Women, Wilderness & Wildflowers!

Photo blitz from Crested Butte, CO girls weekend!

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First Hike Beckwith Pass This trail is fairly steep at times.

The views of East Beckwith Mountain are amazing.

It’s a good hike! 5 miles 2 hrs 15 min 1400 feet

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Shew after that 800 calorie burn it was time for some fuel! Summer Blonde and some buffalo chicken fingers at the Brick Oven and  a stroll thru town!

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Dinner time!

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Saturday we hiked from Gothic, CO to the trail of Judd Falls 2 total miles

Elevation Gain: Minimal Trail Type:

Out-and-back Skill Level: Easy

Top Elevation: 9,860 feet

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The others of our group rode the 401!

Riding the 401! “At the top of Schofield Pass, the famed singletrack of the 401 Trail veers right starting with a tough and consistent climb for 1.3 miles through dense trees. Near the top, the grades gets easier, the trees open up, and the views behind you are stellar. The climb isn’t really all that hard – nothing technically – but your lungs will keep reminding you are at 11,000 feet above sea level. Then the payoff begins. The unsurpassed 360 degree alpine views of the Elk mountains, followed by the first of the steady downhill. After descending a few hundred feet, the trail flows fast and gently downhill with stunning views in front of you and flowers all around in mid-summer. For much of the top part of the descent you’re hugging the hillside, with a steep drop to the right, which can mess with your equilibrium. There are a few very skinny sections that are easy but have very bad fall potential. Take your time and savor it! You’ll intersect with the Bellview hiking trail and take a right. This section has several switchbacks and has begun to get a little rutted out, but it’s generally fast and flowy with great traction all the way. When conditions are good, the middle section of the 401 descent is about as fun as mountain biking gets. Once down to Rustler’s Gulch, take a breather because the climbing begins again. This point also provides an exit back to Gothic road if the weather turns for the worse. Otherwise continue your tour through the Ruster’s Gulch camping area, and follow the 401 trail into the meadow above the campsites. The trail climbs for about a mile and is technically a bit harder than earlier sections, though still fine for fit intermediate riders. You’ll pass through a drainage with lots of rockfall, and most people walk their bikes a few feet to get through it. One final descent takes you to a small trailhead on the outskirts of Gothic”

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This is crazy biker chic! Finishing the 401!

 

A bus ride to town with a red solo cup!

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A decorative bike is a must in CB!

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Sunday we hiked Rustlers Gulch 8 total miles

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Trail Type: Out-and-back

Skill Level: Easy to moderate due to length

Top Elevation: 11,400 feet

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These beetles are killing the pine trees in CO.

 

Before we left the fun little mountain town it was time for one last meal!

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Time for a little T-Shirt shopping!

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So long Crested Butte! We had a fabulous time!

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Mile High Adventures!

 Mile High adventure!

 Mile High drive

Once we traveled over the continental divide and arrived in SW Denver we headed to “The Platte River Bar & Grill” for lunch and a GIANT marg. (Yes one is all you need)

Amazing Food, Great People, Good Times

“The Platte” has been a serving the Denver area for over twenty years. Located along the Platte River in Littleton Colorado, we have been a favorite stop for bikers and cyclists looking to refuel. We offer plenty of outside seating ( and heated inside seating during the winter months) making us a perfect place for those who enjoy the sunshine as much as good company. We are a family owned and operated so it’s not that same old corporate stuffy feeling. No matter what the occasion, we can accommodate any size party or occasion with over 300 outdoor seats as well as 170 indoor seats to suit your need (a great place for a birthday or business get together)! With a wide variety of food specialties and drink concoctions, you will always find something unique and different @ the Platte River Bar and Grill!

“The Platte” is a Denver staple for our family. The menu offers a variety of items and all taste like home-made! Check out their website – www.theplatte.com

Mile High Marg

Wine to go? Yep in Colorado if you don't finish the bottle get a to bag!

Wine to go? Yep in Colorado if you don’t finish the bottle get a to-go bag!

Our family was going to take us to breakfast at South Glenn to a place named Snooze but they had an hour and half wait. We decided to find a different restaurant. We ended up dining at a place called Ivy at the Glenn. They had an amazing brunch. Bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Bottomless Mimosa’s. I have zero photos from this great place because my phone was dead. I enjoyed the Creme Brulee Oatmeal…

“Ivy at the Glenn—Streets of SouthGlenn—At The Fountain

Seasonal. Contemporary. Neighborhood. Food. Here at the Ivy, we strive to offer the freshest possible ingredients for our cuisine according to what each season has to offer.  This provides you with a dynamic menu that evolves along with the balance of nature. Ivy at the Glenn is conveniently located in the beautiful Streets at Southglenn, just south of Whole Foods, at the fountain square at Gaylord and Commons Streets. We are open Monday – Friday from 11 am – Close (when our last customer departs) and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am – Close. Join us for our weekend brunch, served Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am to 2 pm.  “
 
 
 
Our last day with family was a day of Bronco football! The Chef made a fabulous fest for us!
 
Mile High time to ride
 
Game Day Menu included:
New England Style Clam Chowder, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, Mussels Marinara w/ Ciabatta Crostini, Alaskan King Crab, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Bloody Mary’s!
Mile High bloody
 
Mile High Chowder
 

Here are a few Colorado Travel tips for those of you interested in visiting Colorado!

Mile High on the road home

1.  Stay hydrated so you don’t get altitude sickness

 2.  Speaking of altitude one drink and you will have a buzz so yes you will be a cheap drunk.

 3.  Don’t buy beer in a grocery store or convenience store it’s 3.2 vs 6.0 so be sure to buy it in a liquor store.

 4.  Liquor stores close at midnight.

 5. Bars stop serving at 2:00 am

 6.  If you drive out of the city on I-70 and the weather isn’t bad and you can’t go the speed limit or 5-10 faster stay in the right hand lane.  

 7.  At 53 square miles, Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan.

 8. The 16th street mall has shuttles. But you can pretty much walk almost everywhere downtown.

 9.  You can buy weed in Colorado but I saw only one pot shop between South Denver and North Denver. Don’t believe everything you hear on the news Colorado is NOT up in smoke!

10. Enjoy the Mile High City!

GO BRONCOS!

Things you find on LONG road trip!

map 1Our road trip started in Grand Junction,CO to  Elko, NV.

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This is the first time I had ever seen electric producing wind turbines!

This particular windmills are located between Price UT and Salt Lake City.

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On the way to the ATV shop this truck passed us.

 

Morton

Did you ever wonder where your Morton’s salt comes from?

Yep the Great Salt Lake

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Made it to Nevada! The Golden Nugget is just across the state line of Utah! 

I guess we missed the sign that it’s against the law to talk on your cell phone in NV. (Share the word)

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Outside G

First stop the “G”

"G"

This is posted in the bar! Hahah

If you are ever in Elko stop and have a cocktail! 

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Wine in a grocery store is something we don’t have in Colorado!

How convenient is that?

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Beautiful sunset in the Humbolt National Forest

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We started in Elko up the mountain to camp

and ride to Jarbidge where the A is on the map.

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Some rugged terrain in a side by side looking for Jarbidge, NV.

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We made it! 

Huge Canyon

Gods Pocket Peak

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In the middle of the Mountains a bed?

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Really Whiskey too?

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Wildflowers everywhere! 

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Camping has to include a fire! 

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Wow love God’s country! 

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Tired dogs! 

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New friends!

Broken

Broken toys! 

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Manmade Trees! 

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Seagulls 

not a runner

Vacation is over let the training begin! 

San Francisco Half Marathon!

ATL & Southern Hospitality!

Final ATL experiences!

The next stop for dining was the Atlanta Grill located in the Ritz Carlton of Atlanta on Peach Street. This night we were dining with a colleague of ours, what fun three ladies can have at a beautiful restaurant.

Bask in the stylish comfort and warmth of Atlanta Grill – an exceptional Atlanta steak house in a landmark location. Featuring club-like seating indoors and seasonal outdoor dining on the veranda with views of Peachtree Street, it’s Atlanta Southern dining as never before.

  • Sumptuous menu of grilled steaks, chops and seafood along with Southern-inspired cuisine
  • Convivial atmosphere and impeccable service are hallmarks of this steak house in Atlanta
  • Dynamic murals commissioned for the Atlanta Grill feature rich colors and warm hues that perfectly compliment the restaurant’s décor
  • Atlanta outdoor dining is available on the veranda with wrought-iron railings and flickering gaslight-styled lanterns
  • The Cheater’s Booth accommodates six in a cozy table setting with privacy draperies, but is most popular for an intimate dinner for two

Dinner started with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon a delicious wine and perfect for the evening.

Deep, dense and concentrated, the flavors echo intense aromas of blueberry; bramble and cassis intermingled with cocoa, cinnamon and sweet, toasty oak. Bold, yet supple on the palate, the dark, richly fruity flavors are balanced by a bright acidity and long finish.

 

I started my meal off with the Fire Roasted Tomato Soup made with Georgia Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The soup was an excellent way to start the dining experience.

 

My entrée choice for the evening was the special Grilled Halibut, Brussel Sprouts and a Sweet Potato Mash. Typing this is making my mouth water. The Brussel sprouts were a bit salty; the halibut was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato mash a perfect ending to the palette.

 

The Atlanta Grill is an excellent fine dining experience. I highly recommend visiting the Atlanta Grill just be prepared for a very large check at the end of dinner.

 

The last night in the ATL we decided it was time for some fun! So we headed to the Hard Rock Café.

 Est. November 9, 1992

If the B-52’s song “Love Shack” were to ever find a permanent home, Atlanta’s Hard Rock Cafe would be the place. With its southern charm and renowned hospitality, this location truly gives meaning to our “Love All Serve All” motto. Situated in Atlanta’s Cornerstone Building, our restaurant could be considered a cornerstone of southern rock.  Packed with memorabilia from rock legends with roots south of the Mason-Dixon Line, this cafe serves up delicious delicacies every day.

 

I ordered the Purple Haze cocktail. This specialty cocktail is made with vodka, gin, razz rum, mixed with sweet & sour topped with Sierra Mist and Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur. The two best parts of this $12 drink are one you get to keep the fun hurricane glass and the second is if you want a second drink its $8 and some change.  Lucky for me I had my MARTA one dollar coins to pay for my second drink.

Hard Rock food is Hard Rock food it’s the same at every restaurant I have been to.

I had the Famous Fajitas grilled chicken served with pico de gallo, shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, fresh guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce and hot flour tortillas.

We had fun requesting songs from the DJ. He said he grew up with Kid Rock and knew him very well. (When I started asking him to play Kid Rock songs he didn’t have them and never heard of them.) If you have the Shazam app it works great in the Hard Rock. I found a few songs that night that I liked and have downloaded.

Don’t forget to stop in the memorabilia shop on your way out to pick up your entire Hard Rock garb!

Atlanta is a fun town I would definitely go back to visit.

Coming from the West the South does have some cultural differences that take some getting used to.

However, the Southern Hospitality is true and the ATL did a great job of making me feel welcome!

When you travel what do you look for in a restaurant?

Summertime!

A romantic get away to Glenwood Springs, Colorado – known for its medicinal hot sulfur springs, rich natural history and scenic beauty.  To us it’s our back yard!

The “Chef” and “Mini Me” spend many hours hiking the mountains of Glenwood during the month of October hunting for our winter protein. They hunt for elk and deer and try to avoid all the bear scat they can.

The Chef reserved the honeymoon suite for us at a nice little chalet motel walking distance to downtown Glenwood. I am sure they don’t own a computer in this motel and the honeymoon suite wasn’t really what we expected but we just needed a place to lay our heads at the end of the night. Just the sweet thought that he had by reserving the honeymoon suite gave me butterflies!

Once we checked in we decided to take a walk and find a nice place to have a cocktail before we found a dinner house. We stopped at a nice little quaint place on the corner called The Riviera (made me think of Las Vegas). When we approached the bar there were only two seats left.

A man sitting at the bar harassed my chef telling him that the seat was free for me but would charge him for his seat. He introduced himself to us as Charlie Brown. (I totally believed him) I noticed he had an accent. I asked if he was from Glenwood Springs or if he was visiting. He said he lived in the area and asked where we were from.

As it turns out we were sitting and talking to the Swiss Master Chef Kurt Wigger. Chef Wigger also happens to be the father to a college friend of mine. Small world it is!

He shared with us his opportunity to come to America and work in Aspen in 1961. He met many different famous people working in his restaurants over the last fifty years.  People like Clint Eastwood, Rock Hudson and John Wayne. He specializes in traditional French cooking and still has a passion for the restaurant business. Chef Wigger said he would open another restaurant today if it wouldn’t kill his wife.

My Chef and I were planning to eat at a restaurant called Fins but Chef Wigger and the bartender talked us into eating dinner at the Riviera.

Our dinner started with a fabulous bottle of wine. Paraiso Syrah Chef Wigger tasted it and his comment was it was a little warm. I agree with him. I like my red wine at a perfect temperature of 50-55 degrees.

Our server was kind enough to split our Cesar salad into two portions and serve some warm bread with a cute butter dish.

We then had an appetizer of fabulous crab cakes served with a Cajun remoulade sauce. Small and petite just right for the appetizer!

We shared a little of two different entrees. Top Sirloin steak with a jalapeno butter, season vegetables and potato’s and Parmesan Encrusted Halibut with a citrus beurre blanc sauce, rice and season vegetables. These entrees are incredibly delicious but very rich. Soooooo rich that we didn’t even have dessert!

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Glenwood Springs, Colorado I highly recommend The Riviera as a dinner house to visit.

Bon Appetit!

NY Best Seller! Fifty

Fifty shades of Grey!

My book club is reading the book Fifty Shades of Grey. We meet tomorrow night to talk about the book. I thought  I would share my thoughts now.

I think one of my friends said it best …”Fifty Shades of Grey”? I’m reading it now. It’s explicit, but I can’t put it down!!!

I loved this book and the sequels, can’t wait for #4.

Set the sex/porn aside for the moment. Don’t we all just love a great Cinderella story? I am a helpless romantic at heart. Just the romance and the love Christen has for Ana in the book  keeps you reading. Yeah a billionaire hot bodied man doesn’t hurt either.

Fifty Shades of f$&$@up is so true for all of us. No I haven’t been abused by a crack whores pimp but trust me I have had my share of life’s f$&@upness. The fact that someone can overcome their f$&@up issues is huge.Christen focused on work and basically par taking in BDSM to deal with his f$&@up ness. Once he realized he did love her he would go to the extreme to keep her. Now who wouldn’t want to read about that love story.

Favorite parts of the book!

There are so many but here are a few. I loved that Christen went to the hardware store to buy a few pieces of hardware from Ana. I am sure this would be so unrealistic for a billionaire but it’s a book and didn’t you get that feeling when reading like wow he’s here really here. Of course Ana is naive enough to really not realize he is there to see her and he get jealous while there.

I loved when she was at the bar and couldn’t stop thinking about him. Come on I know you once had those thoughts. Back when I was in school we didn’t have awesome technology like today. I loved that she was brave enough to call him, I am sure her inhibitions were low due to the alcohol, making that phone call pretty easy. But the fact that he actually showed up and took care of her was awesome! Holding her ponytail while puking!!!! How many 20 something guys would really do that?

Ana calls it how she sees it with him. Her honesty and innocence just keeps me rooting for her. I love how she wants Christen to change and the realization that he may never change being honest with herself. She is real and I love that.

Can you imagine what it would be like to not be  touch the person you love not be able to run your hands up his chest or kiss his neck? I was just as confused as Ana on the touching thing. What happened to you Fifty that you can’t handle a loving touch? What is it going to take to get you past this fear?

I could go on and on! Will give an update on what my book clubs thoughts are after we meet tomorrow night!

Traveling and the 5280!

Traveling for business or traveling for pleasure? Does it really make a difference when it comes to eating and fitness? 

I am such a routine type person. When I travel I get out of my normal eating and working out routine. I always pack clothes with full intention to get moving at the hotel but it rarely happens. Eating out every meal gets old fast and very difficult to stay on track. On Monday my Mini Me and I packed our bags and hopped in the car and headed over the mountains to the Mile High City (5280) 

We arrived with plenty of time to wear our feet out at Park Meadows mall for a few hours then headed to our hotel. Once checked in we continued to walk and walk and walk up and down the 16th street mall in Downtown Denver for more shopping. Does shopping really count for burning calories?

Since we were in the city I let my Mini Me choose the dinner house. Dinner was awesome. We went to Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant. I had full intentions of being good but my Mini Me said mom you’re at Maggiano’s how often do you get to eat this kind of pasta? Ok so I ordered the Spaghetti and the HUGE meatball for dinner. We ordered the dessert sampler platter. Really, I should have just said NO! Because you can’t just have one bite when you have so many choices. 

Business meetings/classes really take its toll on me. I am not one to just sit from 9-4 straight. The rooms are always freezing and I need to move around! After the business meeting my mini me chose Rodizio Grill for dinner. My recommendation is to not eat the salad bar. The meat servers bring out 15 types of meat for you to eat. OMG! So good! 

Here are the favorites we enjoyed!

Turkey wrapped in Bacon

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Beef Tenderloin

Ham

Grilled Pineapple

Sausage

Top Sirloin

Garlic Beef

Parmesan Tomato

This place is amazing. When you need a break just flip the marker over to red and when you are ready to eat again flip it back to green and when you have had enough lay it on it’s side and the server will come with the huge choices of desserts. I highly recommend you take your appetite for Rodizio Grill! 

After two nights of eating incredible food we managed to get in a workout the next morning. We biked and then did an upper body workout. Wow What a week. Time to get back at it.

Do you have any traveling recommendations for staying on track?