Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fourth of July in Santa Fe, NM

More travels! I know, this is turning into the summer of traveling for Andy and me. Following our trip back from Minnesota, Andy had planned a long holiday weekend for us in Santa Fe, NM. The drive from Denver to Santa Fe is a bit less than six hours, so it’s a great distance for a long weekend getaway. We couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it before and are already looking forward to our next trip down there.

Both Andy and I were done with work after lunch on Thursday and the car was packed and ready to go by the time I powered down my computer. We drove through the city, suburbs, desert, and were in Santa Fe by dinnertime. Andy had rented us a home through and we had a fantastic residential location just less than a mile walk from the rail yard district, which housed galleries, breweries, and the farmer’s market. Thursday night we went right to the brewery (surprise!) for beers and dinner, which turned into beers and a shared order of fried brussel sprouts and fries.

Our lovely home for the weekend.

The living room and kitchen in our rental. Not pictured is the bedroom and the huge bathroom.

Rail yard district at dusk :o)



Cheers and beers! 

Friday we took off fairly early to the Tune-Up CafĂ© less than two blocks from our rental. It’s quite clearly the hot spot in the neighborhood for coffee, mimosas, and brunch. We were lucky enough to snag the last table on the patio and hung around just a bit longer than our welcome playing games and requesting more refills on our bottomless coffees. We walked the one and a half or so miles into downtown with the intent of wandering shops and restaurants for the afternoon, and ended up pleasantly surprised as our agenda ended up including two churches, an art gallery, and live music during dinner at Cowgirl’s.

This is what the fourth of July looks like during the World Cup.

Quick! Does somebody have a bucket of water to pour over him from above?

Beautiful staircase at the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe.

Side street in downtown Santa Fe.

We happened upon a free day at the museum and really enjoyed this woman's work that was displayed.

One of these is not a cowgirl.

Saturday Andy and I thought it’d be nice to walk to the farmer’s market held in the rail yard district and buy some food to make breakfast back at our vacation rental. And, my goodness!, what a farmer’s market! It brought back memories of the robust Madison, WI market with the local produce and farmers, varied selection, and friendly farmer’s and patrons. We did find veggies to make breakfast, though we ended up back at Tune-Up since it was pushing noon by the time we would have started cooking. Our Saturday day was the same as our Friday: Wandering enjoying what the city has to offer with no agenda. My only request was to have some real New Mexican cuisine since we’d enjoyed a couple meals so far at brewpubs. And we found a restaurant that’s a tourist favorite and, despite trying to hate it for all the non-locals it brings in, the locals love the offerings, too. I got my real New Mexican dinner and was happy and full as could be! 

The coffee mugs at Tune-Up were the coolest.

Enjoying some delicious, happy hour cocktails at a local bar.

Sunday Andy cooked a delicious breakfast with the potatoes, tomato, and scapes we’d purchased the morning before. We the packed-up our vacation rental and hopped in our car for the first time since Thursday evening and drove to the farmer’s market building where there is a local artisan market every Sunday. We bought a few items for the house and then went back to Cowgirl’s, where we had dinner Saturday night, to have our last meal of the trip before going back to life in Denver.

Watching over the kitchen sink, I guess?

Looks pretty lovely, doesn’t it? It certainly was. And it was so nice for Andy and I to take a vacation with no agenda: No wedding, shower, family holiday, etc. Just Andy, me, and a new city to explore!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Photos [7.25.14]

Here are some photos from Andy & my week:

Mom and me in Boston Sunday! Just hangin with Norm.

Mom even got to sit in his spot at the mock set bar!

The receptionist's dog at my salon doesn't like sharing the couch as he surveys his kingdom. 

Ella is a monster in public, so she has to be carried at PetSmart. You can see the craze in her eyes.

Ella hurt her paw and had to get a cone this week. Which has provided constant entertainment for Andy and me as she relearns to navigate space! Like when she got her cone stuck on the bike gears...

...and then stuck on the bike tire after her escape from the gears. Ella fails to see the humor.

I decided to paint our bedroom this week. Tape, tape, and more tape to start the project!

And then paint, paint, and more paint! Andy and I are looking at ideas for wall hangings, and once we have the room all pulled together I'll post some photos.

This weekend is the Underground Music Showcase in Denver. It kicked off Thursday night and Andy and I were there right away for the first set! 

And one more of our sad little dog. I hope your week was better than Ella's.

You can see from my Cheers photos that I took a weekend trip to Boston with my mom last weekend! We had such a blast on our vacation and I'm looking forward to sharing stories and photos from the trip soon!

Andy and I are filling our weekend up with more shows at the Underground Music Showcase (UMS). With hundreds of bands playing almost two dozen venues at UMS, we will keep busy and happy enjoying tunes. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let’s Drink Beers and See Music in Duluth!

Following my week in Minneapolis, Andy and I hit the road and headed north to Duluth to spend a couple days with Ryan and Shanda, my brother and sister-in-law.  We haven’t been to visit them together in their home since before we left Madison, so we were so excited when we realized this trip would work out!

Andy and I started our trip to Maple Grove to Duluth the same way that Ryan and Shanda start their trip: Stopping by the bar, Doc’s, just 45 minutes outside of town for lunch and some beverages. We arrived in Duluth just after lunchtime on Friday and took a tour of the Duluth Pack factory where my brother works. The four of us spent the rest of the evening having a lovely time seeing some of Ryan and Shanda’s favorite places while eating, drinking, and catching-up, though not necessarily in that order ;o)

Lots & lots of booze! 

Duluth Pack factory. Where all the magic happens. Though it's not actually magic, just really hard work.

We played this bowling game for a really long time.

Creepy statue at the bar!

Yea, we all wanted our picture with him/Breanna forced everyone to take their picture with him.

Saturday was the main event. Well, the main event was seeing family, so the secondary event was the Bayfront Festival. The Festival featured some extremely talented Minneapolis musicians, and some of all of our favorites! Right down by the lake on a beautiful stage we enjoyed the tunes of Haley Bonar, Low, Doomtree, and Trampled by Turtles. The music was, as we had predicted, wonderful. All groups sounded fantastic and the scene and company were unparalleled. Well, that’s until it started raining, nay!, pouring. Doomtree was able to finish their set despite some technical glitches when the rain attacked the DJ’s equipment, but they hardly missed a beat. Unfortunately, lightening trumped the Trampled show, and they had to stop only four songs in. A bummer, but safety first they told the disappointed crowd.


Do you think you could maybe put the wristband on my left wrist? No? Uhm, ok... 

Guys, this festival is so fun.

And Sunday Funday was the perfect day of grabbing some mid-afternoon beverages and chatting at the bar with each other or whoever else was willing to carry on a conversation. We all had high hopes of doing something active, but the weather was continuing to be as unpredictable as the previous day, so those plans were quickly abandoned. Also, “high hopes” is probably a generous description of all our feelings of hiking following a boozy brunch. Regardless, Andy and I were both happy to have a go-with-the-flow day, and willing companions to see where the day brought us. Which, as it happened, was to the bar.
So what does Sunday Funday look like, you ask? Let us show you...

Yea, we went back to visit our buddy.

Andy and I headed out following the weekend and again spent a night with Laura and her husband, Michael, in Lincoln. Now, I gotta tell you, Lincoln’s a pretty happenin’ city, and our friends are right in the heart of it all. So it makes a great mid-road trip break for so many reasons.