Spring Break: Denver, Colorado

I think every college student dreams about spring break. It’s a nice mental break in the middle of spring semester. Motivation is low. Sleep is lacking. Anticipation is high. Usually my spring breaks consist of me sitting at home with a bunch of food watching Netflix all day. Sound familiar? Thanks to my parents’ and uncle’s spur of the moment decision, my spring break would no longer be spent on a couch.

spring break denver, colorado

This year for spring break, I hopped on a plane and headed to Denver, Colorado. Now, I’ve been to Denver once before and I’ve flown a decent amount. But, I’ve never flown alone. All by myself. Without any one. I think that’s the part I was most nervous about. What if I got stuck next to some random person? What if they wanted to talk to me? As you can tell, I don’t do well in a confined space next to people I don’t know, haha.

SATURDAY

My first time flying alone! And it was amazing! Personally, I love traveling. I love to people watch and an airport is a great place to do said activity. My parents dropped me off at the airport, I made it through security, and I bought myself a Starbucks. I was luckily able to be at the gate early enough to be able to work on my blog post for the week.

The flight was good. No turbulence and none of the children on board started screaming or anything. I was very impressed by that! I somehow managed to find my way out of the Denver airport (if you’ve never been, it’s absolutely huge and confusing). My aunt picked me up from the airport and we headed to her house! That was about it for the day

SUNDAY

The first hike of the trip! The morning started a bit late with a bacon and egg breakfast and then we headed out for the day. Since I had never been to Denver in the months where it’s actually enjoyable to hike and not zero degrees and snowing, I really wanted to get out an enjoy the outdoors. My aunt, uncle, cousin, and I headed to Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Honestly, I love how active everyone is here. Almost every parking lot was full, and there were people everywhere enjoying the great outdoors. Can I move here please?

MONDAY & TUESDAY

Monday and Tuesday were spent at the office talking to a ton of people about what they do at the design agency, how they got to where they are, and any advice they had for me. I would say that I talked to about 8 or 9 people my first day, and it was a lot. A lot of information to process and so much to think about. It really opened my eyes to all the stuff I could do with my major. And, it solidified the fact that I should stick with my major (I know my dad is happy about that, haha). I didn’t get any pictures at the office because I had a lot of meetings with people!

Tuesday was a short day for me at the office. I talked to everyone I wanted to so I got to go home early and spend time with my aunt! We went to lunch at this amazing, healthy restaurant called Mod Market. After a nice meal, she ran some errands and left me at home. If you leave me at home and there’s a fully functioning kitchen with baking supplies, you best believe I will whip up a batch of cookies or something. I decided to bake these Chocolate Oatmeal cookies which my family has loved for years. But, I didn’t account for the high altitude so they came out very flat. Just because they didn’t look pretty doesn’t mean they didn’t taste amazing!

http://livingthegraylife.com/2016/03/15/spring-break-denver-colorado/

Check out the recipe here! And, if you want a blog post about them, make sure to let me know in the comments!

WEDNESDAY

My aunt and I spent the day running errands and just hanging out. Because Denver is a very hipstery town, there are a ton of local coffee shops and coffee roasters. My brother is in love with coffee and loves trying new kinds so I thought it would be a cool to give him some locally roasted coffee beans. If you’re every in Denver, be sure to check out Pablo’s Coffee and Boxcar Coffee Roasters.

Later in the day, my aunt had a hair appointment so she dropped me off at the mall. I spent probably about an hour in H&M obsessing over everything (little known fact: I’ve never been to an H&M before). I found these awesome garnet shoes (because USC’s color is garnet and I will buy anything that is that color) and these really adorable knot earrings.

spring break denver, colorado

As I wandered around the mall (which btw is huge. I almost got lost), I ended up going in to Forever 21 which was a big mistake. Because it’s now spring, they had all of their sweaters on sale for under $10. I only limited myself to getting two because A. it doesn’t get that cold here in Columbia and B. I already have way too many sweaters. Oh, and guess what. They were both garnet and black.

Two hours later she picked me up, we headed home, and called it a day. Well, not really because by that point it was only 4 pm, but we didn’t do much after that.

THURSDAY

Bring on the outdoors! Thursday was the first day my aunt and I went on a hike and spent the day outside. I started the day off with an everything bagel with cream cheese and orange juice. Best breakfast ever. We headed to the great outdoors around 9:30 in the morning.

The first place she took me was the Buffalo Herd Overlook. We technically didn’t visit it, we just drove by it, but hey, I saw some buffalo. Oh and the most important part about this particular part is the view of the mountains. You crest the top of the hill and right in front of you is this stunning view of the Rockies. Highly recommend!

Then we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you don’t know about it, it’s this amazing amphitheater built in the middle of this tall cluster of red rocks. Again, a very touristy thing to go see, but when else am I going to be able to see it? (hopefully soon because I 100% want to go back to Denver in the somewhat near future) I didn’t take any pictures of it 🙁 because there were so many people working out that I just didn’t want that in my pictures, haha.

After doing the touristy things, we started on our hike. It was this really cool trail that was about 5 minutes from Red Rocks. The hike started out rough with a giant hill to climb, and because the air is so much thinner there, I was out of breath the entire way. We followed the trail for about 45 minutes, stopping to take Instagram pictures along the way.

spring break denver, colorado

After the initial hill climb, the hike wasn’t too strenuous and was very relaxing. It was so nice to get outside. And the fact that the weather was perfect made it even better!

spring break denver, colorado

The remainder of my day consisted of eating at this really amazing deli called D’Deli in downtown Golden and making chocolate crinkle cookies. Yes, we really did eat four dozen of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in two days…

FRIDAY

Hike #2! And my final day in Denver 🙁 Again, it was absolutely perfect weather for a hike. Not a cloud in the sky, a nice breeze, and warm temperatures. This time we made our way to the Mt. Galbraith Trail Loop. Starting out, there was still ice/snow on some parts of the trail, and as we made our way out of the tree-covered path, we came across this really awesome rock. So, obviously we had to take pictures. Wow, some of those are just so flattering, haha.

spring break denver, colorado spring break denver, colorado
spring break denver, colorado spring break denver, colorado

Then, we crested the hill, and this was the view. My aunt took the panorama below, and that view is even more amazing in person. Again, it was such a great picture-taking spot so obviously we had to take some!

spring break denver, colorado

The hike kept going on and on and on. Honestly I don’t think we really had a good idea of exactly how far 4ish miles is. Plus I was sucking wind a majority of the time because of the elevation difference. Overall, the hike was amazing. The views were stunning. And I spent some great quality time with my aunt.

spring break denver, colorado

spring break denver, colorado

But, of course it can’t be a trip without someone either getting sick or getting hurt. Well, I was the one who got hurt. I have a tendency to twist/sprain my ankles very easily and when you pair that tendency with slightly unstable, rocky ground, something bad is going to happen. I ended up spraining my ankle. Luckily, it wasn’t broken and all I have to do is wear a brace for the next two-ish weeks and all will be good!

We got back from the hike, I iced my ankle, and I started baking (again? yes again). This time it was for my aunt’s birthday which was the day after I left. Because they had a busy schedule, they didn’t have time to go get/make the cake she wanted, so I opted to bake it for them. I made this flourless chocolate cake for her! And, she was kind enough to send me a picture of it right before they cut it!

spring break denver, colorado

This trip was amazing. I had an absolute blast hanging out with my family, getting to go to my uncle’s work, and baking up a storm for them. I cannot wait to go back. This was a spring break I’ll never forget. I just want to say thank you to my aunt (I know she’ll read this) because the trip was really great. I can’t wait until the next time I come and visit!

spring break denver, colorado

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with all my travel adventures. As I said in my last post, I’m slightly obsessed with Instagram, so you’ll be seeing a lot of Colorado pictures for the next week-ish!

~Abigail Gray