• Stephanie Olson

2020's First Adventure

Updated: Feb 4

If there is one thing that is certain in our life, it is that no matter how prepared I think we are for something, there will ALWAYS be something that changes that.  On New Year’s Eve we were going to spend some time with my parents (Ron & Lou Ann), have a few drinks, and a nice dinner. We are all the early to bed, early to rise type of people, so we joked about being in bed by 8pm. Most everything was packed up for our trip before we headed to their house, and the items that were not,  were on a list of last minute items to gather. Here is where our first hiccup came into play. By 11pm, we had consumed some drinks, had an amazing prime rib dinner, and were headed to bed at my parents’ place. In the morning, Zach wasn’t feeling back to 100% yet, but it was time to get things moving. Our goal was to take off between 8 and 9 am and we didn’t arrive back home to pack up until around 8. When we got home, I told Zach we’d be best off if he let me finish packing things up while he ran to get us some breakfast. Well, this may be the last time he trusts me on that one. I was in such a hurry and trying so hard to keep Piper out of our already packed items that I never double checked the remaining list. Trip Error #1: We forgot some pretty important stuff Zach needs to work while on this trip, and I didn’t remember to grab the wireless modem. He also mentioned on the way out the door that he wanted to bring his bluetooth mouse and keyboard to make working and editing easier. I sure didn’t grab that on the final walkthrough. We also left with Piper’s sound and light machine that she uses to sleep, but without the remote to turn it on. We hoped this would be the biggest snafu we’d run into. Anyway, back to the trip. We were heading to Omaha, Nebraska on the first day with a stop in Des Moines, Iowa for a Diners, Drive ins, and Dives visit. The drive was going pretty smoothly, we made a stop for some coffee and some duct tape to secure the bins we had in the back of the truck, and then we were on the interstate. If you’ve ever made any part of this drive, you know it’s less than exciting, farm after farm, field after field. Pretty, but awfully flat and uneventful, especially in winter. About thirty minutes out from Smokey D’s BBQ, our DD&D stop, we got a notification via google maps that the restaurant may close by the time we get there. Well, here we are, day one, error number two. Trip Error #2: It was New Year’s Day Why on earth would we think a small, locally owned diner would be open on New Year’s Day? This was something I never considered the prior week when we decided to head out a day sooner for the trip. Jimmy John’s for lunch it was. Back on the road, two hours to go. Thankfully, we only have to get just past the Nebraska border to reach our Airbnb. Well, this is one lesson in travelling you can never be too certain of. What do they say in real estate, “Location, location, location”? This was NOT the better side of Omaha. Piper was getting really tired of being in the car, but our idea to drop her and Zach off so that I could run to the store quickly was not going to happen. Not in the dark, in this neighborhood. When we reached the grocery store closest to our airbnb, it had a very heavy police presence at the entry door. I don’t know that I’ve run up and down the aisles to find what we need so quickly before. I got in and out as quickly as I could, and we crossed our fingers that we’d cross that imaginary line that often exists between the rougher area and the nice neighborhood we hoped our Airbnb would be in. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. When we arrived, it was clear this was not a great area, so we quickly unloaded, got in the house, and locked up for the night. We got to bed early with the intent to get up as early as possible, head to the gym to shower and get back on our way. The best part of our stay in Omaha on this trip was our visit to Scooter's Coffee. We never fail to be excited to try their featured drinks!

Day two, we got up and out of the house by 6, completely packed and ready to hit the road. We stopped at the Omaha Lifetime fitness, showered, and got back to our grind. This day was a drive across Nebraska to a little town called Gothenburg. Thankfully, it was only a three and a half hour drive. If you’ve driven across Nebraska, you know that doing it tired, and with a not so happy baby in the backseat, it can be a little tough. Most of the state has nowhere to stop right off the highway to get a break. Once we arrived in Gothenburg though, it was great. The town had a very pleasant little coffee shop called Lasso Espresso. The decor was adorable, drinks were fantastic, and the sandwiches, delicious. Our next stop was to Peterson’s Supermarket. I don’t know if there are too many things that take me back to my childhood like these family run little town stores. They remind me so much of grocery shopping on our trips to Northern Wisconsin. The Airbnb was North of town so we headed there and were so pleasantly surprised when we arrived. We drove down a two mile gravel road, then the small private road the farm was located on. The “cottage” we were staying in had been converted by the current owner, as it had previously been his grandfather’s workshop. It had all of the wonderful little touches you’d expect in a farm cottage. From the wood burning stove to the wood interior, and even the original farm owner’s high school diploma was hung on the wall. This place was so quaint, and exactly what we were hoping we’d have so we could unwind for the night. Zach took the drone out for a quick video, and we discovered they had both horses and cows on the farm. We were even able to buy some grass finished ribeye steaks from the owner. This day was a good one.

Day three, we were headed to Colorado. After a few hours of driving, there they were…. The Rocky Mountains were finally in sight. Seeing them just never gets old. We had left Gothenburg pretty early, so when we arrived in Colorado Springs, we were way ahead of check in time. We decided the first stop would be the Lifetime Fitness in Colorado Springs. We were looking forward to checking this location out, as it seemed they had considerably more to offer than our club in Brookfield. We found out that we are definitely spoiled. The things we assumed were a given everywhere were not so. I do have to admit though, doing cardio while looking at the mountains was something I could definitely get used to.

Trip Error #3: All Lifetimes are not created equal. Our location’s locker rooms are five star without a doubt. We’ve got spa quality shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, as well as shaving cream in each shower stall. We also have ear swabs, makeup wipes, razors, mouthwash, lotion and feminine products at each sink. When I stepped into the shower stall in Colorado Springs, I realized this was going to be rough. There was no more than soap on the wall to shower with. Guess I should have brought my entire bag in with me! After the gym, we went to Bad Daddy’s Burgers. This place was delicious. Zach had a bacon burger with three types of bacon, and I had a turkey burger with brie and grilled apples. The best part was the DELICIOUS chocolate malt we shared. This was Piper’s favorite part as well. Once we wrapped up there, we walked over to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some treats, and then we were headed for another quick grocery store stop. Once we wrapped up at the grocery store, it was time to check in to the Airbnb here. This location was exactly what I would make it. Everything is organized and neat, labeled, and decorated so cute. The best part? The view from the living room window, and just steps out the door is the mountains. We did find very quickly that you pay for that view. Our budget for a nice home in Wisconsin wouldn’t get us much more than a shack with a mountain view.

Stay tuned for our next blog post when we can detail the things we did in the Colorado Springs area. We’ve got seven days to explore and document, then we head to Idaho Springs. 

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