Category Archives: Travel

Colorado Fall Classic Marathon Training, Week 4

I can’t believe I’m already four weeks into this training cycle.  This was an interesting week of training, seriously lacking in strength training, stretching and foam rolling. J and I sanded and re-stained our deck, which turned out to be one of those jobs that you think will take a day or two and takes an entire week, so most of my afternoons were filled with deck work and not strength training. By the time we finished each evening, we were hot, tired, and filthy, and I just wanted a shower, not another workout. Oh well. I got all my running in, at least.

Monday:

AM: 11 miles. My schedule said 80-90 minutes with the last 20 minutes getting progressively faster. I was cruising a little quicker than 5k pace, 30 seconds from being done with the fast part… and my foot slipped on some mud (or probably on nothing, but mud at least sounds like an excuse) and I fell. Sidewalks are evil.
photo (10)I gimped through enough of a cool-down to make it 11 miles and called it good. I was thankful that my only wound was a knee scab and not any real injury.

PM: 45 minutes of strength training. And thus ended my only double day this week.

Tuesday:
9.1 miles easy and a quick core workout

Wednesday: 
16 x 400m repeats with equal recoveries, 11 miles total with warm-up and cool-down. I did half the repeats on a downhill slope, but I got sick of running up and down the same street, so I moved to the flat. Not the best training decision, probably, but a better sanity decision.

Thursday: 
9 miles “easy” that didn’t feel easy at all, quick core work.

Friday: 7 miles slow and easy, then some core work

Saturday:
This was our anniversary (6 years! Hooray!). We wanted to get away for the weekend but didn’t want to spend a bunch of money, so we spent it in Colorado Springs. J’s aunt and uncle live there and are always happy to have us stay, and we hadn’t seen them in quite a while, so visiting them on our anniversary weekend was perfect.

I’d asked Aimee, who lives in Springs, to recommend a downhill run for me so I could start prepping for this marathon. She recommended the Santa Fe Trail, a rail trail that runs parallel to the mountains. It was a fantastic recommendation, as the trail was beautiful and the elevation profile was very similar to the marathon’s. I started way too fast for a long run, so the last few miles were a slog. I know I’m at risk of doing that in the race, too, so I’m hoping I learned my lesson here and will pace myself better next time.My iPhone doesn't come close to doing justice to the beauty of these mountains.

My iPhone doesn’t come close to doing justice to the beauty of these mountains.

J is an awesome husband; he got up super early, drove me to the trailhead at Palmer Lake, killed a couple of hours, and picked up my gross sweatiness 17.3 miles later. That is love, folks.

After my run, I cleaned up in a Panera bathroom (classy, right?), ate some food, and rehydrated, and then we headed to Garden of the Gods. I hadn’t been since I was a kid, and J hadn’t ever been, so it was a new experience for both of us. We had a great time. Garden of the Gods is stunning.

No filter needed for that Colorado sky.
No filter needed for that Colorado sky.

We didn’t want to fight the crowds in the main part of the park for very long, so we ventured off on some side trails — fantastic choice. We saw just a handful of other people but plenty of scenery on our 4.5-mile hike.
photo 3 (5) photo 4 (2) After Garden of the Gods, we grabbed some lunch and spent the afternoon wandering around Old Colorado City (a fun little tourist trap near Garden of the Gods) before heading back to clean up for real (as opposed to Panera-bathroom style) and go out for a nice dinner. And then we went to bed early because I was friggin’ tired. Not a bad way to spend an anniversary!

Sunday:
J’s aunt and I have talked about doing the infamous Manitou Incline together for years, but we had never done it. We decided Sunday was the day, and since J is a good sport, he agreed to do it, too. And then he saw this, and questioned his sanity (and his love for us):
photo (12)

The Incline is that little line going up that mountain: a trail that climbs 2050 feet in .92 miles. The whole trail is made of steps like these:Aunt Jan reaching the summit!

Aunt Jan reaching the summit!

It was definitely a challenge. Some people run the thing, which is insane to me. Today was supposed to be my rest day, so I didn’t even try to run. The view from the top is definitely worth the hike… it’s gorgeous! You can see the entire city.
photo 1 (5)The trail back down is longer but considerably less steep (and less treacherous), but I still didn’t run because of the whole “rest day” thing. The whole hike made for another fun morning in the great outdoors. If I lived in Colorado Springs, I’d definitely be a regular up here… it’s a great challenge, and I’d want to see how fast I could eventually do it.

So the week ended up with 64.4 miles of running, minimal strength training, and a whole lot of outdoor fun. Overall, I’m okay with that, but I definitely need to get my strength training, foam rolling, etc., back on track this week.

Ever fallen like an idiot on a run? Please tell me about it so I know I’m not the only one.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve cleaned up post-workout?

Have you ever (or would you ever) done the Incline?

“You Smell Like Vacation”

Holy writer’s block tonight. I could not think of a thing to write about. So I started digging through some of my old writing and came across this little ditty. Last summer, I participated in Teachers Write, and online writing “camp” for teachers, and wrote this in response to one day’s prompt. Since we just got back from another vacation, I thought it would be appropriate to post this… plus, I have already have pictures to go with it. Of course, with the pictures, this post could also be titled, “Watch Jordan and Cassie age.” Ha. 

 

“You smell like vacation,” he mumbles, still 90 percent asleep but catching a whiff of my sunscreen as I gently kiss his cheek. As I lace up my shoes and ease out into the sunrise, his murmured words bring back a flood of memories, a jumble of the trips we’ve taken in the few short years we’ve been together.

As I start to run, I hear the roar of the ocean and feel the slap of its waves, and my mind recaptures the sense of awe from the first time I saw, smelled, and heard it – our first trip together, to Mazatlan, where we sweltered and sweat, escaping the heat with sugary drinks in the pool.
cassie_jordan by the ocean

I slow down for a stoplight.

A hot puff of steam from a Yellowstone geyser shoots up next to me, its sulfuric odor briefly overpowering.
Wife at Great Fountain Geyser

The light turns, and I keep moving.

Sweat trickles down my back as we hike through a bamboo forest, and I feel the cooling relief of a fully-clothed leap into a waterfall – a relic from our Hawaii honeymoon.
Bamboo Couple2

A semi blows past me.

I pause to inhale the sweet scent of wildflowers and the tangy odor of pine, keeping my ears alert for the rustling of bushes, the sign of a nearby Yosemite deer – or a mama bear, protecting her two little cubs.

I reach the halfway point and turn around.

My shoulders tingle a bit, and I reach my left hand to my right shoulder, then flinch away in pain. Blisters. I knew I should have reapplied sunscreen after that last dip in a Playa del Carmen pool.
100_0244

I tip my handheld water bottle for a mid-run drink.

Instead of water, I taste the sweet musk of a good merlot, one far out of our budget, on our Napa tour.

I stop to tie my shoe.

A chilly, salty breeze blows across me, and though I briefly shiver, the soft lapping of Dungeness Bay waves at sunset stills me just in time to hear a bald eagle call from his post on the powerlines above my head.
100_2512

All too soon, I’m turning back onto our street, slipping back into reality as I slow into a cool-down. The sounds, smells, and tastes of vacations past fade away as a wayward sprinkler squirts me and my stomach rumbles.

As I untie my shoes, my now-awake husband drops a kiss on my forehead.

“Mmm,” he says. “You smell like vacation.”

South Carolina Trip: Part 3

This is a long one, kids. I don’t want to drag our week-long trip out into a month of posts, so settle in. But first — Did you catch Part 1 and Part 2

Although all of our vacation was enjoyable, Tuesday was definitely my favorite day. I had read about Brookgreen Gardens before we left, and I was so excited to see it. The gardens did not disappoint. If you’re in the South Carolina area any time, definitely set aside at least half a day to see Brookgreen!

Brookgreen Gardens is 9100 acres of flowers, trees, poetry, sculptures, trails, and even a zoo. We spent several hours there and didn’t even make it to the zoo — it’s that big and engrossing. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a nice photodump of some of my favorite shots (in no particular order) from Brookgreen.

butterfly bench brookgreen statue brookgreen childrens path2 brookgreen oaks

Entrance to the "Beyond the Wall" trail
Entrance to the “Beyond the Wall” trail

dragonfly

This donkey was a made of succulents.
This donkey was a made of succulents.
This was in a designated children's garden, which we had to investigate. It was so cool -- full of little paths like this and kid-friendly sculptures.
This was in a designated children’s garden, which we had to investigate. It was so cool — full of little paths like this and kid-friendly sculptures.

brookgreen13 brookgreen11 brookgreen7 brookgreen8 a thought

Not all the poems were serious.
Not all the poems were serious.

We loved Brookgreen and could have easily spent more time there. The $14 ticket gets you a weeks’ worth of admissions, but we only had Tuesday morning to spend. We didn’t even make it to the zoo, because by the time we ate our late lunch, it was getting quite hot and humid, and we were ready to hit the beach.

We left Brookgreen and drove less than a mile to Huntington Beach State Park, which is also a must-visit! Near the park’s entrance is an information center that has a boardwalk out over the saltwater marsh, from which we saw millions of baby crabs crawling about (no picture of the crabs — we tried and tried and couldn’t get a clear one). The nature center was informative, and the short walk and crab-viewing was pretty cool, too.

huntington beach SP

From the nature center, we walked a two-mile trail through the woods. It was quite an experience for these Colorado dwellers: walking on both pine needles and beach sand was unique!
huntington beach trailIt was hot and buggy in there, but we still had a lot of fun exploring. When we finished, though, we were even more ready for the beach. We splashed and played and lounged for a couple of hours, but then thunder started rumbling and ran us off the beach. Boo. At least I got to relax in this little chair for a while.
huntington beach

We planned to go back to Murrells Inlet and give the restaurants there another try, and since the thunder cut short our ocean fun, we had some time to kill before dinner. The storm had passed, so we walked the marshwalk for a minute, then decided to get a drink at Bubba’s Love Shak. Because seriously…its name was Bubba’s Love Shak.
bubbas at murrels inletWe hung out in the rocking chairs on Bubba’s patio for a while,  watching some marsh goats while we sipped our beers.
rockin at bubbas marsh goats at murrels inletOnce we finished our drinks, we walked over to Wahoo’s Raw Bar and Fish House, where I had what was probably the best sushi I had ever eaten. It was way better than the night before. YUM.

On Wednesday, we had tickets booked to go to Hopsewee Plantation. We got there a little early, so we spent some time wandering the grounds, since they weren’t included on the tour.

hopsewee  2 hopsewee 1

Then, the tour of the house started. It was interesting, but honestly, probably not worth the $20/person price tag. I wish we would have toured Magnolia Plantation by Charleston instead, but this was still informative and fun.

On the upstairs balcony -- the floorboards and railings are still the original, 200-year-old wood.
On the upstairs balcony — the floorboards and railings are still the original, 200-year-old wood.

After the tour, we went to the plantation’s tea room for lunch. This was the best part of the tour. They have a traditional tea option, but I opted for a salad, and J and I ordered a bottomless pot of tea to share (you could try as many of their teas as you wanted).

hopsewee 5

After lunch, we drove back up to Myrtle Beach; we’d been here several days and had yet to visit actual Myrtle Beach and its famous boardwalk. We walked the boardwalk for a while, but honestly, we were underwhelmed. It was basically just crowds, a ton of tiki bars and junky tourist shops. Meh. We did ride the famous Skywheel, though, and that was fun.

view from skywheel skywheel j 1After the Skywheel, we headed back to our resort area, fed the turtles, and had dinner, then cruised back to the condo and crashed.

Thursday was our last full day, so we wanted it to be as vacation-esque as possible. We tried to sleep in (our bodies don’t understand that concept), I ran, we had a leisurely breakfast, and then we headed out for one more beach day. We’d asked a local to recommend a quiet beach, and her recommendation didn’t disappoint.

SCUnfortunately, when you’re a ginger, you start to sunburn after a few hours, regardless of how diligent you are with the sunscreen and cover-ups, so by mid-afternoon, it was time to say farewell to the ocean. Sigh.

Luckily, La Belle Amie Vineyard was nearby, so we wandered around the beautiful vineyard and cute gift shop, tasted some wine, and then hung out on their porch in more rocking chairs. I think I need to get a porch rocking chair.

photo 1 (4)After the wine, we went back to the condo to clean up and went out for one last nice dinner. It decided to rain buckets that night, but that’s okay; we enjoyed our last fresh seafood feast anyway.

borther shuckersFriday was pretty uneventful; we had an evening flight out of Florence and had planned to spend the day exploring that city — after stopping to feed the turtles once more, of course. Turns out, there is nothing to do in Florence, South Carolina. We stopped in the small town of Conway, which had a cute riverwalk and downtown area, then wandered around in Florence for a while before heading to the airport for another late-night flight, which was made even later by a delay in Charlotte.

We made it back home around 2:30 Saturday morning and promptly passed out. That’s way past this grandma’s bedtime. But it was absolutely worth it for the fabulous vacation we’d just had!

What? You want one more beach picture? Oh, okay.
photo 3 (2)

What would you most like to do on a South Carolina vacation?

It’s never to early to start thinking about next summer’s vacation. Where should we go?

 

 

 

South Carolina Trip: Part 2

I ended Part I at Saturday night, after we’d gotten some good advice about escaping Bike Week by heading north. On Sunday, after another sticky run and breakfast with the turtles and ducks, we loaded up the car and cruised up to North Carolina.

We started our day at the USS North Carolina, a battleship-turned-museum that now resides in its namesake state. J and I are both museum nerds, so we had a really great time,  but I think most people would also enjoy this shipseum (I made that word up, clearly). Basically the entire ship is open for visitors to explore, from the big guns and anchors on deck
photo (2)USSNC2 USSNC1to the powder kegs and missile rooms
USSNC5
USSNC4to the bunk rooms down below.
USSNC3

The whole self-guided tour was interesting and informative, and it made me respect our military even more. Seriously, can you imagine living for months in that ship? And, you know, getting shot at? Wow.

If you’re in the North Carolina area, I definitely recommend that you visit the USS North Carolina. But don’t wear a dress. That made all the ladder-climbing an awkward and unladylike pursuit. 🙂

Once we’d finished at the ship, we ate our PB & Js at a nearby park, then decided to check out Airlie Gardens. Airlie’s website describes it thus: “Celebrating more than a century of gardens by the sea, our history dates back to 1886. Join us then in a self-guided walking tour of these 67-acres of historical gardens of mighty live oaks, tall pines and lakes which are abundant with colorful wildlife. Airlie Gardens, where history, art and nature come together to create a destination spot for garden lovers throughout the world.” The gardens were stunningly beautiful, as was the stainless steel artwork that was their current exhibit. Ready for a flood of pretty pictures?
aerlie magnolia aerlie pond aerlie plant aerlie metal treeaerlie flower aerlie butterfly aerlie bench We really enjoyed Airlie; it was well worth the $9 tickets, as we spent several hours walking the trails and enjoying the gardens.

Once we finished at Airlie, we headed back to South Carolina, stopping for a stroll on a North Carolina beach (so we could bring home sand from both states. We are nerds.) before driving to Little River, a small town north of Myrtle Beach, where we had dinner (fresh fish, of course) at a quiet waterside restaurant — a nice end to a fun day.

photo7 (1)

The next day was Memorial Day Monday — i.e. the last day of Bike Week — so we decided to spend the day in Charleston. We were kind of stupid about our Charleston day — there were several things we wanted to do that were half-day excursions, so instead of just picking one or two, we didn’t do any. That was dumb, but we still had fun. We ate our sandwiches in Battery Park, explored some old neighborhoods while eavesdropping on horse-drawn wagon tours, and walked Charleston’s Museum Mile — a string of old houses and museums that you can walk while reading information about each.

charleston house

 

That picture was across from Battery Park. We also saw the famous Rainbow Row, and I took a marginal picture of it:
rainbow row
When we finished the Museum Mile, we stopped at the Old City Market, where I was tempted to buy this sign:
happy sand
Instead, we bought some pictures for our house, and then left the market and ate some frozen yogurt before heading back.

We had heard that Murrells Inlet, near Myrtle Beach, was the best place to get seafood, so we decided to stop there on the way back from Charleston. Unfortunately, we didn’t consult Yelp and the restaurant we chose was not very tasty (so. much. oil.), but the views were pretty and we still had a good time hanging out together, so it was a win.

This post is getting long, so I’ll leave off here for now. Check back tomorrow to hear about the rest of the trip (including my new favorite place on Earth).

South Carolina Trip: Part 1

This is the first of what will likely be several vacation recap posts. It’s also the least photo-filled, but you’ll understand why as you read. The good pictures are coming later!

Though all our information said vacation started Friday, it technically started Thursday night for us. We left the house around 8:00 to make sure we had time for a quick Target stop, parking, and checking in for our 1:00 a.m. flight. Yeah, that part was rough… but it saved us a significant amount of money, so whatever.

After a  night of fitful (i.e. nonexistant) airplane sleeping, we landed in Charlotte for a 2.5-hour layover (in hindsight, we should have just driven from Charlotte. Next time, we will know), during which I was super classy and stretched out on the airport floor for a catnap. A short flight later, we landed in Myrtle Beach (I love landing at airports that make you feel like you’re landing in the ocean. Is that weird?), grabbed our rental car, and vacation truly began!

photo (1)

It was too early to check in to our resort, so we instead found some lunch (with an ocean view, of course), then checked out the shopping center near our resort. It was built over a lake, and in that lake lived a ton of turtles.

photo

There were dispensers all around in which you could drop 50 cents to get a handful of turtle food. Feeding those turtles was seriously one of the highlights of the trip for me. We may have stopped here almost every day to feed them. They’re just so cute and turtly!

Anyway, I eventually had to stop feeding turtles so we could go buy some groceries and check into our condo. We really like to stay in condos or cabins with kitchens when we travel. That way, we can save money on breakfast and lunch, then have a nicer dinner out… which we did that night, at the House of Blues. There was no live music that night, but it was still fun!

The next morning, we slept in a little to make up for the sleepless plane night; then I got up and went for a run. I was a little sad that we weren’t staying near the beach, but running along the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway each morning was nothing to complain about!
intercoastal waterwayWhen I got back, J and I whipped up some eggs and ate them on our patio, where we discovered that there were more turtles living in the pond outside our condo, along with some rather aggressive ducks. This one bit J’s toe when we wouldn’t share our breakfast.
toe duck
Once we finished breakfast, we were ready to hit the beach! But first we had to hit a local farmer’s market, where we were pretty excited to buy some fresh strawberries and cantaloupe (which we won’t have here for another couple of months). We then smothered ourselves with sunscreen and cruised down to Myrtle Beach State Park, where we spent the next several hours enjoying some long-awaited ocean time.
beach toes at mbspOnce the sun got a little too powerful for my uber-pastiness, we decided to head back up and see the boardwalk. Yeah, bad choice. Turns out, it was “Bike Week,” which meant that thousands of crazy motorcyclists were swarming Myrtle Beach, weaving in and out of cars, creating all sorts of stressful traffic. It took us three hours to get from the south end to the north end of town, and we didn’t even try to go to the boardwalk. It was nuts, and definitely the least-fun part of the whole trip.

By the time we got back to our resort area, we were just happy to get out of the car and move around … and when we saw a wine shop advertising tastings, that sounded like exactly what we needed, so in we went. As we tasted, we talked to the proprietor, who explained that by Monday (Memorial Day) afternoon, all the bikers would be gone, and getting around would be much  easier. She suggested that the next day (Sunday) we head up to North Carolina instead of fighting to get back down to the Myrtle Beach stuff.

After leaving the wine shop, we had a delicious fish dinner at Flying Fish Market (my goal for this trip was to eat fresh seafood every night. I’m proud to say I met that goal), then headed back and crashed hard — the sleeplessness and the long drive caught up with us, at last!
jordan at flying fish restaurant
The next day, we took the wine lady’s advice. We had a great time in North Carolina on Sunday… but I’ll tell you about it tomorrow, as this post is getting pretty long.

Adventures in Evergreen: Part II

Today’s Run: 8.2 miles, hill repeats, much better than yesterday!

Hold on tight, kids, this is gonna be a long one.

I ended yesterday’s post right before telling you about our hotel, so that’s where I’ll start today. We stayed at The Brook Forest Inn, and it was a great choice!

Picture 027

From their website: “The Historic Brook Forest Inn has roots dating back to 1909. Its Victorian architectural style and rustic charm have been preserved and updated to classic detail.” We stayed in the Versailles room, which had a queen-size bed, a daybed, and a bathroom — simple, but that’s all we needed. It was definitely old, but charming-old, not sketchy-old. I thought it was adorable.

A few more shots of the Inn:

Picture 018From the back

Picture 019The backyard was set up for a wedding; it would be a beautiful place for a small, simple wedding.

Picture 016 Picture 015I think this is where its name came from…the brook. And the forest.

Picture 021Big fireplace.

Like most mountain-town hotels, this one is not air-conditioned. It was fine at night with the windows open, but stuffy when we first arrived. So we decided to quickly get ready, head down early for dinner, and have a drink in the pub downstairs.

Picture 006All gussied up

Dinner was ah-maze-ing. The restaurant in the inn is called The Chandeliers. I’m not sure why.

Picture 008Oh, that’s why.

Remember yesterday, when I talked about splurging? This is where we did most of it.

We started with baked brie with honey and cranberry jam, which was delicious, and then ordered our entrees. I had chilean sea bass, which was “encrusted in black sesame with a vanilla butter sauce, over risotto with seasonal vegetables.” The fish and vanilla sauce were good, but what really stole the show was the risotto. Oh. My. Gosh. I wanted to marry it and have its risotto babies. If you go to Evergreen and eat only one thing, make it this risotto.

And what would an anniversary dinner be without dessert? We had a Kahlua bread pudding, which was divinely chocolatey and went perfectly with coffee.

After we finished our dessert, we took our stuffed bellies and our coffee back over to the pub to listen to the live music. It was just a guy with a guitar playing Buffet covers, but he was decent and it was fun.

Saturday, we got up early, loving the cool mountain air and the smell of pine trees coming in our window, and got ready for our hike. The Inn provided breakfast, which was typical hotel breakfast — cereal, toast, some sad-looking fruit — but the scenery was better than typical:

Picture 014Coffee and trees by a brook…perfect!

We had originally planned to hike at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, but as we drove that way, we spotted the trailhead for Maxwell Falls, which I had read was a beautiful, short hike. We had planned to stop for water before hiking, so we only had a not-quite-full bottle, but it was cool out and the hike was short, so we decided to give it a go. Terrific decision!Picture 031The weather was nice and cool, and not very many people were out yet. We did the Lower Falls trail, but we never saw any falls. We did, however, see a lot of wildflowers and beautiful scenery, including this stream:

Picture 033

And this pretty little lady:

Picture 030She stuck around for quite a while, until some other hiker’s dumb dog came running down the trail and scared her away. Leash laws, people. Follow them.

The trail eventually met up with the Upper Falls trail, which probably actually led to waterfalls, but we didn’t follow it all the way there. Our water was running low, and we didn’t want to be the idiots who come unprepared and get themselves in trouble. I was glad that we headed down when we did, anyway: we met a lot of people coming back down, and the parking lot at the trailhead was full,  so we wouldn’t have had much more quiet, uncrowded trail time anyway.

After we left the trail, we stopped at a convenience store to get some water and debated where to go next. We decided to head toward Morrison and stop wherever looked fun. We ended up going to Bear Creek Lake Park, which is not a hiking park — it’s all paved bike trails — but it still made for a nice walk. We were outside and together, which were my two main requirements for the day, so I was happy. And there were some pretty flowers.

Picture 042I know that’s a weed, but it’s a pretty one.

 We ended the morning (which by then was early afternoon) by sticking our hot toes in the lake — a perfect ending to the morning — then cruised into Denver for lunch, then on home.

This was a pretty simple getaway, but it was just what we wanted for our anniversary. I can’t wait to go back to Evergreen and explore some more of the trails up there!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Adventures in Evergreen: Part I

Today’s Run: 12 miles. Bad ones.

This was the roughest run I’ve had in quite some time, most likely because of all the eating I did this weekend. I eat healthily most of the time, but I think it’s perfectly okay to splurge sometimes — especially when you’re celebrating, say, a five-year anniversary. So splurge I did, and this run was my body’s way of telling me that that splurgey-time is over and it’s time to get back on track. Thanks, body. Maybe send a friendly reminder text next time.

Enough about that. Let’s talk about that splurge-tastic weekend instead.

Originally, we had planned to do a two-day, one-night getaway for our anniversary, but then I saw that Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, would be in Boulder on Thursday night to discuss and sign his new book.

(source)

A few teacher-friends and I wanted to go, and J and I figured it was silly to drive home from Boulder at 9 p.m. and leave again for Evergreen early Friday morning, so we got a hotel in Broomfield and made a two-night getaway of it instead.

We stayed Thursday night in an aloft Hotel, which is apparently a new branch of  Starwood Hotels.

aloft

It was kind of a cool place — very trendy and modern. Too trendy to even capitalize its name. It was a nice place, though; I’d stay there again.

Friday started with an early run for me, then J and I cleaned up, grabbed some breakfast, and headed off to Evergreen.

Originally, we thought that maybe we’d do a short hike on Friday, but by the time we got to Evergreen (around 10:30), it was already pretty warm out,  so we decided to wait until Saturday to hike and spend Friday exploring the town. We did a little shopping, grabbed a little lunch, then headed over to Evergreen Lake.

A few weeks ago, I bought a Groupon for paddleboat rentals at Evergreen Lake. We were looking forward to paddleboating…until we realized that you can’t use a Groupon that you forgot to print. Whoops. So we decided just to walk around the lake and watch all the other paddleboaters/kayakers/SUP-ers.

Picture 002(not a bad view from here!)

As we walked, we saw this gate.

Picture 004I think you guys forgot something… like the rest of your fence.

Eventually, we cruised on back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. Which I will tell you all about later, when my computer decides to stop kicking me off the Internet every five minutes. Enjoy your Sunday!

What do you wish your body would tell you via text?