Tag Archives: Andrew

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | Day One

Rocky Mountain National Park was our first stop on our spring break trip to Colorado! We stayed in Estes Park, which is a cute little town about fifteen minutes from the national park. As we were driving in, I couldn’t believe the mountains in the background and the mountains that we were driving through. Estes boasted its own amazing views too, and the first night after driving in we walked around Estes Lake.

Lake Estes
Lake Estes
The next morning we awoke bright and early and drove out to Rocky Mountain National Park. Even as you drove up, the views were incredible. The road into the park, called Trail Ridge Road, wound all the way up into the mountains. Every turn gave a different view of the rockies and there were turns I couldn’t help but just gasp because it was unlike anything I had ever seen! There were plenty of places to pull off the road to take pictures or to hike, so I took advantage of those! I felt like every turn I was telling Andrew to pull over so I could get out of the car!

Trail Ridge Road and the mountains.
Trail Ridge Road and the mountains.
My favorite view of the park was right near the beginning. The road took almost a u-turn so in almost every direction, all you could see were mountains. We would just stand there in silence, taking it all in. Words were useless.

Rocky Mountains

Near the beginning, there were only patches of snow and I probably would have been okay with just a jacket. But as the road took us higher and higher up, the temperatures dropped and everything was covered in at least a foot of snow! The roads were clear for the most part except for the last little stretch. It looked like we were driving at a 45 degree angle and the road was pretty icy. My little car handles snow okay on flat roads in Missouri, but I definitely thought we were going to fly straight off the mountain! I commend Andrew on his excellent driving. :P

Near Sprague Lake

Trail Ridge Road was close about eight miles in since this is still their winter and the roads weren’t safe, so we found a hiking trail that led to Sprague Lake. It was about a three mile loop, so we thought that would be easy enough to manage. However the trail was completely covered in snow and we were both only wearing sneakers. The snow was pretty packed down by other hikers, but there were some slippery spots and spots that led off the trail where we stepped knee-deep into snow. XD The lake was a bit disappointing when we arrived because it was completely covered in snow, so there really wasn’t much to see. But we got some good exercise and were beat once we got back to our car. Hiking three miles is way more exhausting than just walking it!

Andrew wondering why I'm so far behind.
Andrew wondering why I’m so far behind.
After hiking, we drove down some different roads we hadn’t seen before. It ended up being an absolutely perfect day! It was very cold, but we were bundled up and the sky’s were pretty clear.

Storm Pass
Storm Pass
We didn’t stay too much longer on our first day because we were pretty tired. As we were driving back, we stopped in the downtown Estes Park, which was just a collection of cute little shops and eateries. We couldn’t help but stop into one of the candy stores either. :P They had quite a variety of different ice cream flavors, but one in particular caught my eye: Chip Killa Dough Nilla. You just can’t pass homemade ice cream with a name like that up. So I got two scoops and Andrew picked out some black raspberry. So good.

Chip Killa Dough Nilla: chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with caramel swirls. Absolutely delicious.
Chip Killa Dough Nilla: chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with caramel swirls. Absolutely delicious.
On our way back to the hotel from ice cream, my car gave a shuddering and my check engine light dinged on. We were both silent for a moment before Andrew said something along the lines of, “Well, that’s not good.” We managed to get it back to the hotel and Andrew checked the fluids. My oil was low, so we walked to the nearest gas station a mile and a half away. After a long day of trekking through the park, it was a long walk! We topped off the oil, but couldn’t do anything else for the night so we figured we would deal with it in the morning.

I was a bit bummed about my car. I was nervous that it would take a long time to fix or that we might lose time doing all of the other things that we had planned. I was also really nervous that it would be expensive – and an engine problem sounded expensive. However, I couldn’t do anything about it until tomorrow. So walking back into our room and seeing this view out the window made me feel a bit better. :)

A herd of elk outside of our window!
A herd of elk outside of our window!

(New) Kansas City Adventures

It’s sad to think that Andrew and I will be leaving Kansas City in just a few short months. It will be bittersweet to graduate and move home; we’ve made a lot of friends here and have grown to love this city. So, we want to do as much as we can in the last couple of months before we move back to St. Louis.

One of the placed I have always wanted to visit is the downtown central branch of the Kansas City Library. Andrew suggested going between classes yesterday; it was a bit gray out but it wasn’t supposed to rain and it wasn’t too cold, so we decided to go. While visiting a library sounds boring, the downtown library is very unique. The south side of the parking garage features the spines of classic novels that are as tall as the garage itself, so it looks like a gigantic bookshelf!

Right Book Shelf
The east side of the bookshelf.
Left Book Shelf
The west side of the bookshelf.

It was hard to take a good picture of all of the books in one shot because the streets are so narrow, so crossing the street didn’t help much.

Me standing next to Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.
Me standing next to Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

The inside of the library is just as amazing. From 1906 to 1999, the building was actually a bank. They remodeled it and turned it into the library. It has such a classy feel inside with marble floors and beautiful architecture. Their children section is so cute, too, with large pages of famous quotes from various books framing the entrance.

Children's Area

We wandered around for a while, just exploring. I couldn’t get over how huge the library was. They have just rows and rows of books, as well as conference rooms and tons of computers. If I lived a bit closer, I could find myself spending a lot of time here. They have a grand reading room, with tons of tables and lamps in a large room, where you can study or look through books. It reminded me of something from a movie! I didn’t take a picture though because there was a sign that asked to turn your phones off and put them away. I had to tell Andrew not to talk through that room because he cannot whisper to save his life. :D

Downstairs in the basement, the library is currently turning one of the old bank safes into a movie theater. It was open, and looked finished to me, but apparently they aren’t having any showings yet.

Bank Vault turned Movie Theater

It was a great afternoon “mini-date,” and I can’t believe it’s somewhere I’ve not been before. I’ve lived in Kansas City for three and a half years and I’m just now going to this awesome place with books! :P

Later, we had friends over for dinner. We ordered pizza from a local pizza place called Minsky’s that we hadn’t tried before. I’ve been compiling a list of restaurants as well to try before we leave, and this was on the list. Numerous friends have recommended it — including the ones we had over! — so we gave it a go.

By the time I remembered to take a picture of the pizza, we ate it all. :P
By the time I remembered to take a picture of the pizza, we ate it all. :P

The price wasn’t too expensive; we paid about $40 for two large pizzas and an order of bread sticks. We normally just order from Domino’s or Papa Johns because it’s cheap, but it was very good. Andrew and I couldn’t say we liked it more or less than other pizza places, so we probably wouldn’t order their regularly. However, they have a huge menu, so I would like to try some other things besides their pizza in the future!