Sep29

Get Your Motor Running … My Colorado Adventure Part 1

 

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{Wearing: Campbell’s Soup Top: c/o T.J. Maxx. Plaid Top: c/o T.J. Maxx. Leggings: LuluLemon. Hat: Vintage. Photographed by Jorge Camaraza.}

It started early on a Friday morning. Little did I know, as I was running through the Miami International Airport toward the gate, that I was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Earlier in the summer I had said yes to being a Seekender for Hampton by Hilton, a program that would let me take a weekend anywhere one of its 2,000 hotels was located and make the most of it. I chose to go to Colorado. But I didn’t know—couldn’t know—what was in store. I was moments away from starting the kind of trip you can’t even begin to process until you’re coasting through a canyon at 80 miles an hour on the back of a vintage motorcycle, the wind whipping across your face, tangling your hair, your lungs exhaling all the adrenaline inside with an audible whooooo hoooo as a smile streaks its way across your face. All of that lie ahead of me. But all I could focus on in this particular moment was getting to the gate before the plane took off.

And fail. We missed the first plane to Colorado. He, my travel companion, partner in crime and guide for the adventure ahead, stood beside me at the counter trying to see if they would be kind enough to open the doors,  They were, however, unable to do so. Frustrated but not defeated, we slung our carry-on luggage back on our shoulders and headed to the next gate, the one where the plane would, in fact, take us to the first leg of our amazing adventure.

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Early flights have never been my forte. OK, early anything for that matter. But when I did finally board the plane, I slung my weighed backpack into its assigned space and slid into my seat. Above me, in the overhead compartment, was that one and only piece of luggage I’d brought along for the trip. As a fashion blogger, the idea of one piece of luggage, let alone, a typical school kid’s backpack, was just insanity. But the premise of the weekend, to tour Colorado via motorcycle, didn’t leave an ounce of wiggle room for anything more. One pair of leggings, a pair of jeans, two dresses, a motorcycle jacket and the shoes I had on my feet—that was my wardrobe for the next few days. And I got it all to fit in a backpack. Sans laptop, sans heels, sans backup options should I hate everything I packed. It was just me, him, the backpack and one pair of shoes to go with everything in my bag. Packing my life for the weekend into one satchel and catching an early flight was clearly just too much for fate to handle in one go.

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{A weekend’s worth of clothes in one bag, plus Jorge’s stuff. Who am I?}

“We made it,” he said, as he slid into the seat next to me. Indeed we did. Next stop: Denver, Colorado. Upon arriving, we headed straight to the EagleRider store. It was there we met our fate, a vintage Indian motorcycle, our only transportation for the weekend. I had never been on a motorcycle before and was excited, but apprehensive. “What will it be like?” I asked him. “Will I like it?” “Do you promise not to wound me?” “My mom will get really mad at you if you injure me,” I said. He laughed and assured me I’d be ok.

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But standing there looking at it, this beautiful bike with fringe-trimmed leather saddlebags, chrome here and there, it wasn’t scary. It was beautiful. And so, throwing all caution, fear and inhibition to the wind, I hopped on. And clung to him for dear life. “Relax,” he said. So I did. We zipped around town, landing at our hotel, the Hampton by Hilton in downtown Denver. We checked in, checked out the surrounding area, opted for dinner at a bar with live music and then called it a night. There was so much ahead and a good night’s sleep was in order.

The next morning, we hit the continental breakfast, where I found a cup that would also go on my adventure and then hit the road. The open road, to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. What happened next is part of a new ongoing series I’ll be telling from here until the end of the year. It’s just too good of a story to be told in one lump sum. When you have something this great inside of you, well, it takes time to tell it. So keep coming back and keep reading. This is just the beginning of what was my biggest adventure yet.

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{Meet Lippy. This cup had as big an adventure as I did. More to come. More to come.}

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And speaking of adventures, mine was so grand, I want to share one with you, too. If you want to have your own adventure of a lifetime, sign up to win a Hampton by Hilton Ultimate Seekender Getaway Sweepstakes. With more than 2,000 hotels to choose from, Hampton By Hilton will choose one lucky winner to enjoy an all-expenses paid weekend experience to the destination of their choice with acomodations at a Hampton By Hilton property. Inspired by the #WeGoTogether campaign (check it out on social media), the traveler will have the chance to experience a weekend to its fullest.  Through October 18, Hampton by Hilton is inviting participants to post their best Seekender-inspired picture on Instagram or Twitter using the #WeGoTogether and #SweepstakesEntry hashtags. Share your first experience, an exciting new restaurant, an outdoor adventure, whatever inspired you, just be sure to snap it, share it and use the hashtags above. The winner will be chosen on October 27 with the grand prize winner awarded roundtrip airfare for him/herself and up to three guests, a complimentary stay at a Hampton by Hilton location of their choice and spending money for food, activities, transportation, etc. For more information about the sweepstakes, please visit www.HamptonSeekender.com.

Good luck. Now get out there and seek adventure.