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A Christmas Story

March 4, 2013

Christmas was a while ago, I realize.  But as this is my “renaissance in blogging,” we’re going to have to back track a bit.  I’ve been pouring over our pictures from the trip and getting a little bit homesick, I’ll admit.  We had such a nice time while we were home and despite one minor accident involving the scope of a gun and my boyfriend’s forehead, it was pretty much the perfect trip.

Since we began dating, Jozef has only met my parents and sister via Skype.  So he was in for a two week crash course in everything family related.  I can imagine that was pretty intense and maybe even a little overwhelming.  But he handled everything amazingly.  Everyone loved him, of course, and it was really nice to show him this other side of my life he doesn’t really get to see.

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Christmas Morning Breakfast 

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Aren’t we beautiful on Christmas morning?

We arrived just a few days before Christmas, so the first week we were in Colorado was pretty much all family stuff.  We had breakfast with my dad’s parents Christmas morning, and moved on to my mom’s family Christmas afternoon.  Then it was dinner with my Aunts and dinner again with  my grandparents the next day.  Every “event” was so gezellig and full of catching up and reminiscing.

By the end of the week, though, Jozef was ready for a break.  Ok, so was I a little bit.  One of his favorite scary movies is The Shining.  It just so happens, the hotel The Shining was inspired by and even written in is located just an hour away from my parents house.  So after all of the Christmas festivities died down, we took a beautiful mountain drive up the The Stanely Hotel to get away and recharge for a night.

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Room service and the Shining

I’ve stayed at the Stanley a few times before.  As a kid it used to scare the pants off of me.  But I love it now.  It’s such an old and stately building, beautifuly preserved inside.  The hotel itself is such an experience by itself.  We ended up staying in, ordering room service, and watching The Shining all night (it plays on repeat in the hotel).

The next day we headed back to Denver  to catch up with my very best friend in the world.  It’s so hard living far away from each other, and there never seems to be enough time to see each other when I’m home, but we make the best of what time we have.  This time we all headed to a speakeasy, downton.  It’s this super cool cocktail bar that transports you back to the 20’s the minute you walk through the door.  The lights are dim and the bartenders wear suspenders and bow ties   More importantly, though- the cocktails!  Oh the cocktails.  They were amazing.  Also, the BBQ pulled pork potato chip nachos were about the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  If you’re in the Denver area, I highly recommend you check out the Green Russel.  Trust me on this.

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Delicious drinks with lovely friends

We were in Colorado for New Years as well, and spent it at a small party with friends.  It was a bit of change for Jozef, because in Holland, New Years is full of fireworks- lots and lots of fireworks.  So it was a bit quieter than he is used to, but still super super gezellig.  And we drank our weight in champagne to ring in the new year, of course!

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The next day, I took Jozef to hike around Red Rocks.  I love being able to show off the super cool sites in my hometown.  And Red Rocks is definitely one of them.  The colors alone are amazing, and visiting the amphitheater still gets me super excited.  We checked out the stage and wandered around the grounds, and finished the day with an early dinner/late lunch at the Morrison Inn– another must-try if you’re in the area.  While we warmed up from our winter hike with a delicious burrito, we decided to make some new year resolutions together.  I’m usually not big on resolutions, but I do love to set goals.  It was really special to sit down together and set goals for our own selves, as well as things we’d like to work towards as a couple.  It was a simple and fairly short moment of our trip, but one that really meant a lot to me.  Later, I’ll also be blogging about our resolutions and how we’re doing at acheiving them.    You all can hold us accountable 😉

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The rest of the trip was relaxing and just enjoying the comfort of being home.  We played board games and ate cookies, lots and lots of cookies.  It was the best Christmas I’ve had in quite a while, in fact.  Thinking back over it all is making me quite anxious to get back and visit again.  Luckily we’ll be heading that way again in June!  Until then, I’m happy to have such nice memories to think about when I’m feeling particularly far away.

I’ll leave you with these two photos of my niece, Ella.  Because she’s super cute and sweet… until she’s not.

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