June 17, 2009

Colorado Road Trip: Happy Birthday, Sy!

Instead of doing Vegas yet again for Sy's birthday, we decided to take a road trip right in our own backyard. It's amazing how much of my backyard I've never seen. ;)

We left at 7AM on a Friday and drove 6 hours straight to Pagosa Springs. We wandered around town, ate some DELISH food at The Elkhorn Cafe, then rested up a bit in our room at the The Oak Ridge Lodge. The Folk Festival was in town, so we wandered over to have a beer, and whaddya know - ran into a childhood friend of mine, Julie, who I haven't seen in about 25 years (am I really old enough to say that??). After getting nice and liquored up at The Squirrel (yes, they had a squirrel tail in the bar - ug!), we walked across the street to The Springs Resort and soaked in their amazing hot spring pools! Try The Lobster Pot - that will melt your skin right off. Ah!

After having breakfast with Julie and Tony the next morning at the Elkhorn again (yum), we headed toward Mesa Verde. This is a place you just have to see - its hard to explain the erie feelings you get visiting this place!

After our tours, we headed out toward Telluride. This was by far the prettiest drive I have seen in Colorado! We stopped at a small town called Rico and Trout Lake to take some super cool pics.

Telluride might have been my favorite place. Super small and super cute and nestled right in the mountains - incredibly scenic! We went to Smugglers for some good grub and home brew, then went out drinkin' (duh) at The Last Dollar Saloon. VERY interesting crowd in this joint!

We stayed in the most amazing hotel right at the bottom of the gondola called The Columbia Hotel. AMAZING summer rates (considering we were there during JazzFest), and friggin awesome rooms! The next morning we rode the gondola to the top, and took some amazing pics of this bad-ace town!

We finally pulled ourselves away and headed for Grand Junction. But, before we headed there, we heard that there was an old miners ghost town up a long dirt road. Creepy! We are so there! This place was called Alta, and boy was it erie!

Finally, we headed to Grand Junction, stayed the night downtown, watching the Lakers game at The Rockslide Brewery and had one too many homebrews! We headed to the wineries the next morning and, even with hangovers, tasted the most amazing wines! We visited the Plum Creek Winery and, my favorite, the Carlson Vinyards. We came home with LOTS of wine!

We made a last minute decision to stay in Aspen instead of Glenwood Springs, since neither of us had been there. We stayed at the Mountain Chalet which we found with the help of our handy new iPhones! We were beat by this time, and most everything was closed (right before their summer season), so we walked around the cute little town, ate some food, and headed back to our cozy hotel for some rest.

The next morning was Simon's birthday, which unfortunately, he spent mostly driving. We were so happy to get home and get in some couch time! It was actually amazing how many people we met that were from abroad that came to visit Colorado. Once couple from Italy actually rented an RV and were driving around for 3 weeks to see everything! Great idea!! It was definitely refreshing to do this over Vegas....although now that I say that, I feel the need for a footlong marg and a blackjack table.... ;)

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