Tag Archives: friends

and so the story continues, to the west: san francisco

san francisco - we are moving and so excited!

{the city by the bay}

It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting at my laptop in the West Village, writing about ‘the biggest shakeup’ and our planned move West all the way from noisy New York City to big-sky Colorado. It was, in fact, not yesterday, but just over a year and a half ago now – nineteen months to be exact – that we made the decision to make a change (and a very big one at that).

Boulder holds an incredibly dear place in my heart; it is a wonderfully special little city that almost feels like another world in itself, at times feeling completely removed from the rest of the society.  In moving to this gorgeous space at the base of the Rocky Mountains, I have learned so much and experienced so many new things. I’ve been given the luxury of experiencing four fierce seasons every single year, and have discovered that when in Colorado, you can just as easily lay by the pool suntanning your legs in March as you can wake up to a thick blanket of snow and spend the day sipping cocoa and shoveling the driveway. (Well…watch James shovel, anyway.)

From our foothills home you can drive up twisted and gnarled mountain roads, and climb to peaks where the already thin air is even thinner, crisper, and more pure. Things just look different from a mile high vantage point above the rest of the country, and I can’t tell you how how much I’ve appreciated the Colorado way of life.  There is a grounded sensibility that comes along with living here, and the “get outside and do something” mentality has kept us on our feet, skiing, hiking, biking, exploring, and challenging ourselves. I’ve strapped Chacos to my feet more often than I’ve slipped on a pair of heels, and in many ways any wound-up tendencies I may have had encompassing my outlook on life have relaxed, slackened, and dissolved in the best way possible.

It’s been a terribly fun and rewarding stretch of time, and one that I wouldn’t trade for absolutely anything – but nevertheless I’ve got yet another announcement about yet another very big shakeup.  In just two short, short weeks, James and I are packing up our bags…and moving to San Francisco! I will miss so very many things about Boulder, and about Colorado, but most of all, I will miss the people.  Colorado breeds some of the best that I have met to date, and I’ve made some incredible new friendships and built even stronger relationships with old friends that will without a doubt stand as some of my tightest, forever.  Above and outside of all of the wonderful ways this move has shaped our lives, the wonderful people have certainly impacted us the most.

Our move has nothing to do with not wanting to be where we are at, but more that right now, I think it’s the right place for us to be. I’ve always had this slightly Nomadic sense about me, and though I’ll admit that nineteen-months ago it did take a lot for me to get comfortable with the the idea of life out of the city, confronting those fears and totally overcoming them has made me a much better person today.  Life in San Francisco will not be life in New York; it will certainly not be life in Boulder, and it will not be like life anywhere I’ve experienced before. It will come with it’s own set of challenges and dilemmas and unavoidable negatives, and it will take a lot of adjustments on our part….but I can’t tell you how excited I am for what life in the “City by the Bay” will hold for us. Our living room is already filled with boxes, and that’s sad – I can’t help but feel misty-eyed when I think of all of the amazing people and experiences we are leaving behind. But in front of us lies a dynamic city with so many possibilities, and I can’t help but feel elated and so lucky that we will be able to leave yet another footprint on this country, and behold another opportunity to build relationships and shape our world.

Here are some snaps of a long weekend we spent in San Fran last August…there will be many more to come once we are settled into our new place, in a little ‘hood called Cow Hollow.

san francisco july 2012 - mission

{our home for the weekend: the mission}

san francisco july 2012 - presidio theater

{the presidio theater – just blocks from our new place}

san francisco july 2012 - lake

{strolling near the palace of fine arts}

san francisco july 2012 - palace of fine arts

{the palace of fine arts on a cloudy day}

san francisco july 2012 - marina

{blue skies in the marina}

{but wait! there’s more…pictures!}

completely enamored: telluride bluegrass festival, and falling head over heels

I completely fell head over heels in love this weekend, for a beautiful little mountain town that sits 8,750 feet above sea level in a steep-walled box canyon that is surrounded by looming cliffs and lush forested mountains.  If Boulder was a one-hundred-and-eighty degree change from New York City, then Telluride might as well be on another planet all-together; with just about twenty-two-hundred people calling Telluride home, at any given time the number of people roaming the aisles at Saks Fifth Avenue would surely give the town a run for its money (New York City clocks in at 69,000 packed into one square mile, which is hard to even fathom after a weekend with the ultimate amount of elbow room).     The old silver mining town is nestled in the San Juan Mountain Range, which runs very steep and extremely high, giving the range a jagged and sharp appearance as it rises out of the distance to meet you as you travel West and then South on winding country highways that take you through cavernous mountain tunnels, up and over rivers, and around sharp bends that will turn your knuckles white.

Colorado is a massive state, and the drive from Boulder to Telluride clocked in as we had forecast, at about seven-hours.  We arrived just as the sun had set, and as we settled into a condo in Mountain Village that our dear friends and their parents had graciously invited us to stay in, I had really no idea what to expect the next morning from only seeing the darkened vistas around us.  We awoke to Colorado’s signature bluebird skies, and scrambled to shower and dress for a full day at the festival.  The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is impressively in it’s 39th year, and is an extremely laid back and family friendly four day music festival that features artists playing music on the main stage all day for the full four days, smaller concerts in the nearby Elk Park, and a full ‘Nightgrass’ schedule with big artists playing late-night shows in intimate venues.

To get from Mountain Village to the center of town, we had to board a gondola that was to take us up over a high peak and then descend down steeply directly into town.  As we peaked up over the top of what in the Winter is a ski mountain, I was treated to the most incredible view of the idyllic town: Victorian style houses tightly arranged in a cross-hatch pattern surrounded by trees and mountains, making up what is one of the most notoriously beautiful towns in Colorado.  A river bubbled along the edge of town, and there were various parks dotted with a technicolor rainbow of tents, tarps, and brightly colored camping gear.  I hopped off the gondola as it twirled around the bend, and walked out into the sunshine to hear the gentle sound of a mandolin in the near distance, and the twangy voices of a band playing on a nearby grassy knoll.  Though I have been a city girl for many years now, my heart will always belong to country music, and the full excitement of a few days full of bluegrass music, good beer, and the company of some of our best friends hit me all at once.

It is hard to describe this town; its one that is all at once exclusive yet at the same time true to its roots, genuine, and low-key.  The houses, though I know for a fact will run you a pretty penny (which I can confirm after picking up multiple real estate magazines and presenting them to James with the biggest and most innocent looking smile I could muster plastered across my face), however they are not ostentatious in the least.  Though I know the interiors of most of them are probably very well designed, not one had the McMansion-y feel that you find so often at other ski resorts.  Most were in a quiet and quaint Victorian style, with steeply pitched roofs and details like molding, scrolling, and front porches.  For any other monstrosity to be taking up real estate next to one of these charmers would look terribly out of turn, and I got a true feeling of quality over quantity as I strolled around the neighborhoods.  One other thing that sets this town apart are the growth constraints that have been placed on its parameters; the town currently sprawls as far West, East, North, and South as it ever will be allowed to, and though it keeps real estate prices high and lends a bit of an exclusive air, it first and foremost preserves the integrity of the town and provides security for its year round residents.

The ‘main street’ in town is called Colorado Avenue, and it cuts all the way through town, running West to East.  The street is dotted by incredible boutiques, restaurants, saloons, music venues, athletic gear shops, bars, and specialty purveyors – essentially, it is a shopping nirvana that is just the right size.  The side streets hold other surprises, such as a “Free Box,” which is a leave-one-or-take-one place of sorts that town residents can place items they no longer want for others to take.  Instead of taking on a scrambled and messy appearance, the box is separated into categories, and there were people standing on the sidewalk thumbing through books, checking out cool vintage t-shirts, or dropping off children’s ski clothes that presumably no longer fit their little mogul racers.  I popped into boutiques and swooned over the unique finds, and found myself leaving with a new necklace, pair of earrings (to wear this weekend to a wedding), and a cowboy hat that would help to keep the searing rays  off my face during the festival.

Inside the festival was organized chaos, at its absolute best.  Despite the fact that this was a music festival and people were there to enjoy themselves, kick back, and relax, the atmosphere was surprisingly calm and very well structured.  Children were allowed entrance for free, and there were thousands of them running around with squirt guns and chocolate ice cream grins, ready to hit you in the legs with an actually welcomed cool stream of water on this very warm day.  Everyone was in such a great mood, and was so respectful of each other’s space; with most large events, you generally witness a few scuffles, or the errant concert-goer who has indulged a bit too much and needs to be carted off, but this event was thankfully very different.  It was understood that everyone was there to have some peaceful fun and enjoy the music, and every single person I met was exceedingly friendly and talkative, and not once was there an incident that made the atmosphere uncomfortable.

We spent our days kicked back in camp chairs, enjoying beers from New Belgium Brewery (my favorite was a brew specially crafted for the event – the light Summer Solstice), snacking on food from one of the many food tents (gyros, fish tacos, and steak sandwiches were clear favorites), and listening to some amazing music.  The artists came on stage for about 90 minutes at a time, and there would be twenty minute lags that were perfect for dashing into town, meeting with friends posted up on the other side of the park, or grabbing a corn dog (I admit it….they are just too good!).  The days were long and they were sunny – with the exception of Saturday, which was a bit hazy due to a wildfire that sadly had started to burn that morning six miles away (which, on another note, brought the number of wildfires ravaging our forests here in Colorado tragically up to eight). Despite the haze and faint smell of smoke, the views were still bright, blue, and magnificent.

I have never been anywhere like Telluride, and I was smitten from the moment I stepped off the gondola.  The air is crisp and fresh, and as you draw it into your lungs and catch sight of Bridal Falls twinkling over the side of the end of the box canyon, you literally feel like you are in a fairy tale.  Despite being known as a ski town (and one that I absolutely cannot wait to make the pilgrimage back to this Winter), I can’t imagine there ever being a bad time to be here; there are hiking and biking trails, tubing excursions on the river, and kayaking trips for the warmer months, and climbers flock here to take advantage of the many steep mountains.  Hang gliding and gliding are both popular, and the weather, as with most of Colorado, is abundantly sunny, clear, and dry.

There were a few moments I was reduced to tears by the beauty, purity, and unique character of this town, and though I surely could not even begin to catch it on film, here are a few snapshots of one of the most beautiful places in all of Colorado – if not the world.

{the view from our condo in mountain village}

{gondola station}

{looking up a chairlift}

{and at the gondola we are about to board}

{good in winter, great in summer}

{a high point: dropping into town via the gondola}

{in great company}

{walking through town}

{ski town}

{quaint streets}

{lined with shops, restaurants, and the friendliest locals ever}

{town park}

{stunning contrasts of greens and blues}

{posting up for some tunes}

{but wait! there’s more…}

a fun surprise, for a friday: our wedding featured on the cover of washingtonian bride & groom magazine!

When I got an email yesterday from my wedding photographer saying that she had a surprise for me, I had zero idea of what to expect.  Katie Merkle, who is the fabulously talented photographer behind Merkle Photography,  then sent me back an email with a picture labeled “from the editor’s desk” – with the above picture attached, of James and I on the cover of the Washingtonian Brides & Grooms Magazine!

She also let me know that our wedding was featured today on my favorite wedding blog, Style Me Pretty – you can see the whole post with pictures (and an extended photo gallery) here!

Katie had posted a link with pictures of our day after the wedding back in October 2011, and these two things (coincidentally on the same day!) were such a fun surprise to bring us back to all of the happiness we had that day together and with our friends and families, just over eight months ago.

A perfect way to kick off the weekend, I think!

here’s to 2012, a blogiversary, and a very belated bits of my holiday weekend(s)

{my mantra for twenty-twelve}

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was here introducing myself to anyone that happened to be listening.  In 2011, on top of promising to floss and go to the gym (errrp), I was vowing to finally pull the little blog garden I daydreamed about out of the intangible reaches of my imagination and into the very real landscape of the interwebs.  Three-hundred sixty five days later, I am yet again resolving to floss daily and eek out a few more days with dumbbells in hand (ah well, c’est la vie, as they say), but for once in my life I can say with full certainty that I carried out one of my resolutions to it’s fullest — and joyfully so, might I add.  Happy one year blogiversary to eat and {relish}!

2011 has been a wild, if not fulfilling, year.  It was full of so very many ups, downs, and all of those hard to decipher in-betweens:  A life changing decision.  A move from the big city to the mountains.  The loss of a beloved family member.  The addition of new family, and healing.  A marriage.  As the calendar resets to a refreshing 1/1, so does my mindset; though we all faced many challenges in the past year and undoubtably shall continue to do so in the coming, this year I resolve to remember to find all of the little pleasures and joys in my life and celebrate them to their fullest.  It’s the palpable presence of those frequent small and happy things that can often help offset those larger derailments, after all, and in taking them for granted we unwittingly force ourselves to miss out on so much.  I’ve come out of 2011′s complicated and uncharted tunnel strong and full of enthusiasm, with a extraordinary husband who is also my best friend, two supportive and incredibly kind families who stand solidly behind us, friends who love and know me for who I am, an insanely gorgeous new hometown with fresh air and room to grow, and a pug puppy who leaves our days full of love and laughter.

Thank you.  Thank you all for checking in and reading my posts, and giving me such wonderful and positive feedback.  Thank you for contributing to something which has grown to mean so much to me.  Thank you for keeping me accountable, and driving me to write and take photographs even during times when it would be easier to nap on the couch.  Thank you for reading what I have to say, for trying recipes, for liking them (or not!), and taking the time to write all of your comments and emails.  They mean so much to me.  Thank you.

I’m so excited to continue along in the coming year – here’s to a fantastic 2012!

Here are a few bits of the past few busy holiday weekends I managed to snap:

{holiday wine tasting & local beer run}

{colorful chocolates lined up at my favorite sweets shop}

{and every variety of truffle you could dream of}

{a well-loved but inviting spot to enjoy coffee on pearl street}

{a sparkly DIY holiday mani – OPI’s roadhouse blues with this glitter polish over}

{beer tasting outside at avery brewery, on a 60 degree december afternoon}

{hard to pick a favorite}

{chocolate cake carousel}

{a brave husband and brother-in-law bundled up for the xmas eve game}

{a tour of the famed tea factory, which unfortunately left us feeling like the sleepy bear}

{brunch at the dushanbe tea house}

{handcarved and painted}

{gorgeous and vibrant colors}

{the perfect way to kick off new years eve – extra spicy}

{brunches}

{tiger’s eye tea that blooms…}

{into a flower}

{snacks for new years eve, before the yonder mountain string band show}

{of course she does}

{hamming for the camera with my friend kelly}

{happy 2012!)

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Ahhh, the engagement.

It is such a whirlwind! One moment there you are, just yourself, the prefix-to-a-friend part of a serious relationship nonetheless, but just yourself….and then all of the sudden with a four word question and a one word answer – it’s really that serious.

You’re no longer a girlfriend – you are a Fiancé.  All of the sudden everyone’s eyes immediately dart down to your newly adorned left hand, and they realize that you really aren’t going anywhere – it’s really that serious.

The funny thing is – I don’t feel so serious! I almost feel as if we are doing something wrong when people ask how engaged life is treating me – we’re exactly the same as we were.  Excited definitely, but serious and grown-up – not a chance.

And thankfully, I know that won’t change.

Keever Vineyards, Napa, CA

{But Wait! There’s More…}