Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Muddy, exhausted and with sore feet I gazed up at Mt. Bierstadt from the passenger seat of our Subaru this last weekend and thought,

Wow.

Our bodies are pretty freaking amazing.

I find myself continually in awe of the places our own two feet can take us. I love having my own car and all but swore off public transportation on my college graduation day. Because I love driving and I love the freedom to get anywhere I want fairly quickly, the concept that our bodies were designed to transport us long distances continually awes me.

Looking up at that huge mountain that I had just hauled my sorry butt up and back down, I found a new appreciation for my own two feet, for my lungs and heart, for my body.

I work out a few times a week and hike on the weekends, but my no means am I in excellent shape. Yet my body, which is very comfortable sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a bowl of mac n’ cheese, was able to carry me 14,000 feet into the sky.

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Adventure is a Choice

While planning a wedding may not scream adventure to most, I’ve decided that the next fifteen months are going to be just that – an adventure.

We got engaged two months ago and having procrastinated for as long as humanly possibly, we’ve been begrudgingly starting to work on plans little by little. This week we found ourselves in the paint aisle at Home Depot, staring at a rainbow of chips and having a small meltdown. He was holding a fistful of navy blues and grays while I was picking out shades of wine and rose.

We ended up discarding everything in our hands and going to look at power tools, him fed-up and myself overwhelmed. It occurred to me while looking at belt sanders that it was sort of funny. I pointed out how the guy behind the paint counter must be witness to countless divorces and we both laughed and headed back to the paint aisle.

We settled on a joint color scheme (red wine, heather grey, cream, coral and sage for you curious few!) and right then and there I decided that this whole process is going to be an adventure. No matter how many things go wrong, how many stressful plans there are to make I am going to choose to laugh instead of let it affect me. Our feelings are choices each and every day and I choose to live in a spirit of adventure.

Its easy to get caught up in the mindset that adventure is relegated to the weekends, to hikes and camp trips and plane rides to exotic destinations. That adventure can’t occur every day. But to me, adventure is a mindset.

Adventure is choosing a new brand of protein bar at the grocery store. Adventure is stopping on the way home to take a picture of the sunset. Adventure is midnight milkshakes.

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Best of Denver: Tacos, Ice Cream and Cocktails

Best of Denver featuring street tacos, ice cream and mojitos.

I think its safe to say that here in Denver, summer is officially upon us. The temperature is soaring, the pool is open, the days are long.

While we may be first and foremost outdoor adventurers, we are also crazy foodies and have made it our mission to scout out the best dishes in Denver. Throughout the summer I’ll be sharing our best of list, for you to check out or challenge.

We figured we’d start with a few summer staples.

Best Street Taco
Carnitas – Tacos Tequila Whiskey

I’m a big street taco person, like, verging on an obsession lately. I’ve tried street tacos all over the Metro area and can say on good authority, that Tacos Tequila Whiskey is the place to go to get your taco fix. After sampling almost their entire menu over three visits in as many weeks (I mean, summer nights just scream tacos and a tequila soda…) we’ve settled on the carnitas as the favorite; there’s just something about those addictive pickled onions that pairs so perfectly with the crispy pork. Close runners up are the Asada, Barbacoa and Pescado. The queso cannot be missed, as well.

Best Ice Cream Flavor
Salted Oreo – Little Man Ice Cream

You will get endless pointed remarks in your direction while waiting the hour in line at Little Man Ice Cream, but those folks commenting, “I would never wait that long for ice cream” have never tried their Salted Oreo. Deliciously salty and creamy, peppered with Oreo bits, this flavor will make you crave that line. Even better in a waffle cone, when a jazz band is set up outside. Bring some friends and you won’t even notice the wait. (Don’t lame out and go to Milk Man, they don’t have Salted Oreo, despite serving Little Man Ice Cream)

Best Summer Cocktail and Place to Drink It
Coconut Mojito – Mynt

While best summer cocktail is one of those categories that I’m not sure anyone could possibly have authority on, Mynt’s Coconut Mojito is my personal favorite and mixed with its killer rooftop patio, I think I might be able to convince you. Share a pitcher with friends and pour liquid summer into glasses adorned with sugar cane. Enjoy the views on their rooftop patio and it’ll be the only memorable stop on your LoDo bar hop.
Happy Summer!

Why You Should Brunch Alone: Visiting Sqirl LA

I can’t decide if I’m more passionate about good food or adventure, but when they’re combined, its a match made in heaven.

I’m not normally a brunch person (ain’t got not time for that!) but travelling seems like the perfect excuse to forget breakfast in search of decent coffee and then decide to be starving between breakfast and lunch; hence brunch!

Last month I visited my friend in SoCal and had a morning to myself in LA while he was at a meeting. I have a confession to make; cities scare the crap out of me. There’s too many sounds and sights and smells and potentially sketchy people and one-way streets and bicycles; cities cause me a ton of anxiety and generally the only way I enjoy visiting them is when I can cling to Topher or hover close enough to a friend that I’m clinging-to-them-without-actually-touching-them.

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How to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown

A step-by-step guide to avoid cabin fever

If you’re a wanderluster at heart like me, you start getting cabin fever within two weeks of getting home from your last trip.

Unless you’re lucky enough to be a permanent adventurer, your heart will never be truly satisfied with the ho-hum of every day life. I can’t take off and travel whenever I get a wild hair and although we do a good job of planning day trips and road trips, sometimes I need a closer-to-home solution.

I give you; how to be a tourist in your hometown, a step-by-step guide to fighting cabin fever.

Step 1: Find adventure buddies. Like your family. They may not be up for driving all night to Moab, but they will certainly be up for a two hour adventure across town.

Step 2: Calendar it so nobody has any excuses. Text your dad the day before because he never accepts calendar appointments.

Step 3: Choose a part of your city or town that you’re not familiar with and do some research (if you live in a small town, find another nearby town)

Step 4: Pick a food venue and an activity that will simultaneously satisfy your wild sister and not send your parents rolling their eyes (your parents are probably up for being more adventurous than you think; mine were surprisingly up for black light yoga and wandering alleys to look at graffiti)

Make sure you pick a really good restaurant or coffee shop so that if your activity totally flops, at least the food will be good.

Step 6: Dress up, take lots of pictures. Let your fiance insult you for being the cause of gentrification when you insult alley stank.

Step 7: Leave as soon as everybody feels over-enlightened and starts to get grumpy. The great thing about stay-cations is that you can go back to your own house and avoid drama that always comes with being too close to your relations for too long!

My current favorite place to be a tourist in Denver is the River North District, aka, RiNO. Last year’s Colorado Crush festival released tons of street artists on the former warehouse district to turn every wall and alley into a masterpiece. Check out RiNO Yoga Social for the coolest black light yoga and Stowaway Coffee and Kitchen for breakfast/brunch that will make you go all heart-eyes emoji.

Questival by Cotopaxi

You may have seen my blog post from last weekend about the Questival we were participating in hosted by Cotopaxi. Now that I’ve sort of caught up on sleep, I wanted to share our experience with you and encourage you to sign up for a future Questival in a town near you!

Cotopaxi is a really amazing outdoor brand that I actually discovered on Instagram. They have a really cool philosophy, make unique and functional outdoor products and are very engaged with their customers. I am a total convert!

They host adventure weekends all over the country that are part scavenger hunt, part adventure race and 100% crazy fun. Last weekend, Topher, his sister, her boyfriend, Kenzie dog and I participated in Denver’s Questival.

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The Curse of Being a Millennial

Insights from DesertX on why Millennials need to break their stereotypes (expect millennial pink, that one can stay!)

I love being a millennial.

Ask anybody and they’ll roll their eyes and agree.

#vanlife?

Millenial Pink?

Hipster coffee shops?

Twenty somethings making a living BLOGGING AND POSTING PICTURES ON SOCIAL MEDIA!?

When the whole millennial term really started popping up a few years ago, I finally found a stereotype of people I can identify with and, it feels pretty cool.

Like any young generation, millennials are re-defining the world. Our generation is eating healthier and consuming less and traveling more. We’re informed, we’re passionate and I really, truly believe that we have a shot at changing the world.

But, to every coin there are two sides.

Stereotypes don’t pop up from unicorn emojis and kombucha startups.

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