memorial day weekend

I’m a big fan of three-day weekends, because in our house, it means we can both have a two-day weekend at the same time…something we don’t have on a regular basis right now.  I work every Saturday, which means I’m off on some weekdays, but that’s when Danny works.  So we love holidays (like Memorial Day) that allow us to feel ‘normal’ and have two days off in a row together.

After a morning at church and an afternoon wondering what we should do the rest of the day, we decided to pack up and go to Cañon City for the weekend.  We were already planning to spend Monday at the balloon festival they were having, as well as doing some hiking, but decided to try to see the balloon glow on Sunday evening and make a little getaway of it.  I booked the hotel and within thirty minutes we were on the road!  Not something that this ultra-planner (me) is used to doing, but Danny was all for it, and it was very fun.

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^^ Excited to be going on a little adventure! ^^

After checking into our hotel, it was time for dinner.  We asked for suggestions at the front desk, and decided to head towards the main part of town.  We wanted something local and, obviously, vegan, however, that criteria made our search a bit tough.  After an hour of cruising main street and almost giving up and going to Papa John’s, we found Torero’s.  They were super willing to work with us on creating vegan options, and the food…well, I’m still thinking about it.  And wondering if I can talk Danny into going back to Cañon City just for some more fajitas at Torero’s…

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After dinner, we headed to the balloon glow.  Unfortunately, it was too windy for the balloons to inflate, but they did glow.  We had fun watching the balloons light up the field, especially against the backdrop of a pretty sky and the mountains in the distance.

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In the morning we woke up early to go to the balloon launch, but it was really windy, so they cancelled it.  That was a bummer, but it made the morning seem quite long since we woke up while it was still dark!  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and time to read in our room before heading out for the rest of our day.

We started out at the Museum of Colorado Prisons, which is located in Cañon City, with a deal from Living Social.  Did you know that there are thirteen prisons in Cañon City?  Nine state and four federal, in fact.  Many years ago, I went to the museum with my family, and remembered it being very interesting.  It was, but this time it also felt a little…creepy.  I mean…it’s housed in an old prison, and some of the stories are just weird.

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^^ My thoughts exactly. ^^
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After the museum, we drove to Skyline Drive, which had been recommended to me by a couple of my co-workers.  It’s a one-way road that starts a couple of miles out of town and takes drivers on top of a ridge with views of the town and surrounding area, as well as dinosaur tracks that are embedded in rocks alongside the road.  It was built by prisoners in the 1930’s and 40’s, and is really a remarkable achievement.  We enjoyed a picnic at the top, and I was very thankful that Danny was driving and not me!

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^^ Checking out the dino tracks. ^^

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^^ “Can we stop the car right here and get out and take a picture together?” I asked.  Thankful that the cars behind us were slow and that Danny is a trooper. ^^

While doing some Cañon City research online, I found Tunnel Drive Trail.  I was intrigued – it’s a trail that follows the Arkansas River from above, and goes through three tunnels that were created by blasting through the solid granite.  It’s a flat trail to that goes for two miles before dead-ending, but it was a good length for us considering we didn’t bring water and it was a warm Colorado day.  It was fun being able to watch rafters float by below us and wave to riders of the Royal Gorge train too.

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^^ See that open air train car?  How fun is that?! ^^

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^^ Can you spot Danny? ^^

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^^ Getting ready to go through the largest tunnel.  We might have gotten a little scared the first time through…and so it’s possible that we ran through it while holding hands the second time… ^^

All in all, it was a great Memorial Day weekend, and a fun last-minute getaway.  And now, we’re looking forward to our next trip: we’re headed to Chicago later this week!

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