return to the motherland |

getting in touch with my inner colorado girl


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Sibling reunion in Colorado

Last weekend I had the extreme pleasure of hosting my two brothers, Karl and Derek, and my “casi-hermana” (translation = almost sister) Kindra, my brother Karl’s better half, in the state of Colorado! We were missing a few members of our family, like my niece Harper, but it was still a blast to have my siblings visit. On a side note, Harper’s second birthday is tomorrow, so now that she is officially the minimum ski age I expect her participation in all future trips to Colorado.

1526902_624760439164_1200360238_nHarper = future Olympic skier?

Anyway, Karl, Kindra and Derek all flew in last Friday night, and we immediately caravanned up to the mountains. We stayed at Graham’s family’s cabin in Grand Lake for the weekend, and it was a blast to be able to share one of my favorite places in the world with my family. After making it up to the cabin and having a few celebratory beers, we went to bed in anticipation of an early ski day at Mary Jane the next day.

One of the things I appreciate most about have the Rocky Mountain Super Pass is the fact that you actually get real discounts on ski tickets for family and friends, unlike another pass that shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Bail Tesorts”. I was able to get passes for $59 along with half price on rentals for my siblings. Score! Because Graham and I always go to the Mary Jane side of Winter Park, we decided to haze my brothers on the steeps and moguls. After getting caught in a total white out at the top of the Panorama lift in the afternoon, we called it a day and headed back to the cabin.

IMG_0002K + K on skis

IMG_0007Derek shredding the gnar

Back in Grand Lake, I convinced my brothers it would be fun to take Cooper on a walk and check out the view of Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoir from the top of the neighborhood. After postholing and crawling through 3 feet deep snow, we finally made it to the top and enjoyed the insane view.

IMG_0024Lake Granby

IMG_0026Shadow Mountain

At the top of the ridge, the view is 360 degrees with Shadow Mountain on one side and Lake Granby on the other. Definitely a killer view. Karl kept commenting how the Grand Lake area of Colorado reminded him of Montana with lakes, rivers, valleys and mountain views. I have to agree. It’s a pretty awesome part of the state! 

On Sunday, our last day of skiing, I did a better job of leading my brothers around the mountains with less getting caught in white out conditions and skiing down steep moguls. It was a gorgeous bluebird spring day full of skiing! Kindra had to head back early to the airport due to a work commitment, but Karl, Derek and I went back to the cabin for one more night in Grand Lake. Graham was able to stick around too, and we journeyed into the bustling metropolis of Grand Lake for Mexican food.

After packing and cleaning the cabin on Monday morning, my brothers and I headed down to Denver. We were able to get in some rock climbing at Earth Treks before starting the airport runs, which was a lot of fun.

IMG_0018Climbing at Earth Treks

It was a treat to be able to climb at Earth Treks in the middle of the day. I’m used to it being so crowded after work on weekdays that it was nice to have the place to ourselves! I reluctantly dropped my brothers off and headed home to do laundry and prepare for facing the real world again the next day.

Takeaways? If you come visit me in Colorado I might haze you and make you ski moguls but I’ll take you to pretty vistas! (And don’t worry, Graham received full brother approval!) 

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December Updates

I really can’t believe it’s December. Christmas is in 23 days?! I have no idea where this year has gone. In other news I have finally joined the 21st century and embraced online shopping. It’s the best. I will probably never go Christmas shopping in an actual store again. Traditionally I have waited until the week before Christmas and then scrambled around trying to compile decent presents for my loved ones (sorry guys!). This year? I’m basically done with my shopping thanks to the interwebz! And it has all been done in the comfort of my PJs while laying in bed.

Besides catching up with the times and using technology what else have I been up to lately?

Hanging out in Breckenridge a bit.

IMG_7830Evening sky over Breckenridge resort.

IMG_7826Morning walk with the dogs in Carter Park.

Graham is working up in Breckenridge for the next year, and so I visit whenever my schedule allows. It’s funny, Breckenridge was previously not my favorite town in the world, and I thought the mountain was always way too crowded for skiing. I’ve gotten to see a different side of Breckenridge thanks to Graham and I will say it has grown a lot on me. And hey, the free parking in the gondola lot after 2 p.m. is actually quite handy if you’re a local!

I recently had a fun time eating at Session Kitchen on Thanksgiving Eve with a group of girlfriends.

It’s a new place on South Pearl Street in Denver, and it really set the bar high for actual Thanksgiving. Favorites included lamb collar, french fries and a delicious beet salad.

IMG_7841Denver friends go immediately!

I scored some Patagonia beer.

I like Patagonia gear. I like beer. When Patagonia recently teamed up with New Belgium to make a limited edition beer I knew I had to find some. I tracked some down in Denver at Argonaut and was pretty impressed with the beer! It’s a mighty fine lager. And the cans are just the coolest!

IMG_7802Patagucci beer.

I laid around at a cabin for a weekend.

After spending Thanksgiving with Graham’s family in town I reluctantly headed to work on Black Friday. Luckily, I don’t work in retail, so it was actually just a quiet, productive day in the office. Plus I was heading up to Grand Lake after work for a relaxing weekend at the cabin, so I had that to look forward to!

IMG_7797Lake Granby a few weeks ago.

I mostly spent my time drinking margaritas, reading in front of the fire and going on dog walks. On Saturday afternoon, Graham, his sister and I headed to ski Mary Jane for the first time of the season. MJ, which is the best part of Winter Park, had just opened earlier in the week, and we headed there with pretty low expectations. We were all kind of shocked when we found tons of terrain with huge moguls already developed.

IMG_7856Crazy good bump skiing for November 30.

I had my first two falls of the season on some moguls, naturally. No pain no Jane!

nopainnojane-2Breckenridge, Session Kitchen, Patagonia beer, and cabin time…I guess that really sums up life lately! I’m not upset that’s what my life consists of right now. I’ll leave you with Cooper, my current cell phone background. That dog! He should have been a model.

IMG_7857Happy December!