Tag Archives: Denver

Denver Christmas Trip 2015

28 Dec

The second week of December, Travis, Annabelle and I flew out to Denver for Travis’ work Christmas party — a major perk of working for a small company! The trip was a whirlwind — we flew out Thursday morning and back Friday night. Emma stayed with Travis’ parents at our house. We would’ve preferred to not have Annabelle tag along either but she won’t take a bottle so she goes where mommy goes for now.

We left early Thursday morning, arriving in Denver by around 10:30. It was my first time flying out of the airport in Brainerd and it was so much easier than going to the Cities! We had a little snafu checking in because the plane flying us from Brainerd to Minneapolis was so small that Annabelle could only be on the one side with child oxygen masks. It took a while to reassign our seats but we were thankful that the small airport meant they knew we were there and wouldn’t leave without us.

The flights and car rental went well (got upgraded to a fully loaded Town & Country, heck yeah!). We had lunch at Chipotle with our good friend Randy and drove past our old house before checking into our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown and it was the first time I had ever used valet parking. I felt so fancy! We got a corner room and one whole wall was a floor to ceiling window. It was cool but kind of trippy.
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Travis had a work meeting that afternoon so Annabelle and I just hung out in our room watching TV while I did my hair and makeup and set Annabelle’s rock n play up in the coat closet. It fit perfectly! (We left the door open most of the night, just shutting it when we used the bathroom or turned on the light.)
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We made a quick trip to 7-Eleven and then it was time for the Christmas party. Travis’ boss’ 15- year-old daughter watched Annabelle in our hotel room during the party. We expected to get called back early but we didn’t!
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The party was just a couple blocks away at Maggiano’s on the 16th Street Mall. The food was delicious, and it was great seeing Travis’ co-workers and spouses again. Since the whole company works from home in various states, this is one of just a few times each year the whole company is together at one time. I enjoyed my baby-free night with a couple glasses of chardonnay (though they gave me a headache the next day).
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The next day, Travis had work meetings pretty much all day so Annabelle and I were on our own. I met up with my good friend Cathy for breakfast at Panera and then while Annabelle napped in the car, I drove up to Boulder to see the Flatirons. They’re so amazing.

After Annabelle’s nap, I nursed her and we stopped by my favorite consignment store for kids, called Kid to Kid in Arvada. I found matching black bows for Emma and Annabelle to wear in my brother-in-law’s wedding this weekend and a sleep sack for Annabelle.

I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Good Times (similar to Culver’s but Culver’s is far superior) and ate in the car on the way to my friend D’s father’s funeral down in Lakewood. It was a very nice service, and good to see my friend. I was glad that I just happened to be out there that day.

After the funeral, Annabelle and I went back to the hotel and packed up. Once Travis was done, we loaded up our stuff and headed back to the airport.

Our flights back went well. We got a row to ourselves both times and it was nice to spread out.
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By the time we landed in Brainerd, it was 10:30 pm. We stopped at our house quick to pick up the dogs and Travis’ hunting stuff (he decided that he wanted to try muzzleloading this year) and drove the hour up to his parents’ house in Nevis. By the time we carried all our stuff in and got situated, it was almost 1 am!

Undaunted, Travis got up around 6:30 to go hunting. I was up around that time with Annabelle too — a doozy! It was a nice, relaxing day overall though. During Annabelle’s morning nap, I worked on a blog post. Travis got back from hunting around 10:30 and watched Annabelle while I designed and ordered our Christmas cards (which took a few hours so Annabelle went down for her afternoon nap before I finished). We also watched the first Lord of the Rings movie.

Travis went out for the afternoon hunt around 3 and Annabelle and I just chilled at the house, playing with toys and tidying up. Once Travis was back and showered, we went out to eat at the Iron Horse in Nevis. The BBQ there is amazing. The rest of the night was spent just hanging out at the house. We were exhausted from our trip!

Sunday morning, Travis hunted a few hours (with no luck) while I got us packed up. We left around 9 to drive down to St. Cloud to pick Emma up. She had gone down to the Cities for a Christmas party with extended family with Nana and Papa Saturday night.

We ate lunch at Chipotle and then headed over to spend the afternoon with our good friends, the Lonergans, who live in St. Cloud.

After a great time catching up, it was way past naptime and Annabelle had fallen asleep in Travis’ arms, so we hit the road back up to Brainerd. Emma fell asleep in less than 5 minutes.
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Fun weekend but exhausting!

Denver Babymoon

20 Dec

Travis works for a small engineering company where all the employees work remotely. Since it’s rare for everyone to be together at once, his boss flew both of us out for the company Christmas party and paid for our hotel two nights! Seriously, Travis works for a great boss/company. We are blessed. Anyway, we thought we’d extend the trip for the whole weekend and make it our babymoon.

Travis’ parents came down Wednesday night to watch Emma for the weekend and we left early Thursday morning for the airport. I think it might’ve been hard on Emma to have us leave while we was sleeping (and then return when she was also sleeping) so maybe next time we’ll try to time it differently. But Emma did great while we were gone regardless.

We flew into Denver around noon on Thursday, ate lunch with one of Travis’ co-workers and his wife (who had been on the same flight as us), and then checked into our hotel. I took advantage of being in the big city to use one of my gift cards at Massage Envy for a prenatal massage, and then went and got a mani / pedi. So wonderful. I seriously haven’t had my nails done since before Emma was born.

That night was the Christmas party, which was really fun. All of Travis’ co-workers and their spouses were there. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. Travis’ boss bought all the employees gag gifts from Sky Mall. It was funny to see what everyone got. Travis got a Snuggie, since our basement (where his office is) is so cold.

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Friday, Travis had a couple of work meetings in the morning so I hung out at the hotel doing some reading and writing. When he got back, he had to do a little more work so I took the rental car and got Einstein Bros. for lunch. I ate my sandwich outside on the patio in the sunny, 70 degree weather. Man, I miss that about Denver.

We went out for sushi that night – I got the fully cooked varieties but they satisfied my sushi cravings. (Seriously, why is that you always crave what you can’t have during pregnancy?) Then we drove out to the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield for their Trail of Lights display. Unfortunately, we had originally planned on seeing a movie after dinner so I had worn flip-flops! My feet were icicles by the time we left, but it was fun anyway.

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Saturday, we slept in and then met our friends D and Doug for lunch at New Peach Garden in downtown Golden. It was great catching up with them. Then we went to see The Homesman in the theater – the most depressing and disturbing movie I’ve seen in a long time. I would not recommend it. It still haunts me. Ugh.

After we checked into a different hotel, we went over to a friend’s house for dinner, and saw several of our friends from our old church. So fun catching up! I wish it were easier to stay connected across the miles.

Sunday, we ate breakfast at Panera (we made sure to eat at restaurants that we don’t have in Brainerd!) with our good friends Randy, Cathy and James, and their 2 kids. We had seen them the night before, but it was nice to have more time with them to catch one on one.

Then we headed to our old church for the morning service, and stayed after to talk to more friends. We drove straight from there to the airport and just like that, our babymoon trip was over. It had a really good mix of busyness and downtime though. We got home relaxed and rested – only to be thrown back into the furnace of Bisky care! She had slept through the night every night while we were gone. Then the night we returned, she woke up about 30 minutes after Travis’ parents left and was awake for a couple hours. Uff-da. (But since then, we’ve extended her awake time by an hour or so, and so far, that has helped a lot!)

Free Day Fun.

5 Nov

This past weekend, we took advantage of the ‘free days’ at both the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Zoo.

Travis, Emma and I went to the Art Museum on Saturday with some friends from church. It was a lot of fun and Emma did really well. I found some sock puppets in one of the exhibits and put crazy eyes on one for Emma. She thought it was pretty funny.

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We gave her a bottle around her usual eating time and she fell asleep while drinking it. Soon after, we were also hungry so we left and had lunch at Cafe Rio. Mmmm… pulled pork salad.

On Monday, Travis had to work so just Emma and I went to the Denver Zoo with some friends.

736178_10151974635723540_382117657_oStroller Brigade!

1417707_10151974632598540_169358723_oWe saw elephants, giraffes, polar bears, brown bear, monkeys, lions, leopards, cheetahs, you name it!

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Emma did really well there too – I had her in the Baby Bjorn for the first hour or so, and when she started to fall asleep, I transferred her to the stroller. She slept for about 40 minutes before waking up and then it was time to eat! I nursed her in the car and then we went home.

What a fun weekend!

You’ve got to be kidding me.

8 Mar

Remember how my last baby shower almost got snowed out?

Well, here’s the forecast for my baby shower tomorrow in Denver:

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Seriously?

What are the freaking odds?

It has only snowed (for real) in Denver once all ‘winter’. And it was on the day we were flying back from Florida. And now this.

Bah.

New Discoveries.

4 Feb

Thursday night, I discovered that a salad is not a good pre-run meal.

Friday, I discovered that it’s actually kind of nice that everything in Denver shuts down with a big snowstorm, because I get to work from home.

I also discovered that working from home with nothing to do is only slightly less boring that being at work with nothing to do.

I discovered that it takes two feet of snow for Denver to actually plow main side roads with any sort of decency {these pictures were taken Friday morning – it continued snowing all day and we ended up with about 2 feet).

This afternoon, I discovered that the plows still don’t always do a very good job because I almost got stranded at the library.

This morning, I discovered that running 11 miles, or 115 circles, on the indoor track is surprisingly painless with a friend. (Thanks Heidi!)

I also discovered that with no wind and no hills, I can run a 10:45/mile pace for 11 miles…

…and that despite good intentions and a camera, I can still forget to take a picture of my first-ever blogger meetup, and instead make do with a crappy picture of me in my bathroom.

This afternoon, I discovered that the day before the Super Bowl is an even worse day to grocery shop than the day before Thanksgiving.

I also discovered (again) that one of my all-time favorite kinds of candy is Australian Style licorice. Seriously, try it. It’s amazing. (I found it at the regular grocery store in the candy section.)

And finally, I discovered that Reese’s peanut butter eggs are just as delicious as I remember them. Mmmm…

Have you discovered anything new this weekend?

A White Christmas in Denver!

22 Dec

Well, it definitely snowed! Last night, when I got home from my women’s group, I told Travis that we should go on a walk in the snow. So we did.

I love going for walks in the snow.

So do the pooches.

We were very snowy by the time we got back. It’s still snowing this afternoon and so far, we’ve gotten about a foot. It was a little hairy driving to work today (because CDOT only has 75 plows for the entire Denver metro area!) but we made it! I was sooo tempted to call in because there’s hardly anyone here today (and there will be even fewer tomorrow!) but our VP ordered in lunch from Qdoba for us, which was nice and fun. Tomorrow is going to draaaaggg by though.

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On a brighter note, this weekend is Christmas!

I am so ready for some time to relax, hang out with Travis and friends, and eat delicious food! This is what we have planned so far:

  • Dinner and a movie with friends Friday night (Christmas Eve Eve)
  • Dinner with friends and their family on Christmas Eve
  • Special breakfast and dinner on Christmas day, just the two of us
  • Church on Christmas morning
  • Relaxing on the day after Christmas, before we go back to work

We haven’t decided when we’re going to open presents yet, but my vote is Christmas Eve morning – then we don’t have to wait!

Other than going grocery shopping tonight after work, I’m all ready for Christmas, which has meant a very relaxing, enjoyable week. It’s been so nice to drive home, knowing that I can go lay on the couch the minute I walk in the door, instead of running around doing errands or workouts.

I was just thinking yesterday as I drove home, that taking this week off from training was probably the best decision I could’ve made. Instead of stressing out over how to fit all my workouts in and wondering how I’ll ever manage with marathon training, I’ve been building up excitement and anticipation and will start marathon training ready to tackle the beast of 26.2.

The slower pace has also allowed me time to reflect on the amazing-ness of Christmas and quiet my heart, which is what I’ve been wanting! Come, Lord Jesus!

What are your plans for Christmas? Are you done with preparations?