Roswell | Roadtripping through New Mexico

Road Trip through New Mexico | Roswell | Rose Colored Water #aliens #travel #roadtrip

At the beginning of June, I roadtripped through New Mexico, stopping at various tourist sites and local food joints. I learned many things, but the most important was that everything I thought I knew about New Mexico was wrong. New Mexico truly is the land of enchantment.

New Mexico is one of the most beautiful states I have traveled through, and everything I saw was with new eyes. I had driven through New Mexico before, but never to sight see or explore small, local areas. The more we drove through the desert, the deeper I fell in love with its beautiful landscape and mysterious ways.

The desert pulls at you in a way I cannot describe. I want to share everything from my trip with you – to pass on some of the magic felt traversing across that wide open space…

…and the magic begins at Roswell.

Road Trip through New Mexico | Roswell | Rose Colored Water #aliens #travel #roadtrip

Roswell is one of the most well-known towns in New Mexico. 

You cannot drive through New Mexico without stopping in Roswell. If you have no idea what I am talking about… let me give you a brief history.

In July, 1947, the small town of Roswell would be changed forever when a UFO crashed into a nearby field, leaving behind dead bodies and a crumpled flying saucer. For those who believe, Roswell may be one of the most fascinating places on this planet.

Roswell testimonies | Rose Colored Water #newmexico #ufo #aliens

Touring the International UFO Museum & Research Center

If you drive through Roswell, it is worth stopping at the International UFO Museum and Research Center. It has a cheap entry fee, and military members receive a discount. It cost $6 for Mike and I to take the tour. You can roam through the museum at your leisure.

We took time to read all of the first hand accounts from Roswell citizens, as well as from the Army and Air Force. I must admit, after reading the accounts and looking at photos, I am a believer. Every testimony was compelling.

You will find some cheesy memorabilia in the museum, but everything about the Roswell incident is fascinating! That is what the museum specializes in.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind | Roswell Museum | Rose Colored Water #aliens #ufo #newmexico

Other Things to See

There is not much else in Roswell. It is a large town, but it has built its name on the UFO incident. You can walk through the streets and buy alien memorabilia. We spent around two hours here and then headed on down the road.

You can stop for a quick lunch at a Whataburger (if you don’t have those) or a Wienerschnitzel. Supposedly, Wienerschnitzel’s are few and far between, so if you love fast German food, you need to stop here. Mike bought some kind of sauerkraut thing. I have no idea, but he said it was delicious!

Roswell is definitely worth a look if you are interested in learning about conspiracy theories and the secrets of America. Take a moment to walk through the museum and learn some history.

Have you ever been to Roswell? What did you see? Do you believe in aliens?

 

A Trip to Mount Evans | Near Idaho Springs, Colorado

A Trip to Mount Evans near Idaho Springs, Colorado

When people think about Colorado, they think mountains and Pike’s Peak. Unfortunately, that is a grossly limited view of what Colorado has to offer, and it’s even more sad to think that people believe Pike’s Peak is the biggest and best mountain in the area. I am here to tell you that it is NOT the best mountain in Colorado, and it really doesn’t even take second place.

A Trip to Mount Evans near Idaho Springs, Colorado
Anywho, if you’re in the business of mountains, might I recommend a day trip to Mount Evans, just off of I-70 at Idaho Springs. Idaho Springs is a great little town, so you can grab breakfast and lunch there while exploring the area. Mount Evans stands at a towering elevation of more than 14,000 feet (just like Pike’s Peak) and offers an array of hiking trails near it’s base. You can drive nearly all the way to the summit and the views are gorgeous.

On the drive, you’re sure to see plenty of mountain goats and marmots (my favorite). They are plentiful and they’re not afraid of tourists. Mount Evans is the also the mountain in which the Chicago Lakes trail is on (one that Mike and I have been wanting to hike – it’s on our Denver to-do list). We stopped at one of the lakes on the way up. It’s called Summit Lake, and it is breathtaking.

As you venture up the mountain, be sure you have plenty of water, sunglasses, sunblock, and some snacks – even if you’re just driving. The air is thin and the altitude will do a number on you if you don’t take precautions. You do have to pay to drive up, but it’s not ridiculous (like the cost to drive up Pike’s Peak), and it’s free for military!

Anyways, enough chatter. Here’s the photos I have of the day!

5 Reasons to Visit the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado

5 Reasons to Visit the Great Sand Dunes #Colorado #vacation #travel #cheap | Rose Colored Water

This past May, Mike and I celebrated one year of marriage. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money since we’re still laser-focused on paying down our debt, so we decided to venture to an area that was close to home. If you haven’t heard of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, you have been missing out. I can only describe it as a mini-Sahara hidden within the beauty of majestic mountains.

There is something for everyone in this area. There are hiking trails, swimming holes, and plenty of sand to build castles.

5 Reasons to Visit the Great Sand Dunes #Colorado #vacation #travel #cheap | Rose Colored Water
Great Sand Dunes National Park is about 4 hours away from Denver, and just 3 from the Colorado Springs area. It’s a fairly easy drive heading south on Interstate 25. Then you turn onto Hwy 160. Once you are near the park, you’ll see signs guiding you in its direction. The area is barren, as there isn’t much around. However, there is a vibrant small town called Alamosa about 30 minutes away that offers all your favorite lodging and food joints. I recommend staying there if you’re not a fan of camping.

If you do love camping, you can backpack into the sand dunes and spend the night, or you can stay at the campground near the base of the dunes. Ultimately, it is up to you. If you do camp near the dunes, take plenty of food and water, as the nearest town (Alamosa) is 30 miles down the road.

If you’re not sold on the national park yet, let me give you five reasons to add this location to your bucket list.

1. The Great Sand Dunes are pet-friendly.

We have loved taking Motley with us on our adventures. That’s one of the great perks of Colorado. It’s a dog-friendly state. The sand dunes are no different. The creek that flows through is a great place for your pups to romp around. Note: If you’re planning on hiking in the dunes, make sure your dog has booties or you go in the early morning/late evening. The sun can heat the sand to more than 100 degrees before noon.

2. There is an easy hike nearby to Zapata Falls.

Everyone loves waterfalls, and this one is easy to get to. You’ll see Zapata Falls as a point of interest when driving to the sand dunes park. Be prepared, as you must drive three miles up a rocky, dusty gravel road. This is not a place for your BMW or low-ride car, though you can make it in a standard coupe or sedan. I recommend going early in the morning because this area can get busy quickly. Once you’ve reached the parking area, it’s only .5 miles to the falls.

3. It’s a low-cost vacation.

If you’re a veteran or part of the military, you get in free to every national park. Still, even if you have to pay, I think a day pass is $15. That’s pretty good considering everything you have access to. If you camp and bring your own food, this can be a cheap getaway. If you do choose to stay in a hotel, there are several low-priced options in Alamosa. Mike and I paid $90 to stay in a little mom-and-pop joint. It was clean and easy to find.

4. It’s easy to travel to.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is so easy to get to, and the drive is spectacular. It’s not an overwhelming mountain drive (if you’re fearful of that kind of thing) and it’s easily accessible. If you don’t like road-tripping, you might not like this trip much, as you do have to drive at least 3-4 hours from the nearest city. Still, it’s easy to do and so worth it.

5. It is one of the most unique parks in America.

Maybe that’s just my opinion, but you won’t find sand dunes of this size anywhere else in the United States. Yes, there are other dunes. Yes, they are also cost-effective to visit. However, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a national park for a reason. The largest dunes stand at 700 feet tall. Other dunes don’t have creeks flowing through them from snowmelt. Other dunes aren’t surrounded by mountains. Trust me, it is a sight to see, and well worth the trip.

Just take a look at the photos and do some other research. You will find this park is one you don’t want to skip out on.

10 Things I Want To Do in Denver

10 Things I Want to Do in Denver

10 Things I Want to Do in Denver
I have been in Colorado for one week and I’m already in love with living “in the mountains.” I haven’t went into the city yet, but I can tell from driving around that this is an amazing place with lots to do. I started doing some research and created a list of ten things I really want to experience in the next year. Mike is always up for an adventure, so I know we are going to have a ton of fun living in Denver.

This is just a starter list, but I think it’s a pretty good one to begin.

1. Visit the Denver Art Museum

I love art museums. I am not some arty smarty, but I like to look at different styles and see what each museum has to offer. Even if the Denver Art Museum doesn’t compare to MOMA, every museum has a unique offering of artwork that deserves to be seen. I can’t wait to take a day to visit.

2. Visit the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

If you have not seen this amphitheatre, you are missing out. I’ve only seen pictures, but I know that it’s going to be awesome. There’s an annual Easter Sunrise Service here, and I can’t think of a better way to experience Jesus’ resurrection than here.

3. Go to the Denver Zoo.

This is a given. How could we not go to the zoo? I’ve heard nothing but great things and this is something Mike and I love to do. It’s pretty pricey, but that must mean something right? All I can say is… they have okapi. I used to breed those on the computer game Zoo Tycoon!

4. Tour the Denver Botanic Gardens

I am kind of obsessed with plants, so every botanic garden is intriguing to me. I loved visiting the St. Louis gardens and am sure Denver’s Botanic Gardens will not disappoint. Their website has some beautiful photos, and I know Mike and I will love walking the grounds.

5. Walk down Larimer Square

From what I can tell, Larimer Square is supposed to feel like a small town square with quaint shops and places to eat. It’s a top pick on numerous Denver to-do lists, so I feel that we would be foolish not to take an evening to explore the area and grab a bite to eat.

6. Drive up Mt. Evans

Mount Evans isn’t in Denver, but it’s near the city, so I felt the need to add it. I have been up Mt. Evans, but Mike has not. I think it would be a fun drive for us to take. There were mountain goats everywhere when I went as a kid, and there were gorgeous valleys of wildflowers and green grass. I cannot wait to see this again and snag some great photos.

7. Take the Light Rail downtown.

If you haven’t heard, Denver has a light rail system and it is expanding into the far corners of the region. They have major plans to expand the system into the suburbs so more people have easy commutes into the downtown area, as well as across the whole city. I think taking the “train” into the city would be so awesome. In St. Louis, we always had to drive downtown for events and pay anywhere from $5 to $15 for parking, only to walk another 1/2 mile to get to our location.

When taking the light rail, you don’t have to worry about parking. It stops at several places downtown so you are within walking distance of everything. You can simply park your car at the station. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think this will be our new way of traveling around the city. Plus, military rides free! Savings all around!

8. Watch a football game at the Broncos’ stadium.

I am not a Broncos fan. Never will be. I am a Chiefs fan because I hail from the Kansas City area. My husband is a Packers fan. The important thing here is that I have never been to a football game. I’ve been to baseball and hockey games, but never football – not even in high school (small town probs). I want to see a game here, and I’ll probably hop on the light rail to make it happen!

9. Visit the Blue Demon Mustang

Also known as Blucifer, this giant blue horse statue stands raring it’s fiery head near the Denver International Airport. Some people claim that it’s full of bad luck because a piece of it fell on its creator and killed him. Freaky… Anyways, I want to see this thing for myself. It’s not too far from me, so the drive would be easy. I’ll post pictures here.

10. Hike the Chicago Lakes Trail

The Chicago Lakes Trail was something I discovered when researching Mt. Evans. It’s in the same area and the photos are gorgeous. It could be a contender with Hanging Lake (which Mike and I will hike this summer). The trail is 9.4 miles round trip and rated as difficult. It is dog-friendly, which is important to me, though I’m not sure Mots would be up for something this intense. This is definitely on my to-do list first thing in June.

How does this look for an introduction to the Denver area? Rocky Mountain National Park alone has numerous things to do, but I wanted to start inside and work my way out. Every weekend is going to be jam packed out here. I can’t wait!

 

The Best Weekend Ever | Biloxi

The BEST WEEKEND EVER | Biloxi | Rose Colored Water

Somehow, the best/worst week turned into the best weekend ever. Of course, that’s something to be said for all long weekends. At Keesler AFB, every other weekend is a down Friday, meaning no class and minimal duties. When this day falls in line with a holiday, students rejoice.

This four day weekend was exactly what I needed to shake off the remnants of last week and fly starry-eyed and recharged into the next one. I don’t know how it happened, but this weekend lifted my spirits and gave me the confidence to tackle whatever might come my way.

The BEST WEEKEND EVER | Biloxi | Rose Colored Water
I attribute my bright spirits to the joy that comes from simply living day after day. During the school week, we aren’t given that luxury. Everything involves routine – sleep, eat, PT, go to class, eat, out-process, sleep, repeat. That is the gist of technical training.

But this weekend was ours, and ours alone. I lived every day to its fullest. Some days may have seemed as though they were wasted, but with four days to myself, what’s one day? The weather was bright; the temperatures, warm. The salt of the ocean could be felt everywhere.

The Simple Joys of Football on the Beach | Rose Colored Water

FRIDAY, I PRIMPED.

The weekend began at noon. I decided I was feeling very female, so my friends and I headed to the BX. I believe the true beginning of the new age for me began when I decided it was time to dye my hair. Before basic training, I dyed my hair often, and it always rejuvenated me. Fresh color makes me feel vibrant. I also bought some new products, as time in the Air Force has not been kind to my thinning hair.

It was also high time to do something about my feet. Thankfully, the BX is an excellent place to get cheap polish.

SATURDAY, I BLOGGED.

I worked out. I showered. I napped. I blogged. I let the world fall away. I ate Ferrero Rochers. I went out for frozen custard. Speaking of which, Bop’s Frozen Custard is pretty dang good. If you’re ever down here in Biloxi/D’Iberville, try it out.

Then I took a friend out to up his current style. Thank you Kohl’s, for offering an array of male clothes for a bargain price.

Biloxi Beach | Beachside Blvd | Rose Colored Water

SUNDAY, I LIVED.

Maybe it was the absolutely gorgeous weather. Maybe it was because I worked out every day and felt like a million bucks. Or maybe it’s because my husband thinks he landed on a goldmine when he met me. Sunday was perfect because everything that I wanted to happen… happened.

I woke up early and worked out. I showered, shaved my legs, put on make-up and headed out for coffee and Sec+ studying with friends.

Advanced Encryption Standard | SEC+ | Rose Colored Water
Advanced Encryption Standard. Still blows my mind.

After studying, we decided it was too beautiful to stay inside a coffee shop. We headed to the beach for some much needed sun and sand therapy. It was perfection. I can’t describe it any other way. I had such a great time. The only thing that would have made it better was having Mike there with me. It was Valentine’s Day, after all.

We threw a football around. My friend saw his first jellyfish. We took off our shoes and let the white sands sift between our toes. In those moments, I was happy. Joy is found in the still, small moments. Anyone who says differently is fooling themselves. It’s watching your friends laugh with beach winds blowing through their hair. It’s seeing the awe in their eyes as they poke their first [dead] jellyfish on the beach. It’s feeling ocean sand tickle your feet for the first time in months.

Those are the moments where joy finds its way in.

We then proceeded to go eat at Fox’s Pizza Den, another great little place to eat in D’Iberville, right next to Bop’s! They have great deals, and everything we had was excellent. I had a stromboli that rivaled my favorite stromboli place back home, so that’s saying something.

Fox Den Pizza Stromboli, D'Iberville, Rose Colored Water
If you’ve never had a stromboli, now is the time. It may not look like much, but that’s the small version. They have 5 larger sizes up from this one.

The day just kept getting better.

Then, I headed back to Kohl’s and scored some amazing running pants for $8.

MONDAY, I RAN.

FILA running gear, Kohl's, Rose Colored Water
I spent my morning running on the beach – testing out my new wild running pants. Life goes back to normal tomorrow – back to work, back to out-processing, back to Security+ studying. You probably won’t see me around here much the next three weeks. Just know, I’m living life to the fullest and working towards a greater goal.

It’s only a matter of time.

Did you find joy this weekend?