Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Rocky Mountain High November 6, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:57 am
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At the end of October Dave and I took a little trip out to Denver to visit our dear friends Jon and {fellow blogger} Sarah.  We have wanted to go for awhile, it’s been two years since I’ve been there and Dave hadn’t been since they moved out there.  On top of that it was Dave’s birthday weekend and we wanted to celebrate the last year of his youth (Haha, sorry honey I’m not sorry).  Our relationship with Jon & Sarah is special because not only are we friends as couples, but me and Sarah have been friends since 1st grade and Dave and Jon have been friends since 8th grade.   We always have a good time when we’re with them and our long weekend in Denver was no exception!   They were sweetheart hosts and fulfilled all our Denver expectations!  I’m going to take you through our itinerary and show you some pictures and perhaps one day if you are ever going to Denver you’ll go some of the cool places we went!

 

Day 1:

Arrive in Denver pretty late.  I am prepared with Claritin, Flonase, and plenty of water to ward off any altitude sickness I may have in store (last trip I was dizzy most the time).  This time I had really no issue except for a few minutes on a hike.

Day 2:

Slept in and headed over to a lovely place called Jelly in the Capital Hill neighborhood.  All I have to say is I loved every little bit of that place and I want a lemon custard donut now!  The atmosphere, the service, the food, it was all incredible.

jelly

We had a brief terrifying moment where a wasp the length of my wrist landed on me, but after Jon valiantly swiped him away we were off to Golden, CO the home of Coor’s Brewery!  I can’t lie.  I didn’t have high expectations for this place.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge beer drinker.  However it was a really cool tour and I can’t argue with the 3 free beers offered at the end.

coors

We made our way back to Sarah & Jon’s and soon it was time for dinner.  We were joined by our friend Stan and we all made our way over to Steuben’s.  They serve American classics and I really enjoyed the retro décor in there.  We hung out at a place called Ace afterwards that has ping pong tables you can rent (!) but the wait was super long and we were all a bit tired so we went home to rest up for the next day.

Day 3:

We ate a mini breakfast at the apartment and then headed out to Idaho Springs, CO to explore the little town and have a day at the Indian Hot Springs for Dave’s birthday.  The town was super cute and we explored some of the shops and then ate lunch at Tommy Knocker.  We hurried on over to the spa for our Jacuzzi reservation at 1 and got changed.  It was a nice setup, they had private hot tubs along the bottom of the mountain and we were assigned to the Zuni Bear tub.

idaho

We relaxed for about an hour and then made our way to the mud room where you basically apply mud to your body and then sit and wait for it to dry.  If it sounds boring you’d be wrong…it was highly entertaining watching everyone dry up and look like a weirdo.  We washed up, checked out the cave bath’s down under the building (creepy, but cool?) and then headed home to prepare for Dave’s birthday dinner at the Denver Chop House.  More friends joined us for dinner and we had a great time catching up and spending time together.

girls boys

It was the weekend to celebrate Halloween, and even though none of us dressed up we went out after dinner and enjoyed some dancing and people watching at Punchbowl.

Day 4:

We all slept in after out splendid night out and pulled ourselves out of bed for brunch at Syrup.  After we were all happily full (my pancakes had sausage patties inside them!) we decided to go on a hike to work off all the food and drinks!  Sarah researched a brand new State Park that opened earlier in the year called Staunton Park.  We headed over and proceeded to take in a lot of beautiful scenes.

nature

  The only downer is the lake the trail goes by is currently under construction so you don’t get to see a beautiful lake, but the rest made up for it!  We made our way back to Denver.  Stopped for an awesome Chinese dinner (we were all pleasantly surprised how good the food was) and had a beer at the Copper Kettle nearby.  We capped off the night with a movie- Dave put in a birthday request for Bad Grandpa.  It was okay but I really only laughed once or twice. ..

Day 5:

The last day we snuck in another breakfast at Syrup, but this time in downtown Denver, ran over to Great Divide so Dave could sample a beer from their tap room and then it was off to the airport to go home.  It’s always sad to say goodbye to our friends, but luckily we already know the next time we’ll see them.  That makes it a little easier and we were delighted to get to spend a few days with them in their town.  Thanks for all the hospitality!

 

Camping in the Apostle Islands August 8, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 7:48 pm
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Sorry I missed my post last week. In my defense, I was in northern Wisconsin with no internet access. Now back in civilization I can tell you a little about my wonderful vacation. Matt and I went to visit my parents in the northwoods last Sunday. They left in June, so it was great to be reunited with them and enjoy my mom’s cooking, my dad’s laugh, and of course our lovely view of the lake.

While we were in the northwoods, we decided to take advantage of our location and go even further north to camp in Apostle Islands. We left on Wednesday morning, enjoying the ride. Matt actually drove up in my car due to a slight wrist injury that occurred while mounting our sea kayak on Derek (my Ford Escape). Plus I don’t think he or my dad trusted me to drive with a tandem kayak on the top of my car and go the speed limit.

We stopped for a bite to eat and a flight of beer at South Shore Brewery in Ashland, Wisconsin. Matt had a delectable black bean burger with sweet potato fries and I enjoyed a Reuben with barbeque waffle fries. The food and beer was very tasty. With our bellies full we continued on for another 30 minutes until we arrived at Bayfield. We boarded the Madeline Ferry with Derek and enjoyed a short 20 minute cruise to Madeline Island.

Madeline Island is the largest of the twenty-one Apostle Islands and the only island with private residences. The normal population on the island is about 450 but during the summer months is known to swell over 1,500! Once back on dry land we went to the local watering hole – Tom’s Burned Down Cafe. Yes, Tom’s actually burned down in 1992 and decided not to rebuild but leave everything as it was and just add planks. It was kind of like Jimmy Buffett meets a trailer park. The ambience was great, drinks were cheap and people were very friendly.

Next we headed to our campsite at Big Bay State Park. We had a perfect half-shaded spot with beautiful pine trees. Our REI half dome plus tent went up in no-time, so we decided to explore around the camp ground. We found a gorgeous bay and went swimming in the crisp 67-degree water of Lake Superior. The water was clear as glass. We played Frisbee and took a walk around the bay before heading back to camp. For dinner Matt made some delicious brats from a local meat market by my parents. Can you guess what we had for dessert??? S’mores!

In the morning we decided to take the kayak out to the public launch on the island back in “downtown”. Enjoying calm waters, we did an easy 2 mile paddle along the southwestern side of the island. After our morning exercise we went back and packed up camp. We then went into town to grab coffee, a scone and muffin from a local bakery to enjoy on the ferry ride back to the mainland.

Matt and I both decided that we wanted to go back and definitely for a longer time. There is a lot to do on the island and more places to explore on foot and on water! Time to start planning next summer’s vacation…but until then enjoy a few photos below!

 

Digging Denver April 1, 2011

Spring break isn’t what it used to be.  Now, before you all start getting huffy with me, saying that I shouldn’t complain that I still get a spring break at all, just calm down.  I’m not complaining.  And yes, I do deserve it.  Unless you’re a teacher, you have no idea what I go through every day, how difficult my job can be and how hard I work to help ‘my 24 kids.’

On to what’s important.  I took an opportunity to visit Jonathan and the city I hope to soon call home over my spring break.  What I meant by spring break not being what it used to be is that it’s not all about getting hammered on a warm-weather cruise with my sorority sisters anymore.  This year it was more about adventuring in slightly chiller climates and doing some learning.  Sounds totally dorky, I know, but maybe that’s what happens as I grow up…the dorkiness level increases.

On one of the days I spent with Jonathan, we decided to take a trek up to Rocky Mountain National Park.  First of all, before we even got there, we spotted a Bald Eagle over a lake.  Initially, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but then when I realized as it swooped down above the car that I was incredibly lucky to have seen a Bald Eagle in real life.  It was incredible, they are so majestic and powerful!

Once we entered park boundaries, we ventured up to what was supposed to be a serene lake,  but came to find that at the end of March in the mountains, it can still be well below freezing with several feet of snow on the ground.  So, after seeing it, we went back to where it was warmer and sunny 🙂  It’s very romantic being in the mountains with someone you love.  I’m sure it sounds super corny, but something about the silence and beauty around you really makes you want to be close to your honey.  And the little things in nature can make really interesting views from certain angles!

I also was lucky enough to realize that the Real Life Pirates exhibit that I had never been able to visit at the Field Museum in Chicago had traveled its way to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. So I did some solo adventuring to see the exhibit amongst the masses of kids and their parents also on spring break.  I learned: buried treasure, walking the plank, and treasure maps are all pirate myths, that an 8 year old boy was the youngest pirate in documented history, and that most pirates were caught once they reached land because they didn’t make it more than a few miles without getting drunk at the local pub or gambling away all of their stolen ‘booty.’

I can’t wait to go back next weekend.  Especially because Jonathan and I already have a little trip planned with our friends Jeff and Krista to do some more exploring and learning at the Denver Zoo.

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