Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Birthday Weekend 2013

This year’s birthday weekend was a special one for me. A few years back, I was in a pretty bad relationship, and my birthdays during that time were just not special – I wasn’t happy. Last year, I had just started to date Zach, so things were pretty new, and we were still in that stage of “what should we do” in terms of birthdays. He did get me a movie and a card, and we did hang out that night, but he had been skiing all day and was pretty exhausted, so we didn’t go out. He did take me to the Summit at The Broadmoor the next night, and it was an amazing evening of great food and conversation, and it was very memorable!

I just started a new job almost 2 months ago, and my new schedule allows for me to leave at 3 pm every other Friday. I left work early and I was ready to just plop on the couch and catch up on my DVR. I got a call around 6:30 pm from Zach, who had just arrived back home from a day of skiing. I knew he would be gone all day, so I wasn’t counting on doing anything with him, so I was surprisingly (and happily) mistaken! He wasn’t feeling too well, so we ended up taking a trip to the grocery store for some food and medicine for him, and we picked up “The Watch” with Ben Stiller from Redbox. The movie was not as funny as I expected, and I definitely wasn’t ready for aliens, but it wasn’t bad.

Found a great picture of the dress
from JCPenny's website.
Saturday morning was the weekly 8 am breakfast with my parents and their friends at Panera! But this was my special birthday breakfast – and Zach came along!! Since it was my birthday, Zach was happy to oblige and joined us. Afterwards, Zach decided to go home and hopefully sleep off some of his chest congestion, and the rest of us decided to go bowling. Unfortunately, the bowling alley was closed until 3 pm for a private event. Since the alley was next to the mall, we decided to go shopping for a new outfit for me for dinner that night. Zach was taking me out and I wanted to wear something special to celebrate the occasion! Plus, in the year and a half we’ve been together, he’s only seen me in a dress/skirt ONCE, and I felt I owed the guy a little bit of “dress up”! After a few hours of shopping, I had a brand new black dress, shoes and accessories! Success!!

Garden Room in the Tavern (recently rennovated)

I was able to go home and take a nap before getting ready for dinner. Zach arrived around 7:15 pm, and had apparently *possibly* evaded getting a speeding ticket, (Oops!), so he had to apologize for being a little late! Nonetheless, we headed over to The Broadmoor to have dinner in the Tavern!! He remembered that I wanted to see the new renovations that had been completed since I left the hotel back in January, and made the reservations all by himself, without any input from me! 

Sorry for the terrible "cropping" but it was
the best shot I could get!

Dinner was GREAT. Zach extended his arm to me and he “escorted” me as we were walking in and out of the restaurant. The funniest thing was that he couldn’t remember where the restaurant was, so I had to show him! He ordered some oysters for an appetizer with a Stella Artois, and I had a Caesar salad and a Cosmo. For dinner, he ordered a filet minon and I had some amazing salmon. He knew that he really wanted dessert, so we didn’t overdo it on the first two courses. He had a huge piece of chocolate cake and I had espresso ice cream – when they brought the desserts out, they put a candle in my ice cream, and the plate had Happy Birthday written on it in chocolate. So cute!! He ended up trying my ice cream and liking it so much, that he “helped” me eat it! All in all, we were there for over 3 hours, but the entire experience just went too quickly.

The beautiful chandelier that I could NOT
stop looking at!!

During dinner, Zach handed me 2 birthday cards that he instructed me to open in a particular order. The first one was clearly a card for a little girl, but it did talk about having a “sparkling birthday”, and Zach knows how much I love sparkles! He even wrote inside the card that he knew it was for a little girl, but it just “screamed KAREN!!!”. The other card was also sparkly on the cover, but it said “A Day to Celebrate You? I’m in!!” He really thought about me when he picked them out, and he couldn’t decide between the two, so he got both! 

After dinner, we headed back to my apartment and watched a
movie to close out the night. I even pulled out the birthday card he had given me from last year and showed it to him. I think he was really surprised and even a little touched that I had held onto it. I’m a very sentimental person and I like to keep mementos from things I’ve done – especially something like a card that someone took the time to pick out and really think about what to write in it. I now have all my cards out on my kitchen table and it’s a great feeling to walk by and think about each of those people.

Bon Ton Cafe: Great food & breakfast served all day!
Sunday was a great “lazy day”, to quote Zach. We went to breakfast in a cute little place in Old Colorado City, and sat by the window to watch the snow quietly falling down! Watching snow fall is one of my most favorite things in life. Afterwards, another nap (for over 2 hours!!) was definitely called for, and was certainly appreciated. Around 2 pm, Zach wanted to head to REI to look for some new ski pants, and I was happy to tag along. After the mini shopping trip, we headed to Colorado Mountain Brewery so I could appease my small appetite that had been growing since I slept through lunch! It’s one of our favorite places, and now the bartenders there are starting to recognize us as regulars!! We shared an appetizer and had a cup of soup and a beer each – what a great warm meal to enjoy on a cold, snowy day! I finally dropped Zach off at his house and headed home to take care of my dog, do the dishes and watch the Oscars.

All in all, a great, packed-full weekend of activities and food! I wouldn’t change any part of it!!

August - Finally!!

So I just found this old post that I had been working on but never got around to posting!!  (Shame on me!)  This entry chronicles the month of August in 2011 when I was spending a lot of time with a new, good friend of mine who was working as an intern at the Broadmoor and she and I got along great!  I was really going to miss her!!
August 2011 -
This month, my parents spent about 3 weeks in Norway! So I stayed at their house and watched both of their dogs for them, along with my "monster", Bailey. It was a long time, but it just flew by!!
Unfortunately, the start of August was also our intern Susanna’s last week with us! I had such a blast with her over the summer (see my old posts from summer 2011) and we had really bonded and I didn’t want her to go! So we checked some more things off of her Colorado “bucket list” before she left.
One of the things she and her friends wanted to do was to go out dancing downtown! Since I hadn’t been out downtown in a while (for fear of running into Psycho-Ex), I felt that I could suck it up and show them a good time. None of us wanted to worry about getting home at the end of the night, so we had a cab pick us up and take us downtown – this turned out to be an excellent idea!!  (Especially when it came time to head home!) We headed out around 11 pm- yea, 11 pm – how old am I?? I haven’t done that in years!
We had a blast at the first club, and after about an hour or so, we decided to leave and try out another place. Upon reviewing our evening the following morning, we collectively agreed that we didn’t remember much about the second place except it had cow-print booths, and it was our last stop. We definitely had a great time!!
We eventually made our way out to a cab and headed home (I still don’t even know who called the cab…one minute I’m in the bar and the next, in a cab! I’m not even positive if I paid my bar tab! I might have had a receipt somewhere…) It was a nice relief to be in a cab and heading home – until we realized that one of the girls had taken a poster of “The Who” directly off the wall at the bar and walked out!!! How she didn’t get caught, we will never know. Apparently, the poster made it back to Finland in one piece and is still there! Also, I ended up in the front seat next to the driver, since there were 4 of us, and only 3 seats in the back and I'm sure the taxi driver was very glad when he finally dropped us off.
What a crazy night – and there were pictures, but kind of like “The Hangover”, we had to look through the pictures to help ourselves piece a timeline together. I didn’t even get home until 2 am! I haven’t done that in years, and don’t see myself ever doing that again. I'm just not 21 anymore, let's just face it.  The cab driver dropped Susanna and her roomates off at their place, and then dropped me off at mine.  I had left my car and car keys at Susanna's, so at some point the following day, she drove my car back over to my place.  All in all, it was a BLAST!!! It made me that much more sad that Susanna was leaving soon and we’d not be able to have those fun times much longer!
Another item on their list to see before they left was to visit the Golden Bee, an English-pub at The Broadmoor Hotel. They have these really fun Bee stickers that they throw at you, a very yummy cheese/butter dip, amazing ale, and great fish and chips! We headed out to dinner at 5:30 pm (after a proper amount of recovery time from the night before). The fish and chips was the perfect way to end the day and it was just wonderful! We didn’t stay long, only about an hour and a half. I think we were all ready to get home and go to bed early! Also, I was going to drive them to Denver the following morning to spend the night before they flew home, so they also had to finish packing.
I picked up the girls the next morning and we headed to Denver. We arrived around lunchtime and thought it would be fun to eat at the Hard Rock Café in Denver, which ended up being another “bucket list” item for one of the girls, who wanted to visit as many Hard Rock Café’s as possible! It was really fun having a “last meal” with the girls who had become pretty good friends to me in a short amount of time, but it was also a bit bittersweet. After lunch, I took them to their hotel and then I was gone! The entire summer was over! And this was only August 7th!!
After that, August was a pretty slow month. It really died down! While it was finally nice to rest for a while, it was hard to adjust to!
Sorry for the random, VERY late post, but it was a month I do not want to forget!

A Year to Remember

As I head into my last year of my twenties (yikes – where did the time go??), I decided it was time to go back to documenting my life. There things that I would like to remember and they may seem like small details now, but as I was looking back at a diary I kept for a few months last year, I realized that it was a lot of those little details that made me smile the most. Cute moments with friends and family, small, passing comments made by co-workers, and changes in my life kept popping up at me, and it was nice to reminisce of the good times (and the bad) and see what has happened since. Are those moments still significant? Were they as important or bad as I thought they were at the time? It’s interesting to see if and how I’ve changed, even in just one year.

So let’s get started on my “first” 29th birthday, and my 29th year of life!