This past August we made the long journey, seven hours, from Denver to Telluride; impressively enough we made it starting at 5:30 pm and arriving at 2 am, thanks to John’s mad driving skills. We set up camp in the dark and awoke to a beautiful area. We were camping at Alta Lakes and it was an incredible spot—though a very scary drive to the actual lakes and camp site. You drive up a road that on one side is a major cliff. You can not do this with a low clearance vehicle.

(Alta Lakes)


Telluride is incredible. The town is located in a box canyon that was originally founded as a mining camp. At the head of the canyon you will find Bridal Falls which I’m sure you can figure out how it got that name. You are able to drive up a road then do a really easy hike to the top of the falls. We had lunch up there.


For dinner we made a pretty luxurious camp fire dinner if I do say so myself—lunchables as an app and hot dogs and cheeseburgers for dinner!


The next day we did the most amazing hike to Hope Lake. The wild flowers were in full bloom and I must say it is one of the top five best hikes I have ever done.


We spent the afternoon in the town of Telluride and were lucky enough to stumble upon the Mushroom Festival that was happening. We drank beers and margaritas and got take out pizza from Brown Dog Pizza and went back to the camp site to watch the sunset and hammock.




This town is so charming and inviting. When you are there all your worries and daily concerns leave you and you are just present. Leaving the next morning was very, very, hard—but Henry didn’t hate the ride home.


Yum in the Tum

The best thing I ate in Costa Rica was chifijo (pictured below) and from what I heard this is the most classic Costa Rican dish you could try. It is composed of chicharrón, which is crispy fried pork, regular pork, beans, rice and then topped with chimichurrri (which tasted exactly like pico de gallo to me). The ingredients are how you get the name; CHI from chicharrón and FIJO from frijol or beans. I am including this fact because everyone is  quick to tell you that detail because the name is actually patented by the creator Miguel Angel Araya Cordero and it was a dramatic process. He is also the owner of the restaurant chain called Cordero where you can find the original chifijo. The crunch and saltiness from the pork paired with the freshness of the pico, I mean chimichurri, was perfect! You’ll find this staple boca (bar food) at bars because it is meant to be paired with a nice cold Imperial.


Do You Want To Go To Costa Rica Next Week?


That is the question that I was asked on Friday the week before Labor Day. My obvious answer was “Yes, Yes I can!” Logistics were looked over that weekend and then I booked my flight on Monday and got on the plane on Wednesday. I spent two days in San Jose and spent two days up at the Buena Vista Lodge in Guanacaste. Here we had a post season meeting with the local guides, about 35. But it wasn’t all work but also some play. We had an evening to say “thank you” to our Costa Rica staff which was thermal spas, dinner, and salsa dancing! This event was amazing. The staff here are so close and are like family. They were great to talk to about Costa Rican life as forgiving when they tried to teach me how to dance salsa or merengue.



We rode a tractor down from the lodge to the spas. First we sat in the sauna, then covered ourselves in mud and let that dry, then washed it off and relaxed in the different temperatures of spa.



Barely Healthy in Paris


This was my second trip to Paris this year and I was doing my usual thing…eating. I truly believe if you don’t gain weight in Paris you aren’t doing it right. I was training for my half marathon while I was in Paris and I was stuck between a rock and a hard place; running and cheese/wine. Since I was a chaperone our adult free time was from 9 pm til 11 pm when we would do bed checks. This was our time to breath a little, drink some wine and enjoy some nice cheese, and chat. So as soon as we released the kids to free time at the hotel I would quickly change and then go for a 30 minute run. Instead of walking, stretching, and drinking water I would run straight back up to the adult group sweaty and gross and catch up for my missed time. Sure a morning run would also be an easy solution but I am the Queen of the snooze button so that really wasn’t an option.

(Fabulous lunch in Le Marais)

I also was able to do a few “first” in Paris this time. I went up the Arc de Triomphe and and then deep underground to the catacombs. I wasn’t impressed with the catacombs but that could be because I am a little bit claustrophobic. The Arc de Triomphe though was not a let down. I personally think the views are better than the Eiffel tower.



Where To Eat In Oxford


Oxford is a town that shouldn’t be missed when visiting England. You can spend the day bouncing around to one of the 38 colleges and see the beautiful different architecture of each one. You can also find many spots where Harry Potter was filmed or see the original rooms (example the great hall) that were replicated in a studio for filming. When you find yourself ready for a meal, and I mean ready because this one isn’t light, head over to Pieminister. It is located in the Covered Market that opened in 1774 and has different restaurants, meat shops, flower shops, and more. At Pieminister you will find pretty much any variation of a meat pie you can think of. I had the Moo and Blue which was steak and stilton with a side of mashed potatoes and mushy peas. The gravy was rich and the meat was tender. With each bite the finishing flavor was the stilton.  The mushy peas were a good refreshing side because they were full of mint that helped lighten the meal. Like I said, this is a heavy but fabulous English meal.



New in London


London is a city that will always be calling to my heart. I have been a few times now and I love it. I feel comfortable there. When I go on my work tours I typically only see the usual tourist sites but this time I found two new places I haven’t been. One spot involves Buckingham Palace and though I’ve seen the palace a handful of times this is a different view. If you stand on the Blue Bridge that crosses the lake in St James’s Park you will get the view below. I will say my photo skills were lacking and this doesn’t do it justice because it was truly breathtaking.


The next spot is the Southbank Centre Market. This a street food market full of all different kinds of cuisine—doesn’t get much better than that. I got the curry dish pictured below and not pictured was my friends truffle duck confit burger with a side of duck fat fries topped with truffle mayonnaise. I finished the fries.






(Sullivan’s Island)

This past weekend I went to Charleston to visit old friends. I lived there for about six months in 2012 and I was way over due for a weekend visit. We gave our young party selves a run for our old party selves money. But as would be expected we realized we couldn’t rally like we used to–a lot more sleeping is needed now. Most of the weekend was spent eating and drinking. One main thing that has changed since I lived there is they have befriended people with boats! Happy hour was spent on a boat sipping mojitos; this is a good improvement. Eating at places like Taco Mamacita (sloppy nachos are a must), Leon’s Oyster Shop, Edmund’s Oast, and finally Butcher & Bee. Our nights were spent at Warehouse, Bay Street Biergarten, and I’m semi ashamed to admit Taco Bell. Can’t wait for my next Charleston Reunion.

Then 2012 Now 2015


(Butcher & Bee lunch and Leon’s)

(Tavern and Table brunch)




21 Again!

This past weekend I went back to one of my favorite places…East Lansing, Michigan for Michigan State University’s graduation. I went to watch my litter sister graduate and of course act like I was in college again. The first day I was there I went to Burgerama which might just be my heaven. It is day drinking beer only out of pitchers, burgers, and awesome music. What more could you ask for?

IMG_3725  IMG_3727


The next night things got real young when my sister, brother-in-law, and I went to my little sister’s house party. We tried to fit and…

IMG_3743 IMG_3752 IMG_3748

We also made sure to visit out most fav late night eats places, below is Conrads! Though the menu has changed my love for them has not.


NSFW Cookies


I made cookies and cupcakes for the bachelorette party and some had to be inappropriate which means so were boobs, butts, and penises. I had to get creative with the heart cookie cutter for the boobs and butts because I couldn’t find one anywhere. I cut a can and shaped it into a heart; which actually worked out pretty well. I borrowed the penis cookie cutters from one of my friends—that would have been a little bit more difficult to make out of a can. I also made golf themed cupcakes because the bride-t0-be is marrying a pro golfer and is also a big golf fan! I used a special tip for the frosting, got edible pearls from the grocery store, and made the flags with toothpicks and paper. I carried the cupcakes, unfrosted, on the plane along with the fully done cookies. I checked my bag with the frosting and it was easy to put together once I was in Nashville.

If you don’t have inappropriate desserts and dance on the kitchen counter then it really isn’t a bachelorette party now is it?




IMG_3643 IMG_3651

Take Me to A Bouchon Any Day


What is a bouchon you ask? A bouchon is a type of restaurant that is most commonly found in Lyon France and serves classic Lyonnaise food. This is not your light lunch type of meal it is a meal normally focused around meats. They say the classic ones have red-checkered table clothes and a bistro feel to them. Lets take it a step further and discuss Lyon.

Lyon is the gastronomic capital in France with Michelin star rated restaurants all over the city; one of the many reasons we wanted to go. Though there were star restaurants all of the the city Kara and I could not wait to have a classic Lyonnaise meal. We almost didn’t get this experience because we didn’t make a reservation in advance so like a said in the previous post MAKE A RESERVATION—even the day of is good enough but you need one to be seated.

We had our bouchon experience at Le Café des Federations. You are given a menu for you to see what you will be served for your appetizers and cheese course and then you get a choice for you entree.


The meal started with oeufs en meurette which is egg poached in a wine sauce. This starter set the bar very high for the rest of the meal. Next came a lyonnaise salad which consist of frissee lettuce topped with an egg and warm bacon to wilt the greens and coated with a mayonnaise like dressing, a lentil salad, and a few different kinds of salami like meats and cornichons.



Next we had the cheese course. There were about six different of options; soft, hard, and spreadable cheese. This might be the only time in my life I left cheese on my plate. I was appalled at myself but I knew I had two more courses to go and I had already learned my lesson on trying to ask for a to go box.


Next we had the mains. I had a quenelle which is a mixture of creamed fish and it was poached with a crawfish sauce. It was heavenly! So light and almost soufflé like. My French teacher told me I must be French if I like this dish. Kara had a pork cheeks stew, which reminded me of beef bougonione. They were both amazing. Rich in flavor, which the way the French know best, and hearty and elegant in all ways food possibly can be.


Here we are super excited about the mains then we realized there was still dessert!

We got an ice cream with a berry glaze on top and then pink praline tart. The tart had a caramel like deep red texture and tasted like sugar that had pork cracklins in it.


When I think about experiences eating or not in my life this will always be one of my favorite.