E ven with all of the end-of-finals/ugly-sweater/apocalypse parties I have filling up my calendar this week, I've been freaking out over what I'm going to be doing over the rest of break.
I've been done for two days and I'm already stir-crazy. While I'd absolutely love to be spending my break somewhere tropical, I am woefully stuck in Colorado. My Facebook feed is packed with people whose flights leave in an hour but haven't even started packing while I sit in my room twiddling my thumbs.
I've been struggling to think of things to do in Colorado over break, but I came up with a pretty epic brainstorm list... so I'll be sharing them with you over the next few weeks. This week: nerdy adventures all around Colorado.
Old Town Ft. Collins
I know it's taboo to make my first suggestion a visit to our friends up north, but aside from all the Rams running around, Old Town is one of my favorite places in Colorado. It's a lot like Pearl Street -- awesome shops, restaurants and bars -- but without the clipboard zombies. One of my favorite nerdy places in Old Town is Old Firehouse Books, which is exactly what it sounds like, an old firehouse converted into a bookstore. The shop is connected to an amazing teahouse and has a huge selection that is really well-organized. Their staff is incredibly helpful and enthusiastic; they truly love books. Take 10 minutes to chat with a staff member, or just check out their recommendations section, and you'll have the perfect book in your hands. Then head next door for a nice hot cuppa.
This gorgeous mountain town is often called the "Switzerland of America" and has something to entice nerds of all flavors. If you're the type who likes collecting random oddities, check out the Gator Emporium, which sells everything from rare beads to specialty knives. Big on history? Visit the Wiesbaden hot springs, which has a vapor cave that was used for ceremonial purposes by the Native Americans who lived in the valley. And if you're crazy passionate about the outdoors, try ice climbing at the Ouray Ice Park.
Museum of Colorado Prisons
"Let's go to prison" may not seem like something you'd say over break (well, maybe not in those exact words...), but some people get seriously geeked out about prisons and their history. The Museum of Colorado Prisons in Cañon City features historical artifacts such as the last noose used in a Colorado execution-by-hanging. The museum is also rumored to be haunted, as it houses the last gas chamber used for executions, but ghosts totally freak me out so we're not gonna talk about that anymore. It even has a bit of a CU connection: Our flesh-hungry friend Alferd Packer was one of the prison's most infamous inmates.
Jessica Ryan is a senior media studies major at CU. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.