We were excited to be spending one week in the state of Colorado, three nights in Denver at a pet sit and four in Colorado Springs.
We were already planning to spend one week in Colorado Springs so when an Easter pet sit popped up in Denver we applied and were happy to accept the few days there. We arrived in Denver on Friday afternoon and took a look around the downtown area. We know the Friday before Easter as ‘Good Friday’ and a public holiday, not so in America and there were lots of people out enjoying after work drinks and the gorgeous sunshine. We instantly found the area trendy with a hipster vibe and very lively. Plus there was a baseball game on and the park is pretty much right in the centre of the city so the area was buzzing with a fun atmosphere.We found some Mexican for dinner before going to meet our next furry friend, Charlie, an 11 month old Poodle Retriever. His family was taking a quick trip to California to see some family for Easter so we were there for just a few nights. Charlie was a bundle of energy and we had lots of fun with him.The next day was another warm one and we found the boys a local Easter egg hunt in a nearby park. They collected so many eggs, which all had the classic America sweet/lolly inside, Tootsie Rolls. We also enjoyed a few other local parks and playgrounds while we looked after Charlie. It was a beautiful area of Denver, especially the very large green space of Washington Park.Once the family returned from their trip and we said goodbye to Charlie, we travelled just 105 kms south of Denver to Colorado Springs.
We had booked a one bedroom Airbnb apartment (read our review here) and after the few days at the pet sit we were still enjoying the extra space from our usual one room Wyndham accomodations.
With lots of nice weather continuing, we got out and explored some of the many trails around the area. The first place we visited was the Garden of the Gods, with many different trails and incredible red rock formations. In 1909 the children of the land owner, Charles Perkins, gifted the land to the city on the condition that it remain open and free to the public forever. The 1,367-acre park is also designated as a National Natural Landmark. There is a fantastic visitors centre and the boys completed another Junior Ranger activity book (for just $1.99 USD/$2.84 NZD for the visitors centre) while we explored some of the trails and landscapes.The following day we visited Helen Hunt Falls, we hadn’t been to many non frozen waterfalls of late and we were interested to see how this one would stack up against some of the amazing ones we saw in Asia. We thought after the winter thaw that it would be quite big, but there wasn’t much water flowing at all. After a short sharp hike to the lookout we went in search of another nearby trail. The trail we found didn’t have any length details on the sign so we just headed up to see what we could find, it was a bit of a non event with just a few more views of the falls and back towards Colorado Springs.The 25th of April is a special day for New Zealanders (and Australians) with the commemoration of ANZAC Day. Last year we were in Vietnam’s capital and found an ANZAC Day service we could attend at the Australian Embassy, but with no official service in or near Colorado Springs we found our own way to commemorate. After the boys did an ANZAC history lesson we headed off to find some Kiwi meat pies.
A few weeks prior Logan’s mum had sent us a link to a NZ Stuff news article about Matt (a Kiwi) and his wife Tara (an American) making pies in Colorado Springs. These are not typical sweet American pies but classic Kiwi meat pies, so we knew we had to track them down once we got here. We thought we were heading to a bakery to purchase a ready-to-eat hot pie, but instead we arrived at Mountain Pie’s commercial kitchen. Not to worry, we could also buy their frozen pies there. But we were fortunate enough that Matt was on-site and in typical Kiwi style he welcomed us and offered to show us his set up and we learnt about their very interesting last five years in business. Their current production of around 2,000 pies a week is needing to increase due to population demand and they are looking for a bigger space. Matt is a proud Northland raised New Zealander like Logan and I and of course we found people in common that we knew. We had a great time and Matt kindly sent us away with a wonderful selection of pies to sample. The New Zealander (aka Steak and Cheese) and the Potato Top were a real taste of home while the Pepper Steak and Pork Pueblo Green Chile has a local flavour with Colorado sourced chiles. All round these pies are delicious with a light buttery pastry, tasty filling and they held up well to the microwave heat up…. we just couldn’t wait long enough to heat them up in the oven. We highly recommend a Mountain Pie!!And just like that our time in Colorado Springs (& Colorado state) was done. We really liked the vibe of this little city nestled under the mountain ranges and we would really like to come back and explore more of this amazing place.
Average Daily Spend for 7 nights – $146.09 NZD ($71.30 under budget per day)
If anyone might be interested in house/pet sitting and would like to sign up to TrustedHousesitters.com (this is the site we use), then please feel free to use our referral code, RAF145453 at checkout or click this link to get 25% off your first years membership.