June 9, 2019
After driving through some more farmland, Pop Pop and I finally found some new landscape: mountains! As we drove northwest to Fort Collins, we got closer and closer to the Rocky Mountains. For Collins is apparently located in the foothills of the Rockies. I was super excited to finally experience Fort Collins with my family because I always hear so many great things about the area. I was there once when I was about 7 years old, so I don’t remember much besides going to an outdoor concert, rocking my baby cousin (who just got his license the other day) too hard and crying because I didn’t want to leave Colorado.
Due to our late night of driving, we only had about five hours in the car and reached my Coloradoan family around 4 p.m. That gave us time to see the new improvements my aunt and uncle have made to their home (again something I always hear about, but don’t ever see) and meet their extremely friendly cats. Seriously—these cats are like dogs they’re so friendly. I was very pleased.
We also got a quick tour of some of my aunt’s artwork around town. One of the words I would use to describe Fort Collins even before I got there is “artsy.” Through arts sponsorship programs as well as private commissions, Fort Collins is covered in street art from local painters, including my very talented aunt. She has painted many transformer boxes and even a piano for the town, and has designed other murals seen around. It was fulfilling to finally to see some of her artwork in real life rather than Facebook. I really am so glad that Fort Collins supports local artists and that my aunt is able to make her artistic mark on the place she calls home.
I would have been content with looking at art all night, but my uncle was hungry and that meant it was dinner time. He chose Coopersmith’s, which apparently is the oldest brewpub in Fort Collins. When I hear pub, though, I think of yummy burgers and sandwiches, and that’s what I got. I ordered Cooper’s Burger, which was a beautifully cooked house beef patty topped with artichoke dip. It was something I’ve definitely never ordered before, and the gamble was worth it. I also enjoyed the atmosphere of Coopersmith’s, as we sat on the back patio that looked into the rest of downtown Fort Collins.
Downtown Fort Collins is also something I have always heard about, and I always pictured it as a street with eclectic shops and handmade goods. Boy, was I wrong. Downtown Fort Collins is huge and seemingly thriving. The few streets we walked through were packed with people, various stores and eateries for every type of person. I think my uncle described it best as “high-end hipster.” I really was blown away by Fort Collins and hope I to live near a community like that one day.
After dinner, we wandered to Churn, a new homemade ice cream shop in The Exchange, which is a new “open air central plaza.” Basically just more “high-end hipster” things. I was pretty full from dinner, but I can never say no to ice cream. I had a small cup of goat cheese raspberry ice cream, which was a calm sweet. I usually go for chocolaty goodness, but I love raspberry and the goat cheese really drew me in.
I was beyond exhausted by the time we got back to my family’s house. My cousins went and played in their computer room, and I sat on the couch with my Pop Pop and uncle as they watched a re-run of the Eagles winning the super bowl. It was so hard not to pass out, so I took a shower and then settled in bed and was dosing on and off by 10 p.m. with a cuddly cat, which was not a bad set up at all.
My female cousin eventually came into her room and we chatted about a bunch of different things until I could fight no longer and let the night take me away into a much-needed slumber.
Whitmanythought 1: I wish I could stay in Colorado with my family longer.