Just Me

Truly a garden of the gods!


Went for a brisk walk with Lauren through the Garden of the Gods just outside of Manitou Springs. Awesome shaped rocks in vibrant sandstone colours reflect the sun’s rays. Lots of rock climbers here when the weather is good.

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Comments on: "Truly a garden of the gods!" (5)

  1. Wow! What beautiful rock formations.

    I’m so glad I randomly came across this post; can you believe I had never heard of Garden of the Gods before?!?

    One question for you Marianne, how do you financially plan for/fund your travels? It appears you have been all over the States, Europe, the Caribbean. Way to go!

    I made my first international trip out to Sri Lanka this last summer. It blew my mind and gave me the travel bug! Now I’m hooked.


    Ben Broenen

    • Hi Ben, In the past I used to stay at hostels or just sleep in my car (at some of the most beautiful spots)! Right now I am fortunate enough to have a retail store that funds my travels. I have found though that in many places in Europe the guesthouses and even hotels are so cheap that they have been my lodging of choice.

      • Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you – life got busy (new job, updated hours)!

        That is SO awesome that Paradise Alley Gifts can fund your passions. I am very interested in creating some passive income streams that would allow me to do the same down the road. When and why did you open your store?

        Also, winter condo in FL! You’ve made it, as far as I’m concerned. 😉

        Speaking of car camping, this summer I went out to Rocky Mtn Nat’l park with a good friend of mine. We spent the entire trip using the car as base camp. Many an amazing morning was spent comfortably watching the sun rise over the mtns from the cloister of our vehicle. The summer before that I spent a month hiking solo in the Wallowa Mtns of NE Oregon (again, using my truck as base camp).

        Have you ever tried CouchSurfing.org for accommodation during your travels? I am an active host in Minneapolis, MN.

        Lastly, what countries (or cities) do you suggest I include on a European backpacking itinerary? I like wandering around aimlessly, riding bicycles, popping in and out of shops; generally I’d be staying away from most tourist spots (aside ones that are cheap to free).


  2. lotusnme said:

    Hi Ben,

    I have never tried CouchSurfing but will check it out. If you are on a budget, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary are really great value for your dollar. Beautiful old cities and culture. My favorite city is Prague. Cesky Krumlov is also really nice. If you like hiking, then for me nothing beats the Pyrenees in France. AMAZING views! Austrian Alps are also beautiful. Germany is really good for bicycle tours as they have a wide interconnecting network of trails. Mallorca is also great – it has mountains and beaches and very reasonable. Its capital, Palma is very interesting too.

    There is so much to see in Europe so its really a personal preference thing. Hope you have a great time!


    • Oh. My. Gorgeous!

      It’s dangerous for my pocketbook to be looking at pictures of the Pyrenees, Cesky Krumlov, and Mallorca. Haha! I need to make a visit to some of my Spanish friends and then take a side trip out to the Pyrenees and Mallorca! Wow.

      CouchSurfing has been my tool to both see more and spend less on my adventures domestic and abroad. I surfed with 4 different hosts in Sri Lanka and had some very unique, memorable experiences out of it. I was actually supposed to be hosting 2 CSers from Michigan tonight but I got sick! Luckily they had a backup plan. That’s the drawback of CS, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned (but 90% of the time they work out even better!).

      I’m going to check out your posts about Europe next! Thanks for messaging me back.

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