Thursday, February 23, 2012

Denver, CO

Time to do a trip update! I went to Denver in January to visit my friends Ali and Christi who recently moved there from Houston. Denver has been on my to-do list pretty much since I moved to Houston because the airfare is super cheap (my ticket was $98 rt) and my friends Jane and Brian moved there right after they got married in 2008. Man, am I sad I waited so long to visit this awesome city! I love me a liberal-minded eco-friendly place and Denver definitely fits the bill. There are so many outdoorsy recreation options and if you're not into the outdoors, you can sit inside by the fire admiring the views of the mountains. Such a beautiful place! Here's my trip:

First evening after arriving in Denver we went to Pizza Republica and I ordered a Pizza Giacomo. I also had a delicious blueberry beverage whose name I cannot recall. I can hardly ever resist pizza, but this was exceptional pizza. Pretty sure I ate the whole pie by the end of the weekend.

 Views from our host, Bernie's apartment:

We went snowshoeing on a trail that Christi found to the lost lake. Luckily, they chose an easy-moderate trail for me because I don't see much elevation or inclines in Houston. I had an excellent experience for my first time snowshoeing. It was a bit windy, but it was sunny and beautiful. And we got to meet lots of pups along the way as they hiked with their people.

At the trailhead:

Headed up the trail:

Don't worry folks, the Lost lake has been found:

After all that trekking we were pretty hungry and stopped in Boulder for some eats at the Boulder Cafe. I got a hummus plate, sweet potato pecan biscuits, and some white chicken chili. Turns out I ordered way too much, the white chicken chili was deliciously filling. The pecan biscuits were irresistible, and the hummus was simply ok.

Once we made it back to Denver, we ran some errands like renting my skis and showered up for dinner at Root Down. Now folks, I like to eat at lots of neat restaurants whenever I visit new cities, but this place is hands down amazeballs. It's located inside an old auto body shop and appears to be packed every night. Their policy is to try and be as organic and locally-sourced as possible, which I fully support. We ordered lots of fun things: Asian pear and spaghetti squash salad (the best salad of my life), seared Colombian arepas (my first arepas ever, but I have a feeling they'll be hard to beat), and the organic butternut-ricotta gnocchi (most amazing combo of flavors). The drinks we enjoyed were also beyond amazing. The whole night couldn't have been more delicious or fun, so glad we were able to get a table!

 Clearly my camera was on the wrong setting, sorry for the blurriness:

To cap off the trip we went skiing at Vail. I learned to ski as a youngin in ski school and have skied often on the East Coast, but Vail is a whole other animal. Not to mention it's been years since I was even on east Coast powder. I managed to not blow out my knees, which I consider a success! Another win: Jane and Brian were able to meet up with us on the slopes! I can't believe I haven't seen Jane since her wedding! Like I said, I need to get to Denver more often. Also, I didn't take any pics on the mountain because I was too terrified of either dropping my camera or accidentally skiing off a cliff, but here's what I managed to get at out lunch break and from the parking lot:

Must return ASAP. Thanks a million to Bernie, Ali, and Christi for hosting me on this quick trip and to Jane and Brian for the impromptu meet-up on the mountain! It was soooo good to see/meet everyone!

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