Oktoberfest Celebrations

Although the official Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, celebrations can be found all around the world. Any excuse to get gather, drink beer, eat food, and dance to traditional folk music will likely draw a large crowd. There are several places in Colorado where you can go to an Oktoberfest, most notably is in Breckenridge, but there is a very large one in Denver as well as one in Colorado Springs. We went to our first Oktoberfest back in 2015 and had an absolutely wonderful time.

Pretzel Stand
Pretzel Stand
Young Dancer
Young Dancer
Dancing to the Band
Dancing to the Band

We had a very nice Hefe-Weizen wheat beer as well as an excellent Marzen amber ale from Paulaner Brewer, who are from Munich.  We needed the cold beers after literally kicking our heels up with the dance troupe, The Denver Kickers.  We have a lot of respect for them, all of whom are family members, as they danced the entire day and evening, entertaining the crowd.  That certainly can’t be easy, especially wearing lederhosen as warm as it was that day.  In addition to the dancing, there was plenty of music by The Prime Time Band featuring Klaus.

Pete and Dona with the Dancers Enjoying Some Beer
Pete and Dona with the Dancers Enjoying Some Beer
Beer Steins
Beer Steins
Beer Mug Table
Beer Mug Table

If we had tried all of the different food that was offered, we would have probably put on ten pounds.  The food that we did eat was delicious, especially the bratwurst with sauerkraut.  In addition to brats, there was Weiner Schnitzel, giant pretzels, German chocolate cake, and a variety of sweets.  Along with the beer, we definitely had our fill of good food.

Sweets
Sweets
Bratwurst
Bratwurst
Weiner Schnitzel Vendor
Weiner Schnitzel Vendor

It was a great day of dancing, drinking, eating, and people watching.  Regardless of your heritage or where you live, going to Oktoberfest is well worth the time.  It is a great event for families as well as for couples like us.  We really had a lot fun, made some new friends, and even learned a new dance, all in all, a wonderful day.

Cooking Some Brats
Cooking Some Brats
Traditional Folk Dance
Traditional Folk Dance
Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon

 

Family Friendly Breckenridge in Colorado

Breckenridge is a resort town in the Colorado mountains that is quite popular for skiing during the winter and hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer. With so many things to do in Breckenridge, it is a great place to spend at least several days, if not an entire week. Not only are there plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, but the town also has many wonderful restaurants as well as stores offering collectables, clothing, and art. Most everything can be found right off of main street, which is surrounded by a variety of condominiums, rental homes, and hotels.

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Downtown Breckenridge
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Putt Putt Golf
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Statue in Breckenridge
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Mountain Bikes for Rent
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Families Playing in the Snow

Since we are avid hikers, we truly enjoyed getting out into nature like we did when we hiked Burro Trail. In addition, though, we also enjoyed our time in the town of Breckenridge as well. One of the things that we had heard about was the “Breckenridge Troll”, officially called Isak Heartstone, which is a giant wooden sculpture that has recently been relocated to near the ice skating arena. The creation is the work of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who came back to Breckenridge to oversee the relocation of the piece of art. It is very large and dramatic.

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Zip Lines
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Shops and Restaurants in Breckenridge
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The Breckenridge Troll
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Historic Museum in Town
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Alpine Slide

We also took the free gondola ride up to peak 8 where there are many activities for the entire family  to enjoy, but especially children. There is a mountain rollercoaster, a zip line, maze, putt putt golf, as well as an alpine slide. For those that rent mountain bikes, there is a chair lift that will take you to the top of the mountain where you can ride down one of the many trails. Even though it was the middle of summer, there was still some snow on one of the ski runs for people to slide around and throw snowballs at each other. There are also a couple of restaurants to enjoy a cool refreshment and get a meal to keep your energy up for the activities.

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Another Historic Building
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Mountain Bikers Coming Down the Trail
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Restaurant on Peak 8
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River Running Through Town
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Railroad Exhibit and Children’s Park

The town of Breckenridge is very walkable with many shops and restaurants along the streets, but there is also a free trolley that will take you throughout the area. Like most places in Colorado, the people are extremely friendly and very welcoming to tourists that arrive from all around the world. Another benefit of getting into the mountains during the summer is that the temperatures are much milder and it can even get a little cold in the evening. We really enjoyed our time in Breckenridge and found that it was certainly a wonderful place for people of all ages.

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Sasquatch Statue Downtown
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Bike on the Chair Lift
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Free Gondola
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Maggie Pond in the Village
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Walking Along the River Walk

 

Our Hiking Season Has Officially Begun

Although some people hike year-round, regardless of the season, we prefer to wait until most of the snow has melted before going hiking in the mountains. It has been a cool and rainy spring in Colorado and the mountains have continued to get snow even as summer starts around most of the country. We decided to hike a trail that we’ve done before, but this time we chose to go a different direction, which completely changed the hike. It was a relatively easy hike and there was almost no one else on the trail, making it very relaxing and peaceful.

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Relaxing Trail
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Colorful Wildflowers
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Surrounded by Pine Trees
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Wonderful Views from the Trail

We decided to hike the Falcon Trail on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy here in Colorado Springs. We originally hiked it back in August of 2017, so it was nice seeing it during a different time of year. Thanks to all of the moisture that we’ve had, the wildflowers are in full bloom making the trail even more beautiful. The entire trail is a 12 1/2 mile loop, but we only went 5 miles on this hike as we get back into hiking condition.

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Wildflowers Along the Trail
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Peaks in the Distance
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Rocky Portion of the Trail
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Looking Eastward

Now that the weather is getting better, we expect to go hiking quite regularly between any trips that we have planned. We find that hiking on the weekends is a great way to relax as well as truly enjoy the beautiful scenery that Colorado has to offer. Although we didn’t see any wildlife on the trail itself, we did come across some wild turkeys crossing the road as we approached the parking area at the head of the trail. The Air Force Academy is also a protected area for wildlife, so it is quite common to find elk, deer, and other wild animals on the grounds of academy. It was certainly a wonderful way to kick off our hiking season and we look forward to getting even farther up into the mountains on our next hike.

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Tiny Yellow Wildflowers
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Wild Turkeys
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Turkeys Crossing the Road
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Start of the Trail