If You’re Ever in Aspen…

Be sure to hike the Maroon Bells, during summer that is. They are one of the most photographed peaks in the U.S. and are absolutely stunning.

To access them, you park at the Highlands Ski Lodge and a shuttle takes you over to the trailhead. There is a learning center and trails surrounding the lake at the bottom of the hills. This is a great hike for all skill levels. Trails run around the lake, while a more intermediate trail takes you on a 6 mile round trip hike up to another lake. For advanced rock climbers, you can always climb to the summit of The Bells.

And of course, after you’ve spent a nice afternoon hiking, you can head back in to the town of Aspen for a fun and exciting evening.

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If You’re Ever in Malibu…

Be sure to checkout Zuma Beach. Malibu has many beautiful beaches, but Zuma is my favorite. Not only is there a decent amount of parking, it also feels like a real, public beach, unlike many of the other beaches in Malibu where it feels like you could be trespassing on private property. You can also catch a glimpse of the Channel Islands, which are beautiful! 

Zuma Beach

 

Surrounding hills

If You’re Ever in Boston…

Make a trip to the North End, Boston’s Italian District, and eat at Pagliuca’s.

An amazing hole in the wall with the best lasagna I’ve ever had.

The staff makes you feel like family, and it is exactly how I imagine restaurants in Italy!

14 Parmenter Street, Boston, MA

 

(Apologies for the brief post and lack of pictures. Looong day at work.)

If You’re Ever in Honolulu…

make sure you take a trip to the North Shore and visit Turtle Bay Resort. Though I’ve never had the pleasure of staying at the Resort, I’ve twice visited for lunch and explored the property.

One of the wings of the resort

Turtle Bay is different than virtually every other hotel on the island because it is a true resort, complete with a golf course, tennis courts, spa, multiple pools and its own beach. Unlike the hotels that line Waikiki Beach, it is more secluded and has a more relaxing feel than the hubub along Kalakaua Avenue. Both times I’ve been we’ve eaten at Hang Ten, one of six restaurants on the property. The menu features lunch favorites such as burgers, fish and pupu platters, and many tropical drinks. The views from this spot are gorgeous and it is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy afternoon.

If you like the island of Oahu and all of the activities that it has to offer, but are looking to stay somewhere more relaxed and slower-paced, definitely take a look at Turtle Bay’s website: http://www.turtlebayresort.com.

p.s. If the resort looks familiar to you, a lot of filming was done here for Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

If You’re Ever in Centennial, CO….

be sure to check out Big Bill’s New York Pizza. Full disclosure: this is my uncle’s restaurant and it kept me busy and employed for many summers during high school and college. But, I wouldn’t have selected it as the inaugural post for “If You’re Ever in … Wednesdays” if it were not great.

The restaurant is in an unassuming shopping center in Centennial, on the edge of Highlands Ranch and Littleton. Big Bill’s has become sort of a local legend, not just because of the sports stars and coaches that frequent it, but also because of the service and family-friendly atmosphere. In fact, almost every single Big Bill’s employee at one time ate there for weekly dinners with their family: there are a couple of current employees I remember from when they were little and came in with their parents.

Most importantly, the food is incredible. Just check out the reviews on Yelp. Not only is the pizza great, but the salads, pastas and calzones are tasty, and there is a hero to suit every taste.

So, if you’re ever in Centennial, CO, be sure to stop by Big Bill’s New York Pizza and enjoy a great slice and the wonderful atmosphere.

Big Bill's Ale