To finish off our trip to Colorado, Colin and I drove up to Loveland to stay with his Aunt and Uncle. We packed quite a bit into our 2 1/2 days there, and it was so fun! Also, as you’ll see here, we tried lots of different beers. I’m usually pretty strictly a wine person, but after trying so many different kinds of beer, I managed to find a few I really liked! More on that later in the post.
Uncle Terry and Aunt Cindy have a beautiful home that’s only 45 minutes away from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). This is convenient, because Aunt Cindy is a pretty serious hiker! She goes hiking with her friends about as often as I go get coffee with mine :) We typically spend our visits to Loveland hiking non-stop, but this time we did quite a bit of wandering and relaxing instead. I guess that means we’ll have to go back even sooner to get some hiking in haha
One of my favorite parts of staying with them is their lovely backyard. We always eat really delicious food while we enjoy the gorgeous weather and the abundant Aspen trees (my all time favorites)!
For part of our visit, we drove up to Fort Collins to explore! Apparently part of one of the Disney parks (I don’t know which one as I haven’t been to either) has a section that is designed to look just like downtown Fort Collins–what?! Awesome.
We started off with a tour of New Belgium Brewery (which is where we tried most of the beer I referred to earlier). It was so interesting to see how the beer is made, learn about how to properly taste it, and experience what a fun company New Belgium is! Also, they kind of have a thing for bikes…which Colin and I definitely connected with.
Those barrels used to be for making red wine in France! Now they’re used to make sour beer…which actually turned out to be my favorite one I tried! Also, one of the first employees of New Belgium asked for a rock wall to be put in the brewery for his 10 year anniversary of working for the company. So cool!
I’m pretty sure Fat Tire is the beer New Belgium is known for. This is Colin’s dad’s favorite, and it’s pretty tasty!
Oh, and when you’ve worked for New Belgium for one year, you get a bike that is specific to that year! I want to work there! Well, you know, sort of haha
So the brewery tour was awesome, and after that we walked around downtown. It was such a cool area!
After wandering, we went back to Loveland to attend the outdoor community concert put on by the Mary Louise Lee Band. They were so good! Lots of fun soul music, and it seemed like the whole city of Loveland was there!
The next day (July 4th) we went to RMNP to drive Trail Ridge Road. I’d never been to this part of the Park before, so it was definitely a great experience! Basically the road takes you to the highest point in the Park, which is both a terrifying and amazing drive.
This was officially the first time I’ve ever seen snow on the 4th of July! Also, that’s Colin’s cousin, Adam, up there acting like he conquered the rock (I told him to pose like that haha).
So beautiful, right?! It was also pretty cold and windy up there. Colin and I both wore our red, white, and blue, but we had to cover it up to keep warm!
It was pretty busy at the top, so we drove back down some to find a good picnic spot. It was right by a mountain stream, which was lovely! Next to Aspen trees, I think rushing rivers are my favorite part of the mountains.
It was a cloudy, rainy day, so before going out to watch fireworks, we played around with Aunt Cindy’s grandfather’s old cameras. He was friends with Ansel Adams…like they went on trips together. I know, it’s crazy!
Eventually the rain and clouds cleared up a bit, so we went downtown to watch fireworks and enjoy a community band concert. Is there a more American experience than that? Probably not :)
Happy Birthday, America!
Thanks, Uncle Terry and Aunt Cindy, for letting us stay with you and for showing us around! And thanks to all of you who have relived my vacation with me! You didn’t even have to be trapped in my living room with an album on your lap as I re-told all the stories :)
Until next time, Colorado!