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??

Weekend Things

The first weekend of summer and Colorado was cool and rainy!  No fear because this week is set to be in the upper 80s, but what a way to start the season.  We took advantage by hitting up the movie theater on Friday, ordering ramen on Saturday and going to an indoor show on Sunday (well I did anyway, Joey was out in our backyard!) but I’m ready for real summer to start now, please!

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We already had plans to see Rocketman on Friday night, but in between that and eating leftovers at home for dinner, I suggested we grab a drink at the bar at Steuben’s.  Joey was all too happy to comply.  As for the movie, it was much more of a musical than we’d expected!  It was about half an hour in, when a child version of Elton John, who was killing it on “Saturday’s Alright for Fighting,” turned into the Taron Egerton verion of Elton John and continued killing it (singing AND dancing) on “Saturday’s Alright for Fighting” that I was like “okay, I’m SO here for this movie!”  There’s a small amount of cheesiness involved but for the most part, we liked it and definitely danced around in our seats the whole time.

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Baby garden is getting PLENTY of rain but not enough sunshine!  It’s still growing though, and maybe also getting eaten by bugs?  We had our company picnic on Saturday but I HAD to make a quick stop at the Union Station Farmer’s Market.  It was chilly and they didn’t even have the pita bread I specifically went for, but we got rainier cherries (!!!), heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and a single sprig of mint for 25 cents, so not a total loss.

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We changed it up this year and had the company picnic at Boondocks instead of Elitch’s and thank god because we would have gotten rained on if we’d been outside.  Post lunch/co-worker mingling, we played a round of putt putt and guys, I lost to both Joey and Adam by just two points!!!  Can’t decide if I’m proud at how well I did or mad that I was that close.  Oh and I got to see Ellie, looking ridiculously cute in that little headband ♥

We hit up the grocery store on our way home (such adults :P) and thought about seeing another movie but it was suddenly 6 PM and staying in to order Uncle and watch a movie sounded pretty good.  Dang, that ramen delivery took SO long but it tasted amazing so I’ve basically forgotten about the long wait.  We started watching Suspiria and… it’s not very good… sorry, Tilda!

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A Sunday Dorsey Day!  We had tickets to Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles so we had lunch downtown (Stout Street Social did NOT impress…) before heading to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the show.  I maybe listened to Abbey Road ON REPEAT ALL WEEK and then they didn’t play anything from that album until the very end of the show, but that’s okay because they did so many earlier hits that I know and love.  Mostly it made me wish I had been alive during Beatlemania.  Thanks, Dad, for raising two Beatle-loving daughters ♥  Now cut to me listening to a lot more Beatles this week!

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I came home to two new planter boxes!!!  The look so pretty and I can’t wait to fill them with flowers.  God bless my handy husband who was also starting work on a deck we’re building over the dirt pit left by our old garage.  I sort of helped by holding a tape measure at the post holes 30 times but mostly I was inside making salads for lunch, then we made this BBQ Salmon Cobb Salad for dinner and man, was it good!  Oh and we finished The 10th Kingdom and it was as good as I remembered.  Joey gave it a 7 out of 10, which I’m maybe slightly insulted by, but there’s also a troll king and a talking dog so I guess a 7 is fair.  Watched more of Suspiria afterward and will it ever end??

How was your first summer weekend?