After leaving Salt Lake City we drove through the last bit of Nevada and the entire state of Wyoming to get to Colorado. At that point we just wanted to get there so we didn’t take the most picturesque route there, which made for a rather boring and long drive.
By now we’d spent almost two months in the US, we were extremely happy to finally see our friend Amy. We’d just missed her six weeks earlier when we first arrived in Colorado. We had met roughly six years ago in London through our mutual friend Ann when Amy came to live & study there and brought her three daughters as well. It’s different, though, to visit someone in their own home so we were looking forward to the Fort Collins experience that we’d heard about so much for many years.
We arrived at Fort Collins in the dark after a looooong drive through the flats of Wyoming. On the way we stopped at a Lincoln memorial and a place called Rock Creek for a lunch of green leaves in a bowl (the only vegetarian option available) and a craft beer.
The first morning at Amy’s we all decided to take it easy, so we slept in, had a lazy breakfast, and blogged. I was still so amazed at being in Amy’s house and loved the comfort of being in each others company. For lunch we met with Maya and Ananda, two of Amy’s daughters, and their friend – the gang was almost back together, with just Zoe missing.
They’re hilarious when together so for me even being a fly on the wall is enough. We then left them and went to the Lake where we met with Zoe. It was so beautiful and peaceful there with people tanning and enjoying watersports and families barbecuing for lunch. I could imagine us living in Fort Collins for a while especially if I could hang out with Amy and the girls.
The next day Amy took us to a music festival happening in town, I loved the folk music and all the tie-dye shirts. We found an Irish pub where the floor was littered with peanut shells – a barrel of ‘help yourself!’ peanuts was by the entrance – everyone just chucked the shells on the floor. Another thing that I just couldn’t get used to was the constant need to carry my ID when I bought drinks. And i couldn’t go and buy a round of drinks either – everyone had to be at the bar with their IDs ready to prove their age to the bartender. They card *everyone* and by everyone I also mean a 60-year old man next to me. I can understand the need to curb underage drinking but coming from London, this was extremely weird (I never got carded there).
On another note, weed is legal in Colorado and I was told it’s becoming the Amsterdam of the US, there are dispensaries everywhere. Of course, we had to visit one! The dispensary looked like a relaxed doctors office with a friendly receptionist checking us in and providing menus. Then you will be invited to the ‘sales salon’ where you actually do the buying. We weren’t allowed past the waiting room, though, because as foreign nationals we had to provide our passports (by law they’re not allowed to accept any other type of ID), and of course we only had our drivers licences. Not to worry – Amy was with us and as a regular citizen, she was allowed to buy. We looked through the menu together whilst giggling: the decision is mainly what kind of effect are we looking for? Would we like energetic, mellow, sleepy, relaxed – you name it and they have it. Also in different forms, like to smoke or to eat. Neither of us has ever had cannabis cookies so we ended up choosing peanut butter cookies. Armed with our red container we left the dispensary and joined the festival outside.
After dinner and we chose a silly show to watch on TV (Amazing Race season 25 or something like that) and decided it’d be a good time to have a cookie. After about an hour (slow metabolism?) I felt a kind whoosh from the top of my head to my toes and so the dumb smiling and giggling started, helped on by Amy’s hilariously sarcastic commentary of the show we were watching. In summary, both of us really enjoyed the silliness!
During the following few days in Fort Collins we really relaxed and enjoyed the last bit of our road trip USA. There’s a lake nearby and we went there to chill and (try to) swim. It ended up becoming a bit chilly and windy for a good swim so we just had our lunch and enjoyed the view.
Charlene got her hands dirty and helped Amy change her car break pads. Look at them both happy as clams 🙂
Before leaving the US and ending our road trip (what an epic time it has been!), we had decided to camp in a nearby valley by the river. We’d come to like camping a lot, especially because our tent was great and we had a SUV to help carry everything.