Rocky Mountain High?

It was another whirl-wind weekend! One of my best friends from IU had her wedding shower this past weekend in Denver, and I used it as an excuse to head west to the mountains and see my dad!

Given that it was such a quick trip, Mike decided to stay home with Norah so I flew out to DIA by myself Friday night. I had a bit of a wait at Dulles because there was weather causing a delay in Denver, so I treated myself to some red wine and duty-free shopping!

After a 4-hour flight, the pilot announced that we would be circling DIA until the airport opened up. The airport shut down to severe storms, and we were eventually re-routed to Albuquerque to re-fuel. Making it two Fridays in a row that I’ve been stranded somewhere that I haven’t wanted to be late at night. We eventually made it back to Denver, but by that point, my poor dad had been waiting at the airport for hours! We were both very relieved to pull into the house early Saturday morning.

We needed a good night’s sleep, because my dad had big plans! We went to breakfast at New Day Cafe, then we headed to Manitou Springs to hike The Incline!  Built on old railroad ties, the incline trail goes straight up a mountain for a mile. Yep, straight up.

My dad is hard-core and hikes this thing 2 or 3 times a week. Because he’s crazy. When I asked to join him, I really should have taken a couple of things into account. 1. I was coming from sea level. 2. I’m kind of out of shape. And 3. My dad is a bad ass, and there’s no way I can hope to ever keep up with him.

But, lo and behold, my dad and I found ourselves at the start of the trail Saturday morning.  Hiking the trail has become a bit of a local must-do and people time and race themselves to get to the top. The U.S. Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy are both in Colorado Springs and their athletes use the trail as a training course all the time. Apollo Ohno once ran to the top in 17 minutes, 45 seconds and my dad’s best time was 44 minutes. My goal to make it to the top in under an hour.

After lots of shaky legs, stops to catch a breath and cool off in the shade, my dad and I finally made it to the top!! The views were awesome.

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We made it to the top in 1 hour and 4 minutes, which I was a bit bummed about. If I had known we were so close to my goal, I would have taken a couple fewer stops, but oh well!  I might not have made it without those last couple of stops!  We hiked down Barr Trail to get back to our car in Manitou Springs, which was about 3 miles and it was really beautiful.


We showered and headed to some nearby breweries for lunch.  A request of mine whenever I head home is to visit the brewery right in my parent’s neighborhood, TRiNiTY Brewing Company, and the food and beer this time did not disappoint!

My dad and I then went downtown because I wanted some new spices from my favorite store, Savory, and because I wanted to check out a new restaurant/coffee shop/bakery called The Ivywild School.


Ivywild School is an awesome space!  Bristol Brewing Company converted the old school into their new brewery.  The downstairs is pretty much home to the brewery, but the ground floor was really cool.  The Cafeteria had a restaurant, serving Bristol Beers and a full menu; The Gymnasium has been turned into a cool concert venue and the science labs are now a coffee shop and bakery.  My favorite spot was The Principal’s Office, a cool, small room with a speak-easy feel making craft cocktails.  My dad and I enjoyed a beer or two and then we headed home for the evening.


On Sunday morning, my dad drove me to Denver for Maggie’s shower.  Her friend Abbey hosted the most amazing shower, and all of the details are on her blog!


The shower was hosted at a fun restaurant near Wash Park and the food was incredible.  We also played one of the most fun bridal shower games I’ve ever played. It was so wonderful to spend the morning catching up with Maggie and seeing old friends from school!

My dad then drove me to the airport and I headed back to Arlington on a (thankfully!) incident-free flight.  I can’t wait to be back in Colorado in August!


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