Year In Review: The 365 Days That Were 2015


Welcome to the end of 2015, friends. Each year seems to go by faster and faster, doesn’t it? Chris and I had a heck of a 365 days, including a move halfway across the country, new jobs and lots of states crossed off our bucket list. So without further adieu, here’s a bit of what we got up to this year:

January
Jan. started with a bang when Chris and I loaded up our Toyota Matrix with Penny and Nugget and hit the road to travel from New York to Colorado, and our new life. We made stops in Columbus, St. Louis and Kansas City along the way, and blogged about the adventure here.

1_Ohio

2_St.Louis

3_St.Louis

4_St.Louis

5_St.Louis

6_Colorado

February
The month of Feb. was spent hosting our first guests out in Denver, as well as getting settled in our new place, checking out Denver a bit more, hitting the mountains as often as possible and hanging out with family that came to town.

01_Denver

02_Denver

03_Denver

04_Denver

06_Denver

07_Denver

March
In March I headed back to the East coast for a surprise visit with my family in honor of my nephew’s 2nd birthday. (It didn’t hurt to be able to check back in with friends and former colleagues in Manhattan, either.)

01_Rory

02_NYC

03_Keystone

04_LovelandPass

April
April saw my little blog getting nominated for a Liebster Award (amazing), as well as celebrating my birthday, Denver style.

01_BirthdayViolin

02_LarimerSquare

03_Boulder

May
What a jam-packed month, May was. Chris and I checked out Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods for the first time, my mom and stepdad came for a visit and we toured them all around, and we spent the most amazing Memorial Day weekend camping in Moab, Utah.

01_GardenOfTheGods
02_GardenOfTheGods
03_Boulder
04_BrownPalace
05_RedRocks
06_RedRocks
07_Moab
08_Moab
09_Moab
10_Moab

June
June started out with a bang when my bestie came to visit for a week (blogged about here and here), and Chris attended snowboard camp in Whistler (which he wrote about here).

03_LisaVisit

04_LisaVisit

05_LisaVisit

06_LisaVisit

07_LisaVisit

08_LisaVisit

01_Snowboard Camp

02_Snowboard Camp
July
In early July I headed back to the East coast (Again. There is a theme to this year, friends, you’ll see …) to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday, for two weddings and to get the ball rolling on stuff for my sister’s bridal shower. My sister and I also spent one particularly gorgeous day exploring Lake Minnewaska, which I would highly recommend. When I was back, Chris and I took a day to check out the Coors Brewery tour and Golden, which was a lot of fun. We also headed to Aspen to check out the Maroon Bells on our way to Glenwood Springs to hike the Hanging Lake trail.

01_HangingLake

02_HangingLake

03_Aspen

04_Maroon Bells

05_Maroon Bells

06_Maroon Bells

07_CoorsTour

08_GoldenView

09_LakeMinnewaska

10_TarrytownWedding

11_NYC

12_Warwick

13_AlbanyWedding

August
August saw us heading to Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as taking in our first Rockies game and trying out some great new restaurants.

01_RockyMountainPark

02_RockyMountainPark

03_RockyMountainPark

04_RockyMountainPark

05_Snooze

06_Baseball

September
September was pretty fun, friends. For starters, we were invited out to Jackson, Wyoming, to try out a tiny cabin near the Grand Tetons. We took advantage of the invite to check out Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, as well as Yellowstone, which is now one of our all-time favorite places. (Not for nothing, but our first-ever Red Rocks concert was in September, as well!)

01_Tetons

02_Tiny House

03_Tetons

04_Tetons

05_Tetons

06_Yellowstone

07_Yellowstone

08_Yellowstone

09_Yellowstone

10_Yellowstone

11_Yellowstone

12_Yellowstone

13_Yellowstone

14_Yellowstone

15_RedRocks

16_FooFighters

October
Oh, October — how busy were thee. We ended September and started early October with a visit from some of Chris’s Aussie friends before I headed back to the East coast (yes, again!), this time for pretty much the entire month. We celebrated my sister’s bachelorette weekend in gorgeous upstate Ithaca, I attended a cousin’s wedding in Long Island, made it back into the city for a couple days to visit friends and attend a press event, I visited the Poconos and did a gorgeous hike with my bestie … oh and, you know, my sister got married! Plus my dad took the in-laws for a little tour of West Point the Sunday after the wedding … hangovers and all😉

01_Ithaca

02_Ithaca

02_Wedding

03_NYC

04_NYC

05_Poconos

06_Poconos

07_Poconos

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

10_WeddingCabins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

12_Wedding

13_West Point

14_West Point

November
November was jam packed as well, friends. After my sister’s wedding, Chris’s parents flew back with us to Denver and we hit the road for a little trip out to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.  Later in the month Chris and I took a sneaky little trip out to New Orleans (blogged about here, here and here), and the end of November saw Chris being a sneak again, when he was in cohoots with my sister and brother-in-law for them to fly out to Denver to spend Thanksgiving with us here.

South_Dakota1

South_Dakota2

South_Dakota3

South_Dakota4

South_Dakota5

New_Orleans1

New_Orleans2

New_Orleans3

New_Orleans4

New_Orleans5

New_Orleans6

New_Orleans7

Steph_and_Bri

December
Chris & I packed up the car and drove up to the mountains to spend the holidays. We rented an amazing condo in the woods with gorgeous mountain views, made lots of fires, watched a lot of movies and ate until we couldn’t eat anymore. Oh, and spent a lot of time facetiming with our families, of course😉

FullSizeRender (94)

IMG_0133

IMG_0149

IMG_0142

IMG_0158

And that, as they say, is that, my friends — 2015 in a nutshell. On tap for 2016 will be a trip back East in February for my Grandma’s birthday and for me to take a class in the city, and then we’ll head to Tokyo at the end of the month so that Chris can complete his sixth and final World Marathon in the series. After that … the future is ours to plan, friends.

Bis bald to you all, and I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

A Holiday Getaway In the Mountains

IMG_0109^^ A blurry view of the snowy trees whizzing by on our way up to the mountains on Christmas Eve.

Hi friends,
As I mentioned yesterday, Chris and I headed up into the mountains for the holiday where we stayed at The Pines Condominiums in Keystone. The condo was splendid, with a fireplace, gorgeous mountain views from every window and a full kitchen with everything we needed to make a delicious Christmas dinner. I thought I’d share some pictures from our stay here.

_DSC2710^^Our dining room looking into what we came to affectionately refer to as our “Christmas nook”.

_DSC2711^^The kitchen

_DSC2716^^ Our Christmas nook, pre decorations.

_DSC2720^^ Chris spent most of his time stoking the lovely wood fire.

_DSC2725^^ Our Christmas nook, all decorated and lovely.

IMG_0132^^ Christmas Eve dinner was at the Black Bear Grill.

IMG_0139^^ Christmas eve entertainment was a roaring fire and some Christmas classics.

_DSC2731^^ Christmas morning Christmas nook views.

_DSC2734

_DSC2741^^ I thought this photo was artsy, with the Christmas lights in the foreground, but Chris just said it was confusing.

_DSC2757

_DSC2761

_DSC2762

And that was our lovely, snow-filled Christmas holiday, friends! I hope you all had a relaxing, fun time filled with friends, family and lots of delicious foods … now on to New Years!

The 52 Project: December 28, 2015

FullSizeRender (93)^^ I can’t even begin to believe that later this week I’ll be posting my year in review. Unbelievable. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday with their loved ones! The above photo is from the mountain cabin where Chris and I holed up in front of the fire for three days through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after. That was one of the views from our windows. It was splendid. I’ll be back later to blog a bit more about it, as well as post the year that was 2015. Until then – bis bald, friends!

52_Project

The 52 Project: December 21, 2015

IMG_3762.JPG^^ Well, friends, Christmas week is upon us, and I am beyond ready for some rest and rejuvenation.  Chris headed to the mountains this past weekend (where he sent me the above photo), while I stayed home and relaxed and caught up on my magazines and Netflix. We’ll be heading to the mountains again for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, since we rented a cabin there. It’s our first Christmas without any family, and while I’m excited for our plans, I’m ready to feel a bit nostalgic for the Christmas’s of yore with family running around, as well. My big ole’ year-end update is coming up soon (we took in a lot of these beautiful United States the past 12 months), so I look forward to putting that together and moving on to 2016. Bis bald, friends!

52_Project

The 52 Project: December 14, 2015

IMG_9998^^ Well Christmas is most definitely on its way, but if you ask me, it can’t get here soon enough. Still, I enjoy the way that Denver really goes all out to celebrate the holiday. I grabbed coffee with a friend in Union Station on Saturday morning and got to check out these cute little carolers on my out. Hope you guys are all enjoying this festive season, as well. Bis bald!

52_Project

The 52 Project: December 7, 2015

IMG_9968^^ I love how ridiculously red this photo is, and the fact that you can barely even tell that Penny has plopped herself down right smack dab in the middle of the most comfortable chair in the room. She’s no fool. Anyway, this week and weekend was spent getting things back in order after my sis and bro-in-law left and putting the finishing touches on some holiday decorating. Even though Chris and I won’t actually be in our apartment for Christmas, it still feels nice to have it all dressed up and fancy. Nighttime is my favorite right now when I can turn off all the big lights and just turn on all the holiday stuff and relax. Bis bald, friends — hope your holiday season is going well!

52_Project

Our First Thanksgiving in Denver — and the Best Surprise Ever!

01_TaurkeyTrot
Well friends — my husband, sister and brother-in-law pulled off the best secret ever when my sis and bro-in-law flew to Denver last Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with us. We had such a great time with them here, and while I was sad to see them go, it certainly helps to have the next visit planned (February, here I come!) before saying goodbye.

Here’s a bit of what we got up to:

01_TurkeyTrot^^ All geared up and ready to run the Washington Park Turkey Trot! It snowed … like a lot … on Thanksgiving, so Steph and I sat this one out in the car and chatted while we waited for the boys to finish😉

02_Roof^^ See what I mean — snow! From our rooftop, downtown Denver looked like a snow globe.

02_ThanksgivingMeal^^ Not a bad little Thanksgiving meal we made for ourselves, if I do say so myself!

03_Prost^^ Game time at Prost Brewing.

04_InfiniteMonkeyTheorem^^ Cuddles at The Infinite Monkey Theorem.  We also visited Ratio Beerworks and had dinner at Park Burger.

05_TreeShopping^^ On our way to King Soopers to check out their tree selections (sad, I know), we passed The Big Wonderful night bazaar, and low and behold, they were selling trees! (Happy!) So of course we stopped and picked out a great one, which we affectionately named Esmerelda. 

06_Bazaar
07_Bazaar
08_Mannie^^ Loaded on Mannie and ready to go home.

09_Ezzie^^ Okay, so our tree is half icicle lights and half regular lights — I think it gives her character!

10_Distillery^^ We attended a going away party Saturday night at Mile High Spirits,  where the couple that is moving actually got engaged, as well. It turned out to be a pretty special night.

11_Distillery

12_Distillery^^ These two😉

13_Distillery

14_Distillery^^ We got mad love for you kids — you’re welcome back any time!

And that was Thanksgiving in a nutshell, my friends! Bis bald — and and hey … happy December!

The 52 Project: November 30, 2015

FullSizeRender (93)^^ Happy first week of December, folks! So I had the most amazing Thanksgiving ever when Chris conspired with my bro-in-law to have he and my sister fly to Denver for long weekend. Amazing. It was seriously the best surprise ever, and we had so much fun. Now we’re through with Thanksgiving and moving on to Christmas and then the New Year … it’s just insane! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with loved ones, and is gearing up for the festive holiday season. Bis bald, friends!

52_Project

A Final Two Days in New Orleans

_DSC2583^^ We sure do love a good bike tour😉

Sunday in New Orleans was a great day, because we actually hopped on a bike tour with Buzz Nola that took us into some really gorgeous parts of the city that we hadn’t seen yet. We stopped at P.J’s for coffee first (because we saw locals drinking this, so we figured, why not?!), and then met up with our tour, which covered:

  • The French Quarter: Where we learned about the city’s founding in 1718, the architecture, Jackson Square and the history of the French Market.
  • Esplanade Ave.: A historic oak-lined boulevard where the Creole elite live.
  • Faubourg Treme: A centuries old neighborhood, home to artists, musicians and history makers.
  • Louis Armstrong Park & Congo Square: The heart of New Orleans’ jazz tradition (and where the jazz festival was being held that we stopped by the day before).
  • Lafayette Cemetery No. 1: One of the many above ground cemeteries in New Orleans, where we learned about the tradition of interment and New Orleans’ funeral traditions.
  • The Lower Garden District: Where the original city of Lafayette, LA begins. Americans were the first to begin building their homes here when the they weren’t welcome in the areas where the French were already living.
  • The Mansions of the Garden District: Gorgeous homes abound in this area, and many architectural trends influenced the whole neighborhood.

Here’s some of what we saw …

_DSC2587

_DSC2593

_DSC2600

_DSC2609^^ This is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, which has a really interesting history that you can read on their site. We came back here later Sunday night to grab some drinks.

_DSC2610

_DSC2619

_DSC2634^^ Look at this beautiful mansion in the Garden District part of our tour. We saw Sandra Bullock’s house, the house where Eli and Peyton Manning grew up, John Goodman’s house, and a whole bunch of others.

_DSC2645

_DSC2649

_DSC2668^^ Lafayette’s Cemetery. It’s a somber experience to be taking a tour through a cemetery, but just look at these gorgeous structures. It’s really a nice way to be remembered.

_DSC2674

_DSC2693

_DSC2695^^ This sign was pretty much across the street from our hotel, and it made me laugh when I first saw it, so I figured I should take a pic😉

IMG_3681^^ Sazeracs at Dominica in the Roosevelt hotel for happy hour before heading out on the town.

IMG_9752^^ Hurricane’s at Lafitte’s on Sunday night before catching an Uber to dinner.

IMG_2801^^ This. A very scary creepy statue of Jesus that projects onto a church in the French Quarter at night. 

IMG_9760^^ Dinner Sunday night was at Baccanal Wine, which is totally off the beaten path, and totally worth it! The first part of the store is a wine and cheese shop, then you can go and sit in the backyard under the twinkle lights, listen to live jazz and order drinks and food from the little window over there to the left. It has a really laid back, low-key, homey type of feel — exactly what we were hoping for on our last night.

IMG_9761

Monday was our last day in New Orleans, and we were lucky that we had most of the day to hang out. We went back to Cafe Du Monde for breakfast, and this time we actually sat in the cafe, which was a lot of fun.

IMG_3697

Then we walked over to Canal St. and caught the Streetcar back to the Garden District, where we would be having lunch at Commander’s Palace.

So remember the other day when I said the Streetcars were cute, except for when you want to ride them? Well the truth is they’re pretty unreliable in terms of timing (ours showed up about 10 minutes late and took about 20 minutes longer than we thought to get us to our destination). If you aren’t strapped for time, though, it’s a pretty fun (and cheap) way to ride around the city at least once.

_DSC2702

FullSizeRender (93)

IMG_9770^^ Us, totally badass after a delicious lunch at Commander’s Palace. My mushroom risotto was some of the best I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.

And that, my friends, was that! New Orleans in four days in a nutshell! It was fun and funky and splendid and wonderful — and I’d highly recommend it for history buffs, music lovers, those who enjoy fine food and/or drink, and party revelers alike.

Bis bald, friends! I’ll leave you with this – one last video of the amazing orchestra due we fell in love with and who we lucky got to see twice before we left. P.S. I do realize this is the same song as I posted before, just a longer version. I thought we taped them both nights, but unfortunately we didn’t. Oh well — it’s still a damn good show.

Day 2 in New Orleans: Food, Frenchman’s Street & Fun Outdoor Markets

_DSC2484^^ Ahh New Orleans … could you be any prettier?

Saturday was a splendid, exploratory day for us in New Orleans, my friends. We decided to walk the distance to try brunch (which was actually more like lunch, by the time we got there) at Elizabeth’s, followed by a stroll along Crescent Park (the photo above) and a wander through the French Market, where we bought some really amazing art work and I got a new pair of sunglasses and a fun face mask (hey, when in New Orleans, right?!).

On our way back to our hotel, we were trying to find St. Louis Cemetery (which we did, although unfortunately it was closed for the day) and we stumbled across Basin St. Station (definitely worth a look on your way to the cemetery for information on the evolution of transportation in New Orleans) and the New Orleans Jazz and History Festival, which was really fun.

Here’s a visual journey through our day …

_DSC2456

_DSC2460

_DSC2466

_DSC2472^^ We don’t have a dog, but I need this sign!

_DSC2473^^ Walking through the Marigny section of town to get to brunch.

_DSC2476^^ Beads are everywhere in New Orleans — be sure to  look in the trees, too, that’s a favorite spot for them to hang.

_DSC2481^^ Well deserved Bloody Mary’s after a long walk to Elizabeth’s.

_DSC2482^^ My eggs florentine, which were good, but I definitely had food envy over Chris’s …

_DSC2483^^ Crabby eggs (basically eggs florentine on top of crab cakes) and cheesy grits. Yum!

_DSC2488^^ Walking along the Crescent Park pathway, which gives you some amazing views of the city, and pretty much brings you right up to the French Market.

_DSC2499

_DSC2501

_DSC2502

_DSC2507

_DSC2511^^ These kids playing right near the French Market were so awesome, we just sat and listened to them for a good 15 minutes.

_DSC2519

_DSC2520

_DSC2548^^ Another second line parade that happened along our path.

_DSC2552

_DSC2553

_DSC2564^^ Basically there are brides and bridal parties everywhere you turn in New Orleans. And who can blame ’em … what a backdrop!

_DSC2568

_DSC2579^^ A bit of a view from the Jazz and History Festival.

FullSizeRender (93)

IMG_9714^^ You can’t help but love these guys, right? They aren’t even getting married — they’re just celebrating life.

After a quick rest back at the hotel, we headed back out onto the town for some food, live music and art. We had been hearing great things about the po boys at Verti Marte, so we obviously had to check it out, and they did not disappoint. If you can get past the super sketchy feel of this place (it’s basically a small convenient store with a deli at the back where you order), you’ll be impressed with their po boy options, and even more impressed with the taste. Plan to either get yours delivered or eat it out on the street while you people watch on your way to your next destination (which is what we did).

After dinner we tried to get into Three Muses, but they weren’t taking any more people for the night. This is supposed to be a really fun place for tapas and live music, so if you can make it work, I’d recommend trying it. Lucky for us, though, there was a fun bar about two doors down (30/90) which had good drinks and a live band. So we snuck in there for a while, then wandered around Frenchmen Street for a bit, including the Frenchmen Art Market, which was so romantic with its white string lights and tables and tables of local artists selling their wares.

FullSizeRender (94)

FullSizeRender (95)

FullSizeRender (96)

IMG_9738

IMG_9739

FullSizeRender (97)^^ This picture doesn’t do it justice, but we walked home along Bourbon Street that night, and you can only imagine the insanity that ensues here.  Bourbon Street is not for the faint of heart, my friends. Keep that in mind😉

And that was our Saturday! I’ll be back tomorrow with Sunday and Monday (since Monday was a short day). Sunday included a bike tour, which was so much fun, and checking out a new section of town, as well.

But for now … bis bald, friends!

Let’s Talk About Amazing New Orleans: Day 1

_DSC2328
Well friends, we’re back home after a crazy couple of days in the Big Easy! We landed late Thursday and really hit the ground running Friday through Monday night, when we flew back. I feel like we got a good lay of the land from just those couple of days, but New Orleans is definitely a place I would say I’d like to head back to.

I figured the best way to go about blogging for this trip is to break it up by days. Friday morning we really wanted to just take our time and meander around the city, being sure to hit up some of the spots our many, many friends who have been before suggested we see. Here’s what we got up to:

Breakfast was take-away beignets and coffee from Cafe Du Monde, which we ate by the river while we listened to some locals jam away. Chris kept saying how the one thing he really loved about this city was how it seems to have a soundtrack of its own, and I couldn’t agree more.

_DSC2334^^ The Streetcars that ran along Canal Street were so cute — until we took one! More on that later, though …

_DSC2338^^ I took a lot of pictures of buildings people, because … I mean … come on! So gorgeous!

_DSC2340
_DSC2342

_DSC2345

_DSC2348^^ We decided to do take away from Cafe Du Monde Friday, but we were able to sit down at a table on Monday morning, and it was fantastic. The people watching alone is worth it, but to sit at a table and dunk your beignet in coffee — you’ll think you died and went to heaven.

_DSC2349
_DSC2352
_DSC2354
_DSC2360
_DSC2361
_DSC2364
_DSC2372
_DSC2375
_DSC2378
_DSC2380
_DSC2381^^ Check out the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral in the background. Our tour guide on Sunday told us that Walt Disney modeled the Magic Kingdom castle after it, after coming to New Orleans and being blown away by its beauty. I could definitely see that.

_DSC2390
_DSC2393
_DSC2395^^ There are no open container laws in New Orleans, which makes for a pretty interesting time. You can’t have glass bottles on the street, but there’s a lotta paper baggin’ it happening around here!

_DSC2396
_DSC2405
_DSC2407^^ Look at this little kid, just playin’ his drum as he crosses the street. This is quintessential New Orleans, if you ask me.

_DSC2410

After breakfast we wandered around the French Quarter, down Bourbon Street and happened upon Cafe Beignet, where we sat to get some drinks and listen to the live band.

_DSC2413

_DSC2414

_DSC2416

_DSC2419

_DSC2420^^ The first of many Sazeracs😉

_DSC2425

_DSC2427

_DSC2432

Lunch on Friday was at Lüke’s, which was close to our hotel but also happened to have some amazing food. We had oysters (but of course), Court-bouillon with redfish, crab, shrimp, oysters and Louisiana popcorn rice. Chris also had the seafood gumbo, while I opted for the Lüke salad. It was a spectacular lunch, to say the least.

_DSC2446

_DSC2436

_DSC2438

_DSC2439

After lunch we took a quick rest back at our hotel. I should take this chance to talk a bit about where we stayed — The Whitney Hotel. This former bank has kept many of its old banking structures, which makes it super quirky and fun, and its location is enough removed from the madness to be quiet, but also just blocks away from where all the fun is. I’d highly recommend it for anyone’s stay!

_DSC2450^^ The front lobby.

_DSC2451

_DSC2452

Our Friday evening consisted of some more exploring, with stops at The Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone (an actual spinning carousel — don’t worry, it’s sloowwwww — and live music make this place so. much. fun!), drinks at The Golden Lantern [which Chris says was his favorite bar out of all those we visited … even if it was a gay bar ;)] and a bit of a walk to Mimi’s in the Marigny, which is, as the name suggests, in the Marigny section of town. We had some delicious tapas for dinner there.

FullSizeRender (94)^^ One of the many second line parades we saw while in town. Anyone can register with the police department for any reason to have a parade, and they will be given real police escorts and everything. Of course you have to hire your own band, though — but those aren’t hard to come by in New Orleans. See the bride in the back? So much fun!

FullSizeRender (93)^^ Checking out the scenery at The Carousel Bar.

IMG_9652^^ So much fun!

IMG_9655

IMG_9665^^ The band in the background could be heard all the way up the carousel part of the bar, which was really cool.

IMG_9693

IMG_2802
^^ Delicious dinner at Mimi’s. Tapas rock.

IMG_9695^^ My husband, up to something at Mimi’s, that’s for sure.

And that was our first jam packed day in New Orleans friends! I’ll leave you with this, amazing orchestra duo which we went back to see the following night as well, because they were just that good. Bis bald, friends — and I’ll be back tomorrow with more!

The 52 Project: November 16, 2015

Bacchanal_dinner^^ Hey there, friends! So Chris and I are still in New Orleans, headed back to Colorado later tonight. It’s been an amazing time, as anyone who has ever been here can I’m sure agree. We had our last dinner last night at Bacchanal, this amazing little backyard venue with live jazz music (gotta have the live jazz music!) and delicious eats. I’ll be back later this week with more of a New Orleans update, till then – bis bald, friends!

52_Project

A Quick Trip to South Dakota to Visit Mount Rushmore

01_SouthDakota^^ Holy cow does it look cold or what?! Well it was!

Well friends, unfortunately it’s been about two weeks since we actually made the trek out to South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore, but I’m only now getting the chance to post some photos from our little adventure. After arriving back into Denver late Monday night with Chris’s parents from New York after my sister’s wedding, we hopped in the car early Tuesday and headed off to add a new state to our list of visits this year — South Dakota. We booked a hotel in Rapid City called Adoba, which was awesome for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and also for the fact that it had a bar right across the street that afforded us the chance to watch the Mets game while we chowed down on some grub after a long day of checking out the sights …

02_SouthDakota

03_OregonTrail^^ Passing by markers for the Oregon Trail during our drive brought me right back to my American history days!

04_CrazyHorseMemorial^^ Our first stop in South Dakota was the Crazy Horse Memorial. Can you kind of see the face carved into the side of that mountain on the right? This landmark has kind of a crazy story in that it’s pretty much being entirely built by one family who refuses to take contributions from the government. You can read more about the monument here, but essentially the memorial is meant to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians. If you’re in the area, I’d recommend checking it out, if only for the museum and the awesome amount of information you can find there.

05_MountainGoat^^ Yes, these are mountain goats, my friends, and guess who was super excited to add this animal to our list of animals we’ve seen this year …

06_MountainGoat^^ My husband was … that’s who😉

07_MountRushmore^^ Entering the Mount Rushmore area was a sort of out-of-body experience for me at first. I mean you spend your whole life growing up, knowing that this place exists, seeing photos of it in history books and reading about what it represents, and then you see it in person … and you’re just blown away.

08_MountRushmore

09_MountRushmore

10_MountRushmore

11_HotelSunrise^^ The sunrise view from our hotel Wednesday morning certainly wasn’t too shabby.

12_TrailView^^Wednesday morning we drove through Custer State Park and took the Wildlife Loop Road, which was amazing.

13_TrailView^^ We saw bison — hey bison!

14_TrailView^^ A vulture …

15_TrailView^^ You can’t really see it too well in this picture, but there’s a coyote a little right of center in this photo …

16_TrailView^^ There he goes, off to the right and into the woods!

17_TrailView^^ Prairie dogs!

18_TrailView^^ And more bison, super up close and personal.

19_TrailView

20_Trailview

21_TrailView^^ Look at these little cuties! We sure do miss them when we’re not with them.

22_TheNeedles^^ We also got to quickly check out Needles Highway on our way back to Mount Rushmore on Wednesday (we didn’t have much time to check out the museum the day before), which was pretty stunning.

23_TheNeedles

24_TheNeedles

25_TheNeedles

26_TheNeedles

27_TheNeedles

28_TheNeedles

29_TheNeedles

30_MountRushmore^^ And then it was back to Mount Rushmore one more time to finish up with the museum and check out the monument again before heading back to Denver.

It was a super quick little two-day trip, but totally worth it. We were hoping to hit up the Badlands as well, but we definitely didn’t have time for that. Oh well, it’s on the list, still!

And we’re off to New Orleans tomorrow, friends! I cannot wait to check out this city that I’ve heard so much about. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily updates, and I’ll be back next week to post an update on the blog.

Until then, bis bald, my friends!

My Sister’s Wedding

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

^^ Check out the amazing cabins that my parents rented for the weekend of my sister’s wedding. [They were in Fishkill, New York, by the way, and they’re called Willow Lake Vacation Rentals, if you’re looking for an amazing fall getaway in the Hudson Valley for next year ;)] We stayed there Friday night, got ready for the wedding Saturday and had a big family breakfast there Sunday before everyone headed out. The following couple of photos are all from the weekend of my sister’s wedding, including a tour of West Point that my dad was kind enough to give Chris’s parents on Sunday after everyone had left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

08Cabin
09Cabin
10Cabin
11Cabin
12Cabin^^ This was a ladybug on Brian’s jacket, which we all determined was very good luck😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

18WeddingShuttle
19AfterCeremony
20DutchessManor
21DutchessManor
22DutchessManor
23WestP
24WestP
25WestP
26WestP
27WestP

The 52 Project: November 9, 2015

FullSizeRender (92)^^ So friends, busy doesn’t really begin to describe these past few weeks, and my poor, sad little blog is suffering because of it! The photo above is from when Chris’s parents were still here visiting and we took them to try out The Great Divide, a brewery that’s right around the corner from us, although this was the first time we had visited it, as well. With my sister’s wedding and the Connor’s visiting and a quick trip back to New York for a work-related meeting, I haven’t had any time at all to update here, which is pretty sad because we’ve been doing some really fun stuff. I’ll do my best to at least get some photos posted in the next few days, but we’re off again this Thursday to New Orleans (wahoo!), so I can’t make too many promises! Hopefully after that I’ll be back to a bit of a more regular routine here, though, and I can get at least those missing couple of weeks posted. (We visited Mount Rushmore, you guys, and it was so much fun!) Anyway, until next time, friends — bis bald!

52_Project

The 52 Project: November 2, 2015

IMG_9607^^ Welcome to November, dear friends. Unfortunately it was a weekend of losses in terms of sports for the Connor/Lock household this past weekend. The Nuggets lost on Friday when we went to see the game, the Mets lost the World Series and the Avalanches lost on Sunday when we went to check them out at the Pepsi Center (above). Ah well, you win some, you lose some, right friends? This week will be crazy with work stuff, but I’ll be back soon to post a bit of what’s been going on here in the past couple of weeks (which has also been crazy!). Until then, bis bald, friends!

52_Project

Some Photographic Memories of a Poconos Getaway With My Bestie

FullSizeRender (91)

Hi friends,

The in-laws are out and about in Denver for the time being, so I thought I’d throw up some quick photos from a couple weeks ago when I took a little trip to the Poconos with my bestie. We stayed in East Stroudsburg (which, to be honest, didn’t have a whole heck of a lot going on) and made a day trip out to Bushkill Falls on the most perfect fall day.

Here’s a little tip for you — if you look at the map of the loop that makes its way around all the falls, you’ll notice that the red trail, which brings you around Bridal Veil Falls, is labeled as a trail for avid hikers.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.59.07 PM

So Lisa and I actually connected pretty much all of the trails to get the overall, full view of as many falls as we could, and it really wasn’t that treacherous. Wanna know why? Because we started our hike out to the right of the entrance, meaning all those steps you see off to the left of the map that are part of the red trail, were all downhill. 

Not that we did that on purpose, but watching everyone huff and puff as they ascended those dozens and dozens of stairs sure made us glad we stumbled upon the trick to making it easier.

Anyway, check out this gorgeousness.

IMG_9063

IMG_9050

FullSizeRender (91)

IMG_9036

IMG_9030

IMG_9069

FullSizeRender (90)

FullSizeRender (89)

FullSizeRender (88)

FullSizeRender (86)

FullSizeRender (85)

IMG_8998

IMG_8975

It doesn’t get much prettier than that friends, am I right?

The 52 Project: October 29, 2015

FullSizeRender (84)^^ Oh hey guys! I’m backkkkk! So these past few weeks … phew! Let’s see. Well, that’s Mount Rushmore above. Amazing. Oh, and my sister got married last weekend — so that happened. And I went on a little getaway with my bestie to the Poconos. And I spent the entire month of October in upstate New York. And my in-laws are still visiting us from Australia through early next week. So, yeah — it’s been busy! But I’ve finally had a second to breathe (and update my WordPress account!), and so I’m back and better than ever! After flying back from Denver late Monday night, the Connors and Chris and I hit the road again early Tuesday morning for a quick little 2-day road trip to South Dakota. There will be plenty more on that, and all the other October shenanigans, in the days and weeks to come, but for now, feast your eyes on good ole’ Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Jefferson. They were some kind of somethin’, weren’t they? Bis bald, friends! And I’ll be back soon!

52_Project

The 52 Project: October 19, 2015

^^ Hi guys! So quickest of quick updates here — I’ve run out of storage room for blog photos on Weary Wanderer at the moment – yikes! And I’m in the middle of wedding madness this week for my sister, so imagine that right here is an image, which I meant to post on Monday and couldn’t, of myself and my bestie Lisa standing in the street in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on our little getaway to the Poconos last week. I promise to get this all figured out as soon as I have a little more time, and I’ll be sure to post all kinds of awesome photos from the Poconos when I do! In the meantime, if you’re missing some WW photos (like I know you are!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Chezza1022! Thanks for understanding – and Weary Wanderer will be back in full force soon!

52_Project

Life Lately: The Fall in Upstate New York Edition

Hi friends,

As much as fall has been a whirlwind, I was predicting that to be the case, and therefore I’ve been able to (as much as humanly possible!) stop and — to paraphrase — smell the changing leaves😉

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to in the past couple (crazy/insane/amazing) weeks …

01_Snooze^^ Snooze with some Aussie visitors before I left for my east coast adventure.

02_DenverCapital^^ Checking out the Colorado State Capitol as part of an expert (not) tour while our friends were in town.

03_PeekskillBrewery^^ Hitting up the Peekskill Brewery for dinner the first night I was home.

04_IthacaLakehouse^^ We rented a lake house in Ithaca for my sister’s bachelorette a few weekends ago, and it was the definition of heavenly.

05_IthacaLakehouse^^ Getting the party started!

06_IthacaLakehouse^^ Cayuga Lake in all its glory.

07_CiderTasting^^ Stopping at the Finger Lakes Cider House on our winery tour.

08_CiderTasting^^ These ladies.

09_IthacaBars^^ I bought these little party hats for our gang to wear out the night of Steph’s bachelorette, and I cannot lie, I kind of love them. What else can I wear this for?!

10_Gorges^^ Checking out the gorges in Ithaca before heading out Sunday. Oh fall — you just get me.

11_Ranger^^ This pup is soooo happy to have me home😉

12_BKWAterfront^^ I headed into the city for a couple days last week for a press event and to visit some friends. This pic was taken during  a walk along the river in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

12_BrooklynWaterfront

13_StatueOfLiberty^^ There’s our Lady Liberty, standing all tall and proud!

14_BKNeighborhood^^ It doesn’t get more quaint Brooklyn wonderfulness than my friend’s adorable neighborhood.

15_FayeAndMe^^ Blurry  photo fun down in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

17_BryantPark^^ One of my all-time most favorite places in the entire world — Bryant Park. This little slice of heaven lives amidst all the crazy hustle and bustle of Manhattan, and it really is something special. I appreciate it even more now that I don’t live in NYC anymore …

18_BryanParkWork

19_230Fifth^^ My press event last Thursday took place on the rooftop bar of 230 Fifth.  This place is pricey, but in my opinion it’s absolutely worth it for this view …

19_EmpireState^^ I mean …

20_FlatironBuilding^^ I had some time to kill before the event on Thursday, so I hung out in Madison Square Park for a bit and snapped this pic of the Flatiron Building on my way out.

21_BKPumpkins^^ Pumpkins in Brooklyn.

22_ProspectPark^^ A friend and I walked through Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sunday before I headed home. Coming back to visit this city — and all the people I love who still live here — is bittersweet now. Still, this was the first time back since we’ve moved away that I thought, “I’m actually okay that I don’t live here.” As much as I adore New York — and I do! — this place can also be exhausting and stressful. Who knows where my life will bring me in the future, but it was a good feeling this trip back to be able to say that for now, I think we made the right decision leaving. Leaving the people there, of course, is a whole other thing …

23_AussieCousin^^ This Aussie cousin of ours is amazing. When he found out a trip he had already planned to New York was happening just days after my sister’s wedding, he rescheduled to be able to attend. Then he found out about our other cousin’s wedding that took place this past Saturday, and he rescheduled again! What a trooper.

24_Wedding^^ A glorious wedding venue.

25_Wedding^^ These two cuties are next!

26_Wedding

27_NewPaltzFall^^ Sunday was frustrating to me, with an unscheduled, unplanned and thoroughly annoying last-minute trip to an Urgent Care Center. The drive out there, however, was splendid in all its fall loveliness, so I rewarded myself with a stop directly in the middle of the road to take this photo.

IMG_8891^^ And this, from a walk around the neighborhood with the dog. Le sigh.

IMG_8574^^ Chris and I haven’t been together all of October, since I’ve been east coasting it — so sometimes we just have to cheers each other virtually, ya know?!

IMG_6118^^ Oh, and he sends me these, too, to melt my heart a little bit😉

And that’s been it so far, my friends! I’m off to the Poconos with a friend this Thursday, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to share with you in the coming weeks – so stay tuned.

Bis bald!

The 52 Project: October 12, 2015

Venetian_Hour^^ Happy Monday, friends! So I’m still back here on the east coast for a few more weeks, and this past weekend we attended a cousin’s wedding in Long Island which was, to downplay it, pretty amazing. The photos above are from the Venetian hour at the end of the reception — otherwise known as a time for you to stuff your face with any and every dessert you can imagine on the planet. Sounds good to me! Bis bald, friends — hope your falls are going swimmingly!

52_Project

The 52 Project: October 5, 2015

IMG_8719^^ Welcome to October, friends! We spent this past weekend up in Ithaca, New York, right on Cayuga Lake in a cute little lake house to celebrate my sister’s bachelorette weekend. It was a lot of fun, and we topped it off with brunch yesterday and a view of this gorge. Ithaca is jokingly referred to as “gorge-ous” because there are over a hundred of ’em in the area. I’m glad we got to see at least one amongst the other shenanigans of the bachelorette weekend😉 Bis bald, friends!

52_Project

The 52 Project: September 28, 2015

IMG_8657^^ Well friends, it’s been a fun couple of days. We had some Aussie visitors in town, and it was really fun showing them around. We went to a Rockies game, barbecued on our roof and attended a party on our roof that culminated with fireworks over Coors Field, did a little brewery tour, took them to City Park and Snooze, and even got to check out the Denver Museum of Nature & Science … for free! Now I’m off to the east coast tomorrow for the entire month of October, which I’m pretty excited with. So bis bald friends — and here’s to October and all the newness it will bring😉

52_Project

Life Recently: The Summer 2015 Edition

Hey kids,

So it’s the end of September already — how the heck did that happen? This summer, our first summer in Denver, has certainly had its ups and downs. Now, as the season fades away, we’re waiting for some guests to visit for about five days, and then I’ll be heading back to the east coast for all of October for my sister’s wedding and a couple other fun things.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look back at how we spent the hot summer months …

01Sunset^^ We never tire of watching amazing sunsets from our roof.

02Guac^^ Trying out a new brunch place (Tamayo) with some guacamole on the side.

03RMNP^^ Early this summer we took Manny (our Matrix) for a spin through gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park.

04RMNP

06RMNP

07RMNP

08FooFighters^^ Checking out the Foo Fighters at Fiddler’s Green.

09Penny^^ Forcing Penny cuddles is pretty common around these parts.

10CoorsField^^ Our first Rockies game at Coors Field (go Mets!).

11TourdFat^^ A few weeks ago a friend was in town, and she and her sister invited us to join them for the Tour de Fat bike parade in Fort Collins.

12TourdFat

13TourdFat

14TourdFat

15Sunset^^ More sunsets — this time from our balcony.

16CarePacket^^ The sweetest little care package from my sister.

17Penny^^ See? Forcing Penny cuddles😉

18Snooze^^ Checking out Snooze for the first time …

19Table6^^ … also dinner at Table 6. P.S. Chris is totally up to something in this photo!

20Coffee^^ I like my coffee with a lotta heart😉

21BBQ^^ Grilling some shrimp on the barbecue on our rooftop.

22JAcksonHole^^ Not the best photo, but this little bakery in Jackson Hole (Persephone Bakery) had some seriously amazing treats!

24Wyoming^^ Taking some time recently to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

25Wyoming

26Wyoming

27Wyoming

28Wyoming

29Wyoming

30RedRocks^^ Tailgating before our first concert at the Red Rocks — Counting Crows, baby!

31RedRocks

32RedRocks^^ My blurry photo of Adam Duritz, lead singer for the Counting Crows. We wandered down along the side of the main seating after a couple songs and had the most amazing place to stand and watch them play. Not too shabby for a first experience.

33Golden^^ Chris, carefully selecting the beers we would be drinking at Barrels & Bottles in Golden, Colorado.

34Golden

And that about brings us up to date, my dear friends. The fall promises to be full of adventure. We have my sister’s wedding and Chris’s parents coming back here to visit for a week, with a trip out to South Dakota tucked in there as well. We’ll also be heading to New Orleans and Tahoe in the next few months, so there’s lots to look forward to.

Bis bald, friends!