Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pikes Peak Challenge 2011, Part 1: Pre-hike travel

Welcome to the first of several installments recapping my recent trip to Colorado Springs for the Pikes Peak Challenge, a 13.1 mile hike to the summit and fundraiser for the Brain Injury Alliance. 

Packing for the trip was easy, but wow did I have a lot of gear!
Hiking boots, long pants, a buttload of sporty clothing, wool socks.
Headlamp (yes, really), sunglasses (not to be worn at the same time as the headlamp), hat and gloves for once we hit the higher altitude. IT Band strap for ol' righty (my nickname for my drama queen knee).
And my favorite part of the gear: FOOD! Various gels, bars, bloks, some coconut water, and a baggie of just-in-case meds: ibuprofen and motion sickness medicine. Neither of which will do you any good in easing the symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness). More on that later...

Anyhow, once I was packed I headed straight to the airport, because I'm constantly doing things last-minute. Once I checked in and got through security, there were 45 minutes until boarding time, and I decided to get a quick bite to eat at Nonna Bartolotta's, run by the Bartolotta Restaurant Group. We work with the company on several special events each year and I'd heard great things, but had been waiting for the right opportunity and travel itinerary to out Nonna's.  There was plenty of room at the bar, which had an outlet for me to charge my iPhone and get my laptop juiced up. Speaking of juice...
Knowing that the Bartolottas chose the wine list, I figured I had to try a glass. I went for a pinot grigio and was poured a generous glass. It was perfectly chilled, and hit the spot.

I also ordered the veggie pizza off of the menu, and was pleased when it arrived: piping hot, with lots of fresh vegetables and basil chiffonade. And the taste? Delicious!
With pizza, I'm very picky about sauces and crust. Both passed my test, and were absolutely delectable. It was great that this pizza was healthier than anticipated, too. 
Classy, no? 

After enjoying the meal, it was time to hop on the plane. I took advantage of the DirectTV on the flight and did what every good Wisconsinite should do on an airplane: watch a Packers game. It was the season opener, and The Pack played an epic game. After all, they are the Super Bowl champions...
Watching football on a plane was pretty fun, about half of the other passengers also had the game on and were cheering, high-fiving after touchdowns and questioning bad calls. 

Did I mention there were cookies? I love Frontier Airlines. 
The flight flew by (pun intended) and soon I was in Denver, then a short ride later I was in Colorado Springs, getting the best hug ever from my sister! 

We headed to Shuga's, where we caught up on sisterly topics over (more) wine. It was the perfect way to relax after an evening of travel, with one of my very favorite people.
Coming up next: The Pikes Peak Challenge pre-hike rally, hike recap and photos.

You do the talking: What's your jet-set style? Do you like to lounge at the airport bar, or head to the gate right away? I have only enjoyed airport lounges a couple of times, and the nice glass of wine definitely had me feeling less anxious on my flight. As was the case for this trip, I typically travel alone, and prefer to hang out at the gate vs. a social setting.


paige @ running Around Normal said...

Look at all those bars!!! All that gear! I can't wait to hear about the hike:)

Beth (Well I'll Be) said...

That is amazing airport food. That pizza looks like they actually made it there instead of just reheating it in the back! I love white wine and pizza together.

Cory Reese said...

"Drama queen knee" = classic! That is an awesome description.