Weekend Things

It’s the end of August and fall is coming, but joke’s on us because it was so hot this weekend!  I tried to sit outside and read in the shade on Sunday and I only made it five minutes before giving up and heading back into the air conditioning.  But aside from being really hot, this weekend was wonderful and I am doing my best to live it up while we still have summer weather.  Which means brewery patio hanging, backyard movie night and grilling.  I love it all so much!

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Joey has wanted to go to Briar Common for so long and I’ve been… resisting.  Their menu is never calling my name, but on Friday, it was!  We headed over and grabbed a spot on the rooftop patio then had beers and dinner and I really liked both, but the best part is just being able to hang out together outside on a Friday night ♥  Afterward, we went home and watched this movie Adam loaned us and it was quite the stacked cast!  I was not prepared for the ending, but up until then I had found a lot of it really funny?  Where has Christina Ricci disappeared to anyway??

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Joey has been doing this thing where he wakes up too early on the weekend, so I woke up to him asking “wanna go to Snooze??” on Saturday morning, but I had a headache from my one beer the night before (WHY THOUGH?) and politely declined.  I did eventually get up and make us both yogurt bowls though.  We had an engagement party to attend at noon and don’t worry, we were first in line when the taco bar opened up 😛

Afterward, we hit up Best Buy so we could improve our outdoor movie sound system (success!) and then spent some time trying to get our projector hooked up to a streaming system, which involved Joey projecting the picture onto our ceiling.  When we finally got it all working, we maybe watching an episode of Friends up there.  Post-dinner (Loaded Summer Chili Fries is the new Spicy Black Bean Burrito Bowl, meaning it’s the summer dinner I can’t stop repeating), my sister and Wayne came over for movie night.  At the beginning of the summer, Joey said he wanted to watch The Mighty Ducks in our backyard and we finally made it happen.  I thought I’d seen it in bits and pieces, but after watching it all the way through, I realized I definitely hadn’t.  I kept waiting for Kenan to show up and that apparently doesn’t happen until the second movie.  Also, I thought all the regret over his failed career as a hockey player meant Gordon Bombay had been in the NHL and quit, but then it turns he had only played till he was 10 years old??  Wow, and I thought I held onto things too long!

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Standard Sunday Content: two food pictures and nothing in between.  We really did go to Snooze this time!  I got my hair cut a few hours later and she was like “how do you go to Snooze and not wait for hours??” but the answer is that we never go unless we’re up early!  We were sat right away and despite my attempts to order a regular sized pancake for us to share, we always end up with the giant one.  After my hair cut, I hit up the mall and it was actually extremely successful but even so, I don’t understand how anyone enjoys shopping.  I feel like it sucks the life out of me!

Back at home, my outdoor reading attempt followed by Joey finally making it home for a loooooong fantasy football draft and then we made a fun summer dinner of a Grilled Onion Blossom (we made this last year too and it’s really good and easy!) + Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Cherry Tomato Panzanella that I thought was really good but Joey seemed stressed out by because the chicken took longer to cook than the recipe said it would.  Wait, am I the laid-back cook in the house now??  Please tell me what you’re doing to live out these last few moments of summer!

4th of July & a Birthday Staycation

We have been off from work since 3:45 PM on Thursday and I am definitely experiencing “WHAT DAY IS IT??” syndrome.  Feels as if a whole lifetime — a lifetime that included a hail storm, a grill feast, the wonderful third season of Stranger Things, a morning coffee shop trip, a delivery of wood for our deck, a manicure, dinner at The Preservery, breakfast and the Farmers’ Market, a 7-minute ride on the light rail, a full day of acting like a tourist in our own city (more on that soon) and that Sunday night feeling of going to bed with a heart full of gratitude.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Got our firework fix at the Rockies game on Wednesday night

Maybe you’re one of those people that can’t fathom the idea of working on the 4th of July or maybe you’re like me and would rather have the 5th of July off and get an extra long weekend.  So we worked Thursday, but skipped out a bit early, hit up Home Depot for flowers, got home to plant them and then watched them get beat up in a totally weird hail storm??  Oh well, they looked pretty for a minute there!

We had to wait out the rain before we could grill dinner and then it had to be an indoor Independence Day Feast but it was okay because our lamb was amazing — let’s forget the moments of terror as we cooked these over an unusually flame-y grill — and also because I maybe wanted to watch Stranger Things anyway 😛

Andi didn’t seem to mind the fireworks last year but our neighbors were setting off some extra noisy ones that kept occasionally flying into our yard and our pup was not exactly having it.  We caved and let him sleep in our bed with us!

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Feta Yogurt Dip with watermelon (that I didn’t know was yellow until I cut into it!)

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Armenian Lamb and Grilled Vegetables with pita

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We had a plan to start our day off on the rooftop at Blue Sparrow and it was momentarily wonderful but we had to rush out when our Lowe’s delivery showed up with a bundle of wood for the deck Joey is building us.  Please give me full credit for helping move all the wood into our garage.  We probably could have been productive afterward but instead… more Stranger Things!  I did eventually have to make it to a manicure appointment though and get this, on my walk over to Base Coat, an older man in a convertible pulled up beside me and said “need a ride?”  Are you serious??

Anyway, after my color changing polish mani, we took our pup over to my parents’ then took ourselves to dinner at The Preservery.  I’d maybe been saying I wanted to go there since it opened… three years ago.  It was GREAT!  Back at home, we watched all but the final episode of Stranger Things which, in retrospect sounds insane, but I was definitely going to fall asleep during the finale if we continued on.

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A Saturday Staycation!  Look, I know some people like to go big for their 30th birthday, but that ain’t me.  I was more into the idea of a weekend trip, but then I remembered how much time it takes to travel and decided a staycation sounded best!  We looked into a handful of Denver hotels and landed on The Maven because we thought it would be cool to have a balcony overlooking downtown Denver, be within walking distance of Union Station and the MCA, and have so many good food options right at our fingertips.  I think it was the perfect choice!

First things first, though.  We biked over to the Farmers’ Market per usual but then did the unusual and had breakfast at Mercantile.  Turns out they have a pretty great little menu and it’s a casual order-at-the-counter-and-seat-yourself set up so we got to enjoy our food out on their patio.  Joey complained that it’s NOT a calzone unless it’s all closed up but looked pretty good to me, plus my ricotta pancakes were delicious!  Most importantly, peaches have arrived at the FM and I am so happy!!!

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Back at home, we quickly packed up and took the 7-minute light rail ride back to Union Station, then walked over to the Dairy Block to leave our bags and do a short walk through of the shops before heading to the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was penny day!  So for 2 cents, we got to spend a little over an hour perusing the art then chilling on the rooftop patio (still one of my favorite Denver secrets ♥) before heading out to find lunch.  We maybe checked the menu at three other places before making it all the way to Hearth & Dram to find it closed for lunch.  But, conveniently, there were a bunch of scooters out front so we each hopped on one and rode toward the 16th Street Mall and had a lovely patio lunch at The Kitchen.  It didn’t even rain!

We walked the mall after lunch and it had been a while since either of us had done that.  It was, uh… interesting.  If you come in from out of town, my advice to you is just don’t go to the 16th Street Mall.  It’s just chain restaurants and questionable happenings.  Joey continues to refer to this walk as his favorite part of the day just to annoy me…

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By this point we were able to check into our hotel room, where we spent some time relaxing.  Our patio had a great view of none other than Coors Field!  Plus an airsteam trailer in the lobby serving up one complimentary drink per person 🙂  Most importantly though, we bit the bullet and finally booked flights to Italy for this October.  I am beyond excited and only a little bit nervous about that long flight and finding hotels ASAP.

Around 8, we made our way back over to Union Station for dinner at Ultreia, which turned out to be just okay.  I wasn’t impressed by my drink and the food was pretty lackluster overall, but we did grab Little Man ice cream at Milkbox afterward so it wasn’t a total loss.  Watched like 20 minutes of Wildlife in bed before we realized we were exhausted and went to bed.  A truly amazing day!

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Sunday morning, Joey ran downstairs to grab us complimentary coffees from Huckleberry (how perfect that our favorite coffee roaster has a location inside The Maven!), plus toast for me and a breakfast burrito for him and we ate both on our little patio.  Denver was much quieter (but no less beautiful) in the morning ♥  We checked ourselves out shortly before 11 AM, took the light rail (only a four minute ride on the way back!) home then picked up our little pup.  All in all, just a truly wonderful little weekend “trip” that I feel so happy to have experienced.  P.S. We watched that final episode of Stranger Things and my heart could hardly handle it.  “Please make this scene end!” is a real thing I said, while fighting back tears.  Also, Scoops Troop Forever!

And as if that wasn’t a good enough end to my 20s, my mom showed up at my office today with a red velvet cake!  How did I get so lucky??