Colorado Trip Revisited
First… shame on me for waiting so long between blogs! I can’t believe it has been weeks since our fabulous trip to Colorado. We headed to Colorado for a wedding for Aaron’s close friends, Andrew and Laura. We thought that extending our trip by several days would make for a great vacation! We had such an amazing time and I still think that I have vacation brain. I can’t seem to get real motivated to clean, do laundry, or even exercise…. Oh well, vacations have to end at some time. Well I just wanted to share with you a quick recap of our trip (plenty of pictures included)!!
Day 1 – Fort Collins
We landed in bright and early in Denver (7:30am) and immediately had the most amazing breakfast at a fantastic diner outside of the airport. I ate so much that I nearly busted my zipper! I can’t remember the last time I had chocolate chip pancakes but I think they might become one of our more regular Saturday morning breakfasts!
After our friends arrived on later flights, we drove up to Fort Collins to start our day. We headed to the New Belgium Brewery tour for the afternoon. We had heard a lot about this tour and had to reserve our spot about 3 months in advance (and honestly it was sooooooo worth it)! Our tour guide was fantastic and told us all of the in’s and out’s of brewing – not to mention all of the free samples 🙂 We got to see everything, from the brewing of the hops (actually it is called “wurt”) to the bottling and distribution. It was so cool! Our favorite part of the tour is where we got to sample the now infamous “sour beer”. I had never heard of sour beer before and honestly I was a little leery to try it but let me tell you how happy I am that I did. I am now a sour beer fanatic! The New Belgium Lips of Faith – Lychee was perhaps one of the most delicious beers I have EVER had… too bad I can’t get it in Iowa! I am now a New Belgium believer and Fat Tire is a regular in our house 🙂
Day 2 – Boulder
After a fun night in Fort Collins, the gang headed down to Boulder to get ready for the other wedding festivities. When we arrived in Boulder, we headed to the Atomic Clock hiking trail. I have never hiked ANYWHERE in my life and in my vacation-induced excitement (or perhaps it was the elevation) I thought it wouldn’t be too hard. I was wrong! Man oh man is hiking a workout! But it gave us some spectacular views (we could even see all the way to Denver)!!
Later that night we dined at a fabulous Italian restaurant – Pasta Jay’s. I swear that they must have a sweatshop of Italian grandmothers working in the back – the food was THAT authentic! We ate and ate until we couldn’t eat any more…. (warning: common theme throughout our vacation)
Day 3 – Boulder
On Saturday Aaron and I were up bright and early to hit the Boulder Farmer’s Market. A friend had recommended we check it out and it turned out to be one of our favorite spots on our trip. The Boulder Farmer’s Market is the people-watching equivalent of the Iowa State Fair. Except, instead of counting overalls and mullets you can count hippie tye-died skirts and women with no bras (this seriously bothered Aaron as most of the sightings were quite disturbing). We strolled through the aisles of vendors selling local produce (lots of veggies, bread, and honey). We happened to find some beautiful artists as well. Aaron even bought me my very first piece of jewelry from him! After three years of dating, I can now proudly wear a beautiful pair of earrings from my sweetie. We found a local jewelry artist that makes pieces out of guitar strings (Aaron’s jaw was almost on the ground when he saw this). $20 later they were mine!
After we strolled through the Farmer’s Market, we headed to the Pearl Street Mall. The Pearl Street Mall is a ped mall that spans several blocks, full of antique stores (so Aaron could go junking), restaurants, and retail shops. Several street performers also were sprinkled around on the corners. We spent several hours exploring the area before heading back to get cleaned up for the wedding.
The ceremony and reception were held outside of Boulder in Lyons at the Lioncrest Manor, which is up a twisty-curvy gravel mountain road (so fun to drive up). Though road left me a little unnerved, the views from the Manor were fantastic. What a beautiful setting for a mountain wedding! Everything went off without a hitch and we partied all night long with friends. The party continued through the night… when we got back to the hotel, Aaron and the other Clear Autumn band members played a little impromptu concert under neon glow of a Walmart sign (classy right?). It was a beautiful wedding and a great night filled with catching up with friends!
Since this post if becoming the blogging equivalent of War and Peace, I will end it at Day 3 and pick back up with the rest another day! (sneak peek of Day 4 -6 includes mountains, ziplining, eating wild game, and lots of craft beer 🙂
I’ll leave you with a few more fun pictures…