To kickoff Travel Thursdays I thought I’d start with one of my favorite places that I have ever been! I instantly fell in love with Colorado as soon as I crossed the border.
It is a truly beautiful state. On our last 3 annual road trips we have always stopped in Colorado. My boyfriend has family in Colorado so he grew up visiting and knew he wanted to live there in the future. After being in Colorado I understood right away why he would want to live there. There is so much to do there, the mountains are incredible, there are gorgeous hikes, people are so friendly, and there are so many outdoor activities.
Road trips are an incredible way to travel. I’ll have to do a separate post on my love for them. But one of my favorite things about them is that as much as you can plan and map them out, you find yourself stumbling across amazing places. One of the most unexpected and breathtaking places we came across was Maroons Bells in Aspen, Colorado. We had just left Edwards after staying with my cousin, and were on our way to Arches National Park in Utah. We knew we wanted to stop in Aspen because neither of us had ever been.
The downtown area of Aspen is very ritzy and has high end designer stores such as Ralph Lauren. There are cute little shops as well where you can buy souvenirs, stickers, sweatshirts etc. It is a famous ski town where celebrities often retreat and understandably so! After getting into Aspen in the early evening, we walked around and grabbed dinner. This was last summer so the Summer Olympics 2012 in London were finishing and we caught the closing ceremony featuring none other than my childhood favorites, the Spice Girls!
After reliving my childhood, we headed to Snow mass which is a town about 20 minutes from Aspen and stayed there (much cheaper than a hotel in Aspen). The next morning we found ourselves following signs to see Maroon Bells. We have a running theme of running into people we know or have a connection to Chicago on our many road trips. For example, we ran into friends in the lobby of the Badlands, I saw a friend of mine from junior high in the street of New York (not in a touristy spot either!) we talked to some girls on a hike who were from a rival high school in the West suburbs of Chicago, and at the entrance gate of Maroon Bells we saw a guy we went to high school with and was in my geometry class! Talk about a small world!
From the minute we woke up that morning it was cloudy and lightly drizzling but it made for a serene background to the gorgeous mountains. We kept waiting for the clouds to pass so we could see the top of the mountain, but the clouds kept rolling in. Nonetheless it was incredible and so peaceful. I loved every minute of it and can not wait to go back!!