Being A Tourist In My (Sort Of) Hometown

Okay, Colorado Springs is definitely not my hometown. But I have lived here for over a year now (minus a brief one-month hiatus), so it's pretty home-like. So when my friend Christina asked if she could stay with me for a few days while she covered the Rockies vs. Marlins for work, I was super excited to explore a little bit with some new eyes!

Christina flew in on Thursday, and she was on her own on Friday because I had to work (GASP, no more unemployment for me! But more on that at a later date). And on Sunday we'd spend the day in Denver at the ballpark. So Saturday was our designated Colorado Springs day. We didn't drag ourselves out of bed particularly early, so we had brunch (at Over Easy -- those blueberry streusel pancakes with lemon butter changed my life) and then crammed everything into the afternoon. Our first stop was, obviously, the Olympic Training Center!

I've already been on the tour (and, uh, lived there for seven months...), but they'd revamped the pre-tour video presentation after Sochi ended so I was itching to see the new one. I may or may not have cried through the whole thing, so I'd say it's a winner. (Though I'm probably a bad barometer for that. Set anything to music and I get weepy. And I also get weepy at pretty much any great Olympic moment. So combine the two and I pretty much need to set up camp in a box of tissues.)

The tour was fun too, as it was led by the very first person I met at the OTC before I moved in last May. :) He also asked some Olympic trivia questions for prizes, and before I could even think about raising my hand, he totally called me out and said I wasn't allowed to participate. LOL! But never fear, I knew all the answers! (But seriously, I got the biggest kick out of being labeled "former intern." Other people on the tour started asking me questions about the facilities. It was the greatest.)

We spent some time in the gift shop -- and I escaped without buying anything! -- and then headed off to Garden of the Gods. As we arrived, we noticed that they were offering Jeep tours, so we made a snap decision and hopped on! It took us around the park and into Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City, which was a really pleasant surprise! It was cool to get a little bit of history and other tidbits about the area.

When our tour finished up, it was after 4 p.m., so we hightailed it over to the Air Force Academy... but everything there closes at 5 (ugh!) so we didn't see much. We popped into the visitor's center really quick, and stopped at the outlook points, but it was a brief little visit. It's absolutely beautiful over there, though!

By now we were starving, so we headed back to Manitou for dinner at The Stagecoach Inn, a place recommended by our awesome tour guide. It was SO GOOD, and the portion sizes were perfect, and the ambience was great, and I will most definitely be coming back here in the future. We capped off the night with some custard (holy. freaking. delicious.) and a walk around town.

We had to be in Denver fairly early on Sunday, as the game was at 2 p.m. so Christina had to be in the clubhouse by noon. This gave me a good chunk of time to wander by myself, so I lounged by the stadium for a bit before walking down Wynkoop Street to the Tattered Cover Bookstore. I have ZERO PICTURES OF IT because my phone's storage is completely full (I know, I hate myself a little bit), but I absolutely fell in love with this area! There are beautiful old buildings mixed in with some futuristic design at Union Station, and all sorts of restaurants with open-air patios... Seriously, I need to go back. LoDo (lower downtown) is apparently the oldest part of Denver, and has recently been awesomely revitalized. I also just really loved being in a city again! Sheesh. There's just something so great about walking and exploring to your heart's content.

After browsing the bookstore for a bit, I headed back to the stadium to pick up my ticket (at VIP will call, thank you very much). Coors Field is super nice, and Christina and I walked around the concourse before she had to head back up to the press box to, y'know, do what she'd come out here to do. :P

How 'bout that view! Note: if you want really good seats, be friends with someone in the media. #ballin'

The Rockies ended up winning, and when Christina was finished with her story, we adventured around for a while as we looked for a Mexican restaurant. Eventually we did find one, and my quesorito was as delicious for lunch the next day as it was for dinner. ;) And THEN we hit absolutely disgustingly awful traffic on the way home, so let's just pretend the night ended with Mexican food instead.

Over a year of living out here and this was my first visitor, so I had so much fun being a tourist again! But my parents are visiting next month, which means I'll get to do it all again. :) And now I am so, so glad it's the weekend again, because I'm about to sleep for a solid day.

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  1. Hey, Colorado Springs looks pretty cool. And the Garden of the Gods is gorgeous! Alliteration :)

    1. It's definitely not a bad place to be! Haha, nice alliteration, especially because it's true! :)

  2. I want to do all those things! Plus, tix for AF Falcons football…check!

    1. Hooray! :D We can do everything except a Rockies game, haha.

    2. I did check that out, too ;)

  3. haha I love how the guide called you out! It's always great to visit the town you live in with people who come visit - it really brings a pair of fresh eyes! And the park is so beautiful!