The 52 Project: April 13, 2015

Roof_View^^ I actually could have picked from any number of photos to post for today’s 52 Project, since Chris and I had a pretty full week and weekend. We attended the launch of a new app competition — headed by one of Chris’s former co-workers from an agency in Manhattan — as well as two parties for the Rockie’s Home Opener on Friday. We hit up closing weekend at Keystone on Saturday (which was glorious in all of its emptiness!), and went for a run down by the Platte River last night after a day full of chores and getting stuff done. This photo, however, was taken as we relaxed on our rooftop, beers in hand, and listened to the game going on in the stadium at the end of the day. Only one other person was up there at the same time, grilling up his dinner on the communal grill as we chilled, and I thought: Huh. Now this is starting to feel like home.

Bis bald, friends!

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A First Birthday in Denver

I wanted to take some time here to mention all of the fun things we did in and around Denver for my birthday last week, since it really was such a fun week. Here’s a little bit of what we saw:

01Ting_Tings^^ Chris surprised me the night before my birthday with concert tickets to see the Ting Tings at The Gothic Theatre in Englewood. The concert was awesome, and we really loved this venue. It sort of reminded us a bit of Terminal 5 in Manhattan, which, if you’ll recall, we have found memories of ;)
02Sonic_Treat^^ On the way home from the concert we stopped off at Sonic because Chris had never tried it before and, truth be told, neither had I. The Oreo Sonic Blast is to-die-for.
03French_Toast^^ Birthday morning started out with my traditional birthday French Toast. I’m a spoiled, spoiled gal.
04_Cupcakes^^ My sister and her fiancee sent some seriously fabulous cupcakes from Happy Cakes Bakeshop.
05Violin_Lessons^^ Chris lured me out of the apartment on the pretense that we were getting lunch, and instead he took me to Von’s Violin Shop, where he rented me a violin so I could start taking lessons again. Best. Gift. Ever!
06Denver_Lights^^ I mentioned yesterday that we had dinner on the night of my birthday at Root Down in the Highlands neighborhood, which serves local, sustainable cuisine. Then Friday night we headed out on the town with my brother-in-law’s sister (you read that right) and her husband, whose birthday also happened to be April 2. On Friday we hit up Osteria Marco — an Italian eatery in the adorable Larimer Square section of town.
07Colorado_Pride^^ After dinner we headed across the street to The Green Russell, a cocktail speakeasy, where I had a traditional Whiskey Sour, made with raw egg and everything. The bartenders here are amazing. They take the time to chat with you and figure out the perfect drink for you based on your tastes … it’s a seriously fun place to hit up. Of course it’s super dark though, so I couldn’t get a good picture. Instead I’ll post another of Larimer Square because, come on … how cute?!
08Downtown_Boulder^^ On Saturday we hopped in the car and headed to Boulder to take in the Boulder Arts Week shenanigans (which to be honest we sort of flaked on after trying out one spot), and to have lunch at Salt, where I tried out my first quinoa burger.
09Boulder_View^^  Another view of the adorable Pearl Street

And that’s about it my friends. My first birthday in Denver is officially in the books and, I gotta say, it wasn’t too shabby at all. A huge shout-out to my hubs for making the week so special.

Bis bald, friends — and welcome to spring!

The 52 Project: April 6, 2015

Root_Down^^ Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Cheryl … happy birthday to me! Just kidding, that was last week, but Chris planned such a wonderful birthday week for me that I still feel like celebrating. Is that so wrong ;) Anyway, we did a lot for my birthday and we tried out a ton of new Denver places, but I’ll blog all about those later in the week. For now, the above photo is from Root Down, where we had dinner on the night of my actual birthday. I’ll tell you more about this place when I blog about the full week later, but for now I’ll just say that we sat by a corner window as the snow fell gently outside (in April! But I love snow, so I think that was all part of my present) and I drank Grandma Rachel’s Mulled Wine … a perfect evening. Bis bald, friends!

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The 52 Project: March 30, 2015

Blue_Bear^^ This photo is exactly what it looks like … my hubs standing next to a ginormous blue bear. The bear’s name is ‘I See What You Mean’, and he’s looking into the Denver Convention Center, where the Banjo Billy Bus Tour that Chris booked for us on Saturday started. We actually had quite a full weekend this weekend, with our bus tour and a wedding for one of Chris’s colleagues and a barbecue last night. The weather was amazing, spring seems to be officially here, and it’s my birthday this week — wahoo!! So bis bald, friends – hope you all have amazing weeks planned!

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An Ode to Home …

Well friends, as I mentioned on Monday, I made a quick (surprise) trip back east last week for my nephew’s second birthday party. It was the perfect time to head home for a bit, since I’ve been feeling a bit wishy-washy about Denver. I even made it into the city one day and managed to catch up with some friends and an old boss — it was just the shot in the arm I needed to head back west and take on spring!

Here’s a bit of my trip in pictures …


1Irish_Coffees^^ Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day — the day of my arrival — in the best way possible with Irish Coffees

2Times_Square^^ Glorious, glorious Times Square. This city always has a way of making me feel alive.

3Coffee_Bean^^ I hit up The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for the first time ever with a friend while I was in the city. It was pretty good, but Dunkin’ Donuts, you still have my heart …

4Central_Park^^ I had a little bit of time in between friend meet-ups, so I took a solitary stroll through Central Park. She’s a beauty. 
5Rory_Bus^^ This little guy — the whole reason for my trip. Happy 2nd birthday little man! Love you so, so much!
6Spring_Snow^^ Happy spring?! To be honest, I’m kind of glad it snowed like crazy the Friday I was home (although it did make the drive from Jersey to Pennsylvania a bit treacherous.) I’ve been watching via social media the crazy winter the east coast has been having, and I’ve been more than a little bit jealous, so this was nice.

7Rory_Counting^^ Don’t worry, we’re not upset. We’re just counting to 10 with our eyes closed while Mommy hides our toy bus. It’s a pretty fun game.

8Swim_Lessons^^ I attended Rory’s swim practice Saturday morning before his party, and it was the cutest thing. He doesn’t too much love the idea of putting his head under water yet, but he’ll get there!
9Rory_Gift^^ The aunts and uncles all put in to get Rory a bus/slide combo for his birthday present … and I think it’s safe to say he pretty much loved it.

10Bday_Cake^^ Two whole years in the books.
12Sun_Set^^ And the sun sets on my trip back home (and in my parents’ yard). Till next time, family … bis bald!

The 52 Project: March 23, 2015

Central_Park^^ Wait huh? What? That doesn’t look like Denver! This past week has been a busy one friends. I flew back to the East coast last Tuesday as a surprise for my nephew’s 2nd birthday party, which was so fun. While here I decided to take a little trip back to my old haunt … good ole’ NYC. Oh NYC — how I’ve missed you. It was a packed day of seeing as many people as I could in the few hours I was there, but I did have some time to take a quick stroll in Central Park (above) all by my lonesome, which was just what the doctor ordered. I’m headed back to Denver tomorrow, but this little getaway was definitely much needed and I’m feeling ready to take on Denver again after a little break. Bis bald, friends!

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The 52 Project: March 16, 2015

Breck_Snow^^ Well friends, Chris and I continue to explore our new life in Denver. Last week was actually pretty busy. I had my oldest college friend in town for work, so we had dinner with her on Tuesday night at our new favorite Denver Mexican Restaurant, Illegal Pete’s. Wednesday night we attended a Happy Hour held by our building at Jagged Mountain, the brewery right in our neighborhood. Thursday we had my brother-in-law’s sister and her husband over to see our place and have some beers on the rooftop, then we headed for burgers at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Union Station (which were amazing). Saturday night two friends flew in for a visit, and we all headed to Breckenridge yesterday for a little fun in the snow. (That’s Chris at Breck above.) I did some of the steepest hills I’ve ever done yesterday, and I definitely snowboarded for the longest I ever have. I was totally over it by the last run, but I’m still pretty proud of myself, to say the least. Bis bald, friends!

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The 52 Project: March 9, 2015

Loveland_Pass^^ Happy Monday friends! We had a really good past week and weekend, one that started to make me feel like maybe Denver’s not so bad after all. I tried out a new wine bar with a friend, we went snowboarding at Keystone on Saturday (and took the gorgeous Loveland Pass exit this time, hence the above photo that we were able to stop for while waiting for some avalanche demolition to finish up before we could pass. These are the kinds of things that happen to you when you live in Colorado.) and we visited with family that was in town last night. All-in-all it was a very successful weekend, for sure.

Bis bald, friends!

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The 52 Project: March 2, 2015

Chris_Flowers^^ Well friends, this weekend was … disappointing … to tell the truth. Chris and I refrained from heading to the mountains because of a big snowstorm that was meant to come and never did. Oh well — at least I had these beautiful flowers to look at at home while we hunkered down for no reason whatsoever. Lesson learned, I suppose. Bis bald, friends!

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Pizza, Beer, Bloody Mary’s and Bagels (aka Touring Around Denver With Friends)

 

This past weekend Chris and I hosted our first visitors to Denver, which was both fun and nerve-wracking, since we haven’t been here that long ourselves and definitely haven’t done as much exploring as I normally like to have done before invite people to try things.

But I guess that’s where TripAdvisor comes in handy these days, right friends?

Anyway, we had ourselves a right nice little weekend with our friends from NYC, and although I don’t have photos of everything we tried, I’d like to put a little list together here, since really I feel like we hit on some places that are sure to become our “locals”, if you will. (Of course it helps that they’re all walking distance to our apartment.)

Friday we met up at the local dive Star Bar for drinks before dinner. The menu changes every week, so it’s hard to say what they’ll have from one day to the next, but there are tons of local brews on tap, and they have live music, pool tables and skeeball, and while they don’t serve food themselves, they have menus available to order in from many of the tasty joints that are right on that block, as well.

We decided to forgo ordering food to the bar, though, in favor of heading over to Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, which is right next door. We ordered a bunch of things to share, including the Arrosto salad, the Queens pizza and the Nutella Pizza for dessert … all of which were amazing. Plus the atmosphere was fun and festive … this would be a place we’d head back to, for sure.

Saturday we attempted to meet up with our friends for breakfast at Snooze in Union Station, but when something is rated the No. 1 place to get brunch, you better believe there will be a line, and at an hour and 45 minute wait time, we weren’t having that. So we headed on over to The Delectable Egg, instead, and had ourselves a delicious breakfast, including some of the best coffee I’ve ever had (ever), and a mouth-watering Bloody Mary.
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03Delectable_Egg^^ I had mine sans bacon — thank you very much — but it was still delicious!

After breakfast we went for a little walk by the Platte River (in winter, yes, we’re badass, what can I say?) and over to REI to show them how big and fun it is.

Then later we wandered over to the Wynkoop Brewery (during what would turn out to be our first significant snowfall since we’ve been in Denver, no less) for their free brew tour (definitely worth it), some beers and appetizers.

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06Snow_Time

Dinner was at the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant (which we visited the last time we were here in April, as well), and Sunday we met up again for coffee and bagel sandwiches at Bruegger’s BagelsAnd while I have to say that nothing, and I mean nothing, beats eating an egg and cheese bagel from our favorite deli on the corner of 3rd and 89th while sitting on a bench in Central Park or taking a walk around the Reservoir, Bruegger’s is a place that I would probably be okay bringing visitors to … if I had to pick ;)

And that was it friends — our weekend of boozing and eating in a nutshell! Hopefully when the weather gets warmer we’ll be able to branch out with our guests and take them to Red Rocks, on hikes and out and about a bit more, but for now, we’re just grateful to have friends who are willing to explore a new city with us — who could ask for anything more?

Bis bald, friends!

The 52 Project: February 23, 2015

02.23 52 Project^^ We had our first Denver visitors this past weekend, my friends. It was so great having friends visit from back east, not to mention the fact that it forced us to get out and explore a bit more. Part of that exploring included a tour of Wynkoop Brewery, which we had been to the weekend before on our Brew Tour for Valentine’s Day, but that didn’t include the actual tour of the entire brewery, which was free and totally worth checking out. I’ll be sharing more on what we did with our visitors later in the week, but for now, enjoy this photo of barley and hops, friends!

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A Brewery Tour for the Books

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Hey friends,

As I mentioned yesterday, Chris and I used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to cash in on a Christmas gift from our soon-to-be-brother-in-law and take a walking brewery tour around Denver. Since we had only been to one brewery before the tour, it really was a fun thing to do on a Saturday.

The tour started out at Rock Bottom which, as it turns out, was the very first Rock Bottom in what is now a chain of over 30 breweries around the country. Each place has its own brewmaster, though, and we started out with the Fire Chief and the Mochaholic.

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Rock_BottomAfter Rock Bottom we took a little stroll over to Wynkoop Brewing, which I think was my favorite of the four breweries that we visited. The brewery opened in 1988 and was one of the first in the area. Its success encouraged other breweries and restaurants to set up shop in downtown Denver … and the rest is brewing history.

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After Wynkoop we headed over to Falling Rock, which unfortunately I don’t have photos of — but we really enjoyed this place. It was less high-brow than the others we visited, with its dark lighting and postered walls and super tasty beer. We got pitchers of the Dry Dock Double IPA (my favorite), the Bull & Brush Brown and the Avery White Rascal. Plus this place is basically right around the corner from our apartment, so that’s always a plus!

After Falling Rock it was off to our fourth and last stop — Breckenridge Brewery — where we had the Agave Wheat and the Ophelia. We actually ended up sitting at a table with two couples who were visiting Denver for the weekend, so we all ordered some beers after the tour ended and hung out watching the rugby (yup, rugby) games for a little while.

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It was a pretty successful outing, to say the least. And now we can say that we’ve been to a couple breweries in the area which, I’m pretty sure, makes us real Denverites.

So thanks again for the awesome gift bro-in-law! We’ll have to take you on our own little brewery walking tour when you’re in town ;)

Bis bald, friends!

The 52 Project: February 16, 2015

Breck_Beers^^ Happy Monday friends! This past weekend was Valentine’s Day, so Chris and I decided to take advantage of a Christmas gift from our soon-to-be-brother-in-law to Chris and partake in a fun little brewery walking tour. I won’t say too much here because I’ll do a full post on it, but we had only been to one brewery before Saturday, so it was definitely a fun way to spend Valentines day! Thanks for the awesome gift, brother-to-be!
Bis bald!

 

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Life Recently: The One Month in Denver Installment

January 12 to February 12 — Chris and I have officially been in our new home state for one whole month, friends. And so far … there have been a lot of ups and downs! It’s been an adjustment period, getting used to the differences and finding a place to live and getting settled and back to work regularly. Three months off is a looonnnnggggg time my friends! But we both feel incredibly lucky to have been able to do that, and we’re looking forward to getting our routine settled here in this new place.

Some positives have included spending time with and getting to know a little bit better some family that lives out here, lots of gorgeous mountain views and sunrises and sunsets, a fun rooftop at our new apartment and, of course, lots and lots of snowboarding.

So cheers to one month in Denver — and here’s to many more wonderful ones!

1FirstDay^^ This was our very first night here. I was feeling sad because of our apartment situation (no use crying over spilled milk here), and a friend asked me to send her a photo of what we were doing our first night in Denver. At the time it felt silly to snap a photo of us in our pajamas, eating take-out Chinese (which was delicious, by the way) and drinking beer, but now I’m glad we have it.

2NewSkyline^^ Our very first night in our (second) new apartment, we headed up to the roof with some beers to watch the sunset. I think it was looking over this new mountainous skyline that I felt for the first time like we could maybe make this whole moving thing work.

3Rodeo^^ My brother-in-law’s sister (ya got that?!) invited us out our first Friday here to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, and it was one crazy (silly) experience, let me just tell you ….

4SettlingIn^^ Someone’s finally learning to settle in, even if it is on Chris’s brand new chair. Let’s keep those claws where I can see ’em, Penelope.

5MountainSunrise^^ We’ve had lots of early morning rides to the mountains since we’ve been here, which I can’t say I’m all too fond of, except for this sunrise. This sunrise over the mountains makes it all okay.

6Vail^^ Our first trip to Vail. We’re so fancy.

7RockBottomBrewery^^ Believe it or not we still haven’t been to many breweries (we plan to hit some up this Saturday for Valentine’s Day … how romantic!). We did, however, make a Friday night of it at Rock Bottom Brewery a couple of weekends ago …. thanks for the gift card Mom and Robert!

8SweetGift^^ A very sweet apartment-warming gift from my sister and her fiancee. You can’t really tell from this photo, but I think I can finally say that our apartment is really starting to come together. And yes, that’s Chris peeking from around the corner.

9TravelWall^^ Seeing as how we spent about 10-years’ worth of a travel budget last year alone, we don’t plan on taking too many crazy trips this year (other than back to the East coast for wedding stuff, of course, and hopefully a couple other drives out to Yosemite, Montana and the Grand Canyon). That’s why I love times infinity our travel wall, cause if you can’t actually travel, it’s still super fun to relive past adventures. Trips represented here include: Australia, New Mexico, London, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Bahamas, Niagra Falls, Banff, Rome, NYC, Virginia, Iceland, Key West, the Great Barrier Reef and Venice. Sigh. I love ’em all.

10WindowSunset^^ We don’t even have to go to our roof to see fabulous sunsets — this one was taking place right outside our living room window. (Ah, to have a living room window. These are things you can easily miss out on when you live in Manhattan!)

11Keystone^^ We’ve made the most snowboarding treks out to Keystone, by far … but look how pretty it is? Can you blame us?!

12RooftopMountainView^^ Another glorious rooftop shot, this time at dusk.

13RooftopSunset^^ And the sun sets on downtown Denver.

14KeystoneLodge^^ Some family was visiting from the East coast this week and we went to spend a day with them in Keystone. They stayed at the lodge right at the base of the mountain, and OMG you guys … how amazing is this place?! I’m trying to figure out how we can win the lottery and move here. Simply gorgeous.

And that’s about it friends … 31ish days in a nutshell. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been fun and sad and frustrating and amazing. And such is life, right my dear people?

Bis bald! And a very Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

The 52 Project: February 9, 2015

Keystone_Fam^^ Hi friends! This past weekend Chris and I had a nice little couple of Colorado days, which I think finally started to make me realize … holy crap, we actually live here. This isn’t a vacation. Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny (the weather here is insane), so we checked out an awesome little diner right across the street from us for breakfast and took a 3-mile walk down by the South Platte River, Cherry Creek and the downtown area. Then on Sunday we had some family in town, so we met up with them in Keystone for a little snowboarding and family fun time. We got back late last night ready to tackle the new week. Bis bald, friends!

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Wistful Nostalgia …

Can there be such a thing?

Well guys — Chris and I have been in Denver for about 3 1/2 weeks now, and while I’m not necessarily homesick, I would say I’m feeling a certain wistful nostalgia for all the plans we made last year and all the traveling we did. From South America to Australia to traveling cross-country — along with all the time we spent with my family at home in between — I loved every last second of it, and as Chris and I were just saying: we wouldn’t have changed one damn thing.

So I guess it’s a good thing that I haven’t had time to upload the photos from my camera since right after South America, then, because it afforded me the opportunity to relive November, December and the beginning of January all over again.

And I thought I’d share some of that here … you know, in case you wanted to partake in my wistful nostalgia.

Robert_Birthday^^ A big ole’ plate of ribs for Robert’s birthday. (I refrained, obviously, but I’m told they were delicious.)

_DSC0444^^ This. Face.

_DSC0456^^ This boy loves his trains.

_DSC0463^^ It’s Dad’s job to carve the turkey every year, and he only eats about half of it while he’s doing so ;)

Bryant_Park^^ Chris and I managed to make it back to the city in between hanging with fam, too. We even made to my favorite place in the entire world to ice skate — Bryant Park.

Grand_Central^^ A blurry but still beautiful Grand Central.

Gingerbread_Cookie^^ Mom and I made some gingerbread cookies that, much to my surprise, turned out pretty fabulous!

Connor_Boys^^ These Connor boys … too cute!

_DSC0469^^ Beautiful Sydney in the background.

_DSC0474^^ So grateful for these Sydney friends of ours! (And so excited to meet their little baby, coming in just a few months now!)

_DSC0486^^ Watson’s Bay waves.

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Sydney_Lights^^ Sydney blues.

Canberra_Winery^^ Chris and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a whole week with his sister and her boo in Canberra. Kate took the week off to hang with us, and it was pretty much the best ever. This little pooch hung out with us while we did some wine tasting at a vineyard in the area.

Christmas_Sign^^ Pssst…it really wasn’t. Because it was hot. And there was no snow. But it was still one of my all-time fave Christmas’ ever!

Parliament_House^^ Kate works at Old Parliament house, and we were lucky enough to get an insider’s tour.

Big_Things^^ I couldn’t agree more with this saying on display in one of the rooms at Old Parliament House.

_DSC0527^^ The Australian Coat of Arms at the new Parliament House.

_DSC0539^^ Bro and sis … duh!

_DSC0545^^ I call this one “Me, Kate and the Kangaroos.”

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Licorice_Factory^^ After Canberra Chris and I headed off to Coolaman to visit one of his besties from college. While there we took some time to visit the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory (where I simply had to snap this photo because comeon!! Do these two not remind you of Lucy and Ethel working at the chocolate factory?! Simply the best.) We also ….

Shrimp^^ Had a seriously amazing seafood feast that included these babies — which are pretty much a staple in my diet any time I’m in Australia.

_DSC0578^^ After Coolaman we drove to the Taronga Zoo in Dubbo. This zoo is amazing, folks. We rented bikes (which I highly recommend), and rode around catching all the shows that we could. With over 4,000 animals and more than 20 keeper talks every single day, there is so much to see here. And the wide open zoo plan means that the animals are as close to their natural habitat as possible. It’s really pretty amazing.

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_DSC0708^^ The Galapagos Giant Tortoise!

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After the zoo we headed back to spend our final week — Christmas week — in Bathurst with the fam.

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The_Connors^^ The original Connor Clan.

Nan_Nan^^ You can’t quite tell, but there’s a Nannan being hugged under there ;)

Grand_Kids^^ Nannan with most (not all!) of her grandkids and great-grandkids!

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_DSC0827^^ An impromptu game of cricket in the park … nothing more Aussie than that.

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_DSC0853^^ These two.

_DSC0881^^ Andddd now we’re on to St. Louis! That’s Chris there, that teeny, tiny blob on the bottom right.

_DSC0887^^ Me in the teeny, tiny pods that carry you to the top of the St. Louis Arch.

_DSC0892^^ The view from the top = spectacular.

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_DSC0925^^ Dred and Harriet Scott statue in front of the courthouse.

And that’s it, friends. Nothing like a walk down memory lane (and a rockin’ blog for documenting it all) to make you feel better, right?

Bis bald, friends! And here’s to future plans and travels and adventures that are just as exciting as those of our pasts.

The 52 Project: February 2, 2015

Denver_Snow^^ Happy February everyone! We had our first (significant) snowfall since Chris and I moved to Denver, and it sure did make this city pretty. I snapped this pic on our way to a Super Bowl party last night. Oh and that’s another thing — how nice is Mountain Time so that when the Super Bowl was over, it was only 8:30 instead of 10:30? Lovin’ that!
Bis bald, friends!

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A Partial Cross-Country Trip, From New York to Colorado

Hiya friends,

I know this post is about three weeks late, but sheesh 2015 started with a friggin’ bang, did it not? I feel like we’ve barely had time to sit at all since we arrived in Denver. I did want to throw up just a couple of photos of our halfway-cross-country trip from New York to Colorado, though, as well as give a little bit of info on some of the places we stayed and ate. We didn’t have a ton of time to spend in each place (I think the longest we stayed was about 20 hours in St. Louis, although many of those hours were spent sleeping), but I really feel like we still got a good idea what each place was about … and we loved ’em all!

Oh by the way, in case you were wondering, our route took us this way:

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We made stops in:

All the hotels were great (especially the Hilton in St. Louis — totally walking distance to the Arch!), and pet-friendly to boot.

So without further adieu … a bit of our cross-country trip in photos:

01Car_Penny^^ We hopped into the car on Thursday, Jan. 8th, all four of us as a family. Everyone was all, “Oh my gosh, you’re taking your cat and your rabbit in the car with you? For four days? Across the country?” And we were all, “Ummm, yeah. They’ll be totally fine!” And guess what friends — they really were! Totally rocked it, is what this kitten and bunny did! Good job guys – we were very proud of you.

02Entering_Ohio^^ Helloooooo Ohio! Unfortunately we only spent a couple of waking hours here, but when we checked out TripAdvisor for a suggestion on where to eat, it turned out the highly rated Flatiron Bar & Diner had received pretty great reviews and, wahooooo!, it was basically right in our parking lot! I ate a delicious fried oyster po’ boy and Chris had the gumbo and we had some beers — it was just what the doctor ordered after 10 hours of driving.

03Hotel_Penny^^ Penny and Nugget had no trouble making themselves at home in our hotel rooms — especially the Hilton in St. Louis which was super swank.

04Arch_Ground^^ Like I mentioned before, the Arch was only a couple blocks from our hotel, so we just had to head out at night to catch it all lit up …

05Night_Arch^^ And it did not disappoint!

06Schnicklefritz_Beer^^ That night we grabbed some drinks at the Hyatt, which was right across the street from our hotel (we had cheated a bit and ordered room service for dinner, which was FABULOUS!). I got this beer based solely on its name (obviously), and it turned out to be totally delicious.

07Arch_Ride^^ We purchased tickets online the night before and headed out (in the frigid cold, I might add) the next morning to head up the Arch and see the sites. It really was a pretty fun experience, but be warned clustrophobes … this is maybe NOT the activity for you! I wouldn’t consider myself to be claustrophobic, but even so, the tiny little vessels that carry you to the top of the Arch had my heart racing — and Chris and I were in there alone! (On the way up we were alone at least … we shared with two people on the way down.) I can’t imagine how it would have been if the intended six people were squished together in there!

08Arch_View^^ But the views are pretty spectacular, so you kind of forget about the ride up (and down) once you’re up there.

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13StLouis_Courthouse^^ This is the Old Courthouse, where the slave Dred Scott sued for his and his wife’s freedom in 1846. This statue stands as a monument to the couple — and everything that historic case stood for — outside of the courthouse today.

14Schfly_Brewery^^ For lunch we headed to Schlafly Brewery, which was really super amazingly fun.

15Brewery_Dinner^^ Chris has poutine, beer soup and lots of regular beers for lunch. He was a happy boy.

16KansasCity_Kids^^ This is Pen and Nuggs making themselves comfortable in our Kansas City hotel. Unfortunately we didn’t take too many photos in Kansas City (or I tried, I should say, to take some of the adorable downtown area, but they came out horrible). But we really, really loved it here! The downtown area is super cute, and we ate dinner at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, which was so fantastic, even for me, a vegetarian. We ordered fried mushrooms and Chris had steak (obviously), while I got a salad and some of their BBQ shrimp on the side to add in. It was heaven on a plate.

17Colorado_Welcome^^ After four days of driving and 1,836 miles covered (plus lots of McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Subway for lunch), we had made it to Colorado, my friends, and our final destination — Denver — was in site.

And that’s it in a nutshell, ya’ll! It was a wild, fast and furious couple of days for us, but it was super fun, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Bis bald, friends! Chris and I are off to the mountains again today — I hope everyone else is making the most of the lovely winter months, as well!

The 52 Project: January 26, 2015

Vail.Photo^^ Well friends, this past weekend was our first weekend being one of those Denver couples. You know — the ones who head out super early on Saturday morning for the mountains and head back to the city on Sunday. And I gotta say — I didn’t hate it ;) Although I’m still getting my snowboard legs, the views at Vail (above) and Keystone are nothing to scoff at. Even if you’re not the best snowboarder in the world (ahemthat’smeahem), it’s still fun to just be at these mountains and to watch everyone else … especially the amazing little kids! Ohmygersocute!

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The 52 Project: January 19, 2015

Denver_LivingRoom^^ Well, friends, our move to Denver hasn’t been as seamless as we would have hoped, but we’re making it work. After a couple days of frantic searching, we finally found our apartment, and we’re starting to make it home. So far, all we have is what’s above. But the rest of our stuff is scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I’m really looking forward to getting everything set up and getting back to a normal work routine. In the meantime, though, I’ll be posting soon about our epic road trip from New York to Denver. (A little preview: It was pretty awesome!)
Bis bald, friends!

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The 52 Project: January 12, 2015

Road_Trip^^ Well friends, after a road trip that included driving 1,787 miles through eight states with stops in three cities in those states (Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri), Chris, Penny, Nugget and I have arrived in Denver, Colorado — our new home. Well, we’re not actually in our new home quite yet, because it isn’t ready for us yet, but we’re at least here, in this new city, and ready to get the ball rolling! Here’s to a fabulous, fun, fruitful 2015 ya’ll!

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The 52 Project: January 5, 2015

Lobster_Dinner^^ Welcome to 2015, my friends! This year is going to be a big one for me and Chris (starting with a move to Denver, which kicks off this Thursday!), and we rang in the brand new year with lobsters, champagne and some celebrating in Pennsylvania with the fam. Happy Merry Jolly New Year to you all — here’s to family, friends and fabulous fresh starts!

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The Year 2014: A Review

Well, friends, it’s been quite the year! When I’m old and grey and looking back on my travels, this will certainly be one of my favorite years to reference. Here’s how our adventure-filled 365 days played out:

January
In January Chris and I headed upstate for a first anniversary trip to Saratoga Springs, which we promptly fell absolutely in love with.

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February
As the winter weather dragged itself out in NYC, Chris and I decided to spice things up a bit, so we packed up and headed over to Iceland (blogged about here, hereherehere and here — man I know how to drag out a trip, don’t I!). While there we saw the Northern lights (once in a lifetime experience), rented bicycles to ride around the city, tried out some local beers, relaxed at the Blue Lagoon and generally fell in love with Iceland’s gorgeous scenery.

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March
In March I headed down to Florida for a little girlfriend’s/birthday getaway in Jupiter and Marathon Key (the trip was about 10 days long, so it lasted from the end of March all the way through my birthday into the beginning of April.) In Florida we saw spectacular sunsets, amazing marine life and even took a kayak ride through the mangroves. It was a spectacular birthday, indeed.

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April
After deciding to pack up and move our little family to Denver, Colorado, Chris and I decided — maybe we should visit there and see how it actually is before doing so! So in April we flew out to the middle of the country with my sister and her then-boyfriend (now fiancée!) to check out Boulder, Breckenridge and Denver. What we found were really sweet people, tons of awesome breweries and amazing outdoor opportunities.

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May
In late April/early May I took the bus down to D.C. to visit a friend for her birthday, and we decided to rent some kayaks (which is kind of becoming our thing now) and take them out on the Potomac.

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June
In June Chris and I hopped in the car and took a day trip to Phoenicia and Otter Falls, places he visits every year when he and a bunch of his running friends run a relay race in the area. He had been wanting to get me up there to taste the amazing pancakes at Sweet Sue’s Restaurant (they don’t disappoint!) and see the waterfall at Otter Falls.

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July
In July I headed to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware with my immediate family and a ton of our extended family for some quality beach time (and a delicious seafood night — a time-honored family tradition).

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September
In September Chris and I were lucky enough to cash in on one of our awesome wedding presents and take a helicopter ride high above beautiful ole’ NYC

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We also participated in my family’s annual Penn State football tailgate weekend in Happy Valley, but this time with one very notable addition — our nephew, Rory ;)

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And then, at the end of the month, I was honored when the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau invited me out for a visit to their beautiful city (blogged about here, here and here). P.S. This trip included my first ever hot air balloon ride — amazing!

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October and November
Well, friends, October and November were the months to end all months for us. After about a year and a half of planning, Chris and I finally headed out on our four-week long adventure to South America, including Peru (blogged about here, here and here) , the Amazon, the Galapagos and Costa Rica. There’s not much more that I can say here about this part of the year that I haven’t already said in my other posts about them, but I’ll just say one more time — this was the trip of a lifetime, and we’re so grateful we were able to take the time to do it.

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December
And then, my friends, after all of that, Chris and I were lucky enough to hop back on a plane in December and fly off to spend the holiday season with Chris’s family in Australia.

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Miscellaneous
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of other amazing things that happened this year, like taking part in wedding ceremonies and bachelorette parties for six of our friends, my baby sister getting engaged, checking a couple of big NYC things off our bucket lists (like this visit to the Cloisters and this one to the Met rooftop bar), and, of course, saying farewell to the city we love so dearly.

IMG_4223^^ Visiting the Met rooftop with my dad and stepmom for Father’s Day.

IMG_4466^^ Celebrating a cousin’s wedding in Brooklyn.

IMG_4472^^ We sure know how to party down. (And we had lots of practice with tons of weddings this year!)

Me_and_Lise2^^ Hosting a bestie who has long since moved from the city and came back for a visit.

Monkey_Bar10^^ Revisiting my absolutely favorite restaurant in Manhattan.

photo 2^^ Attending Rory’s first-ever baseball game. (Go Mets!)

photo 2^^ Checking out new and fun areas in Manhattan.

photo 3^^ Taking a gorgeous fall hike in beautiful areas to break in new hiking shoes.

RoryBabysit^^ Spending some time with my nephew = always a fabulous time.

Atlantic_City^^ Heading to Atlantic City (twice!) for friends’ bachelorette parties.

You’ve been a pretty stellar year — 2014. I’m sad to say goodbye, but excited to see what 2015 holds.

Bis bald, friends — and very merry and happy New Year!