April 10-13: Crested Butte, CO
4 days of awesomeness in the mountains with the lovely ladies of AU.
Day 1: I'd flown in to Denver Thursday night (despite the bad weather and delays) and was up super early to grab Campbell from the airport so Eliz could get some work done before we all got on the road. Driving in Denver in morning traffic was a little bit of adventure but thanks to the fantastic signage and the really long road up to the airport was quite easy to manage.
Once we got back to Eliz's we had some snacks and hung out until it was time to grab Wynsor from her flight and get on the road! We did stop off at Sprouts for some provisions so we wouldn't have to buy breakfast or snacks while on the mountain.
Lunch of course was at Chickfila (I mean we had to) and then we got on the road for real. It was quite the drive (about 4 hours) over mountains and through valleys. We spent most of it reminiscing and updating each other on our lives (since we're now all in different locations) and finally pulled in to Crested Butte that evening. One of the reasons this weekend worked out is because we got the hotel for so cheap! We figured out once we arrived that it was due to the season closing the weekend prior. Hey just meant no lines and more space to do what we wanted. But it did mean that restaurants and shops closed a little earlier so we quickly unpacked and the drove into town (our hotel was up on the mountain) to the Secret Stash for delicious and well-recommended pizza. We opted for Buddha's Belly and the Notorious F.I.G to taste and boy did they not disappoint. It was safe to say we left stuffed and had a few slices to eat later. Once back in the hotel we ventured to the outdoor hot tubs and relaxed for a bit until passing out after our long day on the road.
Day 2: With Wynsor and I in the middle of half marathon training, we decided to try out the treadmills in the gym. Holy running at altitude batman! I set myself up for a 5K on the machine and ended up squeaking out about 2.5 of that running. I had to walk a bit every half to 3/4 of a mile. The altitude difference is no joke and I completely understand why athletes train in Colorado. After that adventure, we all piled into Eliz's car to find a fun trail to hike. And what an adventure that turned out to be. As ski season had just ended there was quite a bit of snow still on the ground - especially where the sun hadn't been able to reach to melt. Our plan was to hike up to Green Lake. It was supposed to have great views of the town and Mt. Crested Butte. However it just turned into a comedy of errors and we had trouble following tracks in the snow and with no real trail markers we ended up zig zagging on the side of the mountain and not making it too far. About 2 miles in we finally found a trail marker but by that point we were tired of stepping through the snow, holding on for dear life and not knowing where we were headed. Of course the trek back down took half the time of the initial ascent but hey at least we knew where we were going!! After snacks, beers and showers we went back into town for lunch at a cute diner called McGill's. My salad was devine and exactly what I needed after all the exercise of the morning.
We decided to stay in town and wander around the shops for a bit. In one we finally found a map of the trail we'd been trying to hike- that's when we realized we hadn't actually walked much on the real trail but just got lost in other people's steps. Oh well. We popped into the Eldo Brewpub for a tasty drink and some foosball. It is save to say that Wynsor and Eliz are MUCH BETTER at this than either Becca. We pretty much failed but it was hilarious and we had a blast. They also had this ring game that we all had to try (and win!) at least once before we could leave. After fun and games we went back to walking around, stopping in a few other knick knack shops and a cute bookstore/coffee shop. And then we took some photos with the iron dragon and knight we'd seen on our way in. Had to happen. After those adventures we retreated back to our hotel (Elevation Hotel) and took part in their daily wine reception. As ski season had just ended but there was still snow on the mountain, a snow mobile convention/competition was taking place so we got to watch a bit while we relaxed with our free reds. We opted for dinner at their restaurant and I couldn't resist getting the Grande Nachos. THEY WERE AMAZING. Fantastic decision. We rolled ourselves back upstairs and because we had the option we decided on the outdoor hot tubs again. Really nice to see the stars and relax after all the running/hiking/eating we'd done.
Day 3: One of the locals had pointed us in the direction of a better trail with great views that the sun would have melted out so we headed that direction after some breakfast nibbles. Such great views. So picturesque it felt like we were looking at a movie screen. We had a little snow but mostly it was cutting through aspens and large boulders. We ended up just past a small lake before realizing we needed to turn back so we could shower, pack up and get back on the road to Denver.
For lunch, we'd been recommended the W Cafe for their cinnamon rolls alone. I went for the huevos rancheros because for once I could get the eggs scrambled. We did finish off the meal with one cinnamon roll to split. It completely lived up to the hype. The drive back to Denver seemed to take less time than going (it's always that way isn't it) and was spent with more stories and reminiscing about the days when we all lived in the same place. And Campbell spotted some Big Horn Sheep!
Once back in Denver, we walked into Downtown (Eliz and Jason live close enough to go over the walking bridges- it's super sweet) for dinner at Euclid Hall. The last time we tried to eat their (E&J wedding weekend) the host basically laughed at us because the wait was 2.5 hours. Luckily not wait this time! We started off we some tasty poutines and then I went for a pork schnitzel with German potato fries for dinner. SO GOOD. We were all pretty stuffed but we had to get the S'mores Potted Creme for dessert. Really there is nothing I can do to describe how deliciously fantastic this dessert is. I ate it even though I knew I'd have a slight allergic reaction- it was that good. If you ever go and have nothing but that- you'll be satisfied. We made the walk back over the bridges and then it was early to bed after a long day.
Day 4: We had a lazy morning on the couches as we all took our time getting up and packing to head to our respective homes. For lunch we tried the Gallop Cafe down the street from Eliz's apartment. I had a delicious croissant sandwich and some fruit. (We ate well all weekend). After it was time to head to the airport :( We all had flights leaving at difference times (including Eliz heading to Houston for work). So after saying our goodbyes Campbell and I headed over to Root Down to try a few local brews while we waited for our flights. Tasty tasty indeed. Then I had to board and fly back to cold Wisconsin. Brr.
How I miss these ladies. It was so so so great to be together again for a long weekend. Can't wait to start planning next year's! We will make this an annual thing!