Last year for spring break we took a trip to the East Coast to visit my cousin and her husband and watch our future brother-in-law and his father run the Boston Marathon. We somewhat invited ourselves to Easter 2018 at their future home in Colorado. To which my cousins hoped we would actually come! Just a fair warning, this is a long blog, but there’s plenty of pictures!
We began our trip at 3:00 pm after I picked my husband up from school and on our way we went! We drove six hours to Des Moines where I found a hotel online one hour before we arrived. I was nervous about such a great deal, but it was 8pm on a Thursday in the middle of Iowa.
We had a 10 hour drive ahead of us and hit no traffic until we hit Denver en route to Colorado Springs. I took a short nap only to be woken up by the brakes being used and I saw mountains! I was quite amazed! We reached our destination shortly after 5:30pm Mountain time. We shortly turned around to pick up my older sister at the Denver Airport.
We woke up and had breakfast then went on a walk while the two runners and Penny, the dog, went for a run. A walk at altitude was more than a workout for us!! After lunch we took a trip to the US Air Force Academy where my cousin attended college. He told us so many interesting stories about what life was like in college and the history of the buildings.
We finally changed into regular clothes and hit a Wisconsin bar to watch the Loyla basketball game. My sister is an alum as she attended for graduate school. They sadly lost, but we enjoyed our time.
We ate dinner at Bingo Burger. The burgers were huge and the fries were delicious! I loved the Cranberry BBQ Sauce. The burgers had Peublo Chilies mixed it which added some kick. Complete with locally made Root Beer!
On our walk my cousins pointed out Tasty Freeze but weren’t sure if it was open. We stopped by after dinner to which they were excited to see an OPEN sign. I love soft serve ice cream AND sprinkles. They had the coolest machine to apply sprinkles to the ice cream cones.
The evening was capped off with making The Prinsis carrot cake- a recipe we developed back in 2008 or so and watching Back to the Future.
HAPPY EASTER!! A delicious brunch with the best Lemon Sticky Rolls was followed by church.
We took a trip to see the Garden of the Gods. Very fitting on Easter to see the beauty! It was very busy.
We went up Cheyenne Mountain where my fear of heights was solidified! Maybe it was the windy, skinny roads or the altitude, but it was high! We were able to see the city down below and the beautiful sights.
Our time in Colorado Springs came to an end. My cousins had to go back to work and my sister needed her ride to the airport. We would then be spending time with my other cousin and her husband who live outside of Denver. We took a drive into the mountains and stopped to eat and try some beer at Tommy Knockers.
Dillon Dam Brewery was stop two on our day’s adventure.
We had to take a stop at Red Rocks Amphitheater. My cousins only live about 10 minutes from it. I thought it was pretty cool that the CCC helped to build this. They earned $1 per day and only kept $5 a month and sent the rest to their families back home.
We set off early for Voodoo Doughnuts. We found it interesting that they are open 24/7 and take cash only, but do have an ATM inside. If you haven’t figured out that I LOVE donuts, I’m not quite sure what to say!! I gave up donuts for lent. I had two on Mardi Gras, which feels like forever ago!! My excitement level was through the roof!! Yes, I wore my donut attire!!
We killed some time in Downtown Denver at Union Station and walking around until it was time to taste some beer. We started at Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver’s first brewpub. I have an affinity for milk stouts so I went with that. My husband on the other hand was dying to try Rocky Mountain Oysters (RMO), see: bull testicles. He had a beer that had RMO brewed in it. The bartender noticed my donut short and asked if I liked donuts. I enthusiastically said yes, to which she explained that they have a beer brewed with 1000 donuts and espresso. She gave us a sample of the Bad Habit. Then she said they have Badder Habit, which is the same beer brewed in whiskey barrels. These beers were tasty. Thanks to that shirt we would have never even tried them as they weren’t on the beer menu!
A short walk to The Great Divide Brewing Company was our next stop. It’s a small brewery but the staff was very friendly! We really enjoyed the beer here. I ordered a Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout.
Food was a necessity so we stopped at a Wisconsin fave that’s also located in Denver, Ian’s Pizza.
Our time to leave Colorado arrived. We enjoyed our time there so much! We made a last-minute decision to head back to Colorado Springs and visit the US Olympic Training Center. I recently posted about my love for the Olympics if you need the background story. I was so excited to visit and walk in the very location of decorated Olympian’s and talented athletes.
We departed and made our way across the also boring state of Kansas to arrive in Kansas City, MO for our next stop. I had made a hotel reservation months ago and we arrived late to our hotel. We were given our room and keys and we headed to the room. We opened the door and there was a suitcase and an unmade bed. We had been given a room that was already occupied!!! I had heard of this happening to others but I’m unsure how this happens!! We were given a new upgraded room.
We slept in! I rarely sleep in but the hotel room was the darkest room I’ve slept in since we left home! We had breakfast at the hotel and made our way on foot to LaMar’s Donuts. We were completely overwhelmed with all of the choices so we settled on 6 donuts. We took advantage of the buy 2 get 1 free specialty donut, which is anything without a hole in the middle.
These donuts were so delicious! Soft on the inside, just the right crispness on the outside, not oily at all!
We headed to the National World War I Museum and Memorial. We had trouble figuring out where the entrance was as we walked from our hotel and the sidewalk was closed. It was a very interesting museum with great interactive pieces and videos.
The Hallmark Visitor Center was a short walk away and a stop I wanted to make. We learned about how JC Hall started what we know as Hallmark.
Our next stop was the Harry S Truman Library and Museum. This is my third Presidential library. I enjoy them because they provide such a vast amount of information from various areas. Every where you turned there was some type of interactive activity.
We took a short trip to Truman’s home. My dad told us to stop as he made the same stop in 1973.
We came to Kansas City and we wanted some great BBQ!! I had read a bunch of blogs and websites about where the best BBQ in the Kansas City area. The consensus was that Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que was the #1 spot to go. They have quiet the interesting history on how they began. Check out the hyperlink above! Because of that I wanted to check out the original spot- in a gas station!
The BBQ sauce had just the right amount of heat, the smoke on the meat was perfect! I could’ve eaten two full dinners it was so good!!!
We had quite the busy day and wanted to just have a relaxing evening before our final trek home the next day, so we just chilled out and watched some movies.
We had a very uneventful drive home. A little bit of snow, some very cold weather. I managed to watch 3.5 movies thanks to being able to watch certain Netflix movies being downloaded. We arrived home to a new kitchen sink and new hallway lights and a desire to just chill out!!
We had a busy week away from home, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! Now to see where next year’s spring break will lead us….