Monday, June 28, 2010

Girls' Camping/Hiking Weekend!

I was lucky enough to have a new friend invite me along for a girls' weekend camping and hiking up in the Rocky Mountain National Park in the Estes Park area. We rented a campsite just to make life easy since it's summer and the weekend up there can be crazy with tourists trying to find a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis. The 1 1/2-hour drive up from Denver was perfect since it gave me time to get to know everyone and we all hit it off with each other right away. I love when you meet people that just "get you" and everything clicks, you know? :)
Once we got to our site we quickly set up our tents. A storm was rolling in so we decided to drive around snapping some goofy pics with the dark clouds as a killer background and just doing some site-seeing. The tourists up there were hysterical to see with all their funny poses so we decided to take a pic in front of the sign entering RMNP in poses we all saw tourists do...


After getting the first round of goofy out of us, we drove from the Beaver Meadows entrance of RMNP up Bear Lake Road. Bear Lake was gorgeous but a little too crowded with tourists so we made our way back to camp to cook up some yummy appetizers and dinner. Wendy (cowboy hat) starting acting hip-hop which was hysterical since she doesn't have an ounce of hip-hop in her soul. Sara and I began imitating and this pic was snapped. I swear it was funny in the moment!


The night was filled with massive silliness and I loved every moment of it! I think we laughed ourselves to sleep. The next morning we packed up camp and headed up Colorado Highway 7 for our hike that was to start near the town of Allens Park. On the way we had to stop for a photo-op that was too gorgeous to pass up. (This is one of my faves.)


The hike itself was stunning with views all along the mountainside trail that opened up to eye candy like this:


We arrived to our halfway stop at Calypso Falls and had snacks. The falls were amazing and the pic doesn't do it justice at all!


We lucked out by having a Steller's Jay land right next to us on a log and hung around long enough to snap some pics. How beautiful is this bird?!?!


One of my fave pics from the trip is Sara and I snacking at the Falls when a bout of the giggles overcame us.
This pic pretty much sums up how all four of us were the entire time... laughing 'til out bellies hurt. After our snack break, we hiked back to the car and headed home. The ride back was filled with more laughter (shocker) and plans of when we could get together for another trip again. How cool is it to meet girls like this?! Life is definitely good....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Busy in the New Casa!


It's been a few weeks since I've posted but it doesn't seem like it! Wrapping up on school, packing, and seeing friends definitely made the time go by quickly!

Last Saturday, I left at the crack of stupid (aka 4am) and drove 15 hours to my pit stop of Manhattan, KS. It was really great getting to drive through Chattanooga and Nashville one last time since I have so many great memories driving those roads to see friends. Quite the nostalgic drive. The first part of Kansas was interesting as I passed a museum for Brown vs. Board of Education, the Eisenhower Library, and the Wizard of Oz Museum! If I wasn't so antsy to get to my stopping place, I would have definitely stopped to see some of these places. (A do-able drive back, if I want, though!)

I crashed pretty quickly then got up the next morning pretty early and hit the road once again. The last two-thirds of Kansas can be a little bit of a challenge since the drive the entire time looks like this:

These spaces were so huge, I finally understood the real meaning of "wide-open spaces". I actually went through a storm front and was able to see where it began and where it ended. Amazing. I also passed a huge farm of windmills that were enormous! There must have been 200-300 of them!

After 5 hours of driving through Kansas' "wide-open spaces", I was very happy to finally come upon this:

Three hours later, I arrived to movers unloading all my belongings into the new house! The rest of that Sunday, all of Monday, and most of Tuesday consisted of, literally, dawn to dusk unboxing and unpacking. Once the house started to actually resemble a home, Adam and I next tackled replenishing our fridge and spices and cooked up some yummy turkey/feta/cranberry burgers!

On Thursday, I felt like having Mexican so I went over to an older post of VO2Maxxed and borrowed their recipe for fish tacos using mahi-mahi. I made three of their baja sauces (the Green Baja Sauce, the Pink/Red Baja Sauce, and the Chipotle Sauce) and had such a great time using my food processor again! (It's been 6 months since I've been living with my in-laws.) I also was craving some pickled red onions so I used this recipe and was thrilled with the results! It was so easy too! The side item used was a cajun shrimp and corn salad with lime-chili dressing. Check out the pics of the results! (I LOVE all the colors and the pink of the onions in the jar rock!)

Yesterday, Saturday, a friend from Greenville came in to visit and I we went up to Boulder to hang. I first took her Chatauqua Park then we went to Pearl Street and mulled about until we came upon this place that puts feathers in people's hair. We were totally game and now we both are rocking some feathers! It'll be fun to have something crazy in the hair while out of school!

Here's Bridge at Chatauqua...

Here's a shot with some of the feathers in my hair. Crazy fun!

Bridge is such an amazing friend that when we got back to the house she wanted to tackle the front garden that was completely overrun with weeds. Here's one small section of the garden before we tackled it...

And here's after just weeding, mulching, and putting in pavers!

We left as many of the flowers as we could and now I just need to figure out what to fill in the empty spots with to brighten it up. The garden faces the east and is shaded for a good part of the day until the middle of the afternoon where it does get some sun. I've noticed poppies are in serious abundance out here and I definitely like those! Anyone have any suggestions, I'll take them!

I'm loving Colorado and it's only been a week!

(Sorry for the post being so incredibly long! I obviously had a lot to catch you up on and I wanted to share it all! )