Flying from Honolulu, of course we had to leave in the evening Hawaii time and fly all night to arrive at Colorado Springs airport early the next morning. My supervisor and I arrived at the airport barely awake and extremely jet-lagged; however, as we began walking towards the baggage claim and Avis car rental counter, I began to feel revived as I was greeted by the appearance of huge, magnificent mountains surrounded by forests of evergreens through the large picture windows in the airport. Once we walked outdoors, the clean fresh air, so unlike downtown Honolulu, wiped away almost all other traces of my sleepiness. My supervisor and I stayed at the Sumner Suites (now an Amerisuites) off of Garden of the Gods Road, which was very convenient, both because our call center was right down the road and also, of course, we were extremely close to the Garden of the Gods National Park, as well as many of the other local attractions.
After a bit of sleep, we of course had to get up and do a bit of shopping to take advantage of all the great mainland prices. The concierge advised us that there was a great mall right off Academy Boulevard that was relatively close to our hotel. Since we visited the mall during a weekday, it was very empty, which was great, but the staff seemed rather annoyed to see us. Who knows? Maybe we were interrupting the gossip or lunch hour with our presence. After a day or so of adjusting, we went out every night, trying a small restaurant here or a bar there. I have to advise anyone who visits here and stays at the Sumner Suites to stay away from the restaurant right across the parking lot. It was an Applebee’s when we were there; who knows what it is now. Our entire dining party (a group of five) had our waiter first sit down with us and begin to talk with all of us about everything from the weather to how he hated his boss and his work, all while counting his tips on the table. Later, as we waited somewhat patiently for our dinners to arrive, the restaurant manager finally advised us that unfortunately, our server had just quit and wasn’t coming back. Let’s just say that was quite an experience (one you’ll laugh at after enough drinks).
During our stay in Colorado Springs, we toured Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs during a late summer festival, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls, and Glen Eyrie Castle. Each attraction we visited, each person we met, except for of course that really odd waiter, seemed genuinely happy to be both living here and be happy that we were there. Of course, we were only there for two weeks and didn’t meet everyone or see everything, yet I have a feeling I will someday return to this land of clean air, nice people, pine trees and mountains, and truly amazing scenery and history. Oh boy, I can’t wait!