Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Playing Tourist in Colorado Springs - Part 1

I woke up on Tuesday June 4th with the train finally stopped and parked.  My sincere hope (confirmed by my cell phone) was that we had finally reached Colorado Springs and I could escape my train car and start seeing some cool stuff (after all, this was a big reason I took this job to begin with).  The hard part of being in a new city is that you walk out of your train car and you have little credible idea of where exactly you are in relation to anything else in the city.  In Omaha, the train yard was in Iowa near the casinos and little else.  In Colorado we were a bit more fortunate.

                Our parking spot in Colorado Springs was right next to Colorado College with a large park (Memorial Park) in between which had basketball courts, tennis courts, a pool, trails, fields, basically everything you could want in terms of recreational space.  My first day was some light exploring, I took off walking in the direction that seemed most populated.  I walked around the Colorado College campus, noting that the American Numismatic Association had a money museum that would be open later that day.  Considering I have a degree in Finance and a lifelong interest in money, this piqued my curiosity.

                After my self guided tour of Colorado College, I walked until I found Downtown Colorado Springs which had some of the most beautiful scenery of any “downtown” area I’ve ever been in.  Behind every large office building there was gorgeous scenery of the mountains.  While wandering around downtown, I passed the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters and then I found the Phantom Canyon Brewery.  One thing that you should immediately realize about me is that any time I see a brewery I’ve never had a beer from, hell nor high water will keep me from trying some beer.  (tl;dr, I’m a beer geek).  I use Foursquare extensively in my travels because it is a very convenient way to find activities, locations and reviews.  In this case, almost every review I saw suggested that I try the Lemon Tobasco Fried Chicken.  While I really dislike Tobasco sauce, I hoped that many people couldn’t be wrong.  I ordered it along with a flight of samples of all their beers (hey, it was my day off, why not?).  I’m here to add my voice to the masses, if you’re in Colorado Springs, go to Phantom Canyon and get the Lemon Tobasco Fried Chicken, it’s incredible. 

                At this point, I had some emails piling up and phone calls to make, so I headed back to the train to get some work done.  After an hour of work, I visited the Money Museum that I mentioned earlier.  It was certainly an interesting tour and well worth the $4 admission (finally, my MBA which I’m working on has started paying benefits, $1 off admission).  The first stop is a giant vault full of some of the rarest U.S. Coins, some worth into the 6-7 figures (according to the security guard).  There were a few interesting exhibits such as the 1804 Silver Dollars that were never put into circulation and used for gifts for Asian dignitaries.  Overall, I would certainly say the Money Museum was worth the time and worth checking out should you find yourself in Colorado Springs.

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