Thursday, September 12, 2013

Military Reunion in Colorado Springs, CO.

This August I hosted a large military group in Colorado Springs for their 2013 Military Reunion. These military men with their families get together once a year in a different locations of their group choice through out the country. Last year they went to Branson, next year they are going to Washington DC.
The group was close to 200 people and they stayed in Colorado Springs for about a week. We offered them almost 20 different tour options (2-3 a day) which included US Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Cog train to the summit of the PIkes Peak at 14,115 ft, Old Colorado City, town of Manitou Springs, Seven Falls, Cave of the Winds, Indian Cliff Dwellings, Colorado Capitol, and others.
It was a lot of planning and preparation work on my part, but this project ended up being one of the funnest and most enjoyable jobs I've ever done! Many people came and thanked me personally at the end, we exchanged phone numbers  and email addresses, friendships were made, new lessons learned, and some new ideas got planted into my "business head".
I am looking forward for more Military and other groups to serve in the future!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Colorado Indian summer.

Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak on the background.

One of almost natives.

"Not Native but I got here as fast as I could" - this is common bumper sticker you will find on vehicles of those people who live here and truly love Colorado. I consider myself one of them, hence few years ago I started professionally showing it to others (after I practiced it for 10 years on my relatives and friends).
Colorado is beautiful colorful state, and also the most mountainous state. We've got Rocky Mountains! They came with 320 sunny days a year, very mild winter, hot summer, warm, long and very  pleasant fall.  Most people who come to visit Colorado, come to see natural  beauty, wildlife, mountains, canyons, water falls. It is not like busy New York City or partying Miami, but it is true USA too. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Things to do in Colorado Springs

If you think of coming to Colorado Springs and spending some time here, I have a few ideas for you. There is always plenty to do here at 6035 feet above sea level. There are endless activities to keep you busy for a day or a month.
First of all - do a tour and get outside! It is literally essential in Colorado! Go hiking (or just leisurely walking) on one of many Colorado Springs hiking trails which are free and beautiful. You will be amazed by these mountain views, clean air, blue sky 325 days a year. With abundance of wildlife , you might get lucky and come across of some deer, big horn sheep, red fox, or coyote, not to even mention tons of birds, squirrels, chipmunks and some other small curios Colorado creatures.
If you are not a hiker, you can also ride a horse (there are several stables in town which  offer 1, 2 , or 3 hour long packages), or do some regular or mountain biking, but consider the weather. You don't want to start your riding experience at 11 a.m. in July, simply because it gets too hot in the afternoon. You can also try your hands and feet at rock climbing. Colorado Springs is a mecca for scaling rock. Garden of the Gods has some excellent classes for beginners  as well as for advanced climbers.
So, get up before 8 a.m. and get outside, you won't regret it.
After your outdoor time have lunch at one of downtown Colorado Springs or Manitou Springs, or Old Colorado City restaurants. Study the sculptures on an art walk as you are digesting your food, or try some mineral waters if in Manitou. The water is free and you can locate several drinking fountains in town. Manitou Springs also have a great shopping  opportunities as well as Cave of the Winds, Indian Cliff Dwellings Museum, and it's own Castle - Miramont Castle.
Number one attraction of Colorado Springs is Garden of the Gods. It is a city park created of natural giant red rocks. This place is rich in scenery and history. Make sure you visit it. Just south of the Garden of the Gods you will find yourself in Old Colorado City - the oldest part of town which used to be not a mining town, but mining supply town with bunch of saloons. The story of that era best represented in the Ghost Town Museum -well thought and put together exhibit .
One of the most popular things to do here is to ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit of Pikes Peak at 14,115 feet. It is half a day adventure where you will have free hour at the summit.
Make sure you go tour United States Air Force Academy (including their infamous Chapel) and Olympic Training Center just east of Colorado Springs downtown. Those tours are free and very educational, but be prepared to do some walking (about a mile total at the Academy and little less at the Olympic Center).
Downtown Colorado Springs is very clean and neat. My favorite place to visit there is Pioneers Museum (it's in the former county court house). Just north of it you will find Fine Art museum, next door is one of the best in the world Money Museum, followed by Colorado College campus with it's unique grounds and architecture. Visiting all these and other places require having a car or some other transportation in town since distances are not short. If you don't have a vehicle, consider hiring Colorado Personal Tour Guide for a few hours or days depending on your budget and time line.
Whatever you choose to do, I promise you will have a great time in Colorado Springs all year around! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Springs fire 2012

We are all in shock here. Last Saturday afternoon during my son's baseball game, we spotted smoke on the mountain side. We all decided it must be a house fire because it looked very close to town. Just an hour later this smoke pole grew into a much bigger one, and we've learned it was Waldo Canyon fire. 

The weather in Colorado has been extremely hot since mid June - no rain and very low humidity. All these factors created perfect conditions for this fire to grow quickly. For us personally, it's a little better now than it was 2 days ago. The fire is moving north, and we live in southern Colorado Springs. We have not been told to evacuate, but we have our things ready. It is smoky and we feel a bit panicky as we are only about 12-14 miles away from the fire now. Yesterday this fire moved on the grounds of the Air Force Academy, and NOW (after 4 days of burning) federal sources are finally getting involved. President Obama will arrive tomorrow, so we hope things will get better very soon.

Meanwhile, I've been taking tourists outside of the city, down south to the Royal Gorge and rafting on the Arkansas River. Garden of the Gods is closed (fire is just west of it) and very smoky, many other popular attractions are closed too. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Colorado Springs to Yellowstone

Few days ago I took an experimental road trip from Colorado Springs to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. I wanted to do this trip for a long time, and finally my desire came to action! Now I feel ready to take clients there if they ask me to do it, though I'd say it is at least 4 days long trip, five would be even better. It take around 9-10 hours of driving to get to those parks from Colorado Springs, no traffic problems in Wyoming :)) So, you need two solid days just for the commute, and then few days to both parks. Yellowstone is exotic, very alive and beautiful, and Tetons are really grand! We were lucky to see lots of wildlife - Rocky Mountain elks and moose, lots of buffaloes with calves, pronghorns, foxes, rabbits, and  few more small creatures. Seing so many wild animals was a thrill for my foreign group of tourists, they aren't used to such abundance of wildlife in Europe.  Personally, I was hoping to spot a bear, but I guess it was too much to want :)) But main subject of Yellowstone were hot steam geysers and fountains. I felt like I was suddenly on a different planet! Especially when wind blew over our way tons of steam and vapor. I totally would recommend visiting Yellowstone if you haven't yet.

This is our group enjoying simple western breakfast in Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, WY.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Europeans will visit Colorado. Guess why?

About a month ago I've learned about new Airline from Europe will start flying to Colorado this year. If you are in the airline industry, you probably know how hard it is for any U.S. airport to land a new international contract, especially if you are not a major airport on the U.S. East cost. So, guess what? DIA did it again! Denver is a new destination for Icelandic Airlines.
Their very first direct flight will take place on May 10, 2012 from Reykjavik, Iceland to Denver, Colorado, USA. We are thrilled about it! Iceland is the most western lying country in Europe, and Reykjavik International airport is s very busy place, meaning we will receive more tourists, and as Colorado tour guide I'll get more work! :)))
So, welcome newcomers from Europe and Asia to Colorado!!!
Honestly, I have my own (kinda professional) reason to cheer this fact, because I'll have a client flying on that very first flight - it's a small group of senior citizens form Iceland coming to visit our beautiful state for the first time. We will do bunch of different local tours with them originated in Colorado Springs, CO.