With only a few weeks off between the end of college and the beginning of my career as an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger driving the Wienermobile, I’ve been trying to cram as much fun in as possible when I’m not running. Being a tourist is a hazard of the job when you’re a Hotdogger, so I figured I would start a weekly post called Touristy Tuesday. I didn’t think of it until today though, but I figured who would hold it against me if I started it on a Wednesday!
On my trip back ‘home’ to Rockford, Illinois (simply put, it’s where I’ve had the longest return address) I was able to meet up for breakfast with some girls from my high school swim team. It was an absolute blast getting back together with them and hearing about what they’re doing now. Yale, studying abroad in Africa, high powered finance internships – I was just blown away by what incredible women they have become.
When it came time to order I went with some “egg-white omelet (no cheese please), fruit instead of hashbrowns, blah blah healthy healthy” concoction. That made everyone laugh because I used to order a STEAK FOR BREAKFAST before our out-of-town meets. A steak! Did I know what a carb consisted of? But then again, I used to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so my carbo-load may have come from there.
While in Illinois I also drove into Chicago. Did I mention that was when the NATO summit was going on? Yeah – bad call. Traffic jams aside, I had a blast. My friend David and I had dinner downtown and then went to see a show at The Second City comedy club.
If you haven’t heard of The Second City it has produced comedy greats including: Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Amy Poehler to name a few. The show was absolutely awesome, and if you’re ever in town it is definitely worth going to. Book early though because tickets sell out in advance!
Although I was home in KC for a few days after the Rockford trip, it wasn’t long before I hit the road again headed to Estes Park, Colorado with my friend Tarah. This wasn’t the first time I roped Tarah into this road trip.
Two summers ago she drove cross-country in a two-door Chevy Cavalier, with no cruise control, and most importantly no air conditioning from Kansas City to San Diego. With the promise of ice-cold air, she agreed to come along for the Bolder Boulder.
Ernie was absolutely adorable and just one little cuddle bug. He split up the nights spending half the evening curled up next to Tarah, and then half the evening tucked in bed with me. Sorry Karla – you get him when we’re gone!
While playing tourist, we drove up to Golden, Colorado for a tour of the Coors Brewery. While it didn’t hold a candle to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN, Coors did have one thing JD didn’t – alcohol. The distillery is actually in a dry county, so lemonade replaced any free Jack Daniels samples I was hoping for. Coors, however, keeps beer flowing.
After the tour you can try three full glasses of their different types of beer, including their Native beer you can only get in the state of Colorado. While Tarah took full advantage of all three, I only had one figuring someone had to drive us out of town!
My aunt and grandma happen to know the coolest people in town, so even though Tarah and I brought the median age down quite a bit we still enjoyed ourselves getting to know the group.
The following day also meant an early morning with a trip over Trail Ridge Road. If you’re ever in Colorado and want to experience true beauty, take this drive. The payoff at the end is the view of Grand Lake, a spectacular gem in the mountains.
We were rewarded with the 6 a.m. wakeup call to breakfast at the Fat Cat Cafe breakfast buffet. I don’t know what was better – the FIVE different types of pie I had or the Scottish egg. A Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, sprinkled with breadcrumbs, and then deep fried. I made up for that healthy egg-white breakfast in Rockford with this one! De-licious!
The rest of the weekend I basically spent in a food coma from the eggs and bacon overload! Oh yeah, and we ran the Bolder Boulder on Monday!