Colorado Bound

[This post is a little late in the making, but better late than never 🙂 ]

For our next adventure, we are headed to Denver, Colorado to relocate for Matthew’s job – and to move to the place we have dreamed of moving ever since visiting my friend, Rachel, in Boulder two summers ago. So with our cars packed up with all of our belongings, and a necklace from Matthew’s parents speaking the truth to our new journey around my neck, we were off.

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Honda Civic & Scion TC all packed up & ready to begin the journey

Since the trip from Atlanta to Denver is a little over 20 hours, we decided to break it up into some fun stops along the way. From Atlanta to Nashville to St. Louis to Kansas City and then finally, to Denver. Each night we spent in an Airbnb house, and we truly got the all-around experience in these cities we’ve never visited before.

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Nashville Airbnb

In Nashville, we stayed in a pricier Airbnb ($54/night) partly because most of the Airbnb’s in Nashville aren’t as cheap as other locations, and because we booked the room about 5 days before our trip so we had limited options. Fitting for the price, the place was very nice – a brand new home in a still-developing neighborhood – and the host was kind enough to let us use the kitchen, share some of his drinks from the fridge, and give us advice on places to see in Nashville.

Nashville1To start off our Nashville adventure, we went to Centennial Park to walk around a bit (free parking!), and from there, we walked through Vanderbilt University all the way to the famous Broadway Street. I’m not gonna lie, the walk was a lot longer than planned, but we were able to find some ‘okay’ happy hours when we arrived in the busy downtown, country, touristy area.

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John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, Nashville, & the Parthenon
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Live music @ Centennial Park

After exploring Broadway and the sites that the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge had to offer, we went back to Centennial to enjoy a free country concert in the park. Local artists were playing their music, and one artist in particular -the previous lead singer of the band Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash  – was playing some of my old favorites: “Kiss Me” & “There She Goes” ! If you’re ever in Nashville on a weekend and wanting to listen to some real local music, definitely check out Centennial Park for free concerts!

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St. Louis Airbnb

The next day, we woke up early to start our 4-hour drive to St. Louis. This Airbnb was a two-story city house for only  $31/night. We were honestly not too comfortable with the area, as our host said that some cars get broken into and police officers patrol the streets every hour at night, but that’s one of the risks you sometimes take with Airbnb (I strongly suggest Google Mapping the area to make sure it looks safe before booking and look at the reviews for the place, of course). Luckily, our cars (full of all of our belongings) were not broken into during our stay.

One of the things I was most looking forward to in St. Louis was the
free zoo. Unless you are willing to pay $15/car for the parking lot, the parking is a little rough on the weekends, but we were able to find a spot right next to the enormous, historic Forest Park after a good 10 minutes. The zoo had all of the big and little animals you could think of, and although it wasn’t as impressive to me as many people had claimed, it was still a pretty cool zoo (it had flamingos – and penguins) – and it was free.

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St. Louis Zoo & Anheuser-Busch

Afterwards, we went to the Anheuser-Busch brewery, but unfortunately, we  arrived too late for the last free tour (around 5PM). So, instead, we drove around the city a bit, saw the infamous arch and decided to get a pizza from the store and to turn in for the night (we were really tired). Luckily, we made some great friends who were staying in one of the other rooms at the same Airbnb and we played Monopoly with them until we all were too tired to play anymore.

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Breakfast cooked by our Airbnb host

The friends we made at the St. Louis Airbnb were from Kansas City, so they definitely let us in on a few things to do when we made it to our next destination. So, at around 7AM, after our host made us a nice breakfast (veggie omelet, hashbrowns, fruit, and coffee), we headed off to our next Airbnb in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Kansas City Airbnb

Kansas City was by far our favorite stop. We scored $38/night for a master bedroom in a house full of other Airbnbers. Although the house was still about 15 minutes from the city, we were able to explore the different parts of town before we finally made it to the heart of the city.

As our new friends from the previous Airbnb suggested, we visited West Port, which had a bunch of cool restaurants, bars and shops throughout. Then, we visited Loose Park, which is a picture-perfect area full of the greenest grass that stretches on forever in the middle of a cluster of streets full of beautiful houses. Right down the street from Loose Park was a large outdoor shopping/restaurant district called Country Club Plaza. We loved roaming around these clean streets full of all-too-expensive stores and bars, and walking along the river that flows alongside the streets.

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Beautiful Loose Park & Country Club Plaza right beside Brush Creek

We ended up eating at Chuy’s, a Mexican restaurant, where we sat on the balcony for a great view of the river and the city.  By the time we left the Plaza, it was getting late, but we still wanted to see the Power & Light District that our friends had suggested to us. Although Kansas City was definitely very cool and beautiful, the streets seemed very dead (granted, it was a Sunday night), but there seemed to be so much to do and I had no idea why there was no one out and about.

We left Kansas City early the next morning to make the final, long stretch to Denver. Our host was kind enough to provide us with coffee and bagels for the drive, and then we were off. Longest drive ever.

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Endless fields of windmills

The fields of green and the giant windmills were cool at first, but after about two hours, it got pretty old. I have never felt so sick of driving in, but after eight hours of it, we finally made it to my friend, Rachel’s place in Boulder, CO.

Funny how it worked out – we had visited Rachel almost exactly 2 years ago in that same town, fell in love with the area, and vowed to one day move to Colorado. And now, we were doing it.

Our next adventure would be finding a place – and fast. Because in just about a week, we would have to make our way back to Georgia for my brother, Tom’s wedding!

Check back here for updates on our Colorado home-search!

forever frugal & free,
Claire

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