In my family, I am the Julie McCoy (Love Boat reference, anyone?) … the cruise director and social planner. I was almost fired as the summer flew by and I had neglected to plan a trip before the first day of school. My husband, no lie, typed up a list of 10 vacation activities and we covertly ranked them for tabulation. Armed with this scientific knowledge, we landed on Colorado as this year’s fun family vacation.
We had three super awesome days packed with amazing mountain views, terrific tour guides and a quirky cool bed and breakfast. We stayed at the Blue Skies Inn in funky Manitou Springs, beside Colorado Springs. This creative B&B has several different themed rooms and my 11-year-old daughter chose the Starlight room. She liked the astrological vibe and proximity to the hot tub. The breakfast was delicious and was served in a cute basket, which could be delivered either the night before, if we were touring early, or in the morning. We enjoyed fresh warm muffins, cereal bars, a fabulous souffle, oatmeal and more. We loved it!
The first night we arrived, we got in kind of late and landed at Swirl Wine Bar because they were open. That was pretty much our only criteria. Luckily, It was fabulous! The food was so good, and the beer and wine selection was great. Manitou Springs is a charming town near Pikes Peak. It has a good selection of restaurants, an old school penny arcade, unique stores, and you can try the different mineral waters from several fountains in the town.
On the first morning of our trip, we took a half-day Colorado Jeep Tour out of Canon City.
Our expert driver and super knowledgeable tour guide was Chris and out open-air Jeep held eight passengers. The tour included some interesting history on Canon City, also known as “Prison City, USA.” Literally, they have nine state and four federal prisons and penitentiaries. The main part of the tour went through the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world. The ride to the park was bumpy and exciting as we all were on the lookout for wildlife. The area suffered a devastating fire last June with buildings being completely lost and massive amounts of trees were destroyed. The bridge wasn’t damaged and is currently only open on weekends. Our tour took us to a beautiful vista where Chris showed us arrow heads, fossils and unique rocks he has found in the area.
The afternoon was all about zip lining.
We headed over to Royal Gorge Zip Lines and got geared up for the classic zip line course which included nine lines and two helpful funny guides. Riley and Cody were our guides and they kept us all laughing at their bad jokes, and completely safe, the entire time. It was a great experience and we vowed to try this again close to home in the Smoky Mountains.
It was a great day! Stay tuned to see what we did on day two of our Colorado vacation.
Have you ever taken a last-minute trip? Share your Great American adventure stories with us! (Comment below).