Adventures at 7,800 ft: Ouray, Colorado

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This past summer was crazy busy, and even though I went on quite a few adventures, it was hard to find the time to put together blog posts. Which is so sad, and terrible. Buuuuuut that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Now, three months later, I have a little bit more time to put together some pics of my adventures!

One of the big trips that we took, this past summer, was to Colorado. We started off by flying from Seattle to Denver, and then popped down (or was it up?) to Ouray, Colorado.

The best way to describe Ouray is to think of an old 1950s western movie, somehow time capsuled. Like John Wayne actually filmed a western in Ouray. No joke.

One of the best parts of this little town was that they had a vintage photo-shoot place where we got to take old western style photos. Needless to say, I’m not allowed to post any of those photos because soooooooomeone would be embarrassed (#rude).

I did, however think I would include some of my other photos from the trip, because it was an absolutely beautiful trip that included Jeep 4-wheeling, great meals and s’mores every night.

 

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Our thoughts: “Imagine coming up to this when you’re driving a covered wagon?”
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There were these little cabins all over, that were left from the old miners. It’s crazy how everyone just up and left.
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Jeep! I love how smooth this road looks. DON’T BE DECEIVED! Half of the driving was over piled of rocks and boulders.
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The wildflowers in the mountains were so beautiful! It was like walking through the book Heidi. I have a whole book full of pressed flowers, now. 🙂
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Me and him. ❤
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Hundred year old buildings. This one used to be a barn for horses.
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That old western vibe.

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While starting off at 7,000 ft (which was crazy) – we actually drove (four-wheeled) up the mountains to 13,000 ft, to Imogene Pass!!
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I LOVE FLOWERS

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That moment when you just want to start singing songs from The Sound of Music.

Epic Colorado Adventure – Day 1: #MeetTheParents

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This is an example pic of where we’re headed once we drive out of Denver. Pretty, huh?

I’m back in Denver. Those aren’t words I thought I’d be writing this soon after my last trip to The Centennial State.

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t love Denver when I was here last time, and I really didn’t plan on coming back any time soon. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and you end up flying to Colorado to meet and spend time with your boyfriend’s parents. It happens.

Shortly after I got back from my last trip here, I got the news that we’d be coming back, and I had mixed feelings. But you know me, I love any excuse to travel, and this trip is no different. Plus, there’s the added bonus of getting to meet some family and friends close to someone I care about. Win – win.

As far as actual travel, I can honestly say this has been the smoothest I’ve ever had a trip go (knock on wood), while traveling with someone else. It helps, of course, to have someone on your team who has taken multiple solo trips themselves (and who you’ve already established a great communicative style with).

So, what’s the 411?

This  morning we boarded our flight a little later than it was scheduled, but then ended up getting into Denver before we were scheduled to land. I’m not sure how that worked out, but we landed at about 3:30pm (and we got to fly Alaska, which is the best – duh). We got picked up, and we’re staying with some relatives at a lovely house just outside of downtown Denver. We’ve pretty much just been hanging out, eating good food and playing some fun games, so far. But the real road trip will begin in a couple of days.

This trip is exceptionally different in that almost all of it is being planned for me. So…I can’t really give my usual itinerary or let you know what I’ll be doing over the course of the next week because I have no idea. All I know is we’re temporarily at this spot, and then driving south to explore the beautiful countryside. Don’t worry, I brought my camera, so there are plenty of photos on their way. I also brought my instant camera, so hopefully I can grab some shots with that too.

That’s the baby update for now. Did I mention it is/will be 90+ degrees the entire time we’re here? Hahaha someone get me a refrigerator to sleep in.

Denver, CO: Day 2

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Well, it has been a bit of whirlwind since my second day in Denver, and I lost track of posting, but day 2 was filled with beautiful art and hipster coffee shops, so it is definitely something I still need to share. Denver wasn’t my cup of tea, as a whole, but I did love the art museum. Not only was it huge, but it also had one of the most extensive Native American exhibits I’ve ever seen.

Another happy little surprise was that I got in for free! I’ve been to most of the museums that it covers in Seattle, but if you haven’t checked it out, yet and you bank with Bank of America – look up your city for “Museum On Us.” Basically, the first weekend of every month you get in to museums (general admission, no special exhibits) for free. All you have to do is show your debit/credit card. Which is wicked awesome because I love museums like nobody’s business. On this round, it saved me +$20 dollars…which I then spent on books. But the point is, getting into museums is always a bonus.

Anyhoo, I thought I would share some of my favorite pics from wandering around the Denver Art Museum and Denver itself. One thing that I will say, is that being at some crazy elevation kept me from taking long days of exploring because I could not breathe. It was the worst. But, I did manage to visit a few spots before feeling like I was going to collapse from my faux smokers lung.

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These were all made out of tree bark. Which makes me feel like I do absolutely nothing with the basic resources I have accessible to me.
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One of my favorite paintings, which I bought a postcard for. I never thought of Denver as the “Wild West” but I guess it is. And that makes sense. Shame on me.
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I wish you could see how big these cows really were. Something about cows, but there were statues of them all over the city. (*I know, I know, the city’s history or whatever)
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Beaded purses that probably took a lifetime to make. It’s crazy to think that artifacts like this lasted hundreds of years. Talk about making something that will last a lifetime.
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I love Native American designs so much. Maybe it’s my own heritage coming out, but I’ve always been so attracted to the beauty of intricate and geometric patterns.
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Yeah yeah. A real chief’s feather headdress. As in not from an culturally appropriating ad. That’s right Free People/Urban Outfitters: I’m talking to you.
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This pic does a good, but still not completely extensive job of showing how huge this space was. There was so much to see!
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Be still my heart. I’ll take one of each.
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This picture looks super cool and high-up like I’m one of those awesome photographers who climbs things in the name of their art form. Lies. It was taken out of a museum window. But looooook – mountains!
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Somebody painted this by hand. Appreciate that for a moment.
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So there were a couple of Samurai exhibits. The other one was an additional $20 to go see, so I chose to look at the main exhibit armor instead of the fancy shmancy ones. I don’t regret this decision. It was still pretty cool.
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This picture has no significance except that I love beautiful rooms. And just outside there were two Monet paintings that made my heart soar.

Next Stop: Denver, CO

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Photo cred: Emma Morem

Okay, confession. I bought another plane ticket.

It wasn’t planned. But something I promised myself I would do, once I got back into the U.S., was to explore the places in the United States that I wanted to see (even if it’s just on a weekend). So, I’ve decided to go spend five days in Denver, Colorado this May. Travel is something that’s so important to me. I don’t know that I’m really ever fully happy unless I’m planning a trip, or on one. I’ve wanted to visit Denver for quite some time, so when I saw $100 round trip tickets I decided it was time to take the leap. Honestly, the months of April/May is going to be some pretty awesome.

I’d be lying if I said that transitioning back to “normal” life in the U.S. has been easy. I don’t think I could have anticipated how much I’d changed during my time in France. Coming back, it was so difficult to just be my “normal” self, again. I think it’s only been recently that I’ve started to realize that going back to my old normal shouldn’t (and can’t) be the goal, here. I was a very different person before I moved to France. I had different priorities, I approached life differently and I my overall personality was different. But some shit (sorry, mom) went down, in France, that changed me a lot.

Some of it might have been for the better, and some not so much. But, regardless, I AM different and I think it’s taken me almost a year to realize that. Luckily over the past nine months I’ve built a pretty awesome life that I’m pretty happily settling into. Is it perfect? No. But it is something that makes me happy to wake up, and it’s completely different than anything I would have ever thought I would have. But that’s okay. It lets me do awesome things like buying plane tickets spur of the moment.

Back to Denver: I have never been to Denver and I’m not sure whether I’m going to Airbnb it, or if I’m going to Couchsurf, but I’m so excited! I definitely need suggestions of what to do/where to go from all of you who have been there/live there! I’m looking for restaurant suggestions, museums, parks, geek things, and any other little spots!

Here’s what I have so far:

Cheers to another adventure!