Aurora City Guide: Places To Eat, Getting Around & Fun Things To Do

map of aurora

Just east of Denver, Aurora is yet another Colorado city where locals love to live and tourists never want to leave. The city is known for being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions and things to do in the city. From good eats to date nights there is something special for everyone in Aurora, here’s why.

Dining and food

Come to Aurora hungry and certainly bring your appetite. The food in Aurora is so scrumptious, it’s been featured on TV shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners and Drive-Ins. There’s no shortage of pickings depending on what you’re hungering for—pubs & breweries, fine dining, German-inspired, American fare classics. Headed to Rosie’s Diner for an Aurora spin on 1950s diner-style eating complete with milkshakes and root beer floats. Wine Experience Cafe and World Cellar is the quintessential choice for wine lovers and for a date night or nice dinner. Sip craft brews at Bent Barley and wander to any number of the markets—Azteca Ranch Market, Europa Grocery, Bombay Bazaar.

The arts

Not only are there a wealth of eateries of varying styles but in Aurora visitors can experience a slice of the artistic and creative life. Get tickets to hear the Aurora Symphony Orchestra play musical masterpieces, watch a dramatic performance at Vintage Theatre Productions or the Aurora Fox Arts Center. For the art lover in you, stroll through the Aurora Cultural Arts District where murals and other vibrant street art is plentiful. To learn more in-depth about the arts scene as far as visual artists living and working in Aurora, take the R Line Public Art Tour. The tour takes art enthusiasts to nearby Denver to check out spots where artists are leaving their literal mark on the city.

Popular travel must-sees for tourists

If you’re in Aurora, there are several must-see landmarks you can’t afford to pass up in within truckable driving distance.  Being so close to the Denver Metro Area, it’s no surprise this city is teeming with outdoor activities. Find easily accessible hiking trails less than an hour away or try something more adventurous like rock climbing or mountain biking.

Love horseback riding? Venture out to the 12 Mile Stables over a sprawling 3,300 acres and 27 miles of riding trails. For history lovers curious about how the city of Aurora came to be, there’s the Aurora History Museum. The museum, considered to also be art and cultural center, features three exhibits total, one that is permanent and two that change frequently.

Getting around

If you don’t have a vehicle of your own, the car market in the Aurora area is awesome. If you’re not ready to take the plunge and buy a car there are plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. Or you can get around Aurora quite inexpensively on the RTD. Featuring both bus and rail services into and out of Denver proper, riders can either opt for a day pass, a 3-hour cash pass or load as they go directly from a debit or credit card. Other passes and ticket books are also available for purchase. Fares start at $3.00 and increase from there. For more details on RTD visit here.

Catching a game

Aurora being a smaller town means that unfortunately if you’re a professional sports lover, you’ll have to journey into Denver city limits to see your favorite team play. There’s the Denver Nuggets for basketball, Denver Broncos for football and Colorado Rockies for baseball. Once you do, however, If you’re less of spectator and want to get in on the action yourself, Aurora has a variety of golf courses to practice your swing and improve your golfing game. Choose from Heather Ridge Golf Club, Murphy Creek Golf Course, Heather Gardens Golf Course and many more.


Whether you’re shopping for one-of-a-kind unique finds or want run of mill looks from your favorite department store, Aurora has either in store. Aurora City Place is a local favorite with more than 45 stores, some big box and others local, to choose from. Southlands is another shopping center in Aurora, but this one on the southwest side of town. For more of a local flair, stop through Old Havana Street, lined with local shops, cafes, and eateries to unwind after a long day of shopping or ideal for starting the day off with ease.


Southwest USA Road Trip: Adventuring in and Around Salt Lake City

salt lake city outdoor recreation

Antelope Island — Davis County, Utah

Utah is a beautiful place with so much variation in its natural geography — so much that it’s hard to believe every state and national park here belong to one state. From the snow-capped peaks of Park City to the burnt orange canyons of Zion National park, life in Utah always has a beautiful backdrop.

With so many interesting outdoor attractions to see and explore, my road trip to Utah seemed to be the obvious option for my next adventure. The state isn’t home to any infamous cities that never sleep, but there are plenty of places to kick back and hang out in Utah. Salt Lake City is one of my favorites, here’s why.

Big city with a relaxed feel
Salt Lake City is a great place for big city lovers who are looking to experience a more laid-back feel without losing metropolitan amenities. Salt Lake City has all you need from a city (sports teams, malls, public transportation, performing arts), with nearly year-round sunshine, and quick getaway access to the waters of the Great Salt Lake, or to the mountains of the Wasatch Range. It’s like if Boston and Seattle merged, but with better weather. Salt Lake City’s nightlife scene is also worth noting, as the city center is extremely walkable and home to many bars, pubs, nightclubs, shopping malls, and a variety of highly rated restaurants of all sorts cuisines.

Perfect for outdoor excursions
As mentioned, Utah is your ideal place if you want to be a stone’s throw from dozens of different outdoor recreational opportunities. If you’re into off-roading and have a 4WD, there are several noteworthy destinations right near Salt Lake City. Some popular examples include Squaw Peak Road, Mahogany Mountain, and Israel Canyon. If you’re into fishing, rafting, or boating, Utah Lake is a great place to visit.

The best part is, if you’re staying in the city you can do plenty of outdoorsy things within day-trip driving distance. You and your group can choose from a variety of nature preserves, recreation areas, and state parks that are less than an hour away. Two of my favorites include the Great Salt Lake State Park and Antelope Island State Park. These places won’t be as popular as the iconic parks like Arches and Zion.

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In Utah, you’ll find the perfect fusion of outdoor recreation and city life. Which is perfect for an adventure lover like me who enjoys the nightlife of a city. Plus, there’s no better way to end a long day of climbing, biking, or hiking somewhere close to town than with a full body massage at one of Salt Lake City’s massage studios. I booked a discounted 90-minute massage through this local travel resource and was able to get in for an appointment next-day. No matter where your next outdoor trip takes you, this trick is worth trying.

When it comes to Utah, it doesn’t matter where you visit. There will be an abundance of outdoor activity and tourist attractions worth exploring. There are more warm-weather hiking spots than one knows what to do with and if you’re more into the winter sports, there’s plenty of that too. From hiking, fishing, skiing, and camping to rafting, zip-lining, and off-road trailblazing — you will never run out of space or things to do in Utah’s natural playground.

Celebrating 100 Years of Grand Canyon Adventures

grand canyon

100 years ago this week, the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th National Park. Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of incredible desert wilderness, the Grand Canyon is consistently among the most visited parks and is recognized globally as a true wonder of the world.

While the canyon layers were formed long before dinosaurs roamed, fossils of ancient marine animals are often uncovered – some dating back 1.2 billion years.

The Great Unconformity refers to a gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved — a geological mystery of epic proportions.

Meaning 250 million-year-old sediment layers can be found right on top of layers holding those very same billion-year-old fossils. What happened to the millions of years in between? Nobody knows yet.

Of the many unconformities observed in geological strata, the term Great Unconformity is frequently applied to either the unconformity observed by James Hutton in 1787 at Siccar Point in Scotland or that observed by John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon in 1869.

These are both exceptional examples of instances where the contacts between sedimentary strata and either sedimentary or crystalline strata of greatly different ages, origins, and structure represent periods of geologic time sufficiently long to raise great mountains and then erode them away.

Carved over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and measuring 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is a major natural phenomenon, but it is also a place of deep historical mysteries and oddities as well.

It’s days like today when I feel the most grateful to live where I do and to be able to appreciate so much of the great outdoors. To be able to climb and hike rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

Best SUVs for Winter Driving — 2019 Edition

Between cold temperatures, adverse driving conditions, and excellent holiday sales on new vehicles, the winter season is a great time to start looking at a new SUV. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become increasingly popular over the last few years thanks to their versatility. Whether you have a dog that needs covered trunk space or haul goods that can’t risk getting wet in the bed of a truck, SUVs are often the best vehicle-type for the job. 

With more and more SUVs coming out on the market, there are plenty of new and used options to consider. A few months back I wrote a post about a variety of car types that handle well in the snow. I decided to do an SUV-focused refresh as the coldest and snowiest months are finally here. As the temperatures drop, the days get shorter and the roads become icy and snowy, it is important to have an SUV that is up to the task. Check out this list of winter-ready SUVs that are ready to tackle ice and snow for years to come.

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV ready for any type of adventure you can throw at it. With seating for up to 8 passengers, the Pilot is the perfect choice for someone looking to haul their friends and family up to the mountain for a day of skiing. The Pilot is available with all-wheel drive and Intelligent Traction Management, both of which can help get you through even the worst of conditions.

Dodge Durango

Looking for something that is powerful, capable and practical? Look no further than the Dodge Durango. Like the Pilot, the Durango is a mid-size SUV with seating for seven passengers. The available V8 offers lots of power for steep mountain passes. Depending on whether you choose the powerful V8 or efficient V6, buyers can choose between 2 incredibly capable all-wheel-drive systems helping to ensure safe travel through rough winter road conditions.

GMC Terrain

Smaller than either the Durango or Pilot, the GMC Terrain still packs a powerful punch. Available with GMC’s turbo-charged diesel or gas motors, the Terrain is a joy to drive, even in snowy conditions. GMC includes StabiliTrak and hill-descent control as standard features, both of which offer drivers peace of mind. All-wheel drive is available on higher trim levels for drivers who are looking for the best winter performance possible.

Subaru Crosstrek

All new for 2019, the Subaru Crosstrek comes from a long line of winter-ready vehicles. Subaru has a long history of producing some of the best performing vehicles in snow and ice and the Crosstrek is no exception. Using the company’s incredibly proven and reliable symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, this compact crossover is a beast in the snow. And with a spacious cabin that seats eight, this is a great car for skiers and snowboarders looking for safe and reliable transportation.

Toyota RAV4

One of the most popular crossover SUVs on the road, the Toyota RAV4 is a great vehicle for anyone searching for something that handles well in the snow. With 6.1 inches of ground clearance, the RAV4’s low center of gravity helps the vehicle stick to icy roads, while still allowing for it to plow through deep snow banks.

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Each of the vehicles on this list includes qualities that will help make your winter driving experience safer and less stressful, but your vehicle is only as capable as your driving abilities.

Survive Blizzard Driving in 2018

best cars for snow

Ready for winter in Colorado?

We have plenty to love about our home state. From its abundance of national parks and gorgeous mountain ranges to its notoriously laid-back cities and lifestyle, there’s almost nowhere else you can get beautiful summers and ski-worthy winters, craft beer, and of course, a giant amphitheater hewn from rock.

Though ski fanatics are likely itching at the prospect of making the move to Colorado, ski-weather comes with its challenges — namely, driving in snowy and mountainous terrain. Fortunately, there are plenty of vehicles that can handle snowy rough rides, mountain slopes, and trips to the grocery store alike. These six cars are reliable, maneuverable, and some of the best cars for snow. 

The Ol’ Reliable: Subaru Forester

It’s hard to argue with a Subaru Forester, one of the best small cars for snow and ice. This vehicle is a local favorite in most Colorado towns due to its overall reliability in a multitude of conditions, and of course, its mix of essential features (such as the all-important AWD) and exciting entertainment upgrades.

The All-Purpose Vehicle: Honda HR-V

If you’re looking for an affordable, family-friendly vehicle to drive in harsher winter weather, the Honda HR-V is the best SUV for driving in snow and ice. It’s a smaller SUV than the standard but it boasts a versatile and remarkably spacious trunk with a second row that readily flips down to provide even more space for cargo. The HR-V offers AWD and an impressive fuel economy of 29 miles per gallon. For families, or for those who need a little extra space for their camping gear or their skis, the Honda HR-V will make you a compelling case.

The Rugged Explorer: Jeep Compass

If you want to hit the dusty, or in this case sometimes snowy, trails, a Jeep Compass may be the ride for you. The Compass offers a more compact version of the traditional Jeep, but it is just as capable of cutting the trail as any other off-road vehicle. The Jeep Compass is a perfect middle-ground for those who are outdoorsmen on the weekends, but city dwellers during the week, with a comfortable interior and plenty of trunk space.

For the City Drivers: Nissan Versa

Maybe you’re not much for long-haul drives over mountainous terrain and you’d prefer a car that handles well in the city with a slicker body. The Nissan Versa is a very affordable option for these drivers. The Versa can handle Colorado weather while providing a fuel efficiency of 39 miles per gallon. This small and compact vehicle doesn’t break the bank, and it will get you from Denver hot spots to local shows in no time.

The Long-Hauler: Honda Ridgeline

Keep on truckin’ with the Honda Ridgeline, a more fuel-efficient crossover vehicle for the Rockies and beyond. The Ridgeline touts a comfortable design for families and individuals alike. Don’t let the cozy cab and infotainment system fool you, though. The Ridgeline’s bed can haul 1,580 pounds, maxing out at 5,000 pounds, with models providing multiple terrain modes in the 4WD system. The Ridgeline also leaves 8 inches of ground clearance for anyone interested in a little off-road adventure.

The Family Operator: Honda Odyssey

Sleek, stylish, and incredibly reliable, the Honda Odyssey has it all. If you’re looking to blend luxury with top-level performance and efficiency in a minivan, the Honda Odyssey offers dynamic family-hauling class and a smooth ride. Whether you’re driving in snowy conditions or on city streets, an Odyssey will handily deal with the challenges of Colorado terrain, and it’ll do it in style. A major perk of the Odyssey is its plentiful amenities and upgrades, from a top-notch infotainment system to interior finishes. You won’t believe it’s a minivan.


The Dawn of Electric Cars


Electric cars may seem to be the latest line of trendy vehicles, but their concept and design date back nearly two centuries and are actually older than gas-powered automobiles. It wasn’t until gasoline became more readily available that people shifted away from the electric model. As we begin to face climate change, electric cars are on the rise again and may become the future of transportation.

The Original Design

In the mid-1800s, electric cars were developed with on-board acid batteries. The design was nearly impossible because the batteries were huge. The size shift in these new batteries allows them to power regular-sized vehicles we use today. In the 1880s, electric vehicles were beginning to see use in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Personal use was uncommon early on. Many electric vehicles were used inside mines for coal transport. They are powered without consuming oxygen, which is much safer for miners. The biggest limitation for personal and commercial use was poor infrastructure. Most roads were made for horse and buggy and therefore were not easily maneuverable for motorized vehicles.

At the tail end of the 1800s, electric cars became more widespread in Europe. Electric taxis showed up in London before the turn of the century. Gasoline-powered vehicles with internal combustion engines also appeared on the market but were quickly associated with the bitter smell of gasoline so they weren’t as popular as electric vehicles. As electricity became more widely available, particularly in America, electric cars were also more accessible and grew as a commodity. Early electric cars suffered from lower speeds, in comparison to their gasoline and steam-powered counterparts. They were marketed as cars for women because they were so simple to operate.

Outpaced by Gas Cars

Electric vehicles fell out of style and behind in affordability in the 1900s, when gasoline became more easily accessible worldwide. Gasoline-powered engines were more economical to use and had greater range and speed. This made them a better option than electric vehicles. Now the reality of our climate crisis is receiving attention, leading engineers to rethink how we can efficiently power cars with a renewable resource.

When Henry Ford began mass-production of his vehicles, gasoline-powered cars were exceptionally cheaper and electric cars quickly fell out of widespread use. Roads were being developed with motorized vehicles in mind, so the limited range and slow speed of electric vehicles became a liability for the increasingly mobile public.

The motors that powered these old electric cars saw other application in the 1900s. Plenty of short-range vehicles were products of the electric car decline, including industrial equipment like forklifts and leisure vehicles like golf carts. Eventually, the first vehicle driven on the moon was an electric battery-powered Lunar Rover. On Earth, the electric car was still a niche concept.

Recharging Electric Cars

It wasn’t until the 1990s and early 2000s that the interest and development of electric vehicles restarted. The energy crises in the 70s and 80s paired with various environmentalist movements led to mass criticism. Many started to argue that our heavy reliance on gasoline would be a nightmare in the future. Between the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that gas will eventually run out, it was time for a new plan.

Larger car companies began developing hybrid electric and gasoline cars to scale back pollution and cut costs on gasoline. There was a push, particularly in California, to shift to cars with zero-emissions, which led car companies back to electric motors. However, public interest is still in the direction of larger, sport-utility vehicles (mostly in America). Which only makes marketing electric and hybrid vehicles even more difficult and costly.

Another energy crisis in the early 2000s brought hybrid and electric vehicles to the forefront of the public again. Models like the Toyota Prius were marketed as energy efficient, and as neighborhood electric vehicles were used as town cars, the concept spread internationally. These are still fairly common outside of the United States as low-speed and low-cost alternatives for city travel.

Modern Electric Cars

The rise of modern electric vehicles started with Tesla in 2004, when they produced the first highway-legal electric vehicle, the Tesla Roadster. Since then, other large auto manufacturers have produced electric vehicles of increasing speed and charge duration. One of the largest limitations electric vehicles face hasn’t changed — they are slower and have less mobility range. However, advances in batteries have improved these restraints, even in affordable models like the Ford Focus.

Finding a place to charge up can be a challenge for these car owners. Charging stations, particularly in the United States, are much more difficult to come by than a good old gas station. Luckily, the popularity of electric vehicles appears to be growing. Especially as green and affordable alternatives to gas-powered vehicles become crucial. Although they suffer from modern equivalents to their 19th-century ancestors, they ride the road to a more sustainable future.

What’s a Bassnectar?

Bassnectar, more commonly known as Lorin Ashton, has greatly impacted my life over the last five or six years. He caught me with a good set but kept me with his strong commitment to fighting for what he believes in. Now we may not always agree politically but the way he presents his mission behind his music is inspiring. Not to mention he puts out banger after banger.

One thing we can both agree on is how unethical the USA Patriot Act is. If you’re interested in learning about how our privacy was stolen, check out my article on the Odyssey.

My dream car?

A Ford Mustang.

Ford’s Mustang is a timeless, American classic. The chic, four-wheeled racer is so flashy drivers continue to love it, old model or new. With horsepower that never quits and a mean grill, it’s no surprise the Mustang is my dream car.

The Ford Mustang is more than a car, it’s an icon. It has been listed on Car and Driver’s esteemed 10 Best Award list ten times and won the J.D power award numerous times. In 1974 and 1994 it was the Motor Trend car of the year – a true testament to its quality.

Even movie directors have noticed potential in the Mustang’s sleek appearance. We all remember Steve McQueen’s car chase in Bullitt, that 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback burning rubber. That chase was both sexy and dangerous and has been inspirational to those looking to get behind a Mustang of their own.

Aside from the Mustang’s role in American culture as a powerful, horsepower-injected, muscle classic, how does it fare in a more practical scenario. Let’s say, day to day ownership? I’ll start by explaining that the Mustang is more than collector’s item. This is a vehicle you can be proud to bring to the mechanic, and it is easy to affordably maintain. It’s also one of the best cars for your daily commute — not to mention the road trip you’ve been trying to take.

Designed to dominate wide, open roads

I can only imagine the good times and endless roads ahead after I purchase my first Mustang. Whether it’s a 2017 Ford Mustang GT, with the top down, or the Shelby GT 500, zooming along winding paths. As with any vehicle, your Mustang should be in tip-top shape before hitting the road. Check tire pressure, oil level, and remind yourself where the registration and insurance are located. This might be the time to consider purchasing a AAA membership.

Performance boost and price drop

One of the best parts about the Mustang is its affordablity. I mean it’s no Toyota Corolla but compared to other top-line sports cars the Mustang is cheap, doable for middle-class consumers. Plenty of enthusiasts out there like to dream of a Ferrari 575M, hitting 0-60 in about 4.2 seconds, but the chances you can shell out $246,000 for a car are slim. Luckily, the Mustang is, and always has been, a real value when considering cost, resale price, and the respect you get from fellow car fanatics. 

For example, the 2016 Ford Mustang has a suggested retail price of just under $24K (the convertible model is about $6K more). It’s rare to see such a high-performance vehicle at such a reasonable price. Plus, the 2014 Ford Mustang won Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the sports car category, beating its closest competitor by nearly $1,000. But forget the price for a minute and let’s consider cost of gas. A Mustang beats the majority of its competitors in fuel-efficiency too, especially if you have an EcoBoost model. These machines are getting up to 31 MPG on the highway.

The wide variety of Mustang models brings a plethora of different safety features. The Ecoboost mentioned above comes with tons of helpful safety and entertainment features, like the Ford MyKey system. This allows guardians to limit top speed and stereo volume. 

The Mustang community

Ask any Mustang Club of America member, Mustang enthusiasts are a close group. Ford estimates there are more than 250 Mustang enthusiast clubs in the world. They often host shows and events all over the world, allowing Mustang owners from everywhere to join in and appreciate the classic car’s history. Not only can you find great food and fun prizes, but unlimited networking opportunities too.  Those interested in getting started, I recommend the Lone Star Mustang National show in Texas, the Granite State Mustang Grand National show in New Hampshire, or the Pony Express National event in Nebraska. 

For anyone ready to make moves and start shopping, don’t forget to ask your salesman dozens of important questions. Once you’re a Mustang owner, be sure to set up a plan with a great insurance company. This is something you’ve worked hard for, protect it wisely.

Holistic Ways to Prep Your Pets for Fall

Shoutout to my little Willow for being so photogenic.

As warm days and summer sunshine are replaced with cool breezes, winter skies, and colorful leaves, you’ll be swapping out your shorts for sweaters, breaking out the holiday dishes, and cranking up the temperature. While you’re getting ready for colder weather in your home, be sure you include your pet. Just as people need a little preparation for fall and winter, pets need some prep too. Luckily, there’s plenty of things you can do to keep your dog or cat happy and healthy year-round. Here are a few holistic tips to keep Fido comfy during the colder months.

Switch up feeding times and walks

Colder weather also means less sunlight, which might mean gearing up for a few more night walks with your dog. Consider switching up your pup’s food and walking schedule to catch the last rays of sunshine (and to let you sleep in a little). If you plan on changing her routine, be aware that most pets are sensitive to their feeding and walk schedules. Move your walks up 15 minutes in time to acclimate your dog to the new schedule. If your dog or cat gets lonely with back-to-school, consider buying or switching out toys, or adding a little extra playtime every day. For cats, you might even consider making a few food puzzle toys to keep him occupied while you’re at work.

Beware of chocolate — and add a little extra

Holidays bring along the added risk of your pet eating something they probably shouldn’t have. High-fat foods can cause diarrhea and other more serious stomach problems. Whether you’re bringing back a haul from trick-or-treating or cooking Thanksgiving feast, you’ll want to make sure your pet isn’t also sampling your food. Apples, grapes, chocolate, and garlic are especially toxic.

Some pets may need a little extra in their bowl every day to regulate their body temperature and acclimate to the cooler weather. If your dog is particularly physically active, you might up his kibble just a little to get him through the winter. You can even add a little pumpkin to your pup’s diet for an extra seasonal treat, but be sure to consult your vet for exactly what your dog or cat will need.

Keep your pet well groomed

As temperatures drop, you’ll notice your dog or cat shedding more and more, making way for their seasonal coat. As your pet’s coat sheds, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping up with his grooming, especially if he has long hair. A new coat will help your pet better regulate his body temperature, but you’ll want to make sure you brush him regularly to prevent mats (and with mats, potential skin infections). Don’t let up on your dog or cat’s flea and tick care, either–prevent fleas in the spring by continuing treatment in the fall.

Watch out for mushrooms and other fall plants

You’ll see less fall foliage as the months move from November to December, but be wary of certain plants in bloom in the cold damp months, especially fungi. Keep an eye on your pet when hiking in the woods or even letting her roam around the garden–plants such as chrysanthemums, autumn crocus and clematis are all deadly to pets. Dogs especially should be prevented from consuming mushrooms on their walks. Though your best friend is an ace at sniffing out new smells, she won’t be able to tell the difference between a toxic or non-toxic mushroom or plant.

Build your pet an outdoor shelter, or cozy up their bed

Brr! If you’re saving a little on your heating costs by wearing a sweater or two instead of cranking the heat, don’t exclude your dog or cat. If you’ve got an indoor-outdoor cat, consider buying or building a new outdoor shelter for kitty. An outdoor retreat will help your cat stay cozy even while she’s roaming the wilderness (or just the neighborhood). For dogs and indoor cats, consider switching out their bed and bedding for warmer fabrics and deep insulation to keep them cozy.

Keep an eye out for snakes and snakebites

Snakes go into hibernation in autumn, making much more likely to strike than other times of the year. Because they’re less mobile, it’s more likely a curious cat or dog will nose their way toward a sleepy (and more aggressive) snake. Know what species are in your area and be cautious when walking your pet around areas they’re likely to inhabit.

Upgrade your pet’s wardrobe

Let’s face it, we all could use a wardrobe overhaul by the time winter rolls around. When the only walk is an icy, rainy walk, short hair dogs will often be left shivering. Make him or her a little more comfortable with a new sweater, and a raincoat for sleeting days. Just don’t forget to buy your pet a costume for Halloween (or a Santa sweater for the holidays).

New south campus parking garage open for use

This year the new South College Parking Garage opened its doors to students and faculty, adding 650 new parking spaces to campus.

Construction is still underway on the fourth level and the canopy rooftop, but the first three levels are officially open for use. The garage should be complete by the end of August, after roughly a year of construction.

“We’re very pleased to have a new parking structure that aligns with campus culture sustainability,” said Fred Haberecht, the Assistant Director of Facilities Management.

In line with CSU’s sustainability efforts, the roof of the structure has the capability to set up solar panels, which will be implemented soon.

The garage will provide additional parking on the perimeter of campus, and it is located next to the transit line for commuter convenience. It will also be used to accommodate patients and employees using the new medical center, slated for completion Fall 2017.

“It’s just a good looking building,” Haberecht said. “It integrates into the campus aesthetic by sharing some of the characteristics that are common to other buildings on campus.”

Many students have voiced their complaints about how difficult it can be to find parking on campus. The University is troubleshooting this issue to accommodate the growing population of students.

“I previously have had a hard time parking on campus, but this year I purchased the commuter pass for the Z lot, so we’ll see how it goes,” said Amber Lee, a computer science student.

Permits are available for purchase, but there are also pay-per-hour spaces. Students who use the pay-per-hour spots will have the option to pay online using a phone application called Way-to-Park.

The garage will have six charging ports for electric cars, bringing the total of charging ports on campus to 24. The structure is equipped with the latest parking technology to help drivers find available spots efficiently using a light system.

“I’ve heard from other students that the commuter lots get full pretty quick,” Lee said. “I hope the project goes well, I could see myself using the garage in the future.”

This article was published in The Collegian August 23, 2016.