Sunday, October 26, 2014

Busy Living Life: Kid-Free Vacation Recap

Hey, hey hey! Long time, no blog! File the past week under "Busy Living Life (and Loving It)."

The hubby and I just returned from a 5(ish)-day vacation in Colorado - one of our favorite places! We lived in Colorado Springs for exactly 1 year to the day back in 2008/2009. We fell in love with the mountains, fresh air and 300 days a year of sunshine. Of the 5 states we've lived in (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Colorado and Georgia), Colorado is hands-down our favorite. Why did we leave, you ask? We panicked - I got laid off when our daughter was just 4 months old. With our primary income gone and our family thousands of miles away, we high-tailed it back to New England. Staring at Pikes Peak this week, I had to remind myself of the reasons why we left such a beautiful, active place...

Anyway...our vacation was the perfect mix of physical activity, delicious food, and fabulous beer and wine. The days look like this:

11:00 am ET - depart Atlanta
12:30 pm MT - arrive in Denver, pick up rental car, drive to Broomfield (we stayed the first 2 nights with the hubby's cousin
3:00 pm MT - run 5 miles through the gorgeous neighborhood and then walk 15 minutes to cool down and take in even more of the scenery

6:00 pm MT - head to Boulder and have dinner at Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant (I had the Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai and 2 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc #heaven)
10:00 pm MT - collapse into bed and sleep like a baby

8:30 am MT - class at Pure Barre Broomfield (it was fun to check out a different studio!)
10:30 am MT - head into Denver to walk, eat and drink our way around the city. We had lunch at City, O City, where we had the most AMAZING Seitan Buffalo Wings, and moved on to the outdoor bar at Pizzeria Republica for a drink.
2:30 pm MT - arrive at the Pepsi Center to pick up our tickets for the Pearl Jam concert. While we were waiting in line, the Denver Nuggets basketball team showed up in the lobby!
3:30 pm MT - arrive at Wynkoop Brewing Company where we spent about 3 hours tasting beer, chatting and dining. I had a baby kale/roasted cauliflower/barley salad that was SOOOO good!
7:00 pm MT - arrive back at the Pepsi Center for the Pearl Jam concert! This concert was the main reason we booked this trip. It was our 13th show and probably the best one we've seen yet! We had incredible seats and PJ played for 3 and a half hours!

12:30 am MT - arrive back in Broomfield completely exhausted from the show; collapse into bed
7:30 am MT - up and at 'em! Despite the late night, we couldn't sleep in so we got up and made some breakfast
9:30 am MT - drive to Colorado Springs (we even did a drive-by of our old townhouse)
11:30 am MT - more breakfast for lunch at The Egg & I
12:30 - 2:30 pm MT - a little hiking at Palmer Park, more driving around the old stomping grounds
3:30 pm MT - after checking into our hotel, we head to Garden of the Gods for a run. I nearly passed out from the altitude! Colorado Springs is even higher than Denver and it definitely took a toll on my running (and breathing!). I had planned to do 6 miles but barely made it through 4.

5:45 pm MT - we headed downtown for dinner and drinks. First stop, Nosh. Edamame and some spicy tofu with kale. Vegetarian heaven! (Of course there was wine too!) After walking around downtown for a bit, our second stop was Trinity Brewing, one of our old faves from our time in the Springs.
9:30 pm MT - collapsed into bed yet again after another busy day!

7:00 am MT - head to a park for a run. We scoped a trail online, and I planned to do my 10-mile run on Friday instead of Saturday since we'd be travelling home on Saturday. The trail was kind of a bust, so we literally ran back and forth on a small section of the trail several times until we racked up about 5 miles and then we decided it was breakfast time.
8:15 am MT - breakfast at the hotel, followed by more running on the treadmill. Had to finish out my 10 miles! Even running indoors on the treadmill is more difficult at high altitude!
10:30 am MT - arrive in Manitou Springs to hang out for the afternoon. We walked a lot, shopped a little, and stumbled upon Manitou Brewing Company where we sampled great beer and had amazing french fries! I had a pretty incredible quinoa and black bean burger too! We also did a little wine tasting at D'vine Wine.

2:00 pm MT - check into the resort for the night. We walked all over the resort checking it out and are already thinking about a possible family vacation there...

4:00 pm MT - kicked off our last kid-less night with happy hour at Sonterra Grill. This is the first restaurant we ever took our older daughter to. She was about 4 or 5 weeks old the last time we were there. I got very sentimental (the wine accelerated that...)
6:00 pm MT - back to the resort for a couple more drinks and tapas.
9:30 pm MT - off to bed

7:00 am MT - drive out of the Springs and head to the airport in Denver. I pouted as I watched Pikes Peak get further and further away in the rearview mirror.
10:15 am MT - board our flight
3:15 pm ET - arrive in Atlanta
4:30 pm ET - pull into the driveway, get out of the car and run straight toward the kiddos for big hugs!

To sum it all up, we had a FANTASTIC time! I missed my little ladies, but actually found it easier than expected to be away, knowing that they were having fun at home with Gramma. I love being mommy, but it was nice to just be Emily for a few days.

And now, it's back to the grind. I already spent half my Sunday catching up on work, and I'll admit that I'm a little depressed about getting back to reality. I will daydream about getting back to the mountains, and hope that gets me through the week...

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