Colorado, U.S.A.Well, aren't you all just the smartest people ever? Here I thought the pictures I selected were so sneaky, at least for the first and second clues. Of course, I meant for the last clue to be the easiest one yet...but still someone guessed from the very first. Congratulations!
Things have finally settled down since getting back home and while we are still enjoying these last few blissful days of relaxation, I'm sneaking in a few minutes to show you what we were up to these past few weeks.
Red Beard and I were in the wonderful state of Colorado since the day after Christmas. We stayed in Broomfield, which is just north of Denver at the Omni Interlocken Resort and it was amazing! Below is another sunrise shot from our balcony view room. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, and we even had the newspaper delivered every morning. We would definitely recommend Omni Resorts and stay there again in the future. (Just my opinion, they don't know who I am from the next gal.)
The first day of our trip, we drove south to Colorado Springs. Our first stop was at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Such an inspiring tour and it was free, which made it a win-win! For the first 10 minutes of the tour we watched a video, which basically made me want to become an Olympian Triathlete. Then I remembered that I'm married, we have a home, someday we want a family, and we have these things called J-O-B-S.
Thanks to donations from huge corporate sponsors (such as Procter & Gamble, Samsung, AT&T) their training facilities and athletic residents are able to function without any government funding. Our tour guide walked us down the main walkway, which was lined with all the flags from the countries & nations participating in London this summer ~ 144 total!
We walked through the main training gym and wrestling area. There was some sort of camp going on because of the high school aged kids in the gym. Between the time I took the first picture and when we left the building several minutes later, they were still doing these squat-medicine ball throws. Oh em gee. My thighs are burning just from looking at the picture again.
Below are two pictures of the massive gym where they train for basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. Of course, no athletes were there during our tour which lead me to ask our guide exactly when did they have time to train without all of us nosy tourists around. He gave me the best non-answer I've heard in a while and pretty sure it was due to security reasons. My deduction is the athletes train early in the mornings (before tours start at 9am) and after the tours end (around 4pm) during the weekday. Talk about serious dedication!
Towards the end of our tour, we saw the athletic residence dormitories and dining area. Our guide explained that many of the foreign athletes staying on campus were sort of like foreign exchange students. An athlete from the U.S. would stay at a training facility in France and a French athlete would come stay here, as an example. He also mentioned that seeing athletes interact with each other, especially those from countries which have strained U.S. diplomatic relations was an amazing experience.
We really enjoyed spending an hour at the U.S. Olympic Training Facilities and are definitely inspired by all the Olympians past, present and future as well as the Para-Olympians. They put in many years of dedication and grueling training, while having the distinct honor to represent our country in a myriad of sports.
Our final stop in Colorado Springs was at Garden of the Gods. These spectacular cliffs have a neat history which you can read more about here if you're into that sort of thing.
Some of these sandstone rock formations are over 300' tall! We also saw some rock climbers that day, even though it was cold and windy out. Although the sun was beginning to make its way down behind the mountains, we were able to walk around for a bit. My only regret was that we didn't stay longer or come back the following day for some more exploring. These photographs leave much to be desired since I'm not a professional but hopefully you can see a glimpse of the majestic rock formations!
And some brave rock climbers...can you see them? And they look much, much smaller without my zoom lens!
That was pretty much it for our first day in the lovely state of Colorado. We felt like we were able to pack in a good amount of indoor and outdoor activities at little to no cost.
Stay tuned for what we did on day 2 in Colorado Springs! It involved some major altitude changes and scary wind gusts.