party in the usa: colorado!
the gorgeous views of utah continued into colorado where the flat desert and multi-hued plateaus transformed into rocky mountain roads as we headed to our destination: steamboat springs, colorado.
steamboat springs is a small resort town known for their skiing and hot springs. since we were driving through in the middle of september…tommy and i were there for the hot springs!
as we climbed in altitude, it began to rain and lightening was striking directly where we were headed 😦 not a good sign! still, the natural hot springs had been the thing i was looking forward to most on the this road trip so we continued on in that direction.
we had planned on soaking in the mineral springs at strawberry park hot springs. their website makes it seem SO incredible:
Just outside of Steamboat Springs nestled alongside Hot Springs Creek lies one of the most spectacular mineral springs in the world. Imagine relaxing in 104 degree mineral water while Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder gently collects in the surrounding forest…Strawberry Park Hot Springs is truly an unforgettable experience. The blending of pure natural beauty and the unique stone masonry of our pools will undoubtedly impress you with each visit.
doesn’t it sound perfect? well, if you haven’t guessed by now…we didn’t get to go. we drove up the mountain to get to the springs but the last leg to get to strawberry park was a steep and winding unpaved road. i just didn’t feel comfortable driving it in the rain and the sky was getting darker so we decided to skip it. i may get easily spooked when it comes to mountain driving but i have no idea how people drive up that road in the snow…
anyway…i was really depressed and totally cried- i mean, when would i be in steamboat springs again?! we made the most of being in town though and explored the main street. there were lots of small shops and restaurants and the whole street had a hipster-y vibe with a dash of cowboys and indians. i wish i had taken more pics but i was still in sulk-mode.
tommy and i had dinner at johnny b. goods which is a fifties themed diner with the usual kitschy everything americana decor that you find in diners. it seemed popular with the locals.
what kind of food colorado is known for? what food is your area known for? i really like to order regional specialties when i am traveling but nothing stood out on the menu, so instead, i got a chicken gyro and a side salad and then found out about the tuesday special after i had already placed my order (it was a cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake/or beer for $7). i wished i had ordered that instead.
after dinner, we got back on the road and headed for denver. it seems like we did all our mountain driving at night on this trip which i don’t recommended at all! i wasn’t even driving but the role of the “keep the driver awake by talking your head off so we don’t fall off a cliff-er” isn’t exactly fun when your tummy is full of food and you want nothing more than to fall asleep yourself!
still, with the help of a couple starbucks double shot espressos (which thankfully are available at all gas station convenience stores- even in the middle of nowhere) we made it to denver safe and sound.
the next morning (wednesday), we had breakfast at the hotel and set out to explore downtown denver!
an old(er) man was watching us take pics and offered to take this one for us…he only got in the bearbooty 😛
while tommy and i were strolling through the 16th street mall…this sign made me stop in my tracks:
whenever i pass by human sign holders- you know the ones who advertise men’s suit warehouses and furniture blowout sales- i always wonder if they actually work. but i guess everyone has something they MUST stop for…and for me, it’s cupcakes.
what do you stop for?
mermaids bakery was tres cute. it was kinda small and bare though. maybe because it was still early but most of the cupcakes in the case were a day old (right hand tray), and there were only a handful of mini pies. i thought that was odd.
tom got a red velvet, and i got the strawberry milkshake cupcake…nothing came out of that straw- i checked.
the cupcakes were okay…i thought the butter cream frosting was too butter-y and i prefer sugary frosting. luckily, i am of the belief that a mediocre cupcake is better than no cupcake at all.
i LOVED the mile high city. it’s incredibly hip and urban…i wish i had known that and scheduled more time in the city…there was so much to see! parts of the downtown district reminded me a lot of boston but with a west coast vibe. there was also good shopping, great food and an impressive art scene too. denver is definitely on my list of cities to visit again…anyone wanna go with me? 🙂
next stop: goodbye civilization, hello cornfields!