the anniversary trip!

We love to celebrate!  Don’t you?

I asked Tim if we’d still make a big hullaballoo about our anniversary in twenty years.

He said: “We’ll probably just go out to dinner.”

To which I replied: No way.  We made it through another year without severely maiming each other or, worse, killing the other person.  We celebrate that kind of accomplishment.

So, I’d like to imagine that twenty years from now, and every year in between and after, we’ll still be doing something like what we did last weekend.  It wasn’t some massively huge trip to Tahiti or anything (OMG. BEACH. It’s like the worst pregnancy craving ever. If anyone can provide me with an ocean and a beach, I’d be eternally grateful) but it was fun and a nice little getaway.

Where were we?

Colorado Springs!

Our first night there was our actual anniversary, so we *did* go out to dinner. Let me clarify: I never said we couldn’t go out to dinner. I just said it should be more than that…

Tim had called ahead and had flowers delivered for me that were sitting on the table when we arrived. He is so sweet!! I didn’t expect it at all and I love those kinds of surprises.

Is this not the most adorable salad and dessert you’ve ever seen?

I’ve been to Colorado Springs a few times before but Tim had never been.

This is rare, people.

Usually, it is Tim who has been to wherever we’re going and I’m the newbie.

For those of you, like Tim, who have never been, Colorado Springs has the infamous Pike’s Peak. Probably one of the most popular “Fourteeners” in Colorado.

Colorado has 53 (I think?) mountain peaks that are 14,000+ feet high (I have no idea what that is in meters…the pregnancy brain doesn’t do conversions…sorry my European folk).  There are lots of people who climb them…and Tim and I plan on joining the crazy bus and summiting at least one of the fourteeners…well after the sprout is born, obviously.

Anyhow, this particular trip, there was no summiting of any mountains…by foot.  We took a train, instead. Way easier.

This was our tour guide dude…he was…enthusiastic, to say the least.  I give him credit, though.  If it were me, I’d probably get really ornery if I had to give the SAME TOUR over and over again. Up the mountain. Down the mountain. Up the mountain. Down the mountain. Up the mountain…you get my point.

It’s kind of comical doing these kind of touristy activities since Tim and I aren’t technically Colorado tourists…but we can certainly spot them wherever we are.

Before we boarded the train to the top of Pike’s Peak, all of the passengers were waiting outside. Tim and I happened to be standing near this lady – who was obviously not from Colorado. I don’t know how we know these things it just kind of jumps out at you after awhile. Anyhow, while she was standing there, she looked down on her train ticket and starting getting really excited and began pointing at the ticket and talking to her travel companion in a high pitched squeal all, “We’re on the lead train! See, look! It says right here! Leadville!”

Tim looked at her and in a flat voice without missing a beat was all, “It’s Leadville.” (like a pencil. Lead. Not leader)

The lady just said, “Oh…” in a deflated kind of way that sounded like Tim’s words had taken her balloon of elation and put a hole in it.

I mean, really, honey, let the lady have her excitement for a least a second.

(Good news for those of you cheering for the poor Leadville lady – the Leadville car did end up being the lead car on the way up the mountain).

Anyhow, we were mostly drama free the rest of the trip. Once we boarded the train and got out of the tree line the views were AH-mazing. You could see for MILES.

Then it got really rocky and devoid of everything but…um…rocks. Then? At the top?


It’s like a huge cloud bank decided to sit on top of us while we were there.

The clouds made for some pretty awesome pictures, though. Like this one where Tim is proving that we were actually 14,000 feet in the air (OMG. Where is my oxygen?!).

FYI for all you gadget people: This is our Garmin running watch that lets us know if we’ve run far enough or if we have more suffering still to endure. It also does things like altitude.

Our requisite picture at the top. I’d post the one of us standing next to the Pike’s Peak sign but I look like a bloated whale and I just…I just couldn’t do it.

It kind of looks like the cloud is about to attack us from the left…I didn’t notice that before.  You’re basically IN the clouds.  They aren’t above you. They’re SURROUNDING you.

The way back down doesn’t really have anything in the way of pictures, mostly because for some reason our side of the train ended up on the sun side and it was HOT. That and I could smell the fumes of the diesel engine and we were driving backwards.

Suffice it say I was a non-happy pregnant person with a blistering headache.

I was probably also lacking in hydration and sustenance…and Tim was convinced the altitude change also had something to do with it.

Regardless, I’d totally recommend the Cog Railway if you’re ever in Colorado Springs and want to see the top of Pike’s Peak without A: driving the scary roads (been there, done that, never again) or B: hike to the top (which is a super hard 13 miles…one way).

The cog railway isn’t scary OR hard. Just be sure to make reservations and go in the morning. Thunderstorms tend to pop up in the afternoon on the top of the mountain and I wouldn’t want to be a lightening rod at the top when that kind of electrical activity is going on. Just sayin.

Anyhow, Tim and I did more than just ride a train. I mean, I  may be preggo but I’ve still got two legs that work! We also visited the Garden of the Gods park, which is a fairly random, “how did these rocks actually get…here?!” kind of phenomenon.

Do you see that huge, gray looking mountain in the background? That’s Pike’s Peak. From afar.

The park is probably interesting because these random rocks LOOK LIKE CAMELS AND INDIANS.

Swear.  Look. Here are the camels:

On the paved walking path in the park, the “kissing camels” are kind of hard to see because you’re right next to the rock where they are so you’re basically craning your neck to see them.

Tim and I, however, decided to go off on the non-paved trails that circled around the main part of the park (where EVERYONE was and it was crowded and not really our thing…we like peace and solitude). There, out on the trails hardly anyone (who isn’t from Colorado) uses, is where you get fantastic pictures of some of the rock formations.

While we were taking this camel picture I was all, “You can really see them so much better! Look at their humps!”

Tim looks at me, then at the camels and then…he had an ah-ha! moment. He was all, “OMG! I never even saw the humps before! I was wondering why they decided to call those little head shaped things camels…”

He didn’t have nearly as difficult a time with the indian…though with the lighting (and the fact I don’t really know how to use any of the photo editing software on our Mac…I’m still Mac challenged) it is kind of hard to see him. His head is on the right side of the picture and it is his profile you’re looking at…

One of the things I love about Tim is that he is still playful and flirty with me…even now…even when I’m looking grungy and gross.

Enter me, bending down to take a picture of a cactus, no preconceived notion that anything other than the click of my camera is going to happen.

Then, out of nowhere, Tim pokes me in the butt with a stray cactus needle.

I jumped three feet in the air all, “What the?!….”

I turn around see Tim giggling like a school girl all, “I didn’t realize it would piece through your shorts so easily!”

Nice one, honey.

I got my picture, though. Pierced butt and all.

(and OMG. By the way? Those suckers are SHARP!)

Here are a few other pictures from around the park…

One place near Colorado Springs that Tim did know about but I never realized was actually there is the Air Force Academy.

Apparently, Tim had looked into going here for school because he wanted to be an astronaut.

Like, for serious.

He absolutely wanted to be shot up into space. It’s why his undergrad degree was in Physics (there is some kind of descriptive word…like Applied or something in front of Physics…but I don’t remember what it is) and his Masters in Mechanical Engineering.

I never knew that. I mean, I knew he wanted to be an astronaut but I had no idea he was looking into going to the Air Force Academy. It is always really intriguing when I learn something about Tim that I didn’t know before. It happens less and less as we grow together as a couple. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all…I’m just always just surprised to hear something I never knew previously.

So, other than airplanes and whatnot, the Air Force Academy has this chapel that is to die for. I know that’s probably an odd choice of words but…you guys…it is INCREDIBLE.

Basically, even if you don’t like airplanes, GO SEE THE CHAPEL.

We left Colorado Springs feeling refreshed and happy that we didn’t have to hop on a plane to get home.

I’ll leave you with this lovely sign I found in one of the cute restaurants we ate at in Old Town Colorado City (which is like Old Town Colorado Springs with a different name)

It was a French bistro.



23 Responses to “the anniversary trip!”

  1. 1 jobo September 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Aw! What a GREAT TRIP!!! The ‘in the clouds’ is SO awesome, and that chapel? WOW. You guys look great! so cute!

  2. 3 We're Jumpin' September 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Looks like an eventful trip! The pictures were amazing. 🙂

  3. 5 Oregon Sunshine September 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Very cool! I have a horse trainer friend who lives near there and often takes the horses she has in training out into the Garden of the Gods. It’s cool to see pictures of the type of terrain she rides in.

    *Train to Pike’s Peak- Got it!

    And as for that chapel, I’m sure the Air Force calls it something funky. Like the Aerospace Prayer Facility or something. They call their chow halls “Aerospace Dining Facilities”. I know some of this odd stuff as my sister was in the AF and I had a temp job working as a secretary in the local recruiter’s office one summer back home.

    Glad you had a good time! And Happy Anniversary!

    • 6 Jessica September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      I’m not actually sure what the official name is for the chapel…but you’re probably right…and by probably I mean definitely. 🙂

      Horses are all over the park! It’s crazy! And kind of awesome.

      Also: Thank you!

  4. 7 Shannon September 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Ahhh! I used to go once a year to Colorado Springs. Spent my 18th birthda taking that same train and going to Garden of the Gods. You have so many awesome get away spots around there. Love it! Happy anniversary!

  5. 9 JessSutera September 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    GORGEOUS pics – of the scenery but also of you two, you are so cute!! SO glad your anniversary trip was super duper fab! yay!

  6. 11 mm September 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Looks like a great anniversary trip! (happy belated anniversary btw). I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time in Colorado Springs, and even though I’ve driven past Garden of the Gods I don’t know how many times, I never visited! Now I’ll have to go next time we’re there.
    Random Side note – my husband went to the Air Force Academy, and we’ve had many friends get married in that chapel (although we did not). It’s so busy in the summer months they have to schedule the weddings every 20-30 min!

    • 12 Jessica September 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you!

      You’ll definitely need to go – you don’t even have to be there long…since it isn’t a massive park or anything.

      I am so jealous of your friends who were married there! I can see why it is so popular! OMG! Gorgeous!

  7. 13 lifestartsnow September 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    looks like a great trip! red rocks, mountain tops, food, funny restrooms/signs to restrooms – that’s right down my alley!

    i just realized i need to come visit. 🙂

  8. 15 Brandy September 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Sunning photos!

  9. 17 nysoonergirlnergirl September 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Ohh, I’ve been there! How did you not comment (or notice?!) that you can get the plague?!?! I left the Garden of the Gods convinced that I would fall victim to the plague and die immediately. Aside from that, it was a pretty cool place.

    • 18 Jessica September 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      The plague?! WHAT?! Where?!? We had (have?) the plague thing going on near us…with the prairie dogs…is that what you mean?

      • 19 nysoonergirlnergirl September 19, 2011 at 8:56 am

        There were signs everywhere saying to be careful of the wildlife as you could catch the plague. I was grateful for the signs as I am usually busy frolicking with the wildlife and sharing fruit and berries with the little buggers, so I was bound to catch it if I did not tame myself.

  10. 20 thebakerbee September 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

    1. I totes don’t see the Indian. I’m kind of disappointed in myself.
    2. That chapel looks incredible. I want to go right now.
    3. So glad you guys had a great anniversary trip!!

  11. 22 Joann Eyster September 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

    In May we took a trip with our girls to CO. We went to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, CO Springs, and then we made our way to Boulder, then back to the Royal Gorge, white water rafted the Arkansas and did the Mule ride on the rim of the Royal Gorge. That was the end of our trip in CO but not the end of our adventure. We absolutely love CO and want to end up in the Springs or Boulder. Hopefully the Air Force will grant our wish when we get to leave HelL.A.

    • 23 Jessica September 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Manitou Springs is the cutest little town EVER…even though it gets super crowded. And Boulder is right near me!! You could have stopped and said hello! 🙂

      It sounds like you guys really canvased the state! Good for you! There is so much to do here…I doubt anyone could fit it all in in a lifetime!

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