If you’re anything like me, around this time of year you start to go a little bit stir crazy. No matter where you live — even if you’re surrounded by gorgeous, snow-capped mountains every day, like I am! — every now and then you need to hop in a car or board a plane and be someplace else for a little while.
(No? Just me?)
Here’s a local-ish getaway that I am putting on my “maybe some day” list: the ColoRADo Adventure Hostel, or the Rad Hostel for short. The Rad Hostel is close to my family’s stomping grounds in the Springs, and — well here, I’ll let them tell you:
In the shadow of Pikes Peak, and just a few miles from Garden of the Gods, this RAD new hostel is a blend of Colorado’s art, mountain culture and fresh Colorado Springs vibe.
Though I’m married with children now, there is definitely a part of me that wants to join the Rad Hostel crew for their drum circle on Thursday or their pancakes and sunset hikes on the weekend. It also sounds perfect for a getaway trip with friends.
The tourism organization Visit Fort Collins does a wonderful job of sharing information about the vibe in this city and the new activities that are constantly being added. Their most recent video, The Best Family-Friendly Activities in Fort Collins, highlights a few of my family’s favorites, including:
- The Farm at Lee Martinez Park
- Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
- The Exchange (see my blog post about The Exchange here)
- Old Town Putt
Here are just a few more that I would have included:
- My gym, Genesis North: They offer great kids programming (and daycare), and just started up a kids’ version of CrossFit!
- Twin Silo Park: Fort Collins has countless beautiful parks and natural spaces, but this is a particular favorite of my tiny human.
- Horsetooth Reservoir: I am so happy that my kiddo likes to hike and kayak. It feels like we spend half our summer on the reservoir!
What are your favorite family-friendly spots in Fort Collins?
Happy New Year!
By now you may be overwhelmed by “new year, new you” posts. I happen to like you just the way you are — but if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, I am here to offer a few ideas of how to shake it off and give 2020 the fresh start it deserves.
- Put on your best filter. Did you know that Denver and Boulder have opened Selfie Museums? They’re just what they sound like: collections of fun rooms designed specifically for you to take delightful photos in. If your profile picture is still from that 5k you ran two years ago, you owe yourself some fresh photos with the bomb lighting.
- Listen to Oprah. That’s not a metaphor. She’s coming to Denver in March!
- Climb out of the box. Nudge yourself toward something new. Art galleries leaving you cold? Try RiNo’s Side Stories, which project art and videos on the outside of buildings. So over staycations? Hit the road with 303 Magazine‘s scenic road trip plans. Tired of your hotels not offering you kangaroo kisses? Golden has an interactive “vacation rental zoo.” I could do this all day, guys.
- Shake up your surroundings. Come on, you know I had to include this one. Is it time to tackle that kitchen remodel to add value to your home? Or perhaps you’ve outgrown your house altogether, and you’re ready to see what else is out there? If this is the year you need to change up your digs, please reach out — I would love to talk about how to make this happen for you in 2020.
Is anyone else hunting for new ways to entertain their kids throughout the winter? My tiny human can only build so many snow forts and watch so many Pixar movies before he’s bored to tears. (Unless I hand him my iPhone, but don’t get me started…)
You can watch a video on the experience here. You can even ride them in the dark!
Or maybe I’ll make a mint by bringing the idea to Fort Collins. Steamboat Springs is the only place that offers bumper cars on ice… for now!
P.S. When’s the last time you visited Steamboat Springs? Steamboat is a gorgeous ski (and bumper car) resort town 3 hours from Denver and Fort Collins, 4 hours from Colorado Springs.
We’ve all been there before: “Oh you’re a realtor?! How fun, I watch a lot of HGTV!” Now don’t get me wrong, I could talk about real estate all day, it’s definitely one of my favorite topics (that comes in handy). But here I am, about to shatter your reality about the total bullsh*t that is HGTV. And let me tell you, that can be more controversial at the dinner table than politics!
To be honest, these conversations can be damaging to relationships between clients and their realtors when the home-buying process isn’t as fun or exciting as it seems on HGTV. To demonstrate just how far removed from reality HGTV can be, I’m going to walk you through my personal experience filming an episode of House Hunters.
Don’t get too excited, I was on House Hunters as an extra (more on that in a minute). A realtor put out a call on Facebook asking for anyone who was available and wanted to be part of House Hunters. Naturally, I reached out. After all, this was my chance to be discovered and one day have my own amazing HGTV show where I spend my weekly episodes entertaining my millions of viewers while I sell homes (my true passion)!
Unfortunately, my episode never aired (#missedopportunity). That’s reality check #1: do you know why they hold casting calls in the first place? The answer is because that super fun housewarming party the new homeowners throw once they’ve moved in is often full of extras! I was on set for one day, and I was assigned a partner — a guy I’d never met — to play an engaged couple in the “housewarming party” scene. The “new homeowner” approached us while we were eating and drinking at their basement bar and we complimented her on her beautiful new home. The only thing about the scene that was real was the food and drink (you bet your booty that was real champagne).
Reality check #2 came when I asked my in-the-know friend about the process for getting cast on House Hunters. He told me you apply online and you have to already be under contract on the house before they will even consider you. What??? The entire show is a farce! How can you “hunt for a house” if you’re already under contract on one? The entire plot of the show is scripted! Once they have cast a “buyer,” they then find two other homes for the buyers to view (sometimes homes they saw and liked, sometimes not), and then the buyers are instructed to hem and haw over the homes, pretending they don’t know which one to choose (when in fact they have already chosen). You as the viewer get anxious to find out whether Bill and Susie will choose the charming colonial, the spacious ranch or the updated 2-story — when Bill and Susie moved into the damn house 2 months ago!
I am not asking you to stop watching HGTV — it’s a great way to keep up to date on design trends and snoop into other people’s houses! But recognize shows like House Hunters for what they are: reality TV shows that amp up the drama and camouflage the real work going on behind the scenes. They’re fun, they’re silly, but they’re a far cry from real life. (Which is not to say we can’t have fun while we’re buying or selling your home. Call me, I have ideas!)
I am always on the hunt for new holiday traditions that my family will enjoy. This year I’m intrigued by Christmas in Color, a drive-through holiday lights-and-music experience.
“Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience Christmas like never before. Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. You’ll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. It’s like being immersed in another world. In fact, we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window.”
The event also benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
My mind is on Colorado Springs lately as I look forward to visiting my family there over Thanksgiving! Here are a few interesting Springs-related articles and activities that caught my attention recently:
Manitou Incline challenges fitness junkies — I’ve written about Manitou Incline before, but this UCHealth post dives deeper into the Incline’s “2,744 steps straight up Mount Manitou and a gain of nearly 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile.” The Incline also has its own website, where I learned you can buy Manitou Incline 2020 wall calendars!
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum opens in Colorado Springs in early 2020! Take a look at how construction is coming along. You can already visit the neighboring Training Center to learn how athletes prepare for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but this new museum will be a fascinating addition to Colorado Spring’s history and tourism.
- On Thanksgiving, you may or may not find me feeding wolves! The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (technically in Divide, CO, a manageable drive from the Springs) hosts many fun activities to engage with their animals and raise funds for the Center, including a “Turkey Toss” on Thanksgiving morning. Closer to Christmas you can have breakfast burritos with the wolves (I’m not making this up) and all throughout the year you can take full moon hikes around the Center.
Can you see why I love Colorado Springs? Drop me a line if you’re buying or selling in my old stomping grounds — or just eager to visit this entertaining city!
If you’re looking for a 5k race opportunity in northern Colorado, throw a rock and you’ll probably hit one. However, I recently stumbled across a race with a very different angle from the others — one that even I could win, if I put my mind to it. (You may already know I love a 5k, but I prefer to keep to a pace where I can still chat with my friends!)
The Turkey-Donut Predict Run, hosted by the Fort Collins Running Club, works this way: runners estimate their finishing time before the race begins, and the top 5 people who come closest to their guess (without the use of timekeeping devices!) are crowned the winners. “So just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you’ll win this one,” says Fort Collins Running Club.
The race is completely free to enter, but canned good donations are being accepted in behalf of the Food Bank for Larimer County. The food bank also benefits from the purchase of raffle entries, and considering nearly 20 local companies have supplied the giveaways, that’s an easy sell.
The Turkey-Donut Predict Run
Saturday, November 23 | Location TBD | Race begins at 9am
Go earn your turkey and benefit the Food Bank!
Did you know that Colorado.com publishes “Colo-Road Trips“? These ready-made itineraries provide great information about how to string together some of Colorado’s best food, culture, history, nature and more into a memorable road trip packed with adventure and exploration.
For example, take a look at their “Days of Fun in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.” Per the website, “From Fort Collins to Greeley and the villages of Laporte and Windsor, this northern Colorado region is packed with expansive views, welcoming locally sourced restaurants, frontier history and much more.” I couldn’t have said it better myself — and even though Northern Colorado is my stomping grounds, I still found plenty of new-to-me spots for my to-do list. It might be time for a staycation!
It’s difficult to believe it’s only 10 days to Halloween! Have you made your plans yet? If not, here are a few events in the Fort Collins area that have piqued my interest:
- Oct 25-27, Treatsylvania: “Children ages ten years and under receive treat bags to use for trick-or-treating at the storefronts… Participants also enjoy a pumpkin patch, hayride, a “not-so-spooky” barn, refreshments, and cookies.
- Oct 25-26: Holiday Twin Drive-In’s Spook-a-thon: “Side 1: Monster House, Jurassic Park, The Thing; Side 2: Ghostbusters (1984), Beetlejuice, Scream“
- Oct 26, Bow Wowvania: “Bow Wowvania is a dog-friendly trick-or-treat event at The Farm. Hundreds of dogs and dog owners will take a stroll down Trick-or-Treat Street dressed in costume and eager for treats.”
- Through Oct 27, Harvest Farm’s Fall Festival: Includes corn mazes, wagon rides, bonfires, pig races (?!), homemade kettle corn and more!
- Oct 31 (morning), Tiny Tot Halloween: “It’s time once again for the tiny ghouls and goblins of Fort Collins to invade Old Town for a safe and family-friendly trick-or-treating experience!” (Although my tot is not so tiny anymore!)
This last one’s more of a fall celebration than a Halloween event, but I simply had to include it — it looks too fun!