Colorado Vacation Part II

Happy Friday Friends!

Whew what a week it’s been adjusting back to my normal routine. BUSY BUSY! So instead of today’s Fun Five Friday round-up I’m doing a big final Colorado Vacation Recap Part II!

We left off Friday morning after breakfast…

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After breakfast we said goodbye to my friend Heather. Then B and I headed up Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder to explore the views. I just cannot get over how much I LOVED the quick changes in elevation and the gorgeous views it brought!

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It’s so neat that Boulder is on the side of the mountains so when you look one way it’s completely flat and when you look the other way the Flatirons are right there!

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After a quick lunch break I headed to the check-in for Blend Retreat and was given my swag bag filled with all these AMAZING products! I actually had to ship all of my swag home and just received it yesterday so I can’t wait to slowly dig into this haul!

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After check-in everyone headed out on a beautiful trail run through Chautauqua park. I could really get use to having this in my backyard every day!

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After the run we had a break to get freshened up for the cocktail party. The cocktail party was sponsored by 34-Degrees, Sizzle Fish and Wanu Water. We were served assorted appetizers of salmon bites, eggplant sushi and there was a delicious platter of cheese, fruit and nuts to choose from! Wanu also whipped up some tasty cocktails incorporating their refreshing water. I had the Cucumber Fresher with cucumber, mint, absolut vodka, lime and kiwi cucumber wanu.

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The dinner was absolutely spectacular! We had salmon cooked on a cedar plank, grilled chicken, grilled potatos, polenta squares and salad!

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For dessert, Artic Zero introduced their new Chunky line and we were able to create custom ice cream sundaes. I went with the cookiedough flavor topped with brownie chunks, strawberries and caramel sauce! YUM! After great conversation and full bellies we called it a night.

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The next morning I headed to the retreat for a full morning of fun while B hit the golf course! Breakfast was seriously one of the best I’ve had in awhile! It was sponsored by Flapjacked, Justins and Love Grown Foods. We had so much delicious food to choose from so I obviously had to try a little of each! I went with Love’s cocoa goodness, fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, Flapjacked Carrot Cake Pancake (BRAND NEW FLAVOR!) and gluten free banana bread with Justin’s almond butter!

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This stuff is AMAZING!!!

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And we even had a special guest appearance from Justin from Justin’s nut butters! We mountain biked up to the retreat and chatted with us all for awhile! So nice of him to stop by.

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Once we were fueled up from breakfast we all headed out for a BEAUTIFUL hike. Again, I know I keep saying this, but I can’t get over the beauty of Colorado! Everywhere I looked there was gorgeous nature views to take in.

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After the hike Blend retreat took a break for the day so I met back up with B and headed to the Boulder farmers market to grab some lunch. Oh my gosh you guys. This was my heaven! So many vendors to choose from!!

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After lunch B and I headed to Upslope Brewery for a beer festival they were having. We spent a few hours enjoying good brews, music and touring the facility!

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Since this was our last night in Boulder we celebrated by going to The Kitchen restaurant after reading great reviews! We went with the Chef’s tasting dinner and were able to split each course. We left with very happy and full bellies!

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Sunday morning we kicked off the last few hours of the retreat with yoga on the front lawn of  Chautauqua park. It was chilly at first but once the sun came up I had to shed all my million layers! I swear the south is getting to me.

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After yoga we had our final, and another delicious, breakfast together! Breakfast was sponsored by Epic Seed yogurt, Good Belly, Barbaras and Baobab Bites. Once breakfast was over we had our final closing ceremony, did our prize drawings (I won a sweet North Face backpack!) and said our goodbyes. It was SUCH a fun retreat to finally meet all of the “blogger+friends=blends” that I talk with via the internet every day!

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Once the retreat was done B and I headed straight for Denver and the Cherry Cricket. We heard that they had THE BEST burgers around so obviously we had to check it out. You could build any kind of burger you wanted so I topped mine with smoked cheddar, raspberry jam and bacon! LOVED the salty, sweet combo!

We walked around the Cherry Creek district of Denver for awhile before completely crashing. Vacation wore us out! And just like that the next morning we were hitting the road at 3:30am to head to the airport and vacation was over!

This trip was amazing and Colorado is now one of my favorite places. Like I said in my first recap, I think I left a piece of my heart there and I’m itching to go back and explore more one day!

Colorado Vacation Part I

As much as I love being home I think I left a piece of my heart out in Colorado. My parents use to live there when they were newly weds and I think the love for the mountains must just run in my blood! Everything about Colorado was beautiful and I am so thankful B and I were able to squeeze in a vacation there.

Wednesday after we flew in we got the rental car and headed straight for lunch and then checked into our chalet in Estes Park. Estes Park is a beautiful mountain town nestled RIGHT next to Rocky Mountain National Park. So close in fact that we saw Elk wandering through the sidewalks of town and a Moose walking right out front of our chalet! It was pretty neat coming from the suburbs of Atlanta where no large animals ever come close to the house!

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We headed into Rocky Mountain National park later in the afternoon to drive around and take in some of the MAGNIFICENT views. Although it was pretty cloudy and rainy once we got higher up in the high country, it was still beautiful!

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We also had to make a pit-stop to check out The Stanley Hotel where The Shining was filmed. They are doing some renovation on the front but it’s still neat to see. The hotel was pretty however it definitely gave off that “creepy” vibe!

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I loved how we could be standing in rain and fog at one elevation and blue skies and sun at another! Just beautiful!

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Thursday morning we woke up bright n’ early to drive up to the top lookout and watch the sunrise over the top of the Rocky Mountains! God certainly has created a beautiful country…even though it was a brisk 35 degrees at 11,000 feet!

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For the rest of the morning we explored deep into Rocky Mountain National Park.

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We hiked into 4 different lakes, Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. The farther back and higher up we got in the trail the more and more it was snow covered. Although it was pretty packed down, I was not expecting to hike on top of 3-4 feet of snow!

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Bear Lake

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Nymph Lake

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Dream Lake

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Emerald Lake

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We only saw a small portion of the park and can’t wait to go back one day and explore more!

 After the hike we obviously had to refuel with some fresh pie from a local pie shop in Estes Park then we made our way to Boulder.

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We explored the Pearl Street Mall & downtown then stopped to enjoy a nice drink in the beautiful 70 degree sunshine! A nice change of pace from the cooler mountain temps!

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Thursday evening one of my best friends from college who now lives in Vail drove over to visit with us! We went out for dinner and drinks and had the BEST time catching up!

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Friday morning we all headed to Snooze for a DELICIOUS breakfast! I went with the breakfast burrito and a bloody mary. The burrito was so tasty but SO massive. I could only finish a small portion of it!

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…. Part II of our vacation is up next with our adventures in Boulder & the fun at Blend Retreat! Stay tuned!