Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Denver Christkindl Market

After spending 3 year of Christmas' in Germany, we developed an after Thanksgiving tradition of heading to Christmas markets, being back stateside I knew we wouldn't be going to any Christmas markets, but after doing some research I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Denver has a Christmas Market, and apparently it's the best one in the USA (score!) I was skeptical of a USA version of a Christmas market, but the idea of glühwein and German food was all the convincing I needed.

The Denver Christmas Market is in the heart of downtown, next to city hall. The market itself is at the corner of Arapahoe St & 16th St Mall. As a market itself, it's on the smaller side, but then again I've also been to the largest Christmas market in the world in Nurenburg, Germany. Compared to the German markets the Denver Christmas Market is pretty up to par. The German food was so good. They even had potato pancakes and nurenburger brats. I wish the pancakes were deep fried, but it was still so good! I seriously got so homesick for Germany, but at least we got a little taste.

A Christmas Market wouldn't be complete without glühwein. Unlike Germany, where you can find a glühwein stall around every corner, you can only find it in the Bier tent. Inside the tent, it's very well decorated-there was even live music! For $8 you can get a Denver market cup and glühwein. The glühwein it self is only $4. 

They also sell German beer in the tent as well! But Christmas markets are for glühwein! (FYI; inside the tent is cash only, there are ATMs in the market, but it's always smart to get some before heading to the market)

Over all, it was a good market. Great selection of foods and crafts, plus it's something to get you out of the house!

Also for those with younger kids, on the other side of city hall, ther is an Ice skating ring. To skate it's free, the only charge you have is $2 to rent skates!

Skate around the rink and then head over to the market for some food and beer and glühwein. It's the perfect activity for the whole family.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Garden of the Gods, CO

It is unseasonably warm here in Colorado Springs. Instead of snow, we had a record high in both October and November! Since we "missed" summer in Colorado we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head out to Garden of the Gods.

The area was first called Red Rock Corral.Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a "capital place for a beer garden". His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods."

The Garden of the Gods' red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago. Archaeological evidence shows that prehistoric people visited Garden of the Gods about 1330 BC. At about 250 BC, Native American people camped in the park; they are believed to have been attracted to wildlife and plant life in the area and used overhangs created by the rocks for shelter.

We wanted to do a quick hike, just to get a feel of the area. It took us a bit to find parking, but there is a parking lot at the end of the loop that is pretty empty.

Overall is was a quick hike and a perfect day to go exploring. I can't wait to check out the other parts. Best of all...It's free!

GPS: 1805 N. 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Hours:8a-5p Daily
Costs: Free
Pet Friendly/Not stroller Friendly

Thursday, November 17, 2016

St. Louis Arch, MO

Our third stop on our #PCSFL2CO road trip took us to St. Louis. A few years ago long when Drew and I were newly weds, I went to St. Louis for a week to visit my best friend who had just moved there herself. When I left St. Louis, I swore I would never go back. But of course Drew's never been, so I couldn't deny him the opportunity to see the Arch, (Since that's the only thing he had any interest in seeing.) We did debate checking out the City Museum, but since we had Rylie, we just decided to skip it.

We ended up spending more time in Nashville than expected, but luckily we had friends who live in St. Louis and they were free to meet for dinner! It's so great having friends all over the world.
The net morning, we headed off to the Arch. I typed in the Arch into our GPS and found a parking garage close to the Arch. Just like in any other city, parking is a bit pricey, but if you're only staying for an hour or too this is the way to go.

It was a quick 5 minute walk to the Arch. There were little signs on the sidewalk in white that said "Arch this way." When we finally made it to the Arch, we came to a construction site! It's just our luck. When I visited in 2011, there was so much green grass and places to sit and hang out.

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument clad in stainless steel and built in the form of an inverted, weighted catenary arch. It is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. It was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis.

We got our pictures and decided to head out. St. Louis in August is almost as miserable as Florida is in August!

You are able to go to the top of the Arch. It is something everyone should do once. To me, it wasn't worth going up again. But it is something you should do once, if you're ever there!

GPS: 100 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102
Cost: $13/Adults $10/Children | Entry $3/Adults

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Parthenon, TN

Nashville is amazing. We really enjoyed it and can't wait to go back. This time, without Rylie! (Is this what it's like to have kids? haha) But, we got to spend some time with a friend and we even got to enjoy the nightlife.

The Parthenon stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, Nashville's premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.

Originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures, which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

The Parthenon also serves as Nashville's art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

Instead of going inside, we decided to walk around, since we had Rylie with us. The weather wasn't cooperating with us and we had plans to meet up with a friend, so we decided to skip it. I just wanted to see if Wahalla was better. They are both equally impressive in my opinion. I've seen the original in Athens, but it was nice to see a fully built replica! 

Since we stuck around we found a little food truck festival, complete with music and booths to check out. It reminded us of Germany!

We ended up eating at a BBQ place, it was named the best BBQ in Nashville in 2014. It wasn't too bad, I love Southern cooking. It's not the same here in Colorado.

Overall we had a great day. It was nice to be able to do something with Rylie and something where we could stretch our legs. Centennial Park is the perfect place if you have little ones, with or without fur!  

GPS: 2500 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Closed Monday.
Cost: Adults $6.00 | Children (4-17) $4.00 | Seniors (over 62) $4.00