DISCLAIMER: This is strictly a life-update post. If that doesn’t interest you, there are pictures of kitchens in my last post, or try www.stumbleupon.com. I can’t please everyone, so let’s all try to work together here, okay?)
This weekend I happily celebrated my twenty-third birthday. (If you know me, you may know that I have a bit of a complex about birthdays – probably due to a lifetime of friends away at camp, on a family trip, or just generally not around to celebrate on my “special day.” No cupcakes in school for me!)
For my twenty-third, I decided that all I really wanted was a day of fun activities in Denver with my man, and luckily he was more than happy to oblige. We started the day by trolling Denver garage sales in my infamous blue minivan (which, by the way, was totally necessary for packing up the sweet dining room table set we ended up scoring…yesssss). Apparently every family in that neighborhood had four-to-five-year-old children – we saw cribs abandoned on approximately 1,000 front yards, along with what seemed like an army of anklebiters selling lemonade. (We passed.)
We then moved on to delicious breakfast burritos at Racine’s restaurant in downtown Denver, melted in 100+ degree heat at the Denver Zoo (where the grizzly bears seemed to be the only animals impervious to the blistering sun, and I picked up a very attractive sunburn), and then joined one of our best friends from college for Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks, a massive electronica festival that happens every year. That was pretty indescribable – I’ve never really encountered “rave kids” before, but it was certainly a new experience. Red Rocks itself is probably the single most amazing venue I’ve ever seen.
All in all, it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. It was just a day of pure fun, great food, great people, and general happiness, and I collapsed at the end totally exhausted and so happy – THAT is what a birthday should be like. I’m pretty positive.
Sunday brought yet another awesome new experience – my man and I took a very windy (that’s “wind” as in “winding,” not as in “what blows through your hair”) two-hour drive into the mountains to watch his brother (JHK) and sister-in-law (Heather) compete in the national mountain biking championships in Sol Vista, CO. To get there, we had to drive up Berthoud Pass, which tops out at an astonishing (and intense-ear-pressure-inducing) 11,000 feet. The view was pretty spectacular:
but the harrowing hairpin-curves made me pretty nervous the first time through the pass (it was marginally better on the return trip).
JHK and Heather both performed beautifully – JHK took second and Heather third. We had a great time ringing the family cowbell (apparently this is a bike race “thing”?) and cheering them on!
Spending time up in the mountains of Colorado gave me all kinds of creative ideas for how to spend time out here. I’m newly motivated to go check out the hot springs (uh, when it’s not 100 degrees, that is), try out the amazing alpine slide at Winter Park, and explore the awesome, tiny mountain towns that dot the slopes and valleys of the Rockies.
And that’s all I’ve got for now. My first week out here has left me completely exhausted, and now I have the unfortunate task at hand of devoting all my energy to finding a job! Wish me luck!