Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ft. Collins

Austin and I left Denver on Thursday and went through Boulder to visit my friend from grad school. She and her husband just had an adorable baby girl so we got to meet her and then the four grown ups went out for Dim Sum. It was incredibly good and Austin and I thought we might not be hungry again for days.

Our next stop was the Celestial Seasonings tea factory. The tour was interesting and an adventure in aromas; the Mint Room was awesome. All the mint is stored in a separate, sealed room for obvious reasons. The door went up and we walked in to the most intense mint experience that made our eyes water and our throats cool. Some people stepped out quickly but Austin and I enjoyed the sensation. I partook in the tasting after and we looked around at the crazy tea pots, art, and quotes that decorated the gift shop and lobby areas.

After our tour, we took the scenic route to Ft. Collins, winding through the mountains in our gutless rental car. The scenery was incredible, just stunning. It was raining and misty so we didn't take many pictures and really, they never do justice to the scale and effect of the real thing.

On Friday, we were off to tour some breweries. Austin was disappointed to find out that his favorite books out several weeks in advance but we checked out the immense, super-corporate Anheiser-Busch plant. My favorite part was actually the fantastic landscaping; there were flowers blooming everywhere. After a quick lunch, we headed to a great local brewery, Odells. The facility was gorgeous and built to be as green as possible. The framed pictures of the beer labels were arty and interesting. Austin enjoyed several flights and I found a few beers I liked among the samples. The tour was great, with Real People making the beer, music cranked (Billy Idol's "White Wedding" at one point), laughing while working hard. It was such a great experience, in fact, that the LundeBus (bus-o-relatives) is headed there today.

The wedding will be this evening so we're all enjoying some sight-seeing or down time and then looking forward to the best part of the trip!

PS I'll post some pics later.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Day in Denver

Yesterday (Wednesday?), we had a whole day in Denver. Austin grabbed some breakfast burritos from a stand near our hotel and then we were off to explore LoDo (Lower Downtown) which has a nice mix of shops housed in old brick buildings that are painted with sayings like "Butter" or "Seeds." It's been eight years since I've been in Denver but up on my list was the Tattered Cover Bookstore and it did not disappoint.

After some much window shopping and exploring, we had lunch at the Wynkoop Brewing Co though they only offer tours on Saturdays. Tant pis.

We had a few errands to run and then we were off to the Denver Art Museum which had changed a lot since I was last there. Like a whole other building a lot. There was a King Tut exhibit that sounded interesting but it was later in the afternoon and the tickets were kind of pricey so we decided there was enough to do with general admission. We had a great time with the Modern Art and Photography exhibits.

After a bit of downtime in the hotel, we were off to dinner. Originally we planned on a pub crawl since we found a number of interesting places near our hotel (e.g. the Irish Snug!) but we were both tired from a day of walking and sun so we decided to just go to the Cheeky Monk. Austin loves Belgian ales and with an entire venue dedicated to them, well, it had to be done. Turns out the menu and service were fantastic, we're talking very likely one of the top ten best meals ever in LundeRoy history!

Austin got a flight of Belgian ales and a pork tenderloin in cherry sauce with some sort of cheese strata and perfectly done green beans (forgive the iPhone photos).

I had an amazing- best ever- pot of mussels mariniere with frites and the most amazing dipping sauce; creme fraiche and lemon juice? We were swooning in delight. Since our Denver side trip on the way to Ft. Collins was our belated honeymoon trip, this was a fantastic way to have a night out.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not Another Cat Post

I made banana bread today. We had some fruit that needed to be used up and I decided this was the way (while dispatching a few other bananas to freezer land for a similar future eventually). This was one of the first recipes I requested when I got my first apartment- kitchen!- in college. I also made a batch to use up bananas right before we went to my brother's wedding in Cancun and it really hit the spot in the airport at 6am.

In addition, I had some potatoes and leeks that I made into soup for lunches. We will forage for food for the next few meals then we'll be off!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Cat Door

Sir Stinkles now has an RFID door that allows him and only him to come through. One night, I woke up to some commotion and found that Austin was barricading Stinky in the living room while an impostor cat was mewing pathetically in our kitchen. Now thanks to a special tag on Stinky's collar, only he can use the door. The training, however, was a bit traumatic. The door makes a click as it unlocks and he did not like that sound. The above video shows progress since the first attempts involved all four paws on the corners of the door in protest.

We are going to CO for a family wedding and this door will make it far easier for the housesitter (of whom Stinky is still leery after many visits) to work with our fickle feline.

Ok this is turning into a cat blog. How did this happen to me? I better cook something interesting and post that and also, rest assured, more interesting CO posts are bound to come up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back To Our (Semi)Reguarly Scheduled Blogging


It was kind of same old, same old routine here for awhile so there wasn't much bloggy material going on. Last weekend kind of broke things up, though, when Austin's friends From The Internet came to stay with us. Four people he games with from Toronto were put up the Hotel LundeRoy and, as it turned out, they were lovely and interesting people. We did a number of touristy things from hitting up a bbq joint to having a cocktail at a rooftop bar downtown to watching 1.5 million bats fly out of the South Congress Ave bridge. Only one member of our household was less than thrilled about the visitors and took up housekeeping in our shrub planter.

We're looking forward to a low key weekend and then we head to Colorado next week for a family wedding. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quiet Days

Nothing exciting is going on lately so here's a picture of our cat, paw over face. How can you not love that?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rain or Wine

This is what our weather has looked like all week. Apparently it came in with a cold front and then kept on going with some of the hurricane fall-out. We are really enjoying the gray days since, believe it or not, days drenched in sunlight and blue skies and high temps do get old. It's currently raining steadily which I think is a perfect backdrop for the Brit-style pub we'll be going to shortly to celebrate a friend's birthday.

On Wednesday this week, we went to a wine tasting at our our favorite liquor store. Now, before I describe the tasting, I feel I must add the disclaimer that perhaps it's unusual for relatively healthy, stable people to have a favorite booze shop but trust me, it's more than that. In addition to the fantastic selection and knowledgeable staff, this place has a great deli, an outstanding selection of international foods (from Vegemite to HP Sauce to caviar), lots of tea and coffee, and cool local products. So when we heard that there was a wine tasting, we were in. We showed up and the parking lot was full with lots of folks heading in with empty wine glasses. We were given a list of the wines at each station and the pricing on them. There were ten total stations with a taste of a red and white at each. Along the way and to keep you busy in the long lines, there were samples of interesting cheeses, Texas salsas, and even fondue! Austin and I had a great time; the only drawback was the crowd of people but hey, that's minor. In the photo is one of the wines I selected that we didn't actually taste- txakoli wine that had been recommended to me by a Basque friend years before. The name was so unusual and the bottle was so pretty (reminding me of this famous Spanish/Catalan painting) that I took it as a sign to finally try the stuff. One bottle reminded but more wines were to be tasted! Dilemma, hmmm, so I hid the bottle behind other less interesting ones and rescued it when we were done with the tasting. We also acquired a few other interesting bottles from the tasting so if you're in the neighborhood, please stop by for a glass.