I took a trip this weekend with my two teenagers to Pueblo, Co. It was a spur of the moment thing. We had never been there–never even been to Colorado. It’s only one state over from us, and we went by bus.
I hadn’t ridden a bus in years to anywhere. I think the last time I rode a bus was from Wichita to Grand Prarie, Tx. when I was 17. This bus ride took us around 9 hours, one way. We left early in the morning around 5:30 for the bus. We slept some along the way, and watched the scenery when we were awake. This time of the year, everything is brown from Wichita to Pueblo. All the small towns in between looked pretty much the same. We saw lots of cows and a two-day old train wreck. It was still smoking and there were smashed up train cars piled up everywhere. Glad we weren’t traveling by when it happened!
We got to Pueblo mid-afternoon and checked into our room. Then we quickly changed from our traveling clothes to a fresh set of clothing and called for our taxi. The town is spread out and having never been there before and not having much time, we didn’t want to wander too far. So we chose the Riverwalk area since it had food, shopping, and some sites. The weather had been fine all day, but the evening was going to turn cold so we dressed to stay warm.
We found out when we got closer that a Christmas parade was about to start in 30 minutes and some of the roads were being blocked off already. We jumped out of our cab and began the walk around the area. We started down by the Riverwalk and there were Christmas lights everywhere.
There was a mountain range just beyond that scene, but it was too dark to see by photo.
There were little shops along the river, and this great little food stand was grilling some hamburgers and hot dogs that smelled sooo… good.
We decided since it was already getting dark, we’d better hit some shops first and try to see some of that parade before we decided where we were going to eat.
People were already starting to stake out their places along the street. We kept walking and found a couple of places to go inside and look. Other places, we just looked in from the outside. The lights were warm and inviting everywhere we went.
The parade was starting and people were lined up everywhere along the streets.
It was such a small town atmosphere and everyone seemed friendly and in a good mood. Lots of families and couples, and plenty of singles who were probably going to hit the bars afterwards. Afterall, it was Saturday night.
We stood along with everyone else and watched for a while. There were so many lights on the floats, and there were all kinds of vehicles with lights strung on them.
Before the parade was over, we decided to go get something to eat before everyone got the same idea after the parade. We liked the way those hamburgers smelled on the grill and decided to head back that way. So glad we did because they were delicious! The guy tending the grill really had the smoke going by the time we got back there. The night had gotten darker and colder by then, so we bought our food and took it inside to eat.
Afterwards, we got some hot chocolate and started walking toward the Union Depot to call for our cab back to the hotel. It was really cold by then and the parade was just about over. The area was well-lit and the building was decorated with lights.
Just as we got to the intersection in front of the building, fireworks went off and we had a great view of the colorful shower of sparkling lights!
What a perfect ending to a wonderful, spontaneous night. We didn’t plan any of it. We just took off and decided that whatever happened, whatever was there when we got there, we were going to have a fun time and adventure. I’m so glad we did it.
When we got back to the hotel, it was only around 8 p.m. But we were so tired from getting up early that morning that we had no trouble falling asleep. Good thing, because we were up by 1:30 in the morning, throwing our small bags on the bus and heading back to Wichita. We slept most of the way back after stopping for breakfast at 5:30 later that morning.
For a person who likes to plan things in advance, this trip was a nice change to my routine lifestyle and gave us all time to be together and leave everything else behind for a couple of days. It also made us slow down and smell the roses, because we weren’t going to get there in a couple of hours like we would if we had been on a plane. The bus made a couple of tiny stops in a couple of tiny towns where we could stop and stretch our legs and get some snacks. It was a good time to think in between sleeping, relax, get away and be together as a family.
Give it a try sometime. Slow down in your life and remember what it was like when you were a kid and weren’t always rushing around everywhere. Take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Go on a small adventure. Get away and come back refreshed and renewed. You never know what you’ll find.