Happenings

Been staying pretty busy around here, hence the extremely delayed Iceland posts that I’m still working on. But it’s been a good month and half or so since I last updated on happenings around here.

The weekend before the Iceland trip, I went to Opening Day for the Rockies. I’d never been before, but I think I may be one of those people who will take off work and go from now on. We arrived downtown at about 10:30am, with the game not beginning until after 2. I didn’t even have a ticket, I was just going to head home when my friends went to the game, but Katherine won a ticket for me from one of the local radio stations at the bar. We sat club level with the morning on-air personalities and had a funny conversation with them about using ranch as a dipping sauce. The whole day was a blast.

photo_1 (29)

photo_2 (26)

photo_3 (22)

photo_4 (13)

After Iceland, the next big event was Easter. My cousin came into town, but I didn’t get to hang out with him as much as I wanted. Saturday was a fun night out downtown, with Larimer square all decorated for the Avalanche making the playoffs, and Sunday was Mass, Easter lunch at our usual spot and hanging out at home.

photo_1 (30)

photo_2 (27)

photo_3 (23)

On a random Thursday, my friend Kevin and I discovered “our place.” We have been friends since Kindergarten, and he recently moved back to Colorado and lives in Colorado Springs, so we sometimes meet in Castle Rock to catch up. I bought a deal for Maddie’s Biergarten and we loved the place. We had flights of beers and brats, and I picked up potato and macaroni salad for us at the grocery store. We were able to catch up and watch the Avalanche game, and I know we’ll go back soon.

photo_4 (14)

 photo_5 (8)

My mom and I had a fun night out downtown seeing the play Shadowlands about the author C.S. Lewis and his relationship with his wife and God. It was a very powerful play, and during the opening monologue, I felt like he could have been speaking directly to me. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants downtown before the play and had our fun bubbly drinks after. It was great to spend a night on the town together.

photo_4 (19)

That Saturday I played volleyball at Washington Park, which was the perfect way to spend a warm spring morning. That night was our school prom. I was on the decorating committee, which was really fun, and chaperoned the night of the event. The photo booth was so fun, I swear I must have been in it 7 or 8 times.

photo_3 (25)

photo_2 (29)

photo_5 (11)

photo (42)

Kevin and I attended the South Denver Beer Fest and had a great time. There were over a hundred breweries represented, and in the VIP tent they also had cheese and chocolate, which is rare to find at an event like this. We had a great time and hit up the food trucks. I got a grilled cheese sandwich and fries for lunch, and on the way out we got ice cream sandwiches. So tasty.

photo_1 (32)

photo_1 (33)

photo_2 (31)

photo_3 (26)

Mother’s Day weekend, my cousin visited from Chicago and it was so great to have her here. We went to dinner and drinks on Friday, walked in Wash Park on Saturday followed by lunch in Cherry Creek, spent 3 hours getting ready and watching the Mindy Project Saturday night and finally made it downtown for dinner at Ocean Prime and then drinks at Cru and Green Russell. On Sunday we went to Mass and then cooked up an impressive brunch for the family. It was a much too quick visit, but fun as always.

photo_4 (15)

photo_1 (31)

photo_2 (28)

photo_3 (24)

The next update I’ll share about Graduation, Vegas, a wedding and a fun summer goal!

Advertisements

Things I Just Don’t Understand Part 3

This one gets me every time and truly leaves me dumbfounded. Padded sports bras. Now, I am not an athlete. I love sports, but I’m not that girl that can run for miles or pick up a sport and be good at it that day. But, when I get up the motivation to work out, I work out. I don’t put on makeup, I get sweaty, I don’t wear some coordinated Victoria Secret Active outfit, and I certainly don’t worry whether my C-cups look like B-cups under my t-shirt. And it seems crazy to me that anyone does. I’m probably making too big of a deal about this, but in my mind it’s basically saying that as women, we always have to be ‘on.’ Even breaking a sweat, we have to look sexy and show off those curves.

48f3273c827cb9b45d19ec9bafeeeb59

I write about the next one with a little trepidation. One, because I know some people out there will be offended and two,  I’m writing about something I have no experience with. However, I must admit that I am a bit lost when it comes to gender reveal parties. I grew up in a family where all of the babies gender’s were a surprise, and I’ve taken to my mom’s view that finding out in the delivery room must be the ultimate surprise, after all of that terrible work. And talking with a friend who is due any day now about her guess on the sex, which changes every time I see her, is really fun. Some people like to know in order to plan, I get that. But throwing yourself a party to find out the sex in front of everyone else, kind of weird. It takes an intimate moment that used to be just the couple in the delivery room, and puts it in front of friends, family and even coworkers. And all of the ways in which it’s revealed? Balloons in a box, cake color, opening a gift with a little boy or little girl outfit, just seem cheesy to me. I know I won’t have my own party (way down the road), but I realize they are becoming more and more trendy.

3cef76933248c887b0cb211a0610dc10

Professional athletes behaving badly. This has been a big issue here in Denver lately as one of our best receivers has had repeated run ins with the law. Drugs, speeding, driving without a license, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for him. Now, I understand the argument that these people are human, and are entitled to make mistakes and have fun. But being a professional athlete isn’t a life long career. In fact, the average length of time a player is in the NFL is 3.3 years. Can’t you focus for that time, and make your stupid choices later, when you’re retired?

2011 NFL Draft

(Images 1 and 2 via Pinterest, Image 3 via bleacherreport.com)

Visitors

I always look forward to having people visit us in Denver, especially people who have never been before or haven’t spent much time here. Luke’s sister is coming to visit this weekend, and I’m excited for her to see our place and to show her around. We don’t have anything specific planned (very unlike me) but will go with the flow and see what kinds of things she wants to do.

One place that’s definitely on the list? My uncle’s restaurant.

Los Angeles-Denver

Have you ever driven from Los Angeles to Denver, or vice-versa? If not, I recommend it. I’ve done the trip 7 times in the last 6 years, and each time I’ve dreaded the 17-hour drive, but have ended up enjoying the experience. Here are some of the reasons that make it a great route for a roadtrip.

1) You either start or end in California, so you get to see the ocean.

2) For someone looking to visit lots of U.S. states, this is a pretty good route as you go through 5, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

3) You go through Vegas. Enough said.

4) You see some of the prettiest terrain in Utah, right outside Arches National Park.

5) There is very little traffic, meaning you can relax a bit and play roadtrip games.

I did this drive about 2 weeks ago, leaving Los Angeles, where I went to school and then worked for 2.5 years following school, for Denver, where I am from. This trip was a bit more interesting because in addition to my car, we also had a large Budget truck with all of Luke and my belongings. My mom and Luke’s mom joined us for the trip, so it was a great time. We stopped in Mesquite, Nevada for a night, and then in Grand Junction, Colorado for a night. Breaking the trip up over 3 days was a great way to do it, especially with the heavy, slow truck.

The Route

 

Our 16 foot Budget truck
Beautiful Utah from I-70

Colorado!

*Unfortunately, most of my roadtrip pics are on my phone, and these blurry ones are the only ones that I have on my camera.

I hope you will have a chance to see this beautiful stretch of the country. And I’m happy to say that we are settling into our new place and love it!

California Skiing vs. Colorado Skiing

Mountain High

Luke and I spent the long weekend for MLK Jr. Day in Colorado. We both took off the Thursday and Friday before, so we had a nice 5-day vacation. While there we spent a lot of time with my family, saw my friends, went out downtown, ate a lot of great food and skied Vail.

It’s been about 2 years since I skied in Colorado, though I have done some skiing in So Cal. A few weeks ago Luke and I went to Mountain High and last year we skied Snow Summit near Arrowhead Lake.

What a difference! I completely forgot what it is like to ski in powder, or at least real snow that you see falling in front of you. I also completely forgot how monstrous the resorts are. Vail mountain is huge. At one point we were on top of the mountain and turned around and saw lifts down the entire backside and the mountain next door.

Vail

In conclusion, these two So Cal resorts don’t hold a candle to those in Colorado, but they are great for a quick snow trip if you live in LA. And the prices are much more reasonable!

Thanksgiving in Denver

As I detailed in the Vancouver post, Luke and I have been traveling and away from our families for the past two Thanksgiving holidays. This year, we each went to our respective hometowns. Actually, Luke was fortunate to be able to take the days leading up to Thursday and Friday off, so he was in Santa Cruz for an entire week.

I left for Denver late on Wednesday night and arrived to freezing cold temperatures. While waiting for my mom to get through the busy pick-up line, it was about 9 degrees. In true Colorado fashion, the weather didn’t stay nearly that cold, in fact my mom and I were able to go for a walk with only sweatshirts and pants, no jacket, which was nice.

The trip was great, and filled with lots of family and friend time. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house on Thursday and were up bright and early on Friday to go Christmas tree cutting, which is a longtime family tradition. Though I’ve gone every year (excluding the last two) this was the first year that I’ve actually fully chopped down a tree. I ususally saw for a few minutes and then someone else does the rest. So this year, I determined to finish the job… and I did!

The rest of the trip was lots of food, a night out downtown with friends, a mother-daughter lunch with my best friends Katie and Laura and their moms, shopping and lots of time with my family.

I really enjoyed this time at home and Christmas was just as fun! (More to come on Christmas later.)