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Colorado Vacation Report

Caution: long post ahead!

I don’t know why they call Disney the best place on Earth- clearly, these people have never been to Colorado!

It all started when my Dad picked me up at a very early 630am to head off to the airport.  My flight out went off without a hitch and we even landed early 🙂  Candace was already on her way to pick me up so I headed outside for my first breath of fresh Colorado air.  As soon as I stepped outside, I noticed two things:

  1. It is so clean- even the air smells clean!
  2. The sky is blue.  No grey skies 🙂

The first thing we did was head to lunch.  We went to Noodles, which is a chain but not one we have in New Jersey.  You know what else they have in Colorado- Jason’s Deli- which they also had in Florida.  (Side note: Dear NJ- please get a Noodles and a Jason’s Deli. Thanks) After lunch, I pulled out my camera to take photos and the battery had died!  And I did not have my charger.  So right after lunch we headed to Target to get me a new charger.  Then it was off to relax and get pedicures.  This is the only photo I have of my pedicure:

Giving Tiger-Cat a belly rub

Once we were through with the pedicure, we headed off to buy goodies for dinner.  We had decided beforehand that we were going to cook dinner and watch a movie- remember, relaxing was #1 on the list of priorities!  By the time we were done at the store and back to Candace’s house it was almost dinner time.  I unpacked a few things, we poured some wine and got started.  We had Spinach and Scallop salad and it was delish!  Another glass of wine, some cleaning up and then it was movie time.  We decided we wanted a feel good flick that we had already seen before: Good Will Hunting.  Love that movie so much!

On Thursday we slept in until 7:30am!  That is crazy for me on a weekday 🙂  The day started in Candace’s basement where her and her husband have built a gym.  She was on her trainer and I started with 40 minutes on the Elliptical.  After that, we did a little P90X and then cooked ourselves a nice egg breakfast.  After breakfast and showers we headed out to spend the day in Vail.  Vail is a little under two hours from Littleton and it was the most gorgeous drive.  I am in awe of people who get to wake up and live in that beauty every day.  I have seen photos but there is nothing like seeing it in person.  Here are some shots from the drive and in town:

And just being silly:

Once in Vail we basically just walked around, went in and out of shops and had lunch.  We ate at the cutest little German resturant and it was so nice out that we were able to sit on the deck and eat.  And of course, I took photos:

Our wine list-

Oh, and here are some of my favorite photos from the shops we were in:

Just before dinnertime we began the drive back home and once again decided on dinner and a movie.  We had chicken stir-fry, which was so good, and we watched Invincible.  Invincible is the true story of Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale; I had never seen it before and even though I knew the story, I loved the movie.  Another feel good flick 🙂

Friday started off nice and early as we were headed out for a morning trail run first thing.  It was another gorgeous day in Colorado and I was excited to explore the park.  The plan was to run for an hour and a half and I figured I could fit in about 8.5 miles within that time.  It did not take long for me to realize this was going to be a slow run; for one, the altitude was definitely rough on me and I felt all dry in my mouth/nose, but mostly I knew it would be slow because I could NOT STOP taking photos.  I just loved being out in the open air and was trying to hard to take in all the amazing views I was getting.  I would run a little, stop and take a photo…walk, run a little, take a photo, walk…you get the idea??  Here are some of the photos I captured:

Saw this on my way back- glad I didn’t see it before I started!

After the run, we post-carbed it up with some Panera and then headed home to get ready for our afternoon/night out 🙂  After we got all girlie (both of us wore pink dresses- we are so not pink people!) we met up with Candace’s friend Mike and headed for downtown Denver to grab dinner before going to the Denver International Wine Festival.  We hit up McCormicks first for a happy hour cocktail and then had dinner at Jacks.  Jacks was a seafood place and it was yummy!  I had the Calamari appetizer and it was just enough for a light meal before drinking lots of wine 🙂  Soon after dinner we got on the train and we were off to the festival, which was held at the Mile High Center.

Now…about this wine festival.  No words or photos can do this justice.  There were over 400 wine vendors downstairs and then upstairs was the cocktail/spritzer/liquor area with some other, more expensive, wines.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  As you walk in, they hand you a wine glass and off you go. 

First there was a silent auction- I wish I had money for some of this stuff:

 

After you get through the auction, you get to the best part- the wine 🙂  I basically only drink white wine so it was easy for me to start out with those.  Almost all the vendors had Chardonnay and Sav Blanc which I got tired of pretty fast; it was then that I started seriously looking for the Rieslings, my favorite.  There were a few good ones but then I got to the Rock Wall…sooooo goood!  I may or may not have had a few “tastings” of that wine!  I was doing pretty good downstairs, making sure to really just taste most of the wines and not drink too much- I did NOT want it to sneak up on me!  Especially because I had full intentions of getting to that upstairs!  Once upstairs, I finished with the wines and moved onto Spritzers.  Honestly, besides the Prosecco there wasn’t a whole lot else to write home about.  I will say, one table had Mimosa in a bottle and that was way better than I had expected.  But the best table…without a doubt…by a landslide, was the Mar Azul Tequilla.  No joke, I could not believe it was tequilla.  Not being a real heavy drinker and not being into much hard alcohol, I was a little afraid to take the shot they gave me.  Others kept reassuring me it was smooth and flavorful (I was trying the chocolate flavor) and they weren’t kidding.  It was amazing.  From there I tried coffee, chocolate/coffee mixed, chocolate/almond mixed and Pomegrante.  They were all delish but the coffee/chocolate combination was ridiculously good.  (Side note:  Mar Azul only sells in Texas- hint hint hint Texas readers!!! 🙂 )  The tequilla table was the last of my night- which is probably a good thing- and by that time the festival was coming to an end. 

Pre-Wine…

Half-way through the night…

 End of night at tequilla table- cracks me up that it came out blurry.  Coincidence?

Saturday morning started off with sleeping in until 8am 🙂  I got my suitcases packed before we headed out for the day since we would not be back before heading to the airport.  Our first stop was the Columbine Memorial.  The Columbine shootings took place my senior year- I was in period 3/4 when they came over the loud-speaker to announce what had happened and to tell teachers to turn on their classroom TV’s.  I was speechless and devastated.  I could not believe that in a place where kids should feel safe they were so severely violated.  I was horrified.  And I have always worried about another shooting.  And there have been many more- and I still worry everyday being in my position that there could be one at my school.  The Columbine event has always stuck deep within me; I always stop for a moment of silence on April 20th and I think about the families often.  Now, having been to Littleton myself, I can honestly say I get it when the townspeople said they couldn’t believe it happened there.  Littleton is such a nice, seemingly upper-middle class town, where you would think nothing bad could or would happen.  It did, because I know now, these things happen everywhere.  At the memorial, I found myself really proud to be there paying my respects.  The memorial is perfect- it consists of large semi-circle with quotes from parents/students/teachers engraved in it and in the middle of the circle are thirteen monuments with a few words about each person who was lost that day.  I took a few photos and I think they really encapsulate the memorial.

 

After we left the park, we headed back to downtown Denver for a quick lunch and some shopping.  Unbeknownst to us, there was a parade going on- we had been stuck in traffic heading down to the 16th Street Mall but we didn’t know what was going on until we parked and almost crossed the street in front of some crazy men in little cars!  It turns out, they were having a Veteran’s Day parade.  We watched for a little and then headed to Earl’s rooftop for some lunch.  Other than the fact that our waitress looked like a stepford wife and was a complete ditz, we had a great lunch.  Perfect before heading to the airport.

 Came very close to getting hit by this!

View from lunch

I was very sad to be driving to the airport and saying goodbye to Colorado.  The trip was such a blast- I seriously loved every second.  Candace was a great hostess and we had a fabulous time.

Oh, how I already miss this…

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17 thoughts on “Colorado Vacation Report

  1. Thanks for sharing the details of your trip. Looks like a fabulous time! Now I have to make it out to Colorado! Your photos are gorgeous!
    PS. I have a bottle of coffee tequila in my fridge that I got from Mexico earlier this year. It is tasty but we’ve been slow to polish it off.

  2. oh my gosh! I just got back from Colorado. My best friend’s wedding. So serene, so peaceful, I so want to go back there. My husband and I decided that for our 4-year anniversary (when did we get so old???) we’ll go to CO or another state with mountains and escape in the perfection.

  3. You have so many beautiful scenery shots but I am going to comment on the signs. Love those pictures! You picked ones I absolutely would have taken pics of too!

  4. Wow! Looks like an amazing vacation! Glad you had such a great time. Especially love kitty pic. And yes, you guys have GOT to get Jason’s Deli in NJ! *hugs* from Orlando!

  5. I’ll have to leave a 2nd comment in a day or so. What a post.
    That was an insane amount of smiley faces.

    You’re completely forgiven if you want to abandon the East Coast for Colorado, I think you’ve got good supporting arguments with all of those photos.

    I definitely need one of those “easily offender whiner” signs.

    And, I will also think now, “what have we learned?”
    You’re absolutely right, school is supposed to be safe. Hard to imagine you’d be scared in the one place where you shouldn’t even feel the need to be protected. Thank you for visiting and sharing those pics and thoughts.

  6. What GREAT pictures of your fun vacay! That’s so funny that I flew one way and you went the other way…maybe we crossed in the air!
    Colorado looked like so much fun, I’m happy you had such a great time.

  7. I so want to visit Colorado! Hopefully some day! It looks so beautiful! My parents lived there for a year. They had to come back because my grandma got sick – if she hadn’t I feel like they would have stayed there and never come back.

  8. What a great vacation that has been. I loved reading the report and all the photos! Colorado is definitely beautiful!

    Love that concert poster of Bruce. And the price for a seat: 7.50! Can you believe that nowadays?

    Thanks for sharing Jill!

  9. love it. glad you had a good time! those shop signs were funny, women – free drink. well, ok! haha.

    man 1999. i was… in 9th grade, you grandma. 😉 seriously though, i remember that too. i was all active in my church youth group back then so i remember hearing a lot about the cassie bernall girl standing up (and dying) for her beliefs.

  10. Awwwwwwwwwww looks like you had a great time chica! And you look FABULOUS in all the pics! This post totally gets me excited for my trip there over Thanksgiving to see my Dad! 🙂

  11. What a fun trip! I can tell you had a great time. And I love all the photos. I bet I would be taking a ton if I was running there too.

    I love all the funny signs in Vail. Ha!

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