You may remember at the beginning of the year when I wrote this post about the places I wanted to go this year, and Colorado was one of them! I was excited when my family decided to plan a more low-key trip to Colorado Springs! Since Colorado is so close to us, many of you I'm sure have been there before many times, but surprisingly, I myself had never been before.
We rented a house for all of us to stay in for the week, and because it was the week of July 4th, the city was pretty packed. There were a few things we didn't get booked in time that we wanted to do, but we stayed busy. There are tons of things to do there!
Our first day traveling there we decided to break up the long drive with a stop at the Capulin Volcano. We hiked the one mile across the rim. There is a nice concrete path to follow, but it can be fairly steep in places, so I recommend NOT wearing flip flops.
My favorite thing about this stop was the thousands of lady bugs covering the whole thing! Something about lady bugs catching wind currents to migrate and landing on the volcano to basically refresh before they start their travels again. Kind of like what we were doing!
Our second day we dedicated to shopping. We went to the flea market in the morning and then down to Manitou Springs, which is just up the road from Colorado Springs. The flea market is open every Saturday and has lots of booths and things for kids to do. We found some goodies there, but it was strange to me that though it opened at 8, when we left around 10 a lot of things were just starting to be set up. We decided to eat lunch and finish the day in Manitou Springs. There are lots of restaurants and home-madey shops around there.
Sunday We spent the morning at the Garden of the Gods.
We got there around 9-ish, and looking back I wish we would've gone earlier. It was hot, but also packed with people. My parents said when they've gone before they didn't have any trouble with parking, but we basically had to leave a little earlier than planned because there was no parking at the visitor center even after driving around the parking lot for like 30 minutes.
Once we found parking near the central area and were able to walk around, it is a beautiful area. There were lots of people climbing up the cliffs and walking there dogs. Stuff like this always makes me wish I were a little more outdoorsy. But not that bad.
That evening for supper we went to The Airplane Restaurant. This was a neat and unique place to eat as they have an airplane attached to the side of the building you can sit and eat in, but with much more leg room than when actually traveling via plane.
On the Fourth of July we spent the morning at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I LOVE ZOOS! And of course Josh and I have to REPRESENT in our flashiest patriotic get-up.
This zoo really provides a lot of opportunities for you get a close up to of lots of the animals. There were lots of ways you could be interactive with the animals as well which makes it great for kids...and Molly's.
There are peacocks flying around the whole park, an open space that you can walk through where wallabies are shading themselves in the sun, lots of things to pet, and my VERY FAVORITE part was feeding the giraffes, SO FUN!
It's not a huge zoo, it just took us the morning to go through, but it has a lot of great things! They also have a ski-lift thingy you can ride over the whole zoo.
For 4th fireworks we went to Memorial Park to listen to the Philharmonic Orchestra while the fireworks went off. They had lots of awesome fried foods and it was really fun to listen to the orchestra during the fireworks. Again, there were tons of people there, we read via the internet that there were roughly 100,000 people there, wowza!
Our final day we went to the Cave of the Winds in the morning. We didn't really get any good pictures there due to the lighting, and also due to the fact that you should NOT take an almost two year old into a cave. Stuck in a small, dark space + being stuck with a group of people and being unable to leave or find your way out + crying toddler does not equal a good time. Cool cave though!
That evening we did the Pike's Peak Cograilway up to the top of, you guessed it, Pike's Peak! Josh and I agreed that though the railway car was pretty crowded, this was our favorite thing we did. The views you guys! They told us that the view at the top was the one that inspired the song "America, the Beautiful" and I agree, it is sooo beautiful!
There is a road you can take up to the top that they say takes about 2 hours to get to the top if you are driving the recommended speed limit, but the cog-train offers a lot of great info while you're on your way to the top and possibly quite a bit less scary. However you do only get 30 minutes on the top if you take the train.
The next day we headed home, but decided to break up the trip again with an excursion to The Royal Gorge.
I once again confirmed my fear of heights when we rode across on the gondola above. You ride across on the gondola so you can either zipline across, or walk across the bridge. I of course chose to walk across, although that was pretty terrifying also. It actually swings from the wind as you walk across! YIKES!
Seven hours later we finally made it back home! It was a fun and beautiful trip! God makes some pretty awesome things. Now, where to go next?