My first morning in Colorado started with a run. I had been stalking Ashley’s blog, hoping to see if there was any snow on the ground, and to my disappointment, there wasn’t! After obsessively checking the weather online and seeing that it was supposed to snow between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., I set my alarm for 2 a.m. to catch a glimpse. Nothing! Not even one flake! Maybe next time… all the better for running, though. I figured since I had packed my shoes and a bulky jacket to run in, I should make use of them.
My Garmin was dead, so I just ran down to Old Town and back. I was gone a little over 30 minutes. Something is better than nothing, right? It was pretty cold when I started out, but I actually really enjoyed running in the cold! I passed a huge sign that said it was 34 degrees. I loved it 🙂
After a shower, all I could think about was breakfast. Remember how my favorite word is buffet? I didn’t go too crazy, though. I started with cereal and granola (with milk… I hate milk!) and a banana that I saved for later in the day.
I used to dislike donuts (weird, right?) but ever since some kind stranger gave me a donut hole at mile 9 of my marathon, I realized that I really like them! Maybe that one tasted better because I was desperate for fuel, but these were delicious too. I should know, I didn’t share with my friend. 🙂 Plus a mini blueberry muffin–
After breakfast, we drove around for a long time, getting a feel for the area and picking out our dream homes. Fort Collins has some seriously cheap and beautiful houses! We headed back to Old Town around noon to meet our friend for lunch. I couldn’t believe it had been a year since I had seen one of my best friends! She has lived in Fort Collins for two years and she loves it. I can’t wait to live near her 🙂
We decided on Rainbow Restaurant for lunch. One of my friends is a vegan, the other one is a meat eater, and I’m a vegetarian! They definitely had something for everyone. The decor of the restaurant was awesome. It’s in an old house, and everything is sort of funky and homey. I was too busy catching up with my friend to get any pictures of the restaurant, but I loved it!
Considering I had a ton of sugar for breakfast, I was in the mood for something salty for lunch. They still had the breakfast menu, and I had hardly opened it when my friend informed me they had pumpkin bread french toast. You know you have good friends when they know what you want to order before you do 🙂
Oh my god. That’s really all I can say about this. Two of my favorite breakfast treats in one?! This was insanely delicious. I am taking comfort in the fact that I will recreate this as soon as possible. The rest of the menu looked really good. They have a ton of vegan and vegetarian options. I definitely plan to frequent this place when I move!
We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up and seeing my friend’s house. She had to work that night, so we went back to Old Town to find a place for dinner. Pizza was obviously our first choice! We went to BeauJo’s, a place that serves “Colorado style pizza.” Apparently, their thing is serving honey with your pizza. When you’re done with the pizza, you pour the honey on your crust, and that’s your dessert!
I got the garlic veggie mountain pie– Roasted garlic cream sauce, fire roasted red peppers, black olives, artichoke hearts, red onions and smoked provolone cheese. It was great, but the crust was phenomenal! I don’t know what they did to, but it was perfect with honey.
We were in the mood for something sweet after dinner, and we were considering walking back to the cupcakery for a treat. Literally one minute after we expressed our desire for sugar, there was a table smack in the middle of Old Town that was giving away cookies and hot chocolate! I didn’t even ask them why they were giving anything away, I was too busy eating. They were getting ready to leave and offered us big boxes of cookies, which we sadly declined because we didn’t feel like lugging them around. I wanted to take a box and walk around, handing people cookies, but I thought people might think I was weird. And, I
probably definitely would have eaten them myself.
My friend suggested we check out The Bean Cycle. It’s half coffee shop, half used book store. Definitely my kind of place! I couldn’t resist getting a scone. It was chocolate peanut butter!
I also got that book for $5. I am loving history books recently! I also loved the ambience of the place.
We called it an early night and went back to the hotel around 10 or so. The next morning, I decided to use the hotel’s gym rather than run. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. St. Elmo’s Fire (one of my favorite movies!) was on, so it went by quickly. I didn’t want to be gone too long, because we had an early morning. Breakfast was the same as the day before, with an extra donut hole 🙂
Lunch was pizza eaten at my friend’s dad’s house. He lives about 20 minutes away from Fort Collins. His neighborhood is ridiculously nice! I keep telling my parents they should move there, too. Unlikely, but one can hope!
We had to get to Denver that day, so we said goodbye to everyone and got on the road. I just found out that my phone can give directions, so we decided to stop by Boulder to check it out. Since it was a Sunday night, a lot of things were closed, but we walked around anyway. It’s really cute! It’s like a bigger version of Fort Collins. Also much more expensive. I would like to live there too, but my wallet wouldn’t! The restaurants that were open were kind of expensive, so we decided to have dinner when we got to Denver. It was purely our hunger that dictated this choice-
We stopped at the first place we saw off the freeway in Denver, appropriately named Denver Diner. This was literally the only vegetarian thing on the menu. Good thing I love grilled cheese! I guess I usually pick restaurants that are more vegetarian friendly, because I normally don’t have a hard time finding something on the menu.
I like Denver! Even though we were staying in a questionable area, the rest of the city is nice.
After we checked into the hotel, we went to find a coffee shop. Turns out we were heading the wrong way, so we never found it. There were some interesting looking characters loitering around, so we went to another diner- Tom’s Diner. I got (decaf) coffee and a slice of turtle cheesecake. No picture- we were the only people in there other than a group of people filming a movie or something, and I felt weird busting out my camera.
The real reason I wanted to share my meals with everyone is talk about Snooze, which I mentioned I found on Iowa Girl Eats. I don’t know if I can ever express how amazing this restaurant, except to say if you are anywhere near Colorado, GO HERE NOW! There are two in Denver and one in Fort Collins. Thank God! I can say without a doubt that this is the best breakfast I have ever had. This really deserves its own post, but oh well.
I looked at the menu beforehand and knew I wanted to get the pancake flight- three regular sized pancakes, flavors of your choosing, as opposed to one huge pancake.
Look at that thing of beauty! Starting with the left…
Sweet potato- signature sweet potato buttermilk pancakes topped with homemade caramel, pecans and ginger butter. My favorite out of all of them!
In the middle-
Chocolate peanut butter. There wasn’t a description… I think it was self explanatory 🙂
And the last-
Ichabod Crane- quinoa and corn pancakes topped with pumpkin cream sauce, candied pumpkin seeds, and a chili-spiced Vermont maple syrup.
I slipped into a food coma shortly after this was taken. I know I say this about everything, but this was the best breakfast I have ever had!
Did I mention how cute it was inside?
Shortly after we ate, we explored the capitol building…
We were a mile high!
And then we sat around the airport for 10 hours. No pictures of food, photos of multiple bagels wouldn’t be exciting 🙂
I was really impressed with the restaurants in Fort Collins! For being a relatively smaller town, they have a ton of unique, vegetarian friendly restaurants. I’m still recovering from eating out so much, though. I think I’m still full!
How often do you eat out when you’re on vacation? Do you go to restaurants for every meal, or do you pack your own healthy food? I wish I had packed more food, but I’m glad I got to enjoy some great restaurants!