Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday Hike

with Jay!!!!

Yes, usually my Sunday hikes are reserved for the girls. This weekend, Anne was busy with her family.  So Jay and I headed up to Estes Park to go hiking.  We went to Gem Lake and it was gorgeous! 

Afterward, Jay was craving bbq.  So we headed to Longmont to try out a place that Anne had recommended, Georgia Boys BBQ.  Boy, was it delicious!!

DAM date night

Friday night was a great night! Jay and I got to have a DAM date night. Yes, I said DAM. Meaning, Denver Art Museum date night!  Being a city employee has its perks, and this is one of them.  Jay and I were able to get into the museum after normal busy hours for free!

We started off the night with beers from a local brewery, Pint's Pub.  They make some great beers and also have a HUGE selection of whiskeys to choose from.

After drinks, we walked the few blocks to DAM.  They had live music, a dj, food trucks, games and other activities.  We were able to wander around the museum with very few other people.  We took a break and had dinner from one of the food trucks before wandering back into the museum.  A lovely night out for sure!

A weekend away

Last weekend (not the one we just had) I was able to take a long weekend and fly back to the Midwest for my awesome friend Eileen's bachelorette party.  She is getting married next month in Ireland (so fun!) but because of planning our own wedding and honeymoon, Jay and I won't be able to make it (so sad). 
But... that didn't stop me from joining her and our friend Sarah Fujii (Fujii-san) for a FANTASTIC weekend!

I flew in Friday morning and was picked up by Miss Fujii at the airport. We spent the next hour in the car catching up with life - and missing a few exits on our way to our destination.  It was fantastic!  We met up with Eileen at her family's house at gorgeous Lake Geneva, WI.  The three of us had lunch, laughed, gabbed, got spray tanned (which was random and awesome and now I am sold on having one for my wedding) sat out on the dock and drank and talked some more. If my weekend had to have ended there, I would have been totally happy.   As it was, we had a whole other day!
Saturday we got up, helped Eileen's sisters prep for the huge gaggle of girls coming up for the party, went for a run (humidity I hate you) and relaxed as everyone slowly joined us. 
The rest of the night was a whirlwind! So by the time I fell into bed at 3:30am I was exhausted. And a little drunk.
Luckily, Sunday morning my dad was able to come and grab me and take me to the airport! It was nice to have breakfast with him and catch up a bit as well!
view from the house - Lake Geneva
crazy party bus lighting - love these girls!

The weekend away was pretty awesome. made me realize that I miss Eileen and Fujii like crazy. It makes me sad that they are so far away. Thankfully I will see them both in October for my wedding!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chalk Art Festival 2014

One weekend in June, every year, Larimer Square in downtown Denver, turns into a free art festival with talented artists filling the streets with huge chalk pictures. Its seriously amazing what can be done with chalk and time.  I love heading down to see all the art and brag over what Jay and his buddy Nate do!  Yep, Jay is an artist. I love bragging about him. 
But first, check out some of the other artwork:

Amazing, right?  I always think so.  And its awesome to see the transformation of the art over the two days the artists are out on the street.
This is Jay and Nate on day 1 when my mom and I first showed up!

end of day 1
 My awesome new camera has some cool features, like being able to focus on one particular color at a time... for example, I chose Red on this picture:
 The final product on Sunday afternoon!  How cool is that? I think (and of course I am biased) that its absolutely fantastic.

Memorial Day trip part 4 (final part!)

Our last day of our trip was spent at Arches National Park.  It was really pretty, but incredibly packed with people.  So many people, in fact, that we didn't get to see and hike as much as we wanted to.  But that didn't stop us from getting in as much as possible!!

the colors are gorgeous!
 We did get out a hike around a tiny bit (in between dodging tour buses and rvs full of people). My favorite picture from one hike is this one below, because I didn't even realize I had captured the mini rainbow!
 The rock formations in Arches are awesome!

The trip was pretty awesome.  It was a great experience and I know that Jay and I will probably head back to Canyonlands and Arches again one day.  It was too much to see in such a short amount of time!  Now... to plan our next adventure!

Memorial Day trip part 3

Canyonlands was our second destination of the weekend.  We had planned to get up early Sunday morning and head out.  Unfortunately, the rain had other plans for us! So... we slept in, got dressed super fast and made a mad dash to the truck in between rain drops. ;)  We weren't sure if the rain would stop as we got into Canyonlands, but we figured it was a risk to take.  Better than hanging out in the tent all day!  Boy, am I glad we left, the day ended up being slightly rainy and overcast, but warm and sunny as well. Perfect for hiking and sightseeing!

Newspaper Rock
heading into Canyonlands National Park
Jay gets his jumping shot!
 We headed to the southern end of the park.  Where the Needles are located. We got to take a fun little off-roading type road and drove out to a trail head. From there, we jumped out and went for a hike to the Needles themselves!
getting started on our hike!
 Our destination seemed far in the distance...

Jay adds to the rock cairns on the path
 The whole hike was chock full of picture opportunities...
dessert flowers are always so cool to me
 The hike had some interesting bits, we went from dirt paths to rock paths, to narrow passage-ways!

so close! just to get through all the rocks...
 The hike was totally worth it!  We could have kept going and gotten up into the rock formations, but the weather forced us to turn back.