glenwood springs getaway

Glenwood Springs: a magical, must-see destination in Colorado for all good reasons.

It seems this place was made for a perfect weekend getaway. With the most beautiful hike to Hanging Lake, a quaint town with cute shops and restaurants, and a relaxing hot springs to soak after a long day spent in the mountains, it has everything you need to get your mountain fix.

While the drive from Denver may seem far (about three hours), the views the entire way there were completely worth it. Plus, the incredible 70 degree weather didn’t hurt.

If you’re in town, I highly recommend Deja Brew, a charming, local coffee shop with incredible coffee, tasty breakfast burritos (we got the veggie bean – so good!), and the most delicious zucchini bread (we almost drove back for more).

Hiking to Hanging Lake 

The hike to Hanging Lake was about 2.4 miles round trip. Since there was still snow and ice in areas, it made it more difficult to hike in parts. You literally see everyone slipping, sliding, and falling at times (myself included), and quite frankly, it’s the most hilarious thing to watch. It’s like an olympic event, watching how each person comes down the trail, what tricks they add, deducting points for falls, and scoring on how graceful they are lol.

But seriously, look at how unreal this place is…

Hanging Lake hike

Pine trees

Hanging lake canyon view

Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs

Hanging Lake views

Hanging Lake views with Kristin

Blue Jay

Winter view of Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake water and mountains

Hiking to Hanging Lake

Nature

Hanging Lake

Angela at Hanging Lake

This place never gets old. Each new season brings out a beauty of its own. Can’t wait to visit again for another mountain escape.

xoxo,

Angela

rise

Let the crow sing

Let the wolf howl

Let the birds chirp

Let the cattle groan

 

Rise baby rise,

Sing only your song

Dance only your steps,

Rise baby rise

 

Feel the ground,

Feel the sky slip

And just past your grasp

 

Rise baby rise,

Lift those weary eyes

Hear the world’s cry

Rise baby rise

fall feels: 8 must-dos

My favorite season! While I do love summer (and miss those long, sunny days), fall always has its own way of bringing warmth. Subtle and bold colors emerge and reveal beauty beyond words. As leaves fall, autumn lets the past go and embraces a new season of life…shedding its nature (no pun intended) from winter, spring, and summer – seasons past.

So to celebrate my favorite season, here’s 8 must-dos for all the fall feels:

  • Go on a photo adventure to capture all of the fall colors!

Fall leaves

Or even when all of the leaves have already fallen…

Fall

Fall

  • Sip on a pumpkin spice latte. 
Pumpkin Spice Latte
publik coffee’s version of PSL (Gryffindor)
  • Make a visit to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. 
pumpkin pickin’ at Everitt Farms

Pumpkin patch

night corn maze at Denver Botanic Garden at Chatfield
spooky

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  • Hike in the mountains – nothing quite like a fall hike. 
alderfer three sisters park

  • Dress up on Halloween because it’s too fun not to. 


Halloweekend

Vampire and Kitten
ms. fang and her kitten, moon
Vampire | Halloween 2017
behind the evil vampire is a giggly girl
  • Watch at least one scary movie with your friends, no matter how much you loathe it. Hyunah and I decided to watch It, inspired by Stephen King’s novel. My palms were sweaty, and my heart was racing the entire time (I hate clowns that much more).
  • Take time for self-care, and slow things down. 

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brunch goals: latte, eggs benedict with smoked salmon, potatoes, and blueberry panckaes

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  • Most importantly, cherish your friends, family, and loved ones in every single moment you share. Show compassion, gratitude, and love relentlessly, holding back nothing. Extend strangers and acquaintances kindness and empathy. Live more selflessly, serving others, because that is when you will find joy.

Feel free to also check out these other fall posts from years past:

-Angela

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

spring is in the air

Spring is in the air!

Seasons are changing. I’m a believer that as seasons change, we also evolve. We immerse ourselves in new experiences and things. We adapt to our environments. We bring out new parts of ourselves. Change is good. Change enables growth. Change enables challenge. Change enables self-awareness. Change enables reflection. Change enables you to flourish. And spring is all about new beginnings…

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To get excited about spring, these are some things I want to do!

  • Picnics in the park: can’t go wrong with a meat and cheese board, fruits, bread, chilled wine, and sunnies.
  • Travel: cue travel season – yes, travel is a year round activity, but what’s better than traveling in the spring when the weather warms up and the days grow longer (not to mention that it’s #bloomin this time of year)? Traveling in the spring is also great because you just beat the summer crowds and can usually find better deals on flights. Whether it’s a trip near or far, it’s time to seek out new adventures!
  • Climbing: I want to move the indoor climbing to the outdoors! I’ve only climbed outdoors twice, and it’s definitely an adrenaline filled experience (it’ll also help me work on conquering my slight fear of heights and falling).
  • Hiking: winter hasn’t kept me from hiking, but it’ll definitely be more fun hiking without slipping on ice and in the warmth. I also have an ambitious goal to climb 5 new fourteeners this year!
  • Weekends at the farmer’s market: weekend farmer’s markets are truly special. I have special memories visiting the farmer’s market with my one of my best friends back when I lived in Salt Lake City. Limeade, flowers, fresh produce, local crafts and jewelry…nothing quite like it.
  • Make flower bouquets: a girl’s best friend – tulips, sunflowers, peonies, baby breath, daisies, and snapdragons to name just a few…this is the time to #treatyoself.
  • Read outside: I want to try and read more, and what’s better than reading outside where there’s natural lighting and fresh air?
  • Eat lots of ice cream 
    • Sample a flight of flavors at High Point Creamery (yet to try this place)
    • Sweet Action Ice Cream has some of the best and unique variety of homemade flavors that constantly change.
    • Little Man Ice Cream also has ever-changing unique and traditional flavors served in their classic waffle cone.
  • Patio bars and coffee shops: a nice cocktail or cold beer on a deck is perfect for enjoying the blossoming flowers and trees. And I love coffee shops anytime of the year – summer, fall, winter, and spring! Now I’ll just be switching it up with some iced coffee and cold brews to stay refreshed.

– Angela

 

denver’s bellwether: coffee done right

One of my favorite things to do is try out new coffee shops. Each shop has its own style, character, and taste. Each shop an art exhibit, showcasing carefully brewed and crafted beverages. Each beverage fit for a unique person and personality.

These small shops awaken all senses – observe the latte art being poured delicately, feel the warmth gradually vacate the mug and transfer to your palms, pour the liquid from the rim to your lips, taste the creamy bitterness and the acidic, sweet, and full-bodied undertones, allow your body to slowly wake and absorb in the present.

A recent visit to Bellwether Coffee in Denver was absolutely on point.

This coffee shop infuses Western, rustic, modern, edgy, and artistic vibes. It serves coffee, but also whiskey. It also serves as a fashion retail shop and barbershop. This place has it all down to the details – the matches in the bathroom, the blue neon lights above the descending staircase, the mirror puns, the painted wall art, the skulls, the succulents, the wooden tables, and best of all, the quality and smoothness of its coffee.

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If you’re into trying different coffee shops and want a place with grit and style, I highly recommend Bellwether, a unique addition on East Colfax.

 

road trip to great sand dunes and mt. humboldt

The end of March is approaching, making its transition from winter to spring. Colorado greeted us with summer weather this past weekend, making our weekend road trip that much better basked in the sun – sun roof open, windows down, tangled hair, sunnies on, and nothing but vast land and an open road.

I would say that we truly encountered landscapes in the time we were given. By encountered, I mean we struggled and wrestled with nature. We felt its beauty, its textures, its force, its peace, its power, its vulnerability, and its voice. Whether we were covered in sand climbing the dunes, constantly falling knee-high deep in melting snow, while hiking through pine trees, or almost being blown away by high winds near the summit of Mt. Humboldt, we adapted to changing conditions. Sometimes the adventure requires a physical challenge so that the experience is not just a visual picture, but also a muscle memory – not just seen, but also felt.

It took about four hours to drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park from Denver. By the time we arrived Friday night, it was quite dark, but you could see numerous, bright stars and the milky way fill the sky, due to little light pollution in the southern region. Luckily, we were able to find available campground for the night not too far from the park (also spotted a black-tailed jack rabbit!).

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Admission to the Great Sand Dunes is $15, and the drive in the park to the main dune site is very close. At the very base, you see an incredible field of sand dunes before the tall, Sangre de Cristo mountain range draped in the background and the Medano Creek that runs through the bottom. This park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, reaching 750 feet tall over almost 19,000 acres. So, of course, we decided to climb the tallest sand dune by foot. Hiking in sand is definitely difficult, but going without boots makes it much easier.

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The views are outstanding from the top. And coming down is one of the most fun and rewarding parts! You can sand board, sled, run, belly-slide, or even roll down (caution: sand will get everywhere…literally).

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Just outside the parking lot from the base, there are several picnic tables where you can have lunch. We enjoyed a spread of French baguette, brie cheese, salami, dried mango, and Chardonnay, which made for a delightful afternoon picnic.

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After spending a little more than half a day at the dunes, we started heading towards the little town of Westcliffe for an early morning fourteener the next day – Mt. Humboldt (14,064 feet).

Woke up at 5 am on our last day to get an early start on our hike to Mt. Humboldt. Started the trail at 6 am when it was still dark – the moon and stars cast minimal dim light. On our way up, the sun began to rise over the trees and soon enough took over the sky in colorful oranges, pinks, purples, and reds. The trail itself was a bit hard to read due to the snow, but we managed to find our way above tree line.

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As we climbed further, the winds picked up, making it incredibly cold and challenging to continue towards the summit. At this point, I felt like I was going to be blown off the mountain. So I decided to call it at that point and started turning around – I am still proud to have made it that far up in those cold mountain conditions though! Cam, however, managed to make the summit despite the winds and even ran down to meet back up with me (what a beast)!

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With just micro-spikes on, the hike down proved interesting. The sun grew warmer and warmer as we got further down, which also meant snow was melting. So, naturally, we kept falling deep into the snow unexpectedly. It is probably best to bring snowshoes! By the time we got down early afternoon, we had hiked approximately 13 miles.

I will be sore for the next couple days, but that’s okay because the adventures were all worth it. First time to the Great Sand Dunes for me, and first time to Mt. Humboldt for both Cam and I. I love that Cam challenges me to go on 13 mile, 5 am, winter mountain excursions like it’s nothing out of the ordinary because each time I push my limits, I grow stronger mentally and physically for the next adventure that awaits.

Sand, picnics, sun, mountains, nature, road trips, and lovely company makes for a pretty awesome weekend.

rise with the sun in loveland

Rise

Let the crow sing
Let the wolf howl
Let the birds chirp
Let the cattle groan
Rise baby rise,
Sing only your song
Dance only your steps,
Rise baby rise
Feel the ground,
Feel the sky slip
And just past your grasp
Rise baby rise,
Lift those weary eyes
Hear the world’s cry
Rise baby rise

Getting up at 4:30 am is definitely not naturally my first choice. However, I will say that rising with the sun at Loveland Pass, surrounded by mountain peaks, was one of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring sights I have seen in Colorado. As you hike up the mountain, the sun changes hues from lavender and light pinks to bold red-orange and yellows.

Even with just three hours of sleep and frigid temperatures, I felt incredibly alive. The sun woke me up with not only its light, but with its fleeting beauty. Here and gone, sunrises remind me that every day is a new beginning with fresh starts and surprises. So if you don’t normally get to catch the sunrise because you enjoy sleep too much (like me), I challenge you to also get up early one of these days. After all, it is not the moments you got a lot of sleep that you remember, am I right?…

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– Angela

her majesty, longs peak

If you’re looking for a weekend escape in the snow with one of the most stunning views of her majesty, Longs Peak, do plan a day hike to Chasm Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park. The route is about 8.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2,500′ and gives you the adrenaline and awe of this famous Colorado fourteener without actually having to reach the summit (14,259′). All you really need are some snowshoes (or micro spikes), warm layers, plenty of water, snacks, hot tea, your iPhone (or camera) for capturing the beautiful scenery, and a mindset ready for adventure!

While Cam and I didn’t quite make it all the way to the lake due to icy conditions, we still managed to trek quite far to get an up close view. Here are some snaps from the hike. Enjoy!

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Breathe and envelop yourself in the mountain crisp air and pine. Nature will do its healing and fill you with peace of mind.

– Angela