12 years ago Nick surprised me with a weekend in Breckenridge, CO.  During that weekend celebrating our 1 year anniversary we decided to make it a thing: every year we go somewhere else in Colorado and every other year we switch off who plans the surprise for the other person. This year was my year and I as I looked at options it just kind of all fell together. I’ve always wanted to experience a tiny house so I reserved one in Loveland, CO.



At the same time Nick was given a birthday and anniversary present for both of us to go on a sailing lesson. So it was set, I arranged a swap for child care and off we headed Friday.  Though it was such bad traffic we found a local Denver brewery to have dinner.



Saturday was the sailing lesson then we hung out around Loveland.



There are tons of sculptures all over town and 2 very large sculpture gardens, so we meandered around all of those.





We also found a great local CO tap room and delicious Cajun restaurant.





Nick surprised Kara by booking 2 nights without Ivan at Steamboat Springs for anniversary celebration.  We had such a great time doing what we can’t do with Ivan: ejoying a 3 hr dinner with wine, walking along the river and talking, scenic drive, sitting with wine by the river, relaxinging in the hot springs.  We also enjoyed the chair lift up and the alpine slide down the mountain.

Here’s a link for a short photo video:

This September 17th we celebrated 10 years married. Our tradition is to have a weekend excursion to a new-to-us Colorado town. This was Kara’s year to plan, but before we show you that, here’s a trip down memory lane.

2006 Wedding/Honeymoon in Gunnison, CO

2007 Breckenridge


2008 Frisco


2009 Florence/Canyon City


2010 Salida


2011 Red Feather Lakes


2012 Boulder


2013 Palisade/Grand Junction


2014 Crested Butte


2015 Avon (Vail Valley)


2016 Ridgeway/Ouray


See our video below for a full look at our adventures in Ridgeway/Ouray or click here:


This year it was Nick’s turn to plan the anniversary trip.  We ended up in Vail Valley, staying in Avon and exploring the entire valley.  It was a bit early to see fall colors but we found some good yellow Aspens! Ivan enjoyed getting away with us as well and we slowed down enough to drive over Guanella Pass on the way home.


This year we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary by taking an extended weekend in Crested Butte and surrounding area.  We took a couple of days off work and headed out on a Thursday morning.  We were anticipating seeing some Aspen leaves changing, but it was a bit early.  We enjoyed driving over Kebler Pass and into Paonia where we found a delicious farm to table cafe. We also tested 4 local wineries: Black Bridge, Stone Cottage Cellars, Terror Creek Winery, and Azura Cellars. Paonia is the “Palasade” of the east side of the Grand Mesa, so the fruit is abundant; however they tend to make their wines in a smaller more “European” style (so we were told).  We really enjoyed visiting with the wine makers. We then drove down along the eastern edge of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and back up to CB. The next day we decided to drive another road called Ohio Pass with better fall colors and paused for a short hike up to Beaver Ponds. We ended the day with dinner at Garlic Mike’s right outside of Gunnison.  This was the same restaurant we had dinner the evening we got married!  The food was delicious!!! When we left it was rainy which provided some different scenery for photos and we decided to drive a different route up to Taylor  Park Reservoir and Cottonwood Pass to Cottonwood Lake. It was a great weekend to get away and relax.


Or watch video directly on Vimeo at




IMG_0040IMG_0075IMG_0110The past month and a half has been busy with traveling, however the past 4 weekends we have been out of town completely.  It started with the Palisade wine festival as part of our 7th anniversary.  On our way to Palisade, we stopped to hike Hanging Lake before driving the rest of the way to Grand Junction.  It is unique.

A friend invited us to help pour for Talon Brands Wine and we readily agreed and worked out the details to also stay with her at her brother’s house.  Nick and I poured for St. Kathryn‘s which specializes in fruit wine.  They are known for their very distinctive Lavender Wine, which is a Riesling based with strong Lavender flavors.  We had a fabulous time leaving on Thursday evening and crashing in Glenwood Springs after visiting Glenwood Brewery. We thoroughly enjoyed wine, excellent food, and company all weekend.

On our way back we enjoyed a drive through CO National Monument and due to a terrible accident and construction headed on Highway 9 over Hoosier Pass to get back to Denver on 285.  We hit snow flurries, I do not think it was the first mountain snow flurries, but it was early to see it. (9/22/13)

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The weekend after the wine fest, Nick and I flew down with his company for the Catapult Systems 20th anniversary party.  It was a quick trip, barely gone for 24 hours.  It was fun to hang out in Austin with some of his coworkers and spouses.  Upon arriving we headed for a late lunch at Salt Lick Barbeque. It was phenomenal!! The company through a huge party held at the Austin Music Hall!

Then the next two weekends we have been in New Mexico on vacation.  An unexpected change of events that will be in more detail in posts to follow.

Each year Nick and I celebrate our anniversary by going to visit a place in CO where we have not spent time before. We also alternate who plans the weekend, so this year it was my turn to plan.  What made it difficult this year was the timing of our anniversary fell during our kitchen remodel so that we waited a month before we could set aside a weekend.

So half way through October we headed out after work.  Nick drove but not knowing where to go, I gave step by step directions.  We headed to Golden for a coffee at the Windy Saddle Cafe then went up to Boulder.  I found a cute studio place on AirBnB to rent for the weekend and we checked in then headed out to dinner at the Boulder Cafe. We had a super yummy cheese fondue and other small plates.  We then headed to West Flanders Brewery for a late night beer.

Saturday was a beautifully cloudy fall day so after some coffee we went for a walk around the lake near by then headed to the Boulder Farmers market to look around and shop and take pictures then to the  Boulder Brewery for lunch and sampling beers.  After a much needed nap we headed out to the Pekoe Sip House for coffee/tea and some reading together.  We still were not hungry so instead we found a wine bar called Caffe Sole with jazz music to hang out and talk some more.

Sunday morning we got coffee then packed up and headed outside for some sunshine until lunch.  We hit up Mountain Sun Brewery for lunch and beer.  This is the first time ever I found a beer I liked so that was quite a celebration.  After lunch we headed south and to Denver City Park where I had arranged for a friend of a friend to meet us to take some pictures of us.  Nick ended up teaching a bit of photography in the process but it was fun and we got a few good pictures out of it.  All in all a fun filled non computer or work weekend of celebrating the beginning of our 6th year of marriage.

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