Saturday, June 29, 2013

La La Land

Marla and I attended my cousin Nancy's baby shower in Los Angeles.  It was thrown by her sister, Leah (on the left), and located inside a small banquet room at Maggiano's Little Italy.  What a great place to have a baby shower, good food and no stress about the clean up.  

We decorated onesies, wrote messages on diapers, and played a 'guess the powder' game (nope... one of the answers was not cocaine).  

Nancy is due at the end of August.  It really puts our last trip to Japan in perspective considering she discovered that she was pregnant while we were there.

After the baby shower Marla and I set off to explore.  First thing on the list was the Hollywood sign.  

I know we are far away but it is still hard to believe that each of these letters are 45 feet tall.  

Next up- Rodeo Drive.  

It is amazing to see how the other half lives (well, more like the other 1%).  

Ice cream at Sprinkles is incredible, to say the least.  I have to take Fred here now.  When I told him about the cupcake ATM he almost had a heart attack.  He said it is a good thing that there are no cupcake ATMS near us, but was incredulous that more businesses are not on board with the idea.

Investors in the Cookie Diet business must feel duped that it was unsuccessful.  
How could they have possibly known they were throwing their money away!?

We ended the evening at a gourmet Chinese restaurant, Xi'an, with vermicelli, vegetable dumplings, and signature martinis.  It was delicious.  And its reputation is so good that a homeless lady periodically walked by asking diners on the patio if they would buy her dinner.  

I spent many years of my life watching Beverly Hills 90210 but this was my first time experiencing it.  
Even homeless people are spoiled here.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Red Rocks and Adolph Coors

Our day started at Red Rocks park.  The rocks at Red Rocks range from 250-300 million years old.  They are much older than the Rocky Mountains which formed about 70 million years ago.  During the formation of the Rockies the older and buried sandstone was uplifted, exposed, and over time has eroded to be what it is today.  The red color is a result of oxidation of the iron-rich water which percolated through the sandstone during the erosion process.  

Denver view from Red Rocks.

The amphitheater behind us is the only natural occurring amphitheater in the world and was built during the Great Depression as part of Roosevelt's New Deal.  

One of the first musical performances at Red Rocks in August 1910, before construction of the amphitheater.  

After Red Rocks we went on the Coors brewery tour.  We had to wait in line for almost an hour for the free tour but it was well worth it.

We learned about the history of the company started in 1855 by a Prussian immigrant, Adolph Coors.
I love the 7 ounce cans.  

And we learned about the process of brewing in the world's largest brewery.  
I was surprised by how many beers are made by Coors including Killian's and Blue Moon.  

At the end of the tour we got to choose three beers from the list of beers on tap.  I went with Batch 19, Colorado Native and Agave Blue Moon.  

I feel like we did so much during my time in Colorado, and we didn't come close to scratching the surface of things to do.  It was such an amazing trip and I miss Valerie and Damien already.
Until next time!  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dillon Lake

Breakfast- coffee and an egg wrapped in a crepe.  It was the best budget option (since our hotel offered two eggs and bacon for 16$) and was, in my opinion, the most scrumptious option.  

Along the way is Dillon Lake which we stopped at for a relaxing walk on the waters edge.  

We ended the night in Valerie and Damien's backyard.  
Lauren came over (yay!!) for delicious Chinese food and some drinks.  

My time in Colorado is going by way too fast.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beaver Lake hike

Valerie found a deal for a hotel room at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek that I was more than happy to check out with her.  The Hyatt is a fancy hotel that has valet parking only, thick paper towels in the bathroom, s'more happy hour with homemade marshmallows, and one of the top rated spas in Colorado.  Needless to say we enjoyed our stay.

After lunch in the village we convinced each other to go on a hike.  We were told Beaver Lake hike would be our best bet so we set off.

The hike was three miles and almost a 2,000 feet elevation gain, but we are still looking good.  

In the end we never made it to the lake.  We got to wilderness land and were required to fill out a permit.  Believing we must of somehow made a wrong turn we decided it was the best plan to return to the hotel (we found out later we were on the right track and probably just a few minutes away from the lake which is a little annoying but not dampening).  

We spent the rest of the day with some drinks, snacks, s'mores, and a jacuzzi dip.  
Yep, I am liking Colorado.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

B-cycle Denver

I had been looking forward to my Denver trip since my plane ticket purchase, mostly because I couldn't wait to spend time with my friend Valerie but also because I had not been to Denver since I was 15 and came home with the impression that Colorado smelled like frying bacon.  

The first thing we did is rent bikes through the B-cycle bicycle sharing program and headed to Wash Park.  

After lunch at the Tavern in Wash park we went to Denver Botanical Gardens (which is supposed to be a 'must do' in Denver).  Much to our disappointment it was closed early for a Tony Bennett concert.  

We were really stoked with the idea of renting bikes because it is really convenient having docking stations all over the city, but it ended up costing us 25$ instead of the 8$ we originally thought.  Valerie thinks that we were supposed to dock it every 30 minutes for the 8$ price but that doesn't seem right to me because that takes away the convenience factor. Anyway, it was still super fun and worth the 25$.

Damien picked us up at the garden of disappointment and we headed to downtown for some exploring.  

We ended the night on a rooftop bar with some of their friends.  
It was a perfect first day in Denver.