Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things we did in Colorado Springs, CO

We left Aspen after having a nice and hearty breakfast at Mountain Chalet. We drove through Independence Pass and stop by continental divide to have lunch. It was a long drive to Colorado Springs. Our first stop was Garden of the Gods. It's a park with many rock formations. The visitor center is across the park. The trading post is inside the park. We met a very nice guy form the Trading Post, Laslo. He give a lot information about things to do in the area.

We tried to find all rock formations. The rock changes depending on what angle you are looking from. It's a fun family outing as each of us would come up with different idea on what's the rock formation look. The one that you can't miss is the kissing camel. There are a lot of rock climber in the park.

This night, we ate at Caspian Cafe, a Mediterranean Restaurant. The building may not look too appealing from the outside, but in the inside, is a wow. It has hanging lights on each table, curtains on the window. It made me feel like inside a high class restaurant with affordable menu. Best of all, they have gluten free kids menu.

I ordered Gyros Platter and Mediterranean salad topped with Falafel for hubby, kid.'s kabob for the baby. My gyros is very tasty, hubby likes his salad especially the Falafel. The food was great, the ambiance was great, the waitress was great. It was really a great dinner.

We stayed at La Quinta Gardenn of Gods, just a few steps from Caspian Cafe. We got an outdoor room (the entrance of the room is facing outdoor instead of a hallway) and a very strong citrusy scent room. The bed is OK for an overnight stay. It wasn''t very impressive. They provide free continental breakfast. No scrambled eggs. I wonder if we should stay at Hyatt Place just across the street. Well.. the decision was made by choosing the most reasonable hotel for overnight stay. It fits the bill...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things we did in Aspen, CO

What should we do in Aspen during summer? A lot. In addition to summer activities, we did some hiking and visited ghost town.

Today, we plan to spend all day at Aspen.

We started the day with a hearty breakfast. They provided egg croissant, sausage, oatmeal, fruits, cereals, and choices of juice, coffee, tea and milk. The breakfast lady is so very friendly. When we arrived there, the sausage was only 3 left. And I asked her if she has more and she said it was already in the oven and she will bring it up for us.
She even offer to bring banana and eggs along as she knew we were planning on hiking.

We stopped by City Market (local grocery store) to get some lunch for a picnic. They have choices of prepared food. We decided to get sushi for lunch and they have a very good ocean sushi.

We went to Maroon Bell. It's the most photographed view in the area. After paying $10, you will get to a picnic place and hiking trail. Maroon bell trail is flat, unpaved trail circling maroon bell lake. You will see beaver dam and water falls towards the top of the trail. They even have benches where you can picnic and enjoying the view of the lake.

We hiked up to the water fall. On the way circling the waterfall, our 3 years old fell in to the lake. It was a scary experience in the first few seconds as I didn't see my daughter. She was shivering and crying. I decided to take her clothes off and wrap her in my fleece. God was watching over us.

Next stop, Ashcroft It was a mining city that got competition from Aspen and now a ghost town. The ticket is $3/ person to get in the ghost town. There are more visitors come to ghost town than its population.

Then we went to John Denver park in downtown Aspen, where we met Joe and Pistol the dog.

We had dinner at Boogie's Diner. The décor would remind you in the 60's. The food was not very impressive and they don't have kids' menu.

Then, we walk to down town Aspen. It was pretty nice and quiet while enjoying sunset. There's a corner ice cream shop we have to try. Next to Wagner park is a playground and public restroom. It's a great place to sit and enjoy the night while watching water fountain.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Loveland, Boulder, Aspen

Before we leave Loveland, we stopped by Loveland post office to mail a post card. Loveland is known for sweet heart valentine card.

We visited CSU for picture taking. Then we drove to Boulder to meet my elementary school friend, Gaby

Forrest Gump famous quote, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get" it's kind of true for me.

Three years ago, after I named my baby Gabrielle, I remember that I had a friend named Gaby. Who would have thought, about 2 years later, I found her on the internet and today we are going to meet her.

We then continue our trip to Aspen. We decided to take independent pass to get to Aspen. It was another breathtaking view with me gasping for breath. Luckily, hubby drove the car and he barely have problem with mountain sickness.

Finally, we arrived in Aspen. Aspen lighting is so dimmed. They do have Mc.Donalds, but don't expect you will find their yellow arch. Because we arrive close to 9 and it was a holiday, the only place open was the gas station snack bar. That's was the best dinner for us.

Mountain Chalet is an interesting place to stay. It's owned by the Melville family since 1954. The décor makes you feel like in an “European chalet” It has pool, sauna, exercise room, laundry room, breakfast room in the basement and rooms facing indoor or outdoor the building. Best, it has underground parking and wifi. It located very strategically in the middle of Aspen. It's one block from the bus station, right across Wagner park and few blocks from Silver Queen gondola.

It also the first lodging I found that they put a comment envelope so you could give gratitude to the house keeper or they will dived up for every one.

They provided free breakfast, egg croissant and sausage... Did I say sausage? Yes... some people needs coffee to wake up. I need good hearty breakfast... Will continue next.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fire, Food, Fashion and Fun

Are you wondering what to wear for Summer. How do you accessorize your outfit? Join us for tips on looking great and family fun with our second annual open house and summer solstice party.

Bigib,LLC and Impeccable Image LLC invites you for an evening of fun and fashion tips. Conny from Bigib, LLC is going to have a jewelry showcase. Kimberly from Impeccable Image LLC will talk about how to accessorize your summer looks.

While learning some fun tips, your family is invited to a summer solstice party where we will have fire, games, smores and yummy Indonesian dessert while enjoying the longest day of the year and meeting new friends.

June 26 same time for rain day.

Bring a friend and have a chance to win door prizes.

6:00-7:30: Jewelry showcase - Conny Karman
6:30-7:00: How to accessorize your summer look - Kimberly Gomez
7:30-10:00: Summer Solstice Party - Please bring lawn chair or blanket.

If you live in Waukesha, WI area, please email me conny(at)bigib(dot)com

Picture borrowed from Evite.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Things we do in Loveland, Colorado

We left from Des Moines, IA and drove 10 hours to Colorado.

During the trip, we stopped by Mall on the Bluff in Council Bluff, IA. They have HyVee, a local grocery stores where they have a lot of ready food to go, including sandwiches, pizza, Asian food, salad... you name it. They server also was very nice, genuinely nice.
We try to eat healthier during the trip, so this store really gave a lot of option of healthier food.

We had dinner at TJ Bummer, Sterling, CO. It has a nice atmosphere, local favorite place to eat. They provide american food including burger. The food was OK.

We stayed at Fairfild Inn Loveland. I like modern decor and amenities. Best, I really like the location. It's about 1 hr from Estes Park rocky mountain park. 20 min from Fort Collins, less that an hour from Boulder. The room is pretty standard 2 queen bed. They offered continental breakfast including make yourself waffle. They also provided microwavable Jimmy Dean's cheese, bacon biscuit.

We went to the Rocky Mountain and stop by Estes Park, which is about 8000 ft elevation. The visitor center really helps points out point of interests. They pointed alluvial fan (happened because a dam failed and created flood), highest elevation paved road (pictured) and continental divide. If you watch The Shining movie, they shot at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.

We drove up to the rocky mountain park and reached about 12000 ft above sea level. The view is breathtaking... but I couldn't really enjoy it because I was breathing hard.

In case you are curios, mountain sickness happens because the oxygen is very thin. I felt my heart beating faster, breath heavier to get the oxygen my body needed and felt nausea and light headed. I learned drinking a lot of water or being in a tip top condition would help.

We spent all day in the Rocky Mountain. It's truly an amazing place to be.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First stop, West Valley Inn, Des Moines, IA

In the next few weeks, I 'm going to share my travel experience from WI to CO driving with small children. We decided to go during Memorial Day weekend. We left of Friday after school and head to our first stop, Des Moines, IA.

Armed with cooler, DVD player, CD, Nintendo, snacks and juice, we head our 6 hours drive to IA. I packed dinner, Japanese Omisubi. It's easy to eat and compact. We take turns driving and eating so we can eat in the car so we won't loose our driving time.

What we needed was a hotel or motel that is close to highway, where we could have a rest and go.

We stayed at Valley West Inn with 2 queen bed. The hotel fits the bill. I'm not too crazy with green hallway with redish carpet and I think they need to replace stairs carpet

Despite of the carpet, I'm surprise to find the room is pretty spacious for 2 queen bed, the bed and pillow is very nice for sleeping.Although they don't provide free breakfast, they provided microwave and refrigerator. It was fine with us because we have some left over dinner.

I had a good rest and ready to head to Loveland, Colorado.