If you missed it on Instagram, I went to Denver last weekend. I had a day off, a cousin I miss constantly and a couple of college friends all in Denver so I decided to buy the ticket, pretend I had something resembling a winter coat and boots and headed on out.
I’ve been to Colorado several times, but each time I go I fall deeper in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Phoenix, but it’s so fun to see plant life, large plant life—OK, trees. So many trees. And they’re all so tall and piney and snow-covered and beautiful. When I went to Hawaii, I thought it was so cool to step outside and look to the mountains to see vibrant green mounds everywhere, so different from the brown desert mountains I hike here, and in Colorado it was so fun to drive out to the mountain and look at snow-covered peaks decorated with trees. Ugh. Nature is just the best, guys.
So, considering I fell asleep on my laptop last night while writing this post (which happened after the first session of my new yoga class, woof), I will give you the brief run down on the fun things we did. And trust me, it’s brief, once the snow started falling, there were just a lot of blankets, couches, puzzles, junk food and Harry Potter movies with the people I love. But we did make time to try new things, go to new places and eat new food. I love how no matter how many times I visit, there are always new things to see and experience!
1. Ate at nationally-recognized Pinche Taqueria. The sign simply exclaims, “Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey.” So the spot for me on all accounts except for the whiskey. We started with guacamole and margaritas and then dove into the tacos. I choose the Lengua (beef tongue), the most touted-taco; Mahi Mahi “Chimichurri,” which could have been a little heavier on the chimichurri; the Pork Belly “Agridulce,” um, oh my god; and the Shrimp & Scallop Xnic-Pec. Fatty over here, but they were all delicious and the service was wonderful. Our waiter Job (Joe—long story; long, fun night) was our best friend by the end of the night.
2. Drove to the mountains with peanut butter sandwiches and Starbucks to start our day of snowshoeing. We went to Breckenridge and after getting lost and trekking our butts half way up the mountain on foot (which was really fun, actually) we landed at the Breckenridge Nordic Center to rent our gear and hit the trails. This little lodge was the best. Erica couldn’t have picked a better spot. The cozy cabin had such a friendly, welcoming feel. The owner walked around all dressed up and played the accordion for us. Like sat down right next to me and played at me. Then we talked and he told us about how owning that little shop was his dream, asked us what we did, then told us about a moose spotting and which way we should hike to try to see him. Unfortunately by the time we got there Mr. Moose was gone, but we had the most fun. It was like a snowy hike through the most beautiful winter and I only fell once, you guys, just once.
3. Spent the night at my cousin and her friends’ rental in Keystone. We grilled fajitas, drank a lot of beer (I had a local gluten-free brew), did a whole entire puzzle—two hours of heavy concentration, followed by so much glee and relief when we finished—and played Cards Against Humanity.
4. Met friends from college (i.e. my beautiful friend Rachel) for brunch at The Lobby. The food was simple, but delicious and they had tons of gluten free options—I had some over easy eggs topped with awesome almond pesto, served with crunchy breakfast hash and gluten free toast. They do a bottomless mimosa brunch and if five or more people at your table, they bring over a tower of the sweet stuff. Literally a big tall tower filled with mimosa with a spout for pour-your-own drinks.
5. Tried to go to the Mayan Theatre for Whiplash, but it was sold out, so we bought tickets for a later time, then got tired and had them refunded. But we did get to go inside the theater and at least see all the gorgeous history on display. I definitely need to see a show there next time.
6. Walked down Broadway and popped into Fancy Tiger, a local apparel store, to buy a cool Denver Tee and some sweet shades from the UK.
7. Ate delicious gluten free pizza from Fat Sully’s at The Atomic Cowboy. The atomosphere was, well, atomic. The pizza was, honestly, a little too hard and crunchy for my tastes, but still really delicious, especially with Erica’s too cool for school topping combo of sausage, onion and banana peppers—a cool twist on my usual favorite. The sausage was the star for sure.
8. On the day of my departure, we hunkered down at The Weathervane Cafe to do some work, eat a delicious gluten free lunch and sip on some lattes. This cozy little building was decorated to vintage perfection and I could definitely see myself spending more snowy afternoons tucked in the upstairs nook the next time I’m in the area.
So I guess that doesn’t really fall into the realm of “brief,” but what can I say? I just had way too much fun.