Eat, Pray, ACFT?

Today, I got home at about 1400 because it snowed. On Sunday, it's supposed to jump up to 70 degrees.

I guess I've experienced Colorado!

Since I've last posted, a lot has happened. My smallpox vaccine site has healed! This means, if you want to go swimming while it's snowing, you can invite me without it being a bioterrorism incident. I often think about the PV2 that got vaccinated next to me and received the brief with me. I wonder if his experience here is the same as mine: staff duty shifts, no swimming, and night TOC shift work (working 1600 - 0200)…

Since I've been working nights, it has been hard to get into a workout groove. Most of that is over, though, so I will be able to get back on track to becoming my best self but also on passing and exceeding the ACFT.

The good news is that they have made a lot of changes to it. One of those being making it job-specific for passing standards. Right now, my understanding is that I am actually at the lowest level. LTs in artillery are still expected to pass the hardest measure, but the second you become a captain, down to moderate! Of course, I don't want to scrape by, but it's a huge difference in mindset when you're lifting to stay employed versus lifting to better yourself.

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I am a bit out of shape though because Matt and I signed up for a 10k ruck march ‘for fun’ and tbh, it killed me. I used to pride myself on being a pretty good ruck marcher, especially for my size but this ruck, not only did I do it a bit slowly (16 min mile pace), I got a massive blood blister. This is a wake-up call.

It hasn't been bad, though, overall.

There's always something to do. On one of our weekends, we went to the Garden of the Gods. I had been there for about a year or so beforehand. That was when I visited Matt while stationed at Fort Polk. That time, my nose bled, and when I spoke, I would get out of breath due to Altitude Sickness.

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This time around, we were at the Garden of the Gods for a FOLK ART FESTIVAL.

I feel like you know you're not a tourist somewhere when you can do the side attractions without feeling like it's taking away from the main event.

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While there, I bought a tremendous handmade witch broom from Frog Hollow Brooms. The lady selling them kept trying to tell me how handy they were for cleaning as if I wasn't going to use it to pretend like I'm from Little Witch Academia.

We also got to try a lot of food trucks, which, for some reason, is a big thing in Colorado Springs. About three minutes from my house, they even have a weekly food truck round-up from me.

Some of the noteworthy vendors were Camp Coffee Co and Pastamore By Donna

One of the food trucks we tried had Kahlua pork soooo… I've found my groove here.

I'm also a massive foodie in general, and besides food trucks, we had a chance to eat out at other places. The two standout places, though, are Fat Sully's and Cogstone Brewing.

Pizza from Cogstone Brewing. Don’t mind the chili flakes… that’s my weird touch. Pictured is the Pumpkin Ale.

Pizza from Cogstone Brewing. Don’t mind the chili flakes… that’s my weird touch. Pictured is the Pumpkin Ale.

Now that I live in a cold climate, I've decided to become Autumn Incarnate and make up for all the autumns I've missed throughout my life in Arizona and Fort Polk. At Cogstone Brewing, not only do they have pizza, they have a Pumpkin beer that I kid you not, tastes just like a PSL.

This pizza is from Fat Sully’s. Again, ignore the chili flakes. This place literally everything was great. I think they serve the best chicken wings I’ve ever had?

This pizza is from Fat Sully’s. Again, ignore the chili flakes. This place literally everything was great. I think they serve the best chicken wings I’ve ever had?

It was heaven.

It didn't taste weird either, like how sometimes chocolate stouts kind of miss the mark because it feels too much like chocolate, where you get grossed out. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I also have gotten the chance to hang out with some friends that are stationed here that I met in FA CCC. It's been great having what is essentially a premade safety net where I can still have someone to talk to and someone I can text when I am having a bad day or have a funny meme to share. At Polk, I went with only two others who were sent to Geronimo and continuously out in the field. I hung out with one at a fair and tagged them in a post, and within 20 seconds, his wife called him to yell at him. It was pretty lonely when I first started at Polk. I never spoke to him again, and he's getting out of the Army. At Carson, I feel the complete opposite. I feel like I do have work friends right now. Hopefully, I can bridge the gap with a few to make some lifelong friendships. Time will tell.

Overall, I still have a lot more exploring to do in Colorado and the surrounding areas. Hopefully, some friends from other places come and visit me so I can continue looking at things through tourist's eyes.

First Time in Denver

This long weekend, my whole body broke out into mild hives because I am apparently allergic to good times like full body massages.

Also, never trust your husband when you both agree to go to the couples massage naked, and then you take off your robe, and you realize that you are the only one naked. That being said, when I screamed at my masseuse at a top tier spa, “please don’t panic, I am naked under the sheets!”, that she probably didn’t care until that moment.

Of course, I had a blast. My next spa treatment probably won’t be for a long time though, and it will be a facial instead…first world problems.

This four day was incredible though. We decided to go a bit more boujee than usual because plane tickets out of OKC are WILDLY less expensive than traveling out of Alexandria, LA. Also, since we went to Denver, Matt just had to drive up and experienced more of a staycation.

Once I get to Colorado, we want to do a lot more staycations like stay in Boulder or even stay in a nice hotel in the Springs. One of my primary goals is to do one 14er, if not multiple of them.

The hotel we stayed at was The Brown Palace, which their selling point is being super old. It honestly reminded me of the way Disneyland’s Hollywood Tower of Terror looked just with fewer people standing around in line, no screaming, and no spiderwebs. It had that old-timey-rich vibe which I wasn’t mad about. It also had multiple restaurants, and the spa we went to was in our lobby. Another selling point of the hotel was its proximity to Sixteenth Street, which is just a long street where only one free bus takes you along to all the shopping and eating you could want. This street would not be complete with a few cannabis stores, but besides that, it actually looked very similar to Universal Studio’s City Walk…there was even a Coyote Ugly.

Maybe I am just craving theme parks?

Sixteenth Street is where I got to meet up with a few of my high school friends that live in Boulder. We had lunch together at Otra Vez (which was only meh) and went to an excellent and inexpensive brewery (Rock Bottom Brewery - I highly recommend!).

Meeting up with them, Shannon and Megan, was a lot of fun. We caught up, which is a code-word for ‘discussed our jobs and gossiped about everyone from high school based on FB and Instagram creeping.’

After saying bye to them, Matt and I focused the rest of our trip on food.

At one point we asked the concierge for recommendations, and he actually pointed us to a cool place I didn’t know about: Cholon. This place allowed you to either pick seating at the counter or the dining room. We selected the counter, and it is literally overlooking the kitchen. We got to watch hot prep and then the final plating stages. Cold prep was hidden away, but hot food prep is arguably the most fun to watch…though we were literally so close that I was sweating every time someone ordered fried rice due to proximity to the open flame.

We also had to try tea at the hotel…

The only people that go to tea though are bridal parties and then children who are three years old, but I still enjoyed my champagne, scones, and fancy sandwiches. I would do it again. I wrote down that it was Matt’s birthday on the reservation (his birthday is May 18, so I wasn’t lying) and the classical piano man played happy birthday, and Matt got a cupcake.

A bit more classy then Texas Roadhouse where they just shake silverware in cups.

If anyone wants to go to tea though, feel free to invite me because that is my jam.

On our last full day, we went to the best steak place I’ve ever been to.

Everything was absolutely delicious. It’s called Guard and Grace, and it has another location in Houston which is kind of too bad since I like feeling cool at discovering new places, but kind of awesome since there are more places I can experience this excellent steak at.

I didn’t take any photos because we dug in and ate too fast.

Besides eating, we did manage to do one cultural thing, which was to go to the art museum. A large section of it was still under construction though, but military get in free! We didn’t know that until we got up to the desk, so that was a pleasant surprise. The art was an exciting mix of contemporary and historical. I liked it so much that I think I will be back for my next Denver trip. I guess I really feel like I’ve done that sixteenth street/downtown Denver area though and can branch out a bit more next time.