Vacation in Colorado Springs
There comes a time in your life when you need a vacation. I mean, desperately need to get out of town, gain some perspective and break your routines. This year, living through a pandemic, has taught me that more than ever. Although our vacation options are limited, we chose to get the hell out of dodge and head to vacation in Colorado Springs for a weekend celebrating the marriage of old friends.
About an hour drive south of Denver, you’ll come to a small little town nestled right up against the Rocky Mountains with Pikes Peak being the center of attention for this town. It not only towers over the town but has streets, buildings and stores all named after it. At 14,000 feet it’s hard not to make this the focus of your town.
Airbnb For our Vacation in Colorado Springs
We arrived just after sunset to our Airbnb. A small studio apartment above a garage 5 minutes from the main street. We pulled up in the dark ally and took our only parking spot right along side the garage, you could already see the character-forming for our home away from home. Through the fence doors and up a flight of stairs we walked into a charming space that welcomed us with snacks, warmth, and decor that had so much thought put into every space.
As we wandered through out new space that would be ours for the weekend we took in the details. A Giraffe paining in the bathroom that I still want to steal, textured carpets that bring in culture and depth to the design. Small baskets and paintings hanging in the kitchen that add charm and again, bring in the worldly elements. A stack of books and movies that show you a little glimpse into the people who own this place. (One book I even own about the true stories of child soldiers that I got from an Invisible Children conference years ago. I wonder if they were at that same conference.)
After we explored our room and got settled, it was time to find somewhere to eat. A list of suggested restaurants was taped to the fridge and we found a few interesting spots, but the Lucky Dumpling had our hearts. We’re suckers for great asian food and even more so for a good dumpling.
Jackets in hand and masks in our pocket (We are still in a pandemic after all) we drove down the road to the Lucky Dumpling. This is no chain by any means, and that’s just how we like it.
We scan through the QR code menu on our phones. I appreciate saving resources and preventing the spread of germs, but I hate that people are now encouraged to be on their phones at the table. It actually makes my skin crawl. Once our orders are taken, I grab both our phones and put them in my purse. We’re going to be intentional on this vacation. We’re going to be present.
The first dish arrives. A Thai chicken peanut dumpling. 6 dumplings lay in a bowl covered in a honey brown color with steam rising from their doughy flesh. We open our chopsticks excited to see if the Lucky Dumpling has delivered. In one bite we both plop the dumplings in our mouths and wait for the heat to dissolve to the same temperature as our mouths. The rush of warmth with peanut, pepper and fresh cilantro dance around our tongues until we both look at each other confirming that these are in fact amazing dumplings. This place has delivered. We’re satisfied with our choice to be here.
Two more dishes make there way to us. Fried chicken Bao buns with with a Chile hot sauce and a black pepper gravy. The cross between Asian and Southern comfort food is clever and tasty. However, the Bao buns did not live up to my standards. Having had Momofuku’s in New York, my standards are high. While the dumplings are to die for, the Bao buns still need perfecting. After the Fried Chicken, we finish our order with the Ginger Pork dumplings. Once again, a melody in your mouth.
Lunch on Main Street
While I would love to say that we went on daring adventures on this vacation in Colorado Springs, we didn’t. It was a lot of resting, wedding events at the Mining Exchange hotel, walking around the town and resting in our Airbnb (we loved it so much it was hard to leave it.) There was also a good amount of eating out. While exploring the mainstream before the wedding that Saturday, we found The Skirted Heifer.
This small little restaurant was the perfect place to find a greasy meal after a few too many drinks the night before. Sweet potato fries, regular fries, homemade soda with cane sugar and an amazing burger hit the spot as we sat next to the window and watched people walk up and down main street.
Like the Lucky Dumpling, this place had a decor all its own that felt inviting and made it fun to look around. There’s not a lot of space for people to eat. Most took their food outside into the cold or grabbed it to go. If you were lucky enough to find a place to eat, it was the perfect spot to hang out on a cold Saturday morning.
Colorado Springs Shopping
We finished our exploring by checking out a few of the local shops. An art gallery that brought new inspiration to my world and helped me discover and new favorite artist. Art Gallery 113 highlights local artists including my new favorite Matt Atkinson. His ability to connect humanity back to nature shows off his Native American roots and has me dreaming up new painting ideas myself.
We also stumbled into the Kingsman when we found Rutledges. A men’s clothing store that can custom make any suit and brings out your inner gentleman. Clayton now has it on his bucket list to purchase a suit from this store. Although me might have to hit the jackpot first.
Between the fun shops that bring in new ideas and the restaurants that fill your belly with amazing food, this weekend vacation in Colorado Springs away brought rest and rejuvenation to our lives. Who knew that going just one hour away from home could really feel like getting far away. It gives you the perspective you need to come back with a full heart, ready to lean into your day to day again.