This post is long overdue and I've been putting it off for far too long!
Amongst the deadlines and endless homework assigned from my classes, we were given a week of freedom from the never ending work. This was Fall Break and I wanted to make use of the free time!
I've been lucky enough to keep in contact with Anna, a friend who I met in Swansea when she came from Utah as an exchange student for the Spring semester. After she nearly risked her life getting to my house for dinner the first day she arrived in Swansea, she somehow wanted to stay in touch with me, and she's been awesome in showing me the hidden beauties and foods of Salt Lake City!
We decided that we both wanted to do something this Fall Break and chose to go to Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado to explore a different state and visit my friend, Holly who is also studying in the US this year but at Colorado State University.
After a very short and easy plane ride, we arrived in Denver which was much flatter than I expected. From what my Mum had told me of her time in Colorado and the pictures I had seen of Denver, I expected a landscape similar to that of Salt Lake's with the mountains being a very prominent feature. It was much flatter however, and the mountains although there, seemed a lot further away. After a bus ride into the city we got to our airbnb for the night, unloaded our bags, and headed out to explore the city.
The skyline of Denver is impressive and seemed full of exciting things to see and do, however when we asked a tour guide what we should do we were told, 'Denver is a place to eat and get merry!'. Being 20 and just on the verge of turning 21 meant that I couldn't take part on the get merry portion of Denver but we still found a cute little street full of bars to have a mocktail. I felt so bad for Anna as she is 21, meaning she had to put up with my underage self for 5 days!
We managed to find the Colorado state capitol and Courthouse which was placed amongst the skyscrapers, and after coming to the conclusion that we didn't know what else to do, we went to Cheesecake Factory for the most amazing cheesecake I've ever had and went back to the airbnb for the evening.
The next day, we explored the local art district we were staying in and found an amazing bagel shop which was super busy, and a great place to people watch and experience the vibe of Denver!
We then embarked on the long bus adventure to Fort Collins. We relied on public transport all the way there and somehow made it successfully to Colorado State University campus. It was amazing to see Holly again, especially in America, and cool to see what her American College experience was like. Holly, unlike me, was living in roommate dorms, which meant she shared her bathroom with the whole floor, which took a bit of getting used to! As I chose to live in an apartment I have my own room and share my bathroom with only one other person so therefore this was super different! Holly also had to eat at the dining halls and therefore I got to experience the campus food experience. With so many options, it was super overwhelming!
Fort Collins is a beautiful town and had a very different vibe to Salt Lake City. The downtown area is small and full of individual shops and cafes which was fun to explore! The fall in Colorado is beautiful and the trees were starting to turn really beautiful oranges, yellows and reds. Me and Anna also explored the mountains nearby and went for a hike where we saw Prairie Dogs and Deer, it was definitely nice to get out and explore a different state's wildlife and nature.
Colorado State University itself was a really nice campus. Although a lot smaller than Utah, it had a very friendly feel and me and Anna spent a bit of time in their library, that work overload never truly goes away!
We also met some of Holly's friends, who were predominantly Brits, it was weird to hear the accent again! I met Dan. the other student who went to CSU from Swansea and it was great to talk about what we all miss from our home university, always nice to reminisce! It was great to hang out and meet Holly's friends and I'm excited for them to come to Salt Lake in a couple of weeks time to see where I'm living! Anna has also invited us all out to San Francisco for thanksgiving so I can't wait to have a real thanksgiving dinner in California!
After a great few days in Colorado I felt recharged to take on the next part of the semester. It was also nice to get away from the City for a while, although I did miss the mountains!
This Thursday I'm going to Seattle on the MUSS bus, to watch the Utes play against Washington University, I'm so excited to visit another state and city and to watch the Utes play away, I'm not looking forward to the 12 hours bus journey though!