art I would like to get into at some point in my future. Based on the variety of tree species on display, it looks like it can be done with just about any kind of tree! I would need to decide what my favorite tree is before embarking on the journey. I also enjoyed the succulent gardens. I'm growing several succulents in my apartment right now and I like seeing the different species and arrangement ideas.
That afternoon, we went to the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center for a tour with the wolves. This was a request of my sister's in celebration of her birthday, but it was an experience we all enjoyed. The tour guide informed us about the wolf populations throughout the United States and what factors threaten the existing populations.
Wolves are a beautiful and often misunderstood species. They pose little threat to humans (cows cause more humans deaths a year than wolves) and less threat to livestock than you might think. Some evidence suggests that killing wolves may actually lead to an increase in livestock deaths (link). The wolves in the conservation site seemed full of personality. For some reason I pictured wolves as being a lot larger than they actually are. This made them seem less frightening in my book. It is important to note though that while wolves may be similar in size and appearance to dogs, wolf-dogs do not make good pets (source). If you really want a wolfish feel to your dog, look into pure dogs with similar physical appearances, such as the samyoed, german shepherd, alaskan malamute, siberian husky, or the utonagan.
The next day we were off to Colorado Springs. Our first stop was Garden of the Gods, and golly were those red rocks beautiful! The park was pretty but very crowded. We arrived early and found a parking spot, then spent an hour walking around. By the time we got back and went to change parking spots, everywhere else was full! Maybe it was because we went on Memorial Day. I would like to give it another go on a non-holiday to see if that helps with the crowding.
Tree pose on the rocks...whoops! Maybe a warrior would be more stable for this grounding.
After Garden of the Gods, we decided to make the journey up Pike's Peak!
This was quite a journey. Most of the road up contained no barriers and I'll admit I was unnerved to look out the window and see the drop down the mountain. I took a few cool pictures (my favorite is of us seemingly driving into the clouds), but for the most part I kept my head down and eyes shut.
The view when we finally reached the top! We were in some clouds and above others. My family went on a very cloudy day, but the view was still breathtaking. Being in the clouds felt very surreal. We made sure to pick up a couple souvenirs from the gift shop (of course there was a gift shop on top of the mountain!) before making the slow journey back down.
These are just some of our adventures in Colorado. Looking at these pictures makes me want to go back! I have added Colorado to my list of places to consider moving in the future and definitely plan to go back and explore more soon.
Hi my name is Emilee and these are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!