Denver & Colorado

I live in and LOVE Denver. As much as I enjoy traveling, I am so happy to call Denver home. There is always something to do in this city! From racing to restaurants, there’s something here for everyone.

Here, you’ll find posts about my favorite things to do in Denver/Colorado.

Red Rocks: Workouts / Film on the Rocks

2011 Denver Out of the Darkness Walk

Bike Riding on the Cherry Creek Path

A Bachelorette Weekend in Vail

Denver Patio Ride

Canvas & Cocktails, Girls Night at Canvas and Cocktails!

Tease Studio (Pole fitness class!)

Bella Glass Studios

First Fridays: True Love Shoes  & Infinite Monkey Theorem

Indoor Skydiving

Yelp! Denver Events: Monster MashUp, Elite Event at Capital Grille

Rugby Games at Infinity Park

Gun Safety Class at Cherry Creek State Park

Get Out and PLAY! Colorado is one giant playground for people who love to be active and explore. 

Coloradocation (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)

Glacading at St. Mary’s Glacier

Birthdaycation in Breckenridge! (part 1, part 2)

Learning to Winter Camp (part 1)

Denver Eats! There is no shortage of great food in this city.

Izakaya Den Sushi

India Oven

Banzai Sushi

Bull And Bush

Dining Out Paleo: Chipotle, HBurger, Garbanzo

Euclid Hall

Moving East Road Trip: Vegas, Vail and One Last Day in Denver

After spending 2 adventurous days in the Grand Canyon, we ventured further west into the desert to live a bit lavishly in Vegas. I’d only been to Vegas for a work trip (boring) and the summer prior to visit my sister (fun but didn’t do the Strip) so I was excited to stay on the Strip and really ‘do it up,’ as Alex said.
Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

The 4.5 hour drive flew by; we turned on a long podcast, stopped for lunch in Hurricane, UT (stop at Sonny Boy’s BBQ - so good!) and 2 short more hours on the road, we parked our car in Vegas.

We stayed at the Trump because Alex was able to snag a good deal on Hotwire but I would not recommend this hotel. It was nice enough but being off the Strip made it difficult to get to the ‘fun parts’ of Vegas very easily, among other things. Our first night in Vegas, we walked the entire length of the Strip and racked up nearly 20,000 steps on my phone’s pedometer!

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Originally, we’d planned to be in Vegas just Saturday and Sunday nights, leaving Monday for Zion National Park but after a crazy year and in the midst of this major life change, we both wanted to stay one more day in Vegas, relaxing. We checked out of the Trump on Monday morning and checked into the Venetian, thanks to a steal on Hotwire. We slept in, read books by the pool, gambled most of our Vegas allowance away just for Alex to win it all back in the last game of roulette.

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Vegas was a blast and, just like everyone says, 2 nights of play time is enough; it was time to leave behind the hot desert and copious amounts of people, smoke and expensive prices for the wilderness.

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

The next stop on our tour was Vail to camp with our good friend Justin. Justin recently moved to the area to run a vet clinic in town but he’d already scoped out great camping in the White River National Forest (highly recommend checking this out, Denver friends!). We parked our cars shortly before dusk, set up camp and, most importantly, drank beer around the fire swapping stories of our past few weeks; Justin shared entertaining stories of mountain vs. city pet emergencies while we relived our time spent on the road.

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

We’d built in one extra ‘free’ day into our schedule and decided to spend it in Beavercreek with Justin. Putting our new-found frisbee skills to use, Justin brought us to the top of Beavercreek mountain to play frisbee golf! Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Spoiler alert: throwing a frisbee disk is far harder than throwing a regular ol’ frisbee. I found that out preeeetty quickly and spent most of my afternoon digging through grass to find my lost disk. But it was fun, regardless. Any afternoon spent in sunshine, on a mountain, with friends? Winning.

After a quiet evening in Beavercreek, we packed up and trekked into Denver! Coincidentally, my brother, who works on Harry Connick Jr’s tour, and Alex’s high school friends both were in town on that same day so we made sure our trip coincided with theirs. We spent the afternoon at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with my brother, getting a behind the scenes peek at what goes into a major concert, and the evening with our Cincinnati friends, showing them our city and enjoying one last dinner in town at our favorite restaurant, Euclid Hall.

We had a couple of hours between seeing my brother and our friends so we drove through our old neighborhood and decided to stop into the State Capital, knowing there are free tours throughout the day.

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

This was Denver bucket list item for me; for my 25th birthday, I visited the Denver Mint and after that tour, I’d wanted to check out the Capital, too, but because tours are only offered Monday through Friday, during the day, I hadn’t been able to swing it. Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

The tour was really interesting! Only 30-45 minutes long, the guide shares many interesting historical tidbits and facts about how the building was constructed. At the end, tours are allowed up into the iconic gold dome and onto the viewing deck outside for incredible views of the city. It was a perfectly Colorado thing to do on our very last day in town. Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Early the next morning, we stopped by the kennel where Philly had been staying for the past week and officially began the easterly portion of our trip. It was a quite ride out of Denver, both of us just soaking it all in and realizing, HOLY SHIT. This is happening right now. 

Road Trip: Vegas, Vail + Denver // lgsmash.com

Life Lessons of Rock Climbing

This week has been hard for a number of reasons you can probably guess (see: moving things). But through the hard parts of ‘real life’, I thought back to the multi-pitch climb Alex, Lucas and I did this past weekend. It, too, was hard for reasons you can probably guess, too (see: climbing things).

As I feel I’ve been very barely treading the water that is a huge life change, I thought about how much climbing lessons relate to real life.

Life Lessons of Rock Climbing // lgsmash.com

5. Be confident; you’re stronger than you think you are. Physically and mentally. With a tendency to sometimes doubt myself, I had no option but to be confident and trust in my strength on the climb. Ain’t no other way to get off the rock! In real life and climbing, the challenges make us stronger. Be confident and tackle the challenge; it feels so good to come out on the other side and know you conquered something badass.

4. Never underestimate the power of a good shoe. I mean, enough said.

3. Remember to pause and appreciate the moment. On the climb, there were so many beautiful, tiny wildflowers along the route and I made a point to (take deep breaths and not look at how high off any ground I was and) notice and appreciate those tiny flowers. In the chaos of moving, I’m actively taking time to appreciate the small details around me: the smell of pine in the mountains, the found birthday cards from 6 years ago, the taste of a Santiagos breakfast burrito.

2. Surround yourself with good people. People you trust, people who support and encourage you, people who make you laugh. If you’re going to be tied to a rope together for 6+ hours climbing or spending your limited free time together, spend your time with people who make you feel good.

1. Breathe through the hard and scary parts. Panicky thoughts lead to panicky breath which makes is hard to focus on the task at hand. Breathe. In, out. Again. You’re safe, you’re strong and you got this.