Posted by Lauren
1. Right now I’m flipping the channel between Bachelor in Paradise and the Emmys (equal levels of classy, yes?).
2. I finished a 5 mile run after work. I really should do that more often!!! Ahhhh it felt SO good.
3. My phone has NO SPACE left, so naturally I’ve got to move all my photos to my computer…..
4. ….which means now I can blog about things. (Do other people seriously import photos daily for their blogs?!)
Last weekend I jetted over to Colorado with Kyle. We were long overdue for a visit to his family!
We arrived late Friday night and grabbed dinner in Golden, CO at Woody’s with Kyle’s parents who kindly picked us up from the airport!
In some ways, this family owned pizza joint reminded me of Woodstock’s in SLO. (Maybe it was the name connection?!) They had complimentary popcorn, a great beer selection, and really friendly service. Kyle and I split the California pizza (sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, mozzarella, spinach, garlic) and a burger with mushrooms + fresh jalapeños. I was so hungry and Woody’s hit the spot.
Saturday morning we hung out around Kyle’s parents’ house and then ventured over to Red Rocks for a walk. One day we’ll plan a trip that includes watching someone perform at the amphitheater. Definitely a Colorado bucket list item.
Sooooooo pretty. We drove to the downtown area of Morrison and scoped out a few potential dinner spots for the following night. The cute little “downtown” area is flanked by Bear Creek, with a few streams (like the one below) lining the side streets.
On our way back to Evergreen, we stopped for a farmer’s market palisade peach (it was raining at this point!) and picked up an ice cream cake for that evening. We got back to Kyle’s parents’ house early afternoon and spent the time leading up to dinner playing with Graham and Lena, Kyle’s nephew and niece. Graham is a riot — he showed me all the special cactuses, checked out the treehouse with me, and then we looked at lots and lots and lots of ants. HAHA
I want a treehouse. And I want Pete Nelson to make it.
Lena is about 6 months old and just so beautiful. It was great to finally meet her and yes, we had a “whose cheeks are bigger” contest. I lost miserably. She looks adorable in her new purple beanie!
We finished the night with a tasty ice cream cake (choc cake + cookies and cream ice cream) and then, once Kyle’s sisters and BIL went home, we sat outside near the fire pit with his parents. It was then that I learned we’d need to wake up at 5 am for our hike the following morning. WHA! 5 am on a Sunday?
Alright alright alright, 5 am for a 14er is doable. :)
After a quick all-terrain drive to the trail head, we set off for the 14,278 foot pinnacle of Gray’s Peak. Elevation and me aren’t that good of friends, but if you put one foot in front of the other enough times you’ll gradually make it to the top :)
View from the halfway point ^^^
“Extensive views stretch south to Pike’s Peak and the San Luis Valley, east to the Great Plains, West to Silverthorne, and north to Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park” (thanks Wikipedia)
Views from the top ^^^
What you can’t tell from this picture is that the winds were howling at 40 mph or so. Freezing! At least it wasn’t as windy as the first 14er we did (Bierstadt), last October. Instead of eating brunch at the top, we snapped a few photos and then walked down the mountain for wind cover.
Turns out, walking down at 14k feet is a whole lot easier than walking up. The 7-mile roundtrip hike took us about 4 hours including stops to gasp for air. We ate our PB&J sandwiches in the car and headed back to Evergreen a little earlier than planned thanks to our speedy descent.
We also decided to make 14er-climbing a tradition.There are 53 in Colorado so…. only 51 more trips to the Rocky Mountain Empire!
I had to quickly draft a fantasy football team at noon (btw I’m really pleased with my selections!) and then we were off to grab drinks/food in Morrison.
Wine flight @ Flights = best place ever for wine lovers. Plus, their charcuterie plate had some clever meat and cheese combinations going on.
Dinner was at the latin bistro, Beso de Arte (just a few doors down)
We split the crab empanadas (note: their tapas are actually not tapas – they’re big apps!)
For my main, I opted for the prosciutto-wrapped scallops, with fresh arugula, grilled watermelon, and a quinoa pilaf.
I really enjoyed this dish and it satisfied the salty cravings following our high-elevation hike. The prosciutto + scallop combo reminded me of the flub on Food Network Star where a contestant claimed she used serrano ham but was fooling everyone with prosciutto.
Don’t ever try to fool Alton Brown. Giada might fall for it though.
Anyways, we had a great time hanging out with Kyle’s family, especially getting more time with Graham and Lena. Already looking forward to the next trip out there!