Fort Collins, Colorado
In early December we had an opportunity to travel to Ft. Collins,
Colorado which is about an hour north of Denver and an hour south of
Montana. I was surprised to see that most land north of Denver is
prairie land. It's flat as far as the eye can see to the Rocky Mountain
Range. Ft. Collins is a historic town dating back to the gold rush. It
is a college town for the University of Colorado evident in all the
young people in varied styles of dress. We started in Old Town at a
great little eclectic cafe, Backcountry Provisions. There were tables in
the window so you could people watch. The floors in this cafe are
gorgeous wood and the place has a rustic mountain feel to it. The walls
are adorned with a mixture of mountain scenes or Boston Sports posters.
The menu offers over twenty sandwich variations and encourages you to
make up your own choosing between meats, cheeses, veggies, spreads and
breads. The potato soup was homemade that day and came out steaming hot
in an inviting bowl. I had the Hot Springs sandwich made up of cream
cheese, avocado, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, carrots, red onion and
lettuce. For $6.75 it was not only a great deal but a feast in my mouth.
My husband made up his own creation of capocollo, ham and Swiss cheese
with a spicy mustard that he said is the best he ever had. He loved it
so much he is trying to get it from a food supply co. If you are ever in Ft.
Collins you must travel to Old Town and Backcountry Provisions.
is really magical. It has eclectic shops and restaurants all down
the street. They favor the younger crowd from the college and that's
fine because they bring an energy that is contagious. There is a huge
courtyard in the center of Old Town which had a frozen fountain,
beautiful stone and brickwork and benches to relax and enjoy. Being the
beginning of Dec. there was Father Christmas, a lovely little cottage
for Santa and children performing their holiday songs. It was very
magical and put me in the spirit of the holidays. When we returned to
Old Town that evening for dinner all the trees were decorated with white
lights and it was absolutely glorious. For the rest of the day we
visited three breweries. It was tremendous fun. We first drove to Odells
which is a gorgeous building with friendly service. My husband and I
shared a brewers sample which had pretty large servings of each beer
brewed there. We had great conversation once again inspired by the
energy of the young. We then drove to the New Belgium brewery which
offered free samplers to promote their bottled product. The place was
packed and people of all ages continued to pour in while we were there.
Our friends said that last spring they watched a triathlon of thousands
of bikers all dressed in silly garb. The bartender said they were amazed
at how many bikers showed up. It was a really fun place. With the
staying power which comes from practice we headed back downtown to Coopersmith's which actually occupies two restaurants across the street
from one another. We shared another sampler there which came in lovely
glasses which had to be at least 6 ounces. Thank goodness we decided to
share that afternoon or it would have been nap time.
evening we headed to a piano bar called Jay's. It is an incredible
lounge and restaurant filled with little nooks and crannies for very
intimate seating. They have a couple other rooms and the decor was very
nice. We shared a bottle of wine and had a great time. We then went back
to town to Nico's Catacombs. This wasn't just dining THIS was an
experience. Nico himself seated us in a cozy booth in the rear of the
restaurant. As we perused the menu a waiter came to a table near us and
flamed cherries jubilee tableside. I have not seen tableside
preparations in a lot of years and was enthralled. We ordered a Caesar
Salad to share and that was prepared table side. It was so fresh and
delicious. As we often do, my husband and I decided to order two dishes
and switch off halfway so we get the best of both worlds. We ordered a
lobster and scallop dish and another great dish I can not remember,
which I know you will understand after the breweries and wine. As we
dined another waiter appeared carrying flaming Baked Alaska. It was very
impressive. Nico's has an extensive menu and pleasant service. I highly
recommend you try this restaurant if you ever pass through Ft. Collins.
day we headed off to Estes State Park and the Rocky Mountain National Forrest. It was an incredibly gorgeous ride. Our first stop was
the Stanley Hotel made famous when the Steven King's the Shining was
filmed there. It is a huge gorgeous old gracious style hotel which
reminded us all about the Mt Washington Hotel in NH. We then headed into
the National Forrest. It was very windy and very cold. As we traversed
the mountain roads we say a herd of Elk grazing in a valley pasture. I
had never seen a wild elk before and it was incredible. Across the
street was a herd of mountain deer. We marveled at the incredible scene.
We continued up the mountain as far as we were allowed to go. It had
been snowing in the mountains and some of the passes were closed. On our
way back down we saw a herd of mountain sheep and rams with huge horns.
Unbothered by the cars stopping and people taking pictures they
continues to graze while the largest ram kept an eye on everything.
Another incredible first in a lifetime site. This is a must do in
Colorado. On the way back we stopped in a little town and ate at a small
restaurant. It was an American menu we could tell was frequented by
locals. We had good old chicken soup and split an artichoke/spinach dip
with my friend. My husband had
a chili hot dog. The food was good, the
atmosphere homey and people were very friendly.
our day with a lovely family dinner with son and daughter in law,
grandson, brother and sisters of our friends. We have been friends for
20 years and watched each other kids grow. It was an incredible trip and
I highly recommend Ft. Collins be added to you "I want to go there
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