a glitzy girls weekend.

18 May

Guys, I am officially O.L.D.

I was in Chicago a week ago “sending Mer on her marry way” (aka Mercedes’s bachelorette extravaganza) and it has taken me exactly a week to feel like myself again.

A WEEK!

Last night I was in bed at 9:30pm and did not wake up until 8:00 this morning. Sorry to Ms. May as her legs were crossed by the time I finally lugged myself out of the cozy confines of my bed, but thanks for allowing me to catch up on some much need Zzzzz’s, I feel like a new woman!

Anyway, our girls weekend in the Windy City was everything a girls weekend should be, and more. Mer had no idea what was in store until the activities unfolded one by one and watching her eyes light up as we began each event was priceless. I have never been a fan of bachelorette parties (I know,I know, what chick doesn’t like all the glitz and glam associated with a “bride’s final fling”?) as they generally bring about the worst kind of nasties in the girls involved; someone always cries, someone else always gets too drunk and tosses her penis-shaped cookies, and there is always unnecessary drama when it comes to the planning. And while last weekend’s shindig consisted of lots of penis-shaped confetti, sparkles, champagne, and toasts to the bride-to-be, I was shocked to come to the realization that the entire weekend was A BLAST. There was no drama, we didn’t break the bank, Mer had the time of her life, and the amount of giggles heard throughout was endless.

Mer has a total of three bridesmaids. Myself (Mer’s bff from the mountains), Kait (Mer’s bff from middle school), and Sara (Mer’s bff from Purdue) and other than an endless string of emails churning back and forth between the three of us, the bridesmaids had never met before this weekend. The entire weekend consisted of the three of us showering the bride (as well as my fab parents who hosted us on Slapshot on Saturday, thanks mom and dad!) with our love and excitement for her future. And the cool thing was, even though we had all, with the exception of Mer, just met for the first time upon our arrival in the city, it felt like we had all known each forever by the time we went our separate ways on Sunday afternoon.

Here is the complete agenda, along with a couple of thoughts on the activities.

Friday

Lunch: Giordano’sin my mind the first place prize for the battle for the best pizza in the land will forever go to Giordano’s.

Dinner: Siena Taverndelicious food, flavors were well-developed and diverse, though not a bit overpowering. The four of us split the grilled octopus appetizer, the burata appetizer, the Carne Pizza, and the Roasted Carrot Tortellacci. We probably could have ordered an additional pasta, but because of our pizza lunch we were fine with the above. The only downside to me was that the staff was a bit uppity and seemed to think that the patrons should feel lucky to be eating at Siena Tavern. Being that three of the four of us also make a living in the service industry, I do not appreciate being made to feel as though I am putting the staff out by being asking them to serve me. 

Post-Dinner Activity #1: Drag Show at The BatonOMG. This was an absolute riot and the perfect way to set the stage for an easy-going girls weekend. Tickets were $17/person and Sara did all the legwork to order them in advance. There is a two drink minimum and they make the drinks strong, so be sure to order a water with your beverage! 

Post-Dinner Activity #2:  Howl at the Moon, live music and dancing?! Always a good way to end the night!

Saturday

Activity #1: Silks Class via TSNY, ChicagoI was a bit wary of this activity prior to our arrival as my upper-body strength is similar to that of a noodle, but I absolutely loved every minute of it. We learned four tricks and it was a great way to start the day, as you got a bit of exercise in, plus it made for great photo opps. If I still lived in Chicago, I would definitely sign up for additional classes. 

Activity #2: “BYOB Cruise” on Lake Michigan. Originally we had talked about booking a boat cruise out of Navy Pier, but when my dad offered to be our Captain aboard Slapshot, the girls and I happily jumped aboard. 

Dinner: Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, loved the hip, yet casual vibe. Delicious rolls and snazzy drinks. We shared the Beef Filet, the Prosciutto-wrapped Scallop, the Cauliflower, and the Squid from the bbq bar and then ordered four sushi rolls. It was perfect, though I loved the beef filet and squid, so I probably could’ve ordered another of each :)

Activity #3: Bye, Bye Liveran improv drinking show that pokes fun at the bar/drinking culture in the city, complete with drinking games. Hilarious.

Sunday

Breakfast: Bub Citynot impressed. Found bones in my breakfast sandwich (Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit Sandwich), service was terrible. The bartender and our server seemed like they were completely disinterested in being at work and the bartender was sucking down her Starbucks like it was nobody’s business. Won’t be back, which is unfortunate because I had heard great things prior to my experience.

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winterspring.

13 May

“Wake me when it’s summer,” says Mayhem.

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livin’ the high life.

29 Apr

I slept with my window open on Monday night.

Not just cracked to let a bit of cool mountain air in, I mean, blinds open, snuggle under layers upon layers of down blankets and wake up with cheeks that are chilled to the touch, wide open.

When I woke up, I realized that it wasn’t Mayhem waking me up with a squeaky yawn, but rays of sunlight just making their way up and over Buffalo and Red, streaming in across my bedroom floor.

Those golden rays held the promise of Spring and immediately filled me with glee as Mayhem and I jumped out of bed and danced around the living room celebrating the start of a day that was sure to be filled with adventures in the sunshine.

Mr. A’s childhood buddy was visiting and the day before, in anticipation of beautiful weather, we had decided on a spring hike up to Kite Lake, located just above Alma in the valley below four fourteeners known to locals as the Decalibron loop (Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Bross).

We piled into my car, the four of us (my colleague, Ed joined us as well) and two pups, and made our way up and over Hoosier Pass and down into the tiny hamlet of Alma, known for Al-Mart, Alma’s Only Bar and of course its claim to fame as the “highest incorporated town in the United States”.

The road to Kite Lake was still snowed in, so we parked about three miles below the lake at the old Paris Mill and began our hike, trudging through heavy snow, fresh from Monday’s consistent showers.

I meandered a bit, taking in the beauty of the mountains and soaking up the rays and let the guys peel off ahead, bringing Abbey and Mayhem trotting along with them.

As I wandered, I took in the silence.

But for my own footsteps, the song bouncing around my brain (“Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”, always Jeremiah and his antics while I hike…wtf?!) and heart pounding steadily in my chest, it was silent.

No trucks chugging up I70, no chatter from others roaming beside me, no pups barking impatiently as I bent down to tie my shoe.

Silence.

I marveled for a moment, allowing my brain to soak in the quietness, feeling my soul relax and settle into the scenery. And then I heard it, music. An orchestra of sounds reverberating off of the stately peaks surrounding the valley.

The drip, drip, dropping of snow and ice melting off of towering evergreen trees.

The twittering of birds announcing the arrival of Spring, calling up their neighbors to dance in the sunshine.

The crash of snow sliding down steep mountainsides as the bright sun warmed the underbelly of layers and layers of snow.

The gurgling of a creek coming alive again after a long winter’s nap.

As I listened to the cacophony of sounds, I realized it wasn’t the trail that was silent, it was my brain. My thoughts, my impatience at moving forward, it was me that had become silent in the midst of the beauty and the music of the high country.

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if you give a moose a muffin.

25 Apr

Remember this time last year?

When I was so bent out of shape that I had yet to have a “close encounter with the moose kind” and was living vicariously through Mer who had daily visits from moose over at the Ski Tip?

Well that has since changed, thanks to the Inn’s nieghbor, Moose #1. He is a big lanky guy, who spends his time wandering the bike path and snacking on leaves in the grassy knoll that beautifies our valet circle. He isn’t terribly interested in the humans that work around him everyday and seems to enjoy observing daily life, perfectly content with his leaves and his liesurely strolls up and down the path.

He seems much friendlier than his counterpart, the territorial pregnant moose who charged an Inn staff member a few weeks ago while she was valeting a car. Yipes!

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the fifth season.

20 Apr

Those of you that have spent time in the mountains of Colorado are well aware of ski season; the winter and spring months that bring about epic runs and face-shots for days. You might even be aware that July is the best month to visit if it’s Columbines that you’re gunnin’ for and September, well it tends to bring out the true meaning of “Colorful Colorado“.

However, I am willing to bet that many of you are unaware of or have actively chosen to avoid, our fifth season. The season in which the ski resorts shut down for the summer, two-for-ones run rampant, demo sales are featured on the front page of the Summit Daily and locals are able to get out and enjoy the better known trails without the masses.

This fifth season, known to those of us calling the High Country home, is Mudseason.

So in honor of the all but three ski resorts in the state closing (you will have to hit up Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland if you’re looking to relive ) and a closed hotel, you will find me embracing the mud and hitting up several front range 14ers, skiing sick lines (brah), parking in the spot closest to the grocery store, noshing on all the foods at all the hard-to-get-into restaurants and wearing yoga pants to work (sorry Mom).

On that note, congrats to everyone on a great season. Enjoy your time off and if anyone would care to join me on any or all adventures, you know where to find me :)

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Hager Mountain Shredding

 

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Mayflower Gulch, Mayhem’s First Hike

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Hanging Lake

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Hanging Lake

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Hanging Lake

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Mayflower Gulch

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Mayflower Gulch

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Hager Mountain Shredding

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Beer with a View, Pug Ryan’s

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Hanging Lake

 

 

 

 

55° and 14 days to go.

29 Mar

I happened to be off both Saturday and Sunday this week (unheard of!!) and had hoped to spend my weekend (a true weekend!) hiking, skiing and enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures that have punctuated Summit County’s March. Alas, strep throat and a nasty head cold threw a bit of a wrench into my weekend plans.

So though I was mandated to stay at home and rest my weary throat (Who I am kidding! No one wanted my germy self anywhere near them) on Friday and Saturday, the girls and snuck out for a quick stroll along the lake on Sunday morning an boy was it glorious.

Anyway, it’s now Sunday afternoon and I have officially not been contagious for a full 21 hours, who wants to grab a beer at Pug’s?!

PS: 14 days til we the end of the season!

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spring?!

26 Mar

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At least that’s what I am telling myself!

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