I have lived in Denver for two whole months now, which is quite exciting! But I realized while talking to one of my friends last week the despite living in Colorado for that long, I have also traveled out of state a lot. In that time I have also visited Iowa for my best friend’s wedding; traveled to Tampa, FL, for work; visited Iowa for Thanksgiving; and just this week have come back to Des Moines for my commencement ceremony and Christmas.
However, there is definitely something to be said for Eastern Colorado. The landscape is mostly empty, especially at this time of year, but it is more evocative of typically western lifestyles. Ranches dot windswept foothills, rivers run thinly, and the terrain grows increasingly rugged.
But despite only being in-state for four of the past eight weekends, I have been able to do some exploring. My neighborhood is fairly quiet, with street parking aplenty. For my Iowa friends, this is a bigger bonus than you’d think! I’m also close to a Thai restaurant, which poses a direct threat to my budget.
I also live fairly close to the city park, aptly named “City Park.” No offense to my Des Moines metro friends, but this how a real park should be. It has it all – extensive walking and biking paths, a lake, a promenade, an esplanade, and even a zoo! Not to mention, there are plenty of cafes and coffee shops lining the edge of the park.
When I am not galloping through the park, I have spent a decent amount of time out in the mountains. Last weekend, I went out to Vail to visit some of my friends – also native Iowans – who live nearby. It had snowed recently, so it was an excellent time to visit the mountains. For reference, this is my neighborhood again.
All of the snow you see there was gone by the weekend, when it reached over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Compare that greyscale neighborhood to this coniferous slope in Vail. Full disclosure, this photo was taken from within an enclosed ski lift, so please accept my apologies for the glare in the photo. However, I think the trees, snow, sky, and setting sun convey much more of a vibrant tone than my neighborhood.
If you have never been, Vail is a resort town owned entirely by a publicly traded company, Vail Resorts. However, much of their marketing is aimed at families; as a result, much of the town’s pricing, food options, and even architecture are (allegedly) designed with this in mind. One such example would be this ice rink nestled in between shops in the town’s shopping district.
I know this post was longer than my previous ones, so thanks for sticking around and reading it through. Also, thank you especially to Justin, from Seattle, Washington, and another reader in Ankeny, Iowa, (who I haven’t gotten permission to publish their name yet) for reading the blog. You were the October and November photo winners, respectively! And of course, thanks to random.org for helping me draw names.
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Next time, I’ll have a “Best of 2021” post. Till then, happy holidays and fly safe!