Weekend Things: Family Time in Estes Park

This weekend was just so so good.  When it comes to vacationing, I find I always have my sights set on far off locations and forget about the places, like Estes Park, that are only a few hours drive away, in our very own state.  And I always forget just how refreshing and re-energizing that fresh mountain air and time spent with loved ones can be!

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We stopped in Lyons to grab a beer at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew and look, I thought I didn’t like Oskar Blues beers, but then I had the Nooice Saison and loved it so much.  So I guess I don’t know who I am or what I like 🙂  They have an old school video game arcade that Joey and Adam were pretty into but my childhood mainly consisted of Mario Party on Nintendo 64 so I guess the nostalgia was kind of lost on me.

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Once in Estes (we saw three elk on our way!), we checked into our BEAUTIFUL condo, maybe locked ourselves out within three minutes of being there — four adults should be smarter than this, right? — made a very important beer run then had dinner at Tavern 1929, because when the lodge you’re staying at has its own restaurant and 18 microbrews, you obviously make a reservation.  We all dubbed Joey’s elk chops the best dish of the night and considered ordering dessert but then decided to retire to our condo for some hot tub/puzzle/sad sad Rockies game time.

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Saturday morning waffles for all!  Remember how I mentioned Joey made a bunch of buttermilk waffles last weekend?  Purposely, because we froze the extras then packed them up and just popped them in the toaster for everyone on Saturday morning.  I’d never tried this re-toast and revive method but they were great!  Plus, drinking coffee outside in the crisp mountain air is MY FAVORITE.  And I never pass up a coffee-mug-with-the-mountains-in-the-background picture 🙂

At 10, we made our way into town for the event of the weekend: The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival!  I didn’t even know A) Joey’s family had Scandinavian roots or B) that those painted horses are called Dala Horses and are a Swedish thing!  We totally had one of those in our house, growing up.  In all seriousness, the weather was beautiful, the festival was packed and it was cool to see all the Scandinavian culture.  We had lunch, made a stop at the taffy store and grabbed ice cream in town before heading back to our condo to rest up before dinner.

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We had a bit of a dinner party at our place later on.  Everyone came over with food and Joey and I cooked salmon with a recipe we’d never used at a size we’d never cooked but it all went swimmingly (sorry, had to make a fish pun) and this beet salad always impresses.  And I learned what potato bologna was and even got to try it for myself.  Had many Swedish learning experiences this weekend, guys!

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Okay, all I have are food photos from the beginning and the end of Sunday, but in between was a bunch of good stuff, like a quick and painless drive back from Estes, lunch at BriDer, couch lounging, garden surveying (my parents watered for us while we were gone and I love them for it ♥), running (amen for a quick weekend cool off in Denver), kombucha brewing and dinner cooking.  It felt like there were 10 extra hours in the day and I was not mad about it!  Joey made garlic scape pesto with scapes from the farmers’ market and, get this, chard from our garden.  Yes!  It was so good and we used it in some pasta for dinner and all was right in the world.  Except the Rockies… WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE SUCH PAIN??

Please tell me what you did this weekend, I’d love to hear!

Weekend Things

Summer ’17 comin on strong!  The GO-GO-GO pace of summer can be both thrilling and exhausting and I think I felt both this weekend.  It’s a bit of a roller coaster, but we just gotta ride it out and do our best to breathe it all in, right?

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Started off the weekend with a Tiffany blue mani and when my gal asked me if I wanted to cut them down, my response was “not really!”  My nails haven’t been this long in forever!  Just gonna enjoy it while I can, aka till they all break, one by one.  It’s inevitable.

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Friday night Rockies game and it was A) packed and B) only slightly less terrifying than the night before, but we won and that’s all that matters in the end.  Guys, sorry if you’re not here for my very important baseball talk, but we how fun are these 2017 Rockies??

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Get this, Joey and I switched routines on Saturday so while I was watering our yard, he was inside making a bajillion buttermilk waffles and I could get used to walking into the kitchen to a mound of fresh and warm waffles on the counter.  He’s the very best and so was this breakfast.

Biked to the Farmers’ Market afterwards and I think every child in Denver was running around in the fountains at Union Station.  Hooked ourselves up with some garlic scapes (!!!), snap peas, little cucs, tomatoes and best of all, Rainier cherries!  Apparently, this was the last week for Rainiers and whoa, they are SO SWEET AND GOOD.

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I feel weird posting a picture of my vegetarian friend and steak tacos together…

I headed out for a facial that afternoon and when I got back, Joey had hit the grocery store and was food prepping like his life depended on it or, you know, like he thought he was me 🙂  It was kind of the cutest.  I joined in on the fun and we knocked out lunch for the week (jalapeño ranch FTW!), curry paste for later in the week and salsa for those steak tacos we ate for dinner at 9 PM like carefree summertime people.

After all that, we headed to RiNo to meet up with Jenn for a little birthday celebrating.  How amazing is the River North neighborhood lately?  There is no shortage of amazing places to eat and drink and everyone hanging out there seems to be just as enthusiastic about it all.  P.S. Jenn and I just introduce ourselves as sisters now and no one even bats an eye.  I ♥ her the most!

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Father’s Day/Belle’s Birthday was Sunday!  I woke up and went on a run (bringing back the weekend 5-miler and it felt so gooood), then got myself together and headed to my brother & sister-in-law’s for the celebration.  Just two dads looking very related in their matching outfits and hanging out by the grill.  And would you look at my cutie pie niece?!  She’s six and I’m like “when did that happen??”  Totally ate some of that ice cream cake and didn’t regret it for a second.

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Joey had spent the day with his dad, so we met up in our backyard for some hammock hanging and garden inspecting.  DO YOU SEE THAT BABY BASIL?  It’s too cute and I can hardly handle it.  Please know I keep sticking my face really close to the dirt so I can smell that basil-y fragrance.  It’s totally there!  Our flower garden is still alive and kicking it too.

Rounded out the weekend with some Sunday night TV veg time and reading in bed.  Joey mentioned that his day involved just a little too much sun and food and heat and it was making him feel a little drained and I was like ain’t that the definition of summer though!  Felt so good to have a little quiet time at the end of it all.

How was your weekend?