Colorado – A Breath of Fresh Air

slack ass
…./slak/as/
….• noun
….1. A lazy person who expects their blog to be written for them.
….2. A hybrid of a slacker and a jackass.
….3. Me.

I have been such a slack ass these last couple of months. I had every intention of blogging every trip I went on last year, but then I got lazy, or as I’d prefer to refer to it, life got in the way. Rather than skip my last few trips entirely in order to jump forward to this new year we find ourselves already in, I’m going to attempt to recap my final five adventures of 2013, starting with Colorado!

FITSOCIAL CONFERENCE

My colleague, Rhia and I flew into Denver (and then drove to Boulder) to represent IZEA as a sponsor at the 2013 FitSocial Conference; a three-day conference discussing the communication of cutting-edge health and fitness information to the public via blogging and social media. Put on by Zephyr Adventures, they chose to host the conference in Colorado as it is considered the fittest state in the Unites States, with Boulder and Denver being the two fittest cities in Colorado.

The conference itself was great and we were able to get some face time with a blogging niche that we don’t usually get in front of all too often.

hf1

CELESTIAL SEASONINGS

While a majority of the IZEA office is made up of coffee-addicts, Rhia and I are huge lovers of tea; Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Peppermint, Ginger, Sleepytime tea – you name it, chances are, I drink it! When we found out that the Celestial Seasonings tea factory was only a short drive from the conference venue in Boulder, we made sure to hit it up for a tea tour during our lunch break.

Celestial Seasonings is one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America. They serve more than 1.6 billion cups of tea every year which is just insane!!! They source more than 100 different ingredients from over 35 countries to create their all-natural herbal, green, red, white, chai and wellness teas.

They offer free tours and tea samples seven days a week (although during weekends, there is no actual production happening). Tours leave on the hour, are 45 minutes in length, and you get to wear a super sexy hair net for the duration of the tour. Rhia and I looked so ravishingly beautiful in ours we just had to capture the moment forever. At the end of the tour, you have the opportunity to purchase quite the selection of teas for much cheaper than you’d find them at the super market – I left with four boxes!

You can visit the Celestial Seasonings website here to check out their tour hours.

Celestial Seasonings TourScreen Shot 2014-01-21 at 8.07.45 PM

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

After attending a couple of morning sessions at FitSocial, we set aside the rest of the day to go hiking at the Rocky Mountain National Park – this I was super looking forward to! We enjoyed a late breakfast then put our sweats on and jumped into Bertha (our cute little VW bug rental car) for a relatively decent-lengths drive up the mountain. We’d known that there was crazy flooding that swept through the area only weeks before, however there seemed to be no signage at the base of our route indicating road closures leading up to the National Park so we decided to stick with our plans.

Bertha, our VW Rental Car

After driving through some hilly terrain for almost two hours, we came to a sign that simply said “road closed due to floods“. UGH! Seriously?! There was only one route up there and they couldn’t maybe put this at the beginning of the route at the base of the mountain?!?!?! We’d been cooped up in the car for some time, and now we had to drive all the way back down – it was too nice out to be stuck inside Bertha for any longer, but we really had no option. I was furious! I’m generally a calm person too so I think Rhia was slightly taken aback by how frustrated this made me. Grrrrr. Today was made for hiking, and hiking was exactly what we were going to do!

GOLDEN GATE CANYON STATE PARK

After wasting many pointless hours driving around, we took a few minutes to gather our bearings and map our way over to the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Finally, we were able to park the car, get out and stretch, breathe in the cool, mountain air and get started on one of the hiking trails. The landscapes and scenery surrounding us were gorgeous. After all the frustrations of earlier that day, everything was forgotten and my mind was set free.

coloradocollage

LINGER RESTAURANT, DENVER

Rhia’s friend had suggested we spend our last night in town dining at Linger. Located at 2030 W. 30th Ave, Linger serves up riffs on urban street food staples with flavors from the Americas, Morocco, Turkey, Italy, Asia and India. Servings are tapas style and are comfortably split between a party of two.

We found six plates we were happy to share:

1. Shishito Peppers, Cheddar Curds & Orange-Habanero Jam
2. Applewood Smoked Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique
3. Pork Belly Bun with Grilled Pineapple Jam, Sambal and Plum Sauce

4. Mongolian BBQ Duck Bun, Scallions and Miso-Pickled Cucumbers
5. Chili Paneer with Indian Farmers Cheese, Spicy Chili Sauce, Avocado and Naan
6. Sesame BBQ Tacos with Kobe Short Rib, Napa Slaw, Radish, Avocado and Lime

What happened next was indescribable…

Our waitress brought our food around… one plate first… then another… and another. We started eating…

The food was good. REALLY good. Actually, good isn’t the right word to use here – it was orgasmic. So much to the point that Rhia had one hand down on the table, her other hand up on the wall our table was against, and she was making food-moaning sounds.

“Mmmmmm. Ohhhh mmmmmm…”

It kept going. If people didn’t know she was eating, it would have been quite awkward. But rightfully so, the food was delicious! It was possibly one of the most satisfying meals I have ever eaten. If you’re ever in the Denver area, do yourself a favor and head to Linger for dinner.

Linger DenverLinger Denver

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