Hanging Out In Denver

If a trip to Colorado is in the near future for you, I just want to note that aside from all of the wonderful mountain towns, there are still a lot of things to see that do not involve the mountains. Don’t overlook Denver and its surrounding cities; you will miss out on some great things if you do.

The last time I visited Colorado, I spent some time with family checking out places such as the Molly Brown House, and the Coors Brewery, which is actually in Golden, Colorado. Both experiences were fun and I very much enjoyed them. If you are looking for some outdoor activities, there are some pretty great parks around Denver. If you are looking for other great things to see in Denver, check out downtown.

The Coors tour was quite a bit of fun, but does require some waiting. We stood in line for about 45 minutes waiting for the bus to take us to the brewery. Luckily the day wasn’t too sweltering and the wait time seemed to go fast.

The tour of the brewery is self-guided and has a stop to taste some Coors along the way. You will see everything from start to finish in the process of making beer, including the history of Coors. At the end of the tour you will have time to try three different beers. Overall the tour was worth it and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

If you enjoy learning about the history of mining, the Titanic, and other fun facts, the Molly Brown House may be a fun stop for you. Molly Brown was a prominent socialite who played a huge part in the rescue of several people from the sinking Titanic. Her husband made his money off of the silver rush and Molly used that money to help fund several other causes. Once a young girl from a poor family, Molly brown (whose name was actually Maggie) worked very hard to improve her life so that she could bestow comfortable and secure living upon her aging parents.

These are just a few of the things to do in the Denver area, for more information, please visit the following sites:

http://www.lodo.org/?gclid=CPuQsfSas9MCFVm4wAod2EcOVQ

http://www.mollybrown.org/

https://www.millercoors.com/av?url=https://www.millercoors.com/breweries/coors-brewing-company/tours

https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/day-trips-around-colorado/colorado-state-parks/

Hiking To Judd Falls

If you happen to be visiting Crested Butte during the summer, you definitely want to spend time outdoors. There are so many outdoor activities to keep you busy. You could bike, hike, or go off-roading. There are quite a few different types of trails to choose from. If you like waterfalls as much as me, you will want to check out Judd Falls.

Judd Falls can be a longer hike, or a shorter one, dependent on where you start from. When we did this hike we drove our jeep up to the parking lot closest to the falls. It was very muddy out and we were being threatened with the possibility of more rain, so we kept our hike short. You will be hiking over some rough terrain, but it is a pretty hike. If you start from the upper parking lot, the trek is a mile. The lower parking lot is an additional mile.

Once you get to the falls you must pay attention to the signs. Do not climb down to get closer, it is not safe. This is not the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen, but it is a neat view and you will be able to check out the memorial that is located at the viewing site as well. This is a very popular trail, but since it was about to rain, we saw less people than may have been normal. I felt that this hike was worth it even though you were a little way out from the actual waterfall once you reached the end of the trail.

For further information on hiking Jud Falls: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hikes-judd-falls/

A Beautiful View Of Crested Butte

During our last trek through Colorado, Neal and I made our way over to the mountain town of Crested Butte. It was early July and prime wildflower season. If you are going to go to Colorado and you want to see the wildflowers, Crested Butte is the place to be. It’s completely worth it to take in all of the beauty and fragrance of wildflower season, as well as the festival that the town puts on for this short season. This year’s festival will take place July 7-16.

Crested Butte is a beautiful mountain town. There are flowers everywhere you look during early July. We loved just driving around town and looking at the beautiful foliage. While driving around the outer roads of Crested Butte, we happened upon a neat little town called Gothic; a biological laboratory.

Our last day in Crested Butte we took a ride on the Silver Queen Express. If you are in this area in the summer, do buy a lift ticket, and do go to the top of the mountain. You will not be sorry for this decision, the views are extraordinary. You can see the whole town and the foliage is gorgeous in the summer. This was one of my favorite views of our whole trip. The ride is decently long as you sit in your lift chair and climb the mountain. I loved all aspects of this experience, even though I am terrified of heights.

Once you arrive at the top of the mountain there are plenty of chances to just wander and take pictures. Neal and I wandered out to the viewing point, which was breath-taking. Also at the top you may choose to go for a hike. We saw a lot of people who had simply ridden to the top so they could hike the mountain rather than photograph the views.

For more information on booking tickets, or Crested Butte, please visit: http://www.skicb.com/tickets-passes/lift-tickets

https://www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com/

http://www.rmbl.org/

Eating In Uptown At Stella’s Fish Cafe

If you are looking for a fine dining experience in the Twin Cities, you should check out Stella’s Fish Café. Stella’s is definitely on the pricier end, but the food has been nothing but exceptional from the start. My husband, Neal, and I, have eaten at Stella’s on three different occasions and we have walked away thoroughly satisfied, each and every time.

You can choose to eat at Stella’s for dinner or lunch. We ate there at dinner twice and lunch once. The service during lunch started out good, but then for whatever reason, ended poorly. We couldn’t seem to get refills on beverages, and it took a while to get the check. The other two times we visited, things ran quite smoothly with service.

We have not tried their oyster bar, but the Lobster Bake we have ordered more than once, has always been plenty of food for two. This particular meal left us wanting for nothing. It comes with a bottle of wine and a dessert. We had to take ours to go this last visit; we were just too full from the rest of the meal.

During our visit we had the Berry & Bri Salad, which was very tasty. We also had the Lobster Bisque and then of course the main dish of the Lobster Bake. Included in the bake is a tomato based stew with potatoes, shrimp, oysters, sausage, two full lobsters, and corn. It is served with a large chunk of bread on the side. After the main course we were given the choice of a couple of different desserts. We have tried the Flour-less Chocolate Cake, the Vanilla Crème Brulee, and the Warm Brownie Batter. We loved them all, but the two chocolate items would be number one on our reorder list.

Stella’s makes for a great romantic dinner. They run specials during Valentine’s, and sometimes you can find a Groupon to try them out. The meals are a bit pricey. I honestly wouldn’t feel the need to go here unless they were running a special or I had a Groupon. I like great food, and I like fancy meals, but I feel that you can find similar items, of the same quality, for less money at other places if you look around. Stella’s gets a 6 on my scale because of the price only. If money is no object to you, I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a wonderful food experience, any time.

For more information on Stella’s Fish Café, please visit: http://www.stellasfishcafe.com/stellasfishcafe/

Visiting Mt. Charleston

A visit to Las Vegas, Nevada does not have to be all about the casinos and the crazy night life. You can also plan other daytime activities such as hiking and exploring the mountains around Las Vegas. Mt. Charleston is a wonderful place to day-trip to, or even stay for a while. The views on this mountain are very different from Red Rock Canyon and are very much worth checking out.

My husband, Neal, and I, have visited this particular area many times. We love to hike and wander the trails of the mountain as well as stay at the Resort on Mount Charleston. This resort is quite rustic and pretty comfortable, though a little bit dated. Dependent on the time of year it may also be very quiet. I love how this resort has such wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. The altitude here is much higher than Las Vegas, so the air is quite a bit cooler and can make for a nice getaway in the heat of the summer.

If you like waterfalls, there is a waterfall hike at Mt. Charleston called Mary Jane Falls. Certain times of year are much better for the waterfall; you would want to go earlier in the year, maybe April, rather than midway through summer. Even if you aren’t there during peak waterfall time, the hikes are beautiful and relaxing. On one such hike I got separated from my group and happened across a photo opportunity that I still love looking at, to this day. The picture is of a single tree, illuminated by the sun, on a cliff looking out at storm clouds over the desert. The photograph was a great take away from that particular trip. You will see many great photo opportunities while hiking Mt. Charleston.

The Resort on Mount Charleston is a great place to relax after hiking. They have a great restaurant on location, as well as a bar that serves food. You can have your wedding ceremony and reception at the resort if you so choose. I also considered Mt. Charleston as a wedding location; it would have provided beautiful scenery for saying our vows. If you want a little romance, a pet friendly room, a ski package, or a hiking package, check out their special offers. Every now and then I will see a Groupon deal for the Resort on Mount Charleston; this is a great way to try the place out and see how you like it before committing to a longer stay.

If the Resort on Mount Charleston isn’t for you, there is also a lodge on the same street. I have not stayed at the lodge, but perhaps one day soon I will check it out. I have provided their website below.

For more information on the Mt. Charleston area, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Charleston

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/mary-jane-falls-trail

http://www.mtcharlestonresort.com/mount-charleston-nevada/mt-charleston-lodge-packages/mount-charleston-hotel-vacation-packages.php

http://mtcharlestonlodge.com/

 

A Fun Evening At Infinity

This year for my mom’s birthday we took a trip over to Infinity Beverages Winery and Distillery. This is one of the gems of Eau Claire if you are looking for something fun to do on a weekend. Infinity offers a very relaxing atmosphere where you can sit back and try out some wonderful wines as well as spirits.

During our visit to the winery we spent about three hours there and in that time we taste tested 8 different wines, and 8 spirits. This is one of the most in-depth tastings I have ever been a part of at any winery. I very much enjoyed getting to try out their experimental wines and spirits, because they are a little bit different than what you are offered at most other wineries. I have done this tasting on a couple of occasions and some of the items do change depending on the time of year, which makes it nice for repeat tastings.

I tend to have more of a love for the dryer wine. The sweeter the wine, the less I want to drink it, but if you love sweet wines, Infinity has some wonderful wines for you. Delight, Desire, and Panache are their sweeter wines. I have drunk a glass of them every now and then and they are great to me in moderation. My parents, however, love those three wines and buy them on a regular basis. Also on the sweeter side are the Adalina’s Pride (made with Zinfandel and Brandy) and Adalina’s Joy (made with Moscato and Brandy). These particular wines I could definitely handle a glass of, they warm you up and the Brandy cuts the sweetness a bit. I think they both have a very nice flavor.

If you like dryer wines like I do, Solace (Syrah and Pinot Noir) and Vivid (Chardonnay and Frontenac Gris) are wonderful wines. Solace is my favorite wine at Infinity, followed by Adalina’s Pride and then Adalina’s Joy. The Marionberry, which is one of their experimental wines, was also a wonderful treat to try. This particular wine reminded me of blackberry jam with a bite of Brandy mixed in. It was tasty and light and I feel that it would be nice to enjoy a glass of this particular wine on a warm summer evening.

In regard to the spirit tastings, I am definitely a much better judge of wine. I will, however, say that I enjoyed the Chili Vodka, the Doppelbock Beerskey, and the Doppelbock Whiskey. The other spirits I struggled to separate out in my mind as far as what I tasted. I would still recommend, if you like spirits, to try them out.

This winery offers more than just great beverages; they have friendly and attentive staff as well as an atmosphere that is very conducive to chatting it up with your friends after the crazy work week. You can sit at the bar, pull up a chair at a table, relax on the patio, or you can hang out on the couch in front of the fireplace. On most Friday nights you can see live music; while we were visiting the winery there was an album release party going on upstairs.

Infinity gets a 10 in my book. I will continue to come back frequently with my family and friends. I look forward to trying each of their new experimental wines and spirits. I always have a great time when I visit this winery.

For more information on Infinity Beverages Winery and Distillery, please visit: http://www.infinitybeverages.com/

 

 

 

An Unexpected Visit To The Isle Of Capri

Last July, while traveling throughout Colorado, my husband and I took a short side trip to the gambling town of Black Hawk. Originally we were not supposed to stay in Black Hawk, we had reservations in another town, two hours away, but those reservations turned out to be fairly inadequate in regard to the hotel’s description. We quickly got on the phone and were able to book a room at the Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel.

The room we stayed in was fairly spacious. It had a generic white comforter with some yellow and red accent pillows and runner (or whatever that thing on the end of the bed is called). There was also a couch with a decent sized flat screen television across from it. The closet doors were made up of large mirrors, which made the room look bigger. Overall the room was quite comfortable. The best part of our room was definitely the bathroom. There was a shower as well as a large, beautiful, jetted tub.

We stayed three nights and I used the tub every single night. The experience was very tranquil and relaxing. I did not notice any noise from the neighboring rooms. We slept very well and felt refreshed and ready for a new adventure, each day. I would definitely come back and stay in this hotel again, and I would recommend it to others.

If you like to gamble, and you love the mountains, this is a great location to stay since there is a ton to do nearby. You can easily visit other casinos by foot. You can find plenty of great food options, though the Isle does have a great buffet. If you feel like heading down the road a half an hour, you can easily get to the Georgetown Loop Railroad as well as Canopy Zip in Idaho Springs, which is only twenty minutes away.

For further information on the Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel, please visit: http://black-hawk.isleofcapricasinos.com/index.html?utm_uptracs=brand:pc&u=81560588-416e-4fec-b5e2-51c7f7c51108&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Blackhawk+-+Brand&utm_term=isle%20casino&utm_content=scwr2JliP|pcrid|103088697192|pkw|isle%20casino|pmt|p|pdv|c|

Adventure is wherever the desire takes us.