It’s crazy to think how last week and this week flew by. My birthday is this Saturday and I don’t even know what happened to the month of May! Two Thursdays ago I flew home from Jackson Hole, WY and shortly afterwards our friends Samantha and her hubby arrived in Denver for a long weekend stay. It was a much needed respite from work, and a welcome visit from some of our favorite people.
The first time Samantha and her hubs came to Colorado, we were living in Boulder, and had only been in residence for about 6 months. Colorado was still very new to us, but we were able to showcase some of our favorite things, including Snooze. My sister and brother-in-law introduced us to the restaurant a few years before moving there. Snooze is an AM Eatery, with an old school diner vibe infused with unique flavor combinations. My all-time go-to, hands down best order? Red velvet pancakes. No lie. To be sure, our friends fell just as in love with Snooze as we did. The first order of their second trip to Colorado? Snooze, duh!
We went to Snooze Friday morning, and only waited about 40 minutes (there are no reservations, and people will line up outside to wait, so anything less than an hour is a blessing). Thankfully they were still on East Coast time, so it was easy to rally early and head out for a delightful breaky. I ordered their epic breakfast burrito smothered in green chili. If you aren’t from Colorado or New Mexico, proper green chili sauce is hard to come by. Having fresh roasted hatch green chilies makes all the difference in the world. YUM! I was tempted, however, by a new pancake on the menu: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie pancakes. Needless to say, we got one to share for the table.
After gorging ourselves with Snoozey goodness, the boys went off to play some golf while Samantha and I went shopping. Our first stop was the Run Colorado store in Greenwood Village. I absolutely love the Run Colorado store. Their Nike pullovers and running tanks, with great Colorado logos, make my day every time. I bought some items for my friend Christine’s birthday, but knew that Samantha would love this store too. To say we did some damage would be fairly accurate.
After hitting a few more stores, I took Samantha to Lark Burger for a small lunch. She’d been hearing about Lark Burger for some time, and I often rave about it. We each got a Little Lark and split a side of their legendary Parmesan Truffle Fries! So fabulous… I am pretty much always sold when it comes to truffle anything. We jetted home and met up with the boys before going downtown for drinks at Peak’s Lounge and dinner at Osteria Marco on Larimer Square.
The next morning we woke early and readied ourselves for a hike. The last time Samantha and Michael came to visit was during the month of
January – not prime hiking season. But we obliged anyway! By the end we were practically scooting on our rears all the way down due to slick, steep ice and packed snow. This time was significantly better. We headed southeast to Castlewood Canyon State Park, south of Castle Rock, CO. We parked on the east side of the park, started on the Lake Gulch trail, connected with the Rim Rock trail, taking us along the top of the canyon, and then continued on the Creek bottom trail before hooking back up with the Lake Gulch to head back to the car. In total, the entire hike was about 6 miles and we made great time. We tired out Samantha and Michael by the end but they were in great spirits. Samantha and I spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool, strawberry mojitos in hand, and had a nice easy evening.
The following day we went to Whole Foods in the morning to prepare for the evening’s meal (light protein and carbs in preparation for Monday’s race) and our Memorial Day barbeque (Robbie’s famous burgers!). Afterwards we drove south to Colorado Springs, meandered through Garden of the Gods, and then hopped on the Cog Railway train in Manitou Springs to head up Pike’s Peak! The train was packed, but we made the most of it. We made it to the top this time, although it was surrounded in clouds, and just as we were departing the clouds broke for a few moments, and the rest of the world (it seemed) lay below. You could see all the way to the state of Kansas, so that in itself was pretty awesome.
With the BolderBOULDER the next morning, we prepared fish and sausage on the grill with a side of purple rice. Monday morning we were ready to leave by 6am. We got to Boulder around 7:15am, parked at CU, and walked to the starting line. We missed our corral by about 5 minutes, but given that there are nearly 100 start waves, it wasn’t an issue. We started the race in red, white and blue style! Samantha bought us all patriotic sunglasses to wear during the run and they were so fun! Robbie wore a Captain America shirt, Michael had Superman, and Samantha and I decked out accordingly. We ran the first three miles with Michael and Samantha, but separated after that point so they could take a bit more time due to the altitude. The hubs and I ran straight through to the end, noticing how much easier it was this year versus last year. We are a bit more in practice this time around! Shortly after finishing, Samantha and her hubby joined us and we wandered through the after-race expo. The crowds were pretty enormous, so we grabbed a few things here and there, and then headed home.
That afternoon was spent on our back patio, eating hatchamole (guacamole with hatch green chilies!) and chips, mixing up delicious cocktails, and dining on my hubby’s homemade burgers (hello pretzel buns!). It was the perfect Memorial Day weekend celebration. I couldn’t have asked for a better visit!
How was the start of your summer (okay so technically it starts on June 21st, but it’s the symbolic start to summer, right?)? What are your go-to’s when friends come to visit? Don’t you just love our Patriotic ensembles?