Monday, January 30, 2012

Snowmobiling in Grand Lake

This weekend I had a three day weekend off of work! Yee! Collin worked until 4:00 on Friday so in the meantime, I picked up my car from the auto-body shop (for the second time), packed, and worked on some art and home decor projects that I've been wanting to start. We were ready to go by 4:30 and headed north to meet up with our friends, Jake and Mari! We went to Grand Lake which is near Winter Park ski resort, northwest of Denver.

Did I mention that Collin got himself a snowmobile for his birthday?!?!?!? No. I purposely left that out because...well...I thought it was stupid. But now I'm eating my words because it is SO much fun!!! :)

I'm demanding new paint because...come on. Even though it's a 2009 it looks, to me, more like a 1991 paint job and Collin agrees.

We met up with Jake and Mari (who brought and are keeping our snow machine on their trailer/in their garage because for some reason we just couldn't get it up to our 3rd story apartment, weird) and checked into the cabin/hotel.

The next morning we bundled up and headed out on the trails. Collin was like a little kid on Christmas morning. He couldn't wait for Jake to wake up and give him the keys so he could play with his new toy. I must admit, I didn't think that I'd like snowmobiling all that much but I actually really like it. It's such a thrill!!

Colorado has had a pretty bad avalanche report due to the new soft snow on top of the old icy layers. Three guys were actually killed a couple weekends ago, one right in the area where we were snowmobiling. Before we headed out, we talked to a guy who really knew the area and he directed us around the known areas of potential avalanche activity. We also had some emergency gear: beacons, AvaLungs, shovels, water, etc. so I felt pretty safe going into the mountains.

The four of us snowmobiled for a while on the first day. On our way home for lunch, we stopped at a horse farm and Mari and I took some pictures and petted them before the guys pulled us away. 

The guys brought us back, we had lunch, and then they headed out for a little on their own. I took advantage of some nap time while Mari worked on grad school essays (nap wins!) For lunch, Collin and I went into town (on our snowmobile) and grabbed some really yummy pizza! It was so neat to ride the snowmobile wherever you wanted in town and park it next to the cars. Snowmobiles were everywhere! 

Later that night, we all went to a BBQ restaurant and then decided on some last minute bowling!

We were the last to leave and I, of course, beat Collin but Jake beat us all.
The next morning, Mari stayed in to work on some more school stuff and the boys and I went out on the snowmobiles. We had a blast and ended up going over 30 miles! At some of the powder fields, I hopped off of the snowmobile and filmed the guys ripping around and getting stuck in the snow, they kept me laughing for sure.

We were exhausted after we got back but we packed up, had a late lunch/early dinner, and got on the road to go home. When we got back, we unpacked the truck, watched some TV, and went to bed. A long, fun weekend that we didn't want to end!

Now back to least for a few days!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Hotel is one of the famous landmarks in Colorado Springs. A super luxurious 5-star hotel, the Broadmoor is a place that we've been talking about visiting since we got here.

They have nine different restaurants and last Friday night we made reservations to have dinner at Summit, their newest joint. They advertise as a swanky wine bar so we thought we would check it out.

When we first got there, the building that housed Summit (across the street from the actual hotel) was ghostly, to say the least. A pet peeve of mine (it's not really a pet peeve but I don't know what else to call it) is eating/drinking at an empty restaurant or bar, so I wasn't too excited to begin with. We arrived a little early so we sat at the (empty) bar and had a drink. I had a lavender infused gin martini (delish) and Collin tried one of their yummy beers. Very good!
The glass enclosed cylinder in the middle is their wine cellar and it rotates, pretty neat.

Summit was named 'One of America's 10 Best Hotel Restaurants' by Frommr's, so it had to be good, right? If we could have predicted how our dinner was going to taste, we would have stopped at the bar. The drinks were the best part.

We want so badly to have some good oysters at a restaurant out here but once again (actually, for the third time at least) we were disappointed. Gross. Word of advice to whoever will take it: do NOT microwave oysters to get them to open, even for a couple seconds, EW!

For our entrees, Collin had beef tenderloin with carrots and fingerling potatoes and I had the halibut with a port reduction and leeks. It would have been an acceptable meal if it were served at some generic chain restaurant for half of the price. The portions were mini, even for my liking, and my halibut was dry and flavorless. Collin's "tenderloin" was smaller than a deck of cards and really not too tastey. When you go to a nice place with relatively pricey meals you expect to at least say "mmmm, this is good" if not be wowed by the food and service. At Summit, we didn't enjoy either. Definitely not going back.

Collin was a tired toddler after dinner so we headed back and immediately crashed.

We have some fun plans for this weekend. Here's hoping that they don't fall through!! I need some fun!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just In Passing

With my new job came a new schedule. Long story short, I must have misinterpreted the schedule that they told me initially because it is far from my reality. Not regular what so ever. Kind of: three days on, one day off, two days on, one day off, and then a random two or three days off every once in a while...blah. Well, I guess I should have known what I was getting into as a nurse. My only real complaint thus far is my time (or lack there of) with Collin...and my foot pain! I feel like I'm 90 years old after only a few weeks of 8-hour days on my feet. Hope they toughen up soon!! you'll notice, with both of us working full time, I have been slacking on posts, videos, and picture taking. No more vacay...I'm a working girl now. We have been able to get out a few times and even went to the Broadmoor (fancy hotel in CO Springs) for dinner...although the restaurant that we chose was rather disappointing!

A typical day when we're both working is basically like this: Collin leaves for work relatively early (7 or 8) while I sleep in until 9 or 10. Then I wake up and muddle around or run some errands and if we're lucky, Collin comes home and we eat lunch together just before I have to leave for work at 1. Collin comes home from work between 4 and 7 depending on the day and by the time I get home around 10:30/11 (on a good day) he's out cold. Lovely.

Neither of us like this one hour per day together and Collin thinks I should just go back to being a stay-at-home kitty mom, haha! Sorry, bud.

Hope my picture-less post wasn't too boring!! Have a great week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthday Week

Collin and I wrapped up our birthday week today! Since our birthdays fall so closely together, we usually celebrate them together by doing one big thing, whatever that may be. This year was unfortunately a little different because of my new work schedule. We booked a house (the same house that we went to last month) in Wolfcreek just after New Years and planned to go down this past weekend with a few of our friends plus Collin's good friend from home. Well, just my luck, the day before we were supposed to leave, I received a call to see if I could start the following day. Because it's been hell trying to find ANY job, I wasn't going to push it and agreed to start whenever they wanted me to.
So, I missed the whole trip and was pretty bummed about it, especially because I didn't get to celebrate Collin's birthday with him.

Today, I had a nice relaxing day off to lounge around, cook (orzo stuffed peppers for lunch and spinach/scallion/mushroom/feta quiche for tomorrow!), and Collin gave me THE best card ever...I literally teared up. What a guy!

Of course all of my candles still fit on a cupcake...

Tomorrow, it's back to work (which I'm liking so far!) but until then I'll be enjoying the rest of my day with Collin.
We're going to get sushi tonight! Plus, some sake or champagne...or both...what the heck, I don't work until two tomorrow!!

I also have to show off my amazing shoes. I'm wearing them tonight regardless of the temperature (it, of course, ended up snowing a bit while we were in the restaurant, oh well!)

I'm in love!

In a couple weeks I have off for a three-day weekend so we're trying to plan a mini-trip to make up for my absence this past weekend. 

Time for bed! Thank you SO much to everyone who wished me a happy really means a lot and reminds me that I am loved and blessed with such great family and friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mini Problem Solved...I Think

A few people have mentioned to me that they've tried commenting on my blog but it either didn't work or it took them to a second party page to fill something out. Well, I THINK that I've fixed the problem. Sorry about that! Hopefully it is very easy and simple to comment now!
[Just type in your comment, choose "name and URL" from the drop down menu (if you're not signed in on Google), type in your name and leave URL blank, then re-type in the security letters/numbers they show, and click publish]

Quick note: I was at work until about 11:30 last night. Holy tired!! I slept like a baby! Day 2 today. Also our mattress was delivered this morning...and it's hard as a rock! Apparently, memory foam can freeze so they told me to give it at least 8 hours or so until it's back to normal. Of course I didn't listen, and I laid on it as soon as they left...and it was like rolling around on concrete. OK, I guess I'll wait now. It's going to be soo nice to come home to tonight!

Hope you're all having a great week!! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Job + History Lesson + #*^@%!!

Last Tuesday morning I took a deep breath, got over my frustrations, and started looking for and applying to jobs again after my holiday hiatus. After 40+ applications and either rejections or silent treatments over the past 3-4 months, I was defeated to say the least. What is a duel-bachelors girl to do after getting proverbially 'slapped in the face' over and over?! Well, I had no other choice but to keep looking. So I did.

I had the whole boring story typed out but realized that that's not really important.

So, long story short....I'm an employed women!!

The facility that hired me is very similar to the post-acute/rehab that my grandpa was admitted to shortly after his stroke. They're also in the process of building a huge, brand new facility that looks beautiful.

The history of the place, though, is quite interesting.  It was opened in 1911 as a tuberculosis sanatorium with much financial help from the youngest daughter of the founder of the town of Colorado Springs, Marjorie Palmer Watt (ironically, at the age of 44 she died from tuberculosis).
At the turn of the twentieth century, tuberculosis, aka consumption and "the white plague," was a leading cause of death in America. Before the age of antibiotics, the only way to control its spread was to isolate infected patients in hospitals specifically dedicated to fighting TB. One major form of treatment was "phototherapy"--exposing patients to direct sunlight and plenty of fresh air for extended periods of time.
Hence, the facility had a "sun" related name which actually stuck (for the most part) and is incorporated into the current name.

TB hospital with patients getting lots of sunlight

After a cure for TB was found, the facility transitioned into a post-acute, long-term care, and rehab and has obviously been growing ever since. I can't wait to work in a huge, brand new facility in a few months too!

Well, I was scheduled to start my new job on Wednesday (tomorrow) and after a huge headache I actually will start my job Wednesday (tomorrow) a rental car.
Yup. Good old fender bender on the way to buy sheets for our new bed. Which I didn't even make it to by the way. And, let me add that 'fender bender' may be an understatement. 
I was driving on a pretty busy highway when a couple of full garbage bags flew out of a car a few cars in front of me. Of course everyone slammed on their breaks and I did the same while trying to swerve out of the way but I didn't have enough time and swiped the girl's bumper in front of me. We finally got over and from the looks of her car I wasn't too worried about mine. Wrong! 
My headlight is bashed in, fender is barely hanging on, wheel well is about a half inch from the tire, and (the best part) I can't get in or out of my driver side door. But we're both OK, one bonus.

Friggin' lovely! After the cops came and I was able to drive the few miles home, I shed a few self-pity tears to Collin (I was already sad that I can't make the ski trip this weekend for his birthday!) 

I filed the insurance claim and got a rental car for the next week or so and I'll figure out the repair part later. Holy moly! What a headache. 

Wish me luck!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Party + Game

On Saturday night, we went downtown for Collin's office holiday party. Better late then never, I guess. It was so so, nothing to write home I won't. After dinner some of us went over to another restaurant/bar called the Thirsty Parrot. That was much more fun!

At dinner

Our hygienist friend Angela and her friend Cody, we were instant pals


That night when we got home, Collin found some cheap tickets for the Steelers/Broncos game the next day and we decided on a whim that we should go.

The next morning as we were getting ready, I checked Facebook and saw that my friend from high school (who lives out here, but even after multiple attempts we have yet to get together) was also going to the game. I gave her a call and we planned to meet up for some tailgating before the game. Well, I'm glad we did because we had such a fun time! Their tailgate was huge...and all Steeler fans! Apparently, a big group of people get together at the Dublin House (a sports bar & grill in the Springs) for Steelers games...invite only...and we're getting the invite! They took a charter bus up to Denver and had loads of food, booze, and yinzer talk to go around. I felt like I was back at W&J! It was so nice to see a familiar face!

They left hundreds of balloons loose before the game

Awesome jet fly-by during the national anthem 
Rascal Flats sang the National Anthem! (those 3 little guys in the middle)

The game was pretty fun except for the end...

Unfortunately, the Steelers lost...and it wasn't very pleasant walking out of that stadium with all of the cheering Broncos fans.
We were exhausted and went right to bed when we got home.

All in all, a good weekend! Hope yours was as well!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Night Night Sleep Tight

Collin has been talking about getting a new mattress for some time now. We have an embarrassing mattress currently. So sad. I don't even want to talk about it. But for two students (when we got it) it wasn't THAT bad...I guess. So, on Wednesday evening, Collin came home and said "we're gong to Denver Mattress, I can't take that damn bed anymore." Well oooook then, we're going to Denver Mattress.

Of course the sales guy sprinted up to us the second we walked in the door but we did need some help so we asked him how we should go about this overwhelming mattress search. We awkwardly laid on various mattress brands while the sales man preformed bogus arm strength tests on us (and almost popped my left shoulder out of socket) and finally narrowed it down to the Serta iComfort and the Tempur Pedic. Eventually, when I couldn't get off of the iComfort, we decided to go with it.

iComfort. Yes please.

Check out those layers! Apparently, the gel is the difference between this and the Tempur Pedic.

I hope you like those pictures, I took them......from
We have about a week to wait until it is delivered to our apartment. Collin is sad.

Collin also just finished quizzing me on the meanings of idioms. For those of my friends and family who understand his 'shortcoming' in understanding idioms (while acting like he is doing it to make us laugh for his own entertainment....makes no sense) you will find this somewhat humorous.  I, on the other hand, was laughing extremely hard when he started speaking only in idioms (which almost made me think that he DOES understand them and does it for his own entertainment...makes no sense either). He was apparently looking at a website that described every idiom I've ever (or never) heard of and then asking me if I knew what it meant. This probably went on for a good 15 minutes. I knew all but about two. After he started speaking in idioms, he started making up his own....and then I knew that he really didn't get it (made lots of sense). 

Nighty night!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Garden of the Gods

Yesterday on Collin's last day off, we planned to go hiking/walking through the Garden of the Gods. About a 15-20 minute drive from our place, Garden of the Gods is a public park of trails through amazing rock formations.

We learned that it is also the home of the one and only Theiophytalia dinosaur...greek for 'garden of gods'...duh. Here is the story about this little dino.

Well, after a couple mimosas, Collin was no longer in the mood to go. But I begged and pleaded and we finally went. It was beautiful. A little too crowded for our liking but still worth the scenery and views.

Enjoy the rocks!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crested Butte New Year

On Wednesday night, after Collin finished working, we headed west to Crested Butte!

The same gang of Collin's family from Christmas had already been there since Tuesday morning so we were anxious to join them.

How adorable is that town!?

It is about a three hour drive from the Springs so we got into town at about 8pm and were pretty tired. Allison cooked everyone a delicious chicken and pasta dinner and after a glass of wine we were all down for the count.

The next morning Collin, his dad, and I went skiing/boarding while some of the others either took lessons or went on a hike. There was a serious lack of snow but since it's early in the ski season we couldn't be TOO disappointed.

We did have to get a little creative, though because after the first day of skiing, Collin and I had had enough of the half-brown slopes. The next day, Allison and I decided to try out cross country skiing. She thought that I would pick it up more quickly than she would seeing that I ski and she boards. Not so easy we both realized. Much, much different then regular old down hill skiing.

We had some pain-inducing laughs as we tried not to look too much like newbies. That didn't work... considering I ended up with my jacket tied around my waist (like a real dork) and Allison managed to incorporate a turtle spin on her back into a fall at the bottom of a small hill...which was a close call for me nearly peeing myself. We made it about 5-6 miles in two hours and felt great! It was an AMAZING workout, something I'd definitely like to try again. We also got to see some amazing views that you can't see unless you ski or snowshoe back into the woods.

No, I'm not wearing a dress...just my jacket tied around my waist pulling my pants down

Perfect view

Collin and Acey went fishing and each caught a whooping ONE fish each that day!

Collin's brown trout from the Taylor River

After everyone was home and ready to go, we went into town and had a cocktail at Montanya (a rum distillery) before going across the street to West End where we got lucky without a reservation and ended up sitting in the wine cellar room! Everything was delicious too!

Montanya's Rum Distillery

On Saturday, morning Collin and I went out early to get some coffee and tea at Camp 4 Coffee, a building completely covered in old license plates.

Later, we decided to take a drive to some of the neighboring mining towns and look around. Well, go figure...there was no snow on the mountain but too much snow on the pass roads to even get through. So that plan was shot down pretty quickly. We decided instead to walk into downtown Crested Butte (which was only about a 5 minute walk from our house) and get some lunch at our favorite mexican place in CB, Teocalli Tamale. So yummy!

After lunch, Alli and Ruth had reservations for a massage/facial at the local spa. Collin and I walked around town, went to a few stores, and stopped in at the local bookstore. Collin got a new book and I was in the middle of a really good one so we went home, read, and eventually napped before new years eve dinner.

Even though I knew that pretty much everyone else in the town would be wearing their usual knit hat, corduroys, and boots, I still wanted to dress up a bit so I wore a lacy/sparkly/beaded shirt! I was happy to see that some CB folks actually did snazz it up a little so I didn't feel too out of place. We'd made reservations a month in advance for a restaurant called Maxwells.

The food was fantastic! I had crab cakes and scallops and everyone else had filet. We started getting a little goofy after dinner and decided to call it a night after we started sucking helium balloons.

Who knows!?

Teaching him my ways with the balloon

We managed one normal picture...

Only the "significant others" actually made it to midnight of 2012. Collin and Alli lasted until about 10:30p but their dad didn't even get that far.

Definitely a great trip! We cleaned up and headed out before 10am on new years day. It was a beautiful drive home through the mountains.

As my mother instructed, we made pork and sauerkraut for dinner when we got home and we're hoping it brings us lots and lots of luck...especially in the job department!

Collin also received his new loupes in the mail today...woo hoo!

Hellooooo stud muffin, haha!

Once again, I missed my family! Today is my brother's birthday too!! A new years baby! Miss him, wish we could celebrate together!!!
Happy Birthday G!!!

I hope everyones new year brings joy and prosperity (and a trip to CO please!!)

Happy 2012!!