Go West Young….uh, Middle-Aged Man!

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A couple of months ago, Andy was itching for a vacation. He wanted to “getouttatown”. So, we planned and schemed and made some plans with Southwest, Hotwire, and Enterprise (thank you, Kristyna!). Denver was our destination. We figured that since we were this far West, we might as well keep moving in that direction. Friends at church and work had shared their fun adventures in Denver, so we jumped on that bandwagon.

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Andy loves to ski! In previous years, he planned church ski trips for older high school students, college students, and adults every couple of years. So, skiing was definitely on the agenda. With a lot of help from some friends, we had a list of places to see and meals to eat.
We flew out on a Wednesday evening. Dang, does it ever take a village to get out of town! Friends helped us out by taking us to the airport, covering our responsibilities at church on Sunday, carting tubs of supplies to and from church, house sitting, dog-sitting, dog medicating, and picking us up from the airport. I was worn slap out from all the planning just to get out of town. At one point, I was tempted to stay home because it would be so much easier!! Whew!

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Denver and the mountains had just had several inches of snow in the days prior to our arrival. Sooo, it was kinda scary on the drive from the Denver airport to Keystone around 10 pm as the snow fell and the highways refroze and as we poked along behind a fleet of snow plows. However, Andy Murry demonstrated mad driving skills in the rented Hyundai Sonata, so we made it.

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On Thursday morning, we woke up to beauty. The Inn at Keystone (reserved through Hotwire) ended up being a great place. They had a hot breakfast buffet every morning, and you sat by a wall of windows and looked out over the mountains as you ate.

Our Door 2 Door ski man came to our room at 8 am with all of our ski equipment. It has been a looong time! I have skied only twice before- both before 2006. So, getting used to walking in ski boots was a hoot.
I had forgotten how long it takes to get dressed for skiing with all the layers and liners and such. Good ol’ Andy added a back brace and two knee braces. As my Grandaddy used to say, “Getting old is HAIL”.
Andy and I skied in Keystone that day. This old dog needed some extra time to remember her old tricks. I practiced on the bunny slope for 4-5 times before I was willing to hit a green slope. Andy would ski ahead and get out of my way. Here we are about halfway down:

 

Andy’s ski muscle memory was way better than mine, so he looked like a pro. As he waited for me to catch up, he stopped for photos.

A few times, when I thought he was snapping photos, the video camera was on. Dingleberry.
I had my fill and went back to binge watch some shows and nap. Andy tackled some blues and blacks. We finished the day, cleaned up and headed to the shopping area for some yummy pasta at Luigi’s.

The next day, I drove us into Breckenridge. Dropped Andy off at the lift and went to town. Spent my day walking and shopping and reading. Ate some hot donuts. Found a cute white hoodie. Looked up at the mountains.

Perfect! It was beautiful. Driving by the frozen lake. Ahh. Pictures do not do it justice.

When perusing a store, I found this sign:

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The owner told me that she put it on the wall because our football team had a great year last fall. We commiserated on Coach Freeze and his goal to build men and not just football players. Go Rebs!
Andy Pandy had a blast skiing, even though he was by himself. When he came off the mountain, we returned his equipment and headed back to the Inn.
Dinner was back in Breck at Downstairs at Eric’s.

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Then we stood in line for crepes at Crepes A La Cart.

Ding-a-ling.There had been a line out front all day and now, into the night. The temps were below freezing, but there were heating lamps nearby as you waited.

We ordered this:

Chocolate Dream: Milk chocolate chips, bananas, pecans, toasted coconut, & heavy cream

Wow! We were so cold and so ready to eat it that I didn’t take a picture. So here is what they look like thanks to a Google search:

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There was even a guy who was coming to work  at the Cart wearing a KC hat. We chatted for a minute about his relocation and job. This place is bringing in the money!! It satisfied our sweet teeth.

On Saturday morning, we checked out and drove toward Denver. Our ears kept popping as we were descending. Andy used an app on his phone to measure our elevation. We went off the beaten path to Lookout Mountain. So…we looked out.

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Then to Red Rocks. People were working out all over the place. It made us wish for Lacy and her aerobics classes. We started at the top and walked all the way to the bottom onto the stage. Ahhh…I thought that was the end of our journey.

 

However, we increased our activity and worked out by accident because I told Andy we could get back to the parking lot by going even further down a certain staircase. Well, I was wrong. The staircase took us down past the parking lot. Whoops. He shouldn’t always listen to me. 🙂

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So, we climbed BACK UP that staircase to get to the lot. However, because Andy’s legs were still sore from all that skiing, I left him in my dust, climbed to the top, sat down to cool off, and watched people.  Then I got a text from him telling me he was in the parking lot. Dingleberry. He had stopped halfway up the stairs and found a short cut. Dang- I needed to burn off the calories any way.

After this exercise, we drove to Denver to check in. We stayed at a Hyatt Place, which was fine. Hot breakfast and nice staff. Dinner was at the Hornet.

Ice cream was at Sweet Action. Andy found his new favorite flavor- Coffee Oreo. That is not my favorite.

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On Sunday, we drove to Arvada to attend Storyline Church. We had met the pastor, Ben Mandrell, a few years back when Andy interviewed at a church in Jackson, Tennessee. He knows our good friends, Jason and Emily Turnbow. Storyline is a church plant that is about as old as Vertical. It was fun to check it out. I was a bit envious, because as you look out of the windows of the school where they are meeting, you see the snow covered mountains. Just beautiful!

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We headed back to Denver for brunch at Snooze. Super SLPs Natalie and Sarah-friends from work -recommended this joint. Delish. If you go to Denver, just plan your trip around a meal here. We waited for about 30 minutes, but we fully enjoyed the experience. We shared some hot chocolate, pomegranate mimosa, Spuds Deluxe, and a Pancake Flight (sweet potato, cinnamon roll, and French toast). DANG!


Then we decided to tootle around town:  walked to a indoor marketplace/mall, drove around the city, went to see Batman v. Superman OR Superman v. Batman.

Jim n Nick’s was our dinner location (flashback to Alabama), and our waiter was from Louisiana. He served me sweet tea and said, “yes ma’am”. He had graduated from LSU and was pursuing a graduate degree in CO. We talked SEC football and BBQ. Good times. My favorite item there is the Pig in the Garden salad with smoked chicken breast. Yes.
Monday was our busiest day. We got up and drove downtown. Some kind man had just paid $8 for all day parking and had to leave. He waved us down and gave us his parking receipt. Score! I just love little blessings like that.  Spent a couple of hours at the State Capitol building looking around, taking artsy photos with my iPhone, watching some of the Senate and the House sessions (lots of discussion about oil and drilling), and getting stuck behind elementary school tours.

The Capitol building had a good amount of gold leaf in its decor. Gold rush!

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Then we walked about 9 miles in total with stops at the US Mint gift shop, Larimer Square, Union Station (where we saw a wedding party and guests having appetizers outside at food trucks), Little Man Ice Cream, 16th Street Mall, and a neighborhood market where we saw a fabulous, large fruity cake. Then we caught the shuttle bus back closer to the car.

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I don’t know what they do in this building, but I think it would be fun to work there.

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Who doesn’t love a factory tour???  We had to go to the Hammond Candy Factory Tour cause you know you’re gonna get to taste test! We also got some for the road.

This guy was making some candy.

 

It was April, but these ladies were making Christmas trees that will be sold in December. The rooms are very cold, and they told us that the chocolate doesn’t really ever go bad. IMG_5783

We had fun in the Hammond’s shop. Andy was like a kid in a candy store…wait…. yeah.

We drove to Washington Park and Voo Doo Donuts.

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Two different guys in front of us came away with 5 gallon buckets. When I got to the cashier, I asked about it. She said if the donuts are more than 6 hours old, you can purchase a “BUCKET O’ Donuts” for $8!! They just throw in an assortment of whatever is on the shelf. That is what I am talking about, sister.

Because we were bushed, we got take-out pasta and salad from Uno’s (flashback to our days in Texas), picked up milk from 7-11 for our donuts, and camped out in front of the TV. Andy watched the NCAA finals while I watched one of my shows on the iPad. Pooped.

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On Tuesday, we drove to Boulder. I just kept thinking of Mork and Mindy. We saw some of the university and some of the town. Then we were off to the airport and flew home.

Colorado was fabulous. We highly recommend it.  Speaking of “high”, I never did see any of those legal dispensaries, and there was no one I suspected of having visited one, either. 🙂

Thanks for riding along with us on this recap.  Hope you have a chance to visit beautiful Colorado, too.

Love,

KM


4 thoughts on “Go West Young….uh, Middle-Aged Man!

  1. This was fabulous! All I can say is that if we make it there -David Harris will make sure he has a bucket! You have the best restaurant picks!!!! We need to travel together!

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