|Clockwise: One of many pieces of Mexican Day of the Dead folk art in the house;|
Mary Ann, tasting her creations;
A party guest, showing her daughter how to roll a tamale.
|Rolling and steaming the tamales|
|Jean's Sweet Plantains|
|Enchiladas, Rice and Beans|
|Denver skyline, from a bike.|
|A sampler at Odell Brewing Company, in Fort Collins Colorado.|
My friend Emily works in the tap room.
|Crab stuffed, fried avocado at Colorado's Austin's American Grill.|
|Sugar crusted cornbread at Austin's.|
|My friend's husband Dennis made the most amazing grilled|
pizza with a crispy crust, kale, tomatoes and goat cheese. Amazing.
|Welcome to Wyoming. My friend Stacey Doyle and I at the |
Colorado, Wyoming border.
|I fell in love with several canine friends during my trip. Among my favorites were|
Cookie and Daisy, these two loves from Wyoming.
|Wyoming is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.|
|We took the long way out of Wyoming. Along the road, we stopped|
at The Bar at the Forks for a beer. With country music in the background and a
bartender who was more akin to someone's mom, this saloon was in the
proverbial "one horse town." This was no Budweiser thought. The Forks served up
an icy cold Odell IPA.
|Larkburger. While chains are typically not my thing, good food is.|
This Colorado burger chain specializes in all natural ingredients, biodegradable
packaging and the juiciest, most flavorful burger I've ever had.
Oh, and those Parmesan truffle fries? Decidedly un-chain-like.
|A picnic along the Poudre River allowed time for both |
contemplation and lady giggles.
|Our chosen trucks, in all their glory.|
|Clockwise: Flour Girls' apple cider donut; Fancheezical Old Skool |
and Radish's empanada
|Fancheezical's cucumber lime soda; Rocket's dog;|
Flour Girls' cookies and Radish's arrancini
Last night was one of those great nights out with good friends that I’ll look back on fondly for a long time. As we sat at a lovely outdoor table at a downtown restaurant, I mentioned that this may be, at least I hope, my last child-free summer.
It’s that time. My 35th birthday is just weeks away. In March, I married my best friend of 20 years. And every time I see, hear, or worst of all, smell a baby, I’m reminded of how badly I want one. John and I agreed to give ourselves until the fall before we started trying, so it wasn’t the first time the thought had crossed my mind that this summer is something of a last hurrah. But it wasn’t until I said it out loud that the enormity of that statement hit me. I know what you’re going to say – having a child is not the death of fun. I know that. But I am certainly unfettered right now in a way that I will never be again once a child hits the equation.
I told my friends that I wanted to make sure that this summer is extra fun. And that I wanted to make the most of the time I have, even if that means going out “on a school night.” Never one to shy away from a list or a project, my friend Courtney ran inside the restaurant to procure a long strip of receipt paper and a pen. It was then that the Baby Bucket List was... ahem... born.
We started off writing down silly things. Fun things. Check out the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sky diving. Ride some roller coasters. Eat a cronut. But quickly, and fueled by much white wine, the list began to evolve into a manifesto for other areas of my life, aside from the fun.
Reach my goal of a 30 minute 5k.
Experience working in a restaurant kitchen.
Save money for a big transition.
Then we started asking others what would be on their lists. Our server suggested “Teaching something you’re passionate about to someone else.” A bartender suggested “Running away for a few days, no agenda, by yourself, just you and your car and some good tunes.” These were added to the list and circled and underlined.
I won’t share my whole list, but I’ll keep you posted as I check some things off. And hopefully, by the time I find out I’m about to start that new chapter of my life, I’ll feel like I’ve missed no part of the old chapter.
Have you ever made a list like this? What’s on it? Are you doing the things, or is the list relegated to your refrigerator door or cork board? I’d love to hear your stories!