College graduate learning the ropes in a big city

The Lost Sea cave formation

The Lost Sea cave formation

If you haven’t been keeping up with me on Facebook or Twitter, I’ve gone from Gainesville to Denver, Colorado and everywhere in between in the past week. After graduating from the University of Florida with my bachelors degree in journalism, I took on a distant internship in Denver. I needed a car for work so instead of flying out here I took my new SUV. The drive was long, and sometimes tedious, but most of all a much needed vacation.

My boyfriend and I stopped at a cave in Sweetwater, Tennessee (his first cave) where a huge undergound lake is hidden under a mountain. Next we rode to the top of the Saint Louis arch to view the city. On our way out we stopped at a local diner (greasy mistake) and a food truck with cupcakes (exciting!) to keep us energized for the road. Until this point the trip had plenty of things to do and crossed multiple rivers and twisted along tree-lined highways.

cupcakes

Cupcakes from a local food truck

After the arch however, we traveled through Missouri, which I have since dubbed Misery, and Kansas where there really isn’t much to say at all.

Finally, the Colorado state line was in sight and eventually the skyline of Denver. After unpacking all my belongings, Cameron (the boyfriend) and I started planning the some fun before his flight out of town.

train

The Devil's Gate, a high bridge the train crosses to climb the mountain (click to view larger image)

The next day, after stopping at a delicious barbecue joint in Idaho Springs, Colorado, we went to ride The Georgetown Loop, a steam train outside of Denver with an amazing view of the mountains and a fast-paced mountainous drive to get there.

barbecue

Cameron and I eating at Smokin' Yards in Idaho Springs- my pork sandwich, coleslaw and cream soda and Cameron's prime rib sandwich (apparently to die for!)

On our way back to Denver we stopped at some tourists traps like Buffalo Bill’s grave site and plenty of “wildlife viewing areas.” To finish our “action-packed” activities, we stopped by Red Rocks Park to see the large rock formations just in time to miss the crowd to see a Moody Blues concert. The lucky part was now I have thewhole show calender for my stay here and I can’t wait to go see a concert there (anybody else interested in seeing Ray LaMontagne with me on June 17th?)

Once we got back to my apartment, ironically, even though we had already planned our scenic train ride before arriving, my apartment has a nice scenic view of some trains that pass by my window about every 30 minutes (yes, even at 6:30 in the morning.) The best part about my new room is that just by chance the engineers have to loudly and repetitively blow the horns just as they pass by my apartment to cross a road. As someone in the elevator put it, after your ears bleed for a few nights you’ll get used to it. Real funny.

For Cameron’s last night in town we went to a pub called Falling Rock Taphouse that had an amazing beer selection (not saying I’m much of a beer drinker but it was still nice to relax and try some.) Even though we didn’t make it to the dueling piano bar because we were tapped out (no pun intended,) we had some good food and a fun night.

Anyways, Cameron has since flown back to Florida and now I’m just toughing it out here in the mountains alone, okay maybe toughing it is an overstatement but it was sad to see him go. Now it’s just me and my roommate (also from Florida), the trains are a downside but I’m getting used to the city life. I have a kitchen, my own room and a gym accessible at all times (and a tanning room which seems unhealthy but tempting before my trip back to Florida.) All in all I think I’ve got an exciting summer ahead with lots of great things to do and see.

From here on out I’ll probably just be discussing the interesting (or not) things that happen to me while I’m here, learning to live somewhere I only know one person (my roommate) and what it’s like driving in the insane Colorado traffic (and insane drivers too I might add!)

After my first shopping trip here, my first piece of advice for those living alone or shopping alone: never forget your “green” reusable bags for the grocery store. Why is this so important? No not because the hippie (and hipster) culture is already rubbing off on me out here, but the space! Compared to the average plastic bag, the reusable bags can hold so much more and are usually more comfortable to carry. You realize these things when you have to unlock a heavy gate, walk up three flights of stairs and go through two more doors just to set things down on the counter. The more reusable bags you have, the less trips you have to make back to the car (and up the three flights and through the locked doors, etc.) Plus, it’s like a whole other fashion accessory. The different styles and colors of reusable bags can really make a statement about yourself, and how you feel about the environment. So either way, if you’re a hippie, tree-hugger, hipster or just trying to manage a lot of groceries with a minimal amount of hands (like me)- go green.

So that’s about it for now. Thanks for staying updated on the life of a recent graduate on her own in a big city, I promise there will be more to come!

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2 thoughts on “College graduate learning the ropes in a big city

  1. suzanna young says:

    Dearest Callie….
    Enjoy every minute of your new adventure!… ahhh… to be young again :)…. after college I moved in w/ my brother Jack in Rockledge and also there was a train… and I can tell you from experience… you will get use to it and even not hear it… well maybe if he is blowing the horn at the crossroad by your apt…haha…Amanda is home now for the summer and I am glad… you young ladies keep us “older” ladies in style and current! ❤ Suzanna

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