Hello Colorado

Pikes Peak – view from Garden of the Gods

While dating, Brian and I quickly found out we shared a mutual love for travel. We have spent hours sharing stories of our separate travels to other states and countries, including Africa (me) and the Middle East (him). Traveling quickly became a priority in our relationship resulting in finding us on a vacation every four months or so! Thankfully, my job as a RN allows a very flexible schedule while one of the great features of Brian’s job is how much travel he gets to put on his Delta Skymiles! An even better perk is his wife gets to go too – oh that’s me!

One month ago, Brian had the opportunity to attend a conference in Denver, Colorado for work and because his job can be so flexible, we were able to spend a few days in Manitou Springs before heading to Denver. We had no real agenda apart from being together while experiencing an adorable town with Pikes Peak as it’s main backdrop.

After almost dying on our drive there (seriously, picture being stuck a wind storm with 80+ mph winds, in your vehicle, in a ditch, praying together as you are sure a tornado is heading your way … I’ve never truly known fear until that miserable hour of my life), we arrived in Manitou Springs (a suburb of Colorado Springs) and quickly located our adorable airbnb rental. It was located next to an old “mansion” known locally and within a few walking blocks of the main street downtown. The comfort and coziness it brought to us was perfect after a long day of driving. The jet tub helped too!

Friday, the next morning, we walked the streets of Manitou and sipped on local coffee while waiting out the possibility of rain for our much anticipated climb of the Manitou Incline. Manitou Incline is a well known hiking trail, formerly known as a funicular railway whose tracks were ruined during a rock slide in the 90s, that gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile. The amazing views make up for the steep steps, where in some places are 68% steep-being a short girl, that number is HUGE. Now, I only know this information AFTER completing this hike. My husband did not mention any of those facts until after I was half way up! Thanks a lot.

view from the top – can you spot the Chipmunk?

Let me tell you, I was huffing and puffing by 45 minutes in, just to turn around and find a local carrying his bike up the trail … taking him only 13 minutes to get where it took me 45 minutes. Yes, I am out of shape. But 15628735 steps later (or what seemed like it) we made it to the top! My sweet husband stayed at my pace and even thanked me for bringing the second water bottle he thought we wouldn’t need (wives always know best hehe). The view was worth every painful step. See for yourself.

A four mile hike back down completed our climb and we walked our now numb legs back to town.

We relaxed before heading to a local brewery, Manitou Brewing Co., Brian was excited to try. I love having a husband who enjoys craft brews because it means I get to try new foods and/or ciders (maybe someday I will enjoy a beer)! While Brian enjoyed his flight, I enjoyed their pretzel bites and a house cider, CO Cider Cherry Glider. We were impressed with the entire experience and loved their Incline Burger (seriously, best burger of my life).

Saturday, we had hopes to drive up Pikes Peak but due to recent snowfall, the road was closed and we made our way early towards Denver after taking a few pictures from Garden of the Gods (it’s gorgeous there).

Arriving to Denver, I knew there was a surprise for me that Brian had planned. We pulled up in front of a gorgeous house and as I approached the steps, he announced it was The Molly Brown House. Being my “blonde” self, I thought it was a home of a well known local and tried to hide “my excitement.” But being the husband he is, he wouldn’t take me to just some home … it was THE Molly Brown’s house. For those of you who aren’t obsessed with the Titanic like I am, Molly Brown was a well known passenger who survived the sinking of the Titanic. From that moment on, I was all giggles and smilies as we toured her Denver home that had the most breathtaking tall ceilings, antique furniture from the 1910s, and items of Molly Brown herself. If you enjoy the Titanic and/or love that time period, I highly suggest you tour her home next time you’re in Denver!

If time allows during our travels, Brian and I do our best to try a new brewery; therefore, while my heart was still fluttering we headed to the Great Divide Brewery. Though their brewery tour was subpar, Brian enjoyed the environment they provided and highly recommends the hoppy wheat ale, Whitewater (which happens to be their first beer ever).

The final two days spent in Colorado consisted of local shopping, downtown site seeing, and restaurant hopping for me while Brian attended his conference. We did get the opportunity to catch up with a friend of Brian’s who lives in Colorado Springs and go on a double date with one of my closest friends who happened to be driving through on her way to Portland with her man.

This was our third vacation together to Colorado and I am looking forward to our next one this winter – skiing! Stay tuned 🙂

Love always, Kylie

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