Reconnecting In Monument 

Basking in the morning sun with glimpses of the Colorado mountain from the patio, I’m sorry to see the weekend nearing its end. Do you have a group of friends, that no matter the distance or how long apart it’s been, that once you are together it’s like no time has passed? I’m so blessed to have this in my life.  These ladies remind me who I truly am.  And that’s worth more than gold. 

This weekend was no exception. Our phenomenal hosts made the weekend even better than ever.  Thank you, M and J,  for opening your home and hearts! These flashes of reconnection are far too short. But, boy, do we know how to pack a lot of unadulterated adventure into a very short amount of time. 

Let me start by telling you a little bit about Monument, Colorado which sits a little over an hour from the airport. Monument is north of Colorado Springs and the United States Air Force Academy, and east of the Rampart Range, which is the eastern front range of the Rocky Mountains. It began as a settlement along the Rio Grande Railroad in 1872 and just happens to be a few miles from where J grew up, left, and returned a few years ago bringing M with him. A perfect spot for a Girlfriends reunion! 

Reunited and I’m So Excited 

Friday morning arrived with three of us arriving at the Denver airport. If you havent been to the Denver airport be aware that it sits out in the middle of nowhere and takes a bit to go wherever your going. The good news is that there are shuttles, for a fee, which will take you where you want to go. Just reserve one in advance and try to be on time. We missed the 10am shuttle by nine minutes. That just meant we had a few hours to kill over Bloody Mary’s at the Red Rock. 

Tip: If you are running a few minutes late call the shuttle service. They will often wait if you are running a few minutes late. Any more than that I highly recommend the Bloody Mary’s. 

After M picked us up from the Park and Ride we headed to her home to await the last member joining our party later. I know I mentioned how hard it is for everyone to get together before, and this time was no exception. Not everyone could manage the trip (you know who you are) and the group was a little smaller than in the past. But everyone was there in spirit… and a few of their stories as well. 

When B arrived, we kicked off the weekend gathering around the patio table to catch up. It was a beautiful Colorado evening made better by pizza, adult beverages and lots of smack talking over past adventures of which I’m sworn to secrecy. 

Local Farmer’s Market

The local Farmer’s Market called to us as we lingered over coffee and pastries, that J had graciously ran out to get, just for the ovarian vortex that had descended upon his quiet home with gads of giggles and  estrogen. M is so lucky to have him. 

If you get to Monument go to the Farmer’s Market. From fresh produce, local honey to fancy, long lasting lipstick you can find it here. 


Across the street from the Market is an eclectic shoppers paradise of shabby chic meet Colorado hip decor and wearables. For the shopper’s wingman there are comfortable rocking chairs beneath a shaded back porch.   Take advantage of those rockers, relaxing in the cool shadows. 

From there we headed to Bella Casa just around the corner. On a mission,  we all picked up a seasoning mix for yummy coated crackers that we had been snacking on since we had arrived. I’m going to call this mix crack-cracker-mix. Just saying it’s beyond delicious and you will want to grab lots of this mix to make at home. 


If I had a way of packing more home with me I could have done serious damage to my pocket book here.  Every nook seemed to hold something my heart desired. I’m addicted to housewheres and this little shop did not disappoint my addiction. 

Palmer Lake 

Palmer Lake sits a few miles from Monument. It’s J’s  home town plus it’s home to the worlds best ice cream at the Rock House.  Did someone say lunch!?! 

We piled out of the SUV and headed into The Rock House.  This small business hosts a case full of ice cream in an assortment of flavors, all especially made for the Rock  House, as well as some favorite lunch specials. Stop in, grab a BLT and indulge in a chocolate waffle cone with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Afterwards take a minute to find a trinket from the curio ship in back made by local artists. 

For those visiting the Tri-Lake area swing by Palmer Lake. It’s worth the stop. Visitors can enjoy a coffee, bakery, antique shopping, boutiques, and art galleries… and don’t forget the ice cream! Take a drive along Lovers Lane and if you have time get out for a hike. 

Celebration

Unbeknownst to me, my girlfriends surprised me with a birthday dinner. Not just any birthday, but the BIG 50.  Happy early Birthday to me! 

Dressed, and ready for cocktails, we headed to the Bistro on 2nd in Monument. This little Bistro has an amazing fresh take on fine dining in an upbeat, fun atmosphere. Thank goodness for that because we aren’t exactly prim and proper – quite the opposite. And the staff was ready to take us on, all good natured fun. 


From cocktails, appetizers, dinner to dessert the service was impeccable. Taylor took our high spirits in stride and played along while delivering impeccable service. 


I can’t speak highly enough of the service. And the menu is amazing! I think I could take a bath in the chocolate mousse. 


Not eager to call the evening over after dinner, we took the party outside to  the fire pit. Rick Velliquette, owner/operator/host-extraordinaire, made us right at home with a kick-ass platter filled with all the fixings for s’mores. I even indulged in a snow cone lemon drop martini – you have to try it! It was a beautiful evening, filled with good natured  fun, a few new misadventures shared, and discovering a fantastic Bistro in Monument. Too bad it’s so far away from Houston. 


Wow – what a fantastic birthday celebration – one I won’t foget. Thank you, Ladies, for loving  me and sharing my big milestone. It was a blast. 

Back to Houston

Before heading in different directions we talked about the next potential reunion. Vegas, baby! Can you feel it? I think I’ll bring my boots. 

Cheers!

❤️

Advertisements

Another Adventure Comes to A Close – Des Moines, Iowa


I must get my hormones in check! The waterworks turned on hugging my son goodbye this morning. Poor guy! 

Heading back to Anchorage, I already miss the guys and our easy going days. To be honest, this trip has flown by too quickly, making me wish for more time. Unfortunately time is something we never get back once it’s spent. 

The guys spoiled me with a beautiful room decorated just for me. It was like stepping into a hotel room. A robe and slippers laid on a scrumptious bed piled high with beautiful bedding. I absolutely loved waking up and falling asleep in in my nest surrounded in dark purple walls contrasted  in white trim. They could rent it out on Air B&B! 


I met Mr. Abraham for the first time. It took a little bit for him to warm to me but by the end of my stay I’d say he will miss me. 

Breakfast at La Mie Bakery Thursday morning was a treat. Go for the pastries! Ignore your diet. This is a lovely spot to indulge your sweet tooth. The place was bustling and tables were filled with happy customers.  I’d personally pass on breakfast although they have a very nice menu. The noise level was over the top competing against the pop music playing. But if shouting over breakfast is your cup of tea eat in. I’d recommend filling a box up with your favorite pastries and heading outside to really enjoy your treat. 

It’s time to board. This flight will take me to Chicago, then to Seattle and on to Anchorage.  I’ll post more as time allows. 

Cheers!

Wrong Bus


“Honey, never forget you’re awesome… you’re just sitting in the wrong seat, on the wrong bus,” my girlfriend said,  consoling me. 

Wrong bus.

I’m banging on the door, begging the bus driver to stop so I don’t miss my stop. He ignores me and keeps driving. The more I beg to get off, the faster he drives. Stop after stop flies by. Thoughts of jumping flashes through my brain but just as quickly ugly images of bloody gashes and broken bones flashes through my mind, keeping me frozen in my seat.

Fear. An ugly companion.

The bus turns a corner. Slows. My heart leaps. Was now my chance? Can I get off now? Would he let me go now?

A new bus driver steps onboard, sits down and the bus races on ignoring my request to let me get off at my stop. Instead, her hooded eyes sternly staring at me from the rear windshield mirror, tells me I’m on the wrong bus (like I didn’t already know that -ugg). Her words harsh as stones, fire at me, reminding me I don’t belong in the seat assigned and there is no place for me on her bus and there are no stops for the likes of me.

The bus stops.

The doors open – to an empty dirt road.

I get off the bus. It drives away.

Fear greets me.

Sigh.

I look closer. Behind Fear sits Potential.

Stepping around Fear I embrace my Potential.

 Thank you, D., for reminding me that there is always another bus on its way. 

A New Day, A New Month and the Theme is LOVE

It’s All About Love
The days are getting longer. The weather is warming just enough to turn the snow to slush during the day and cold enough at night to turn the streets to ice making for a fun commute in the morning – kind of like ice skating except in cars (not recommended) – and the stores are blooming with pink and red hearts.

Welcome to February!

Love is in the air.

Did you know that for every language there is a word for love? But the meaning of love crosses so many boundaries and morphs depending on who said it, the context it was said in, even the enunciation can change the meaning. There are feelings to consider (so many FEELINGS). There are relationships to consider (commit/don’t commit/somewhere in the middle). Let’s just agree there is a lot to consider to this very simple word L O V E.

Before sitting down to write I popped online researching pages and pages. There is a minefield of information all on the meaning of love. Wow. I encourage you to check it out yourselves. For those of you with a very analytical mind love may not be a riddle easily solved. However, many have tried. My personal favorite happens to be the Greek’s 6 words described here at Yes Magazine.

1. Eros – sexual passion

2. Philia – deep friendship

3. Ludus – playful love

4. Agape – love for everyone

5. Pragma – longstanding love

6. Philautia – love of the self

My Very Personal Opinion:

No matter how you slice or dice it love begins internally with each of us. Love is an ember of warmth that, if nurtured, flares to a glowing fire warming all who nears its presence. Love begins with me. It begins with you. Love connects us. Love grows us. Love excites us. Love is the adventure of a lifetime. Like the Beatles’ song goes “all you need is love”.

Here’s to L O V E!

Cheers!

img_4298
 

Iconic Sights and Sounds of New York City

Get lost in the City with the iconic sights and sounds of New York City.


Cheers!

💕

All Pictures by C. Lagunas and A. Carter

Answering Brene Brown’s 4 Questions. 



  1. What do I want MORE of in my life?
  2. How do I let go of what’s no longer serving me?
  3. What will make me feel more alive? More brave?
  4. At the end of every day and at the end of every year, I need to know that I contributed more than I criticized. How have I contributed and what will that look like moving forward?

Brene Brown’s email arrived in my inbox and, like most things; it arrived at the perfect time. In her email she stated that she asks herself those four questions at the end of the year. I re-read them and then I re-read her answers. And, once again, her wisdom struck a chord deep inside of me. And then I wondered how would I answer them? Could I answer them? Would it make sense? And then my thoughts finally landed on “why the hell not try?”

When I read question one my mind instantly races to LESS. What I want less of. What does that say about me? I take a deep breath. I retype MORE in capital letters. And then bold the letters to highlight it even MORE. And then I begin.

1. I want MORE… more peace, more safety, more security, and more sunshine in my life.

2. I let GO of pushing, of trying too hard. Instead I am embracing the FLOW…and letting that be ok.

3.  Step out of my comfort zone! It’s so easy for me to sink into routine. It’s time to shake it up and find the courage to step out. Explore. Get lost. Find love.

4. This is a tough one. I think that for a long time I’ve been living on auto pilot. I’ve been getting by but have I contributed? I’m not sure. I think this will be a work in progress.

How about you? Take a stab at answering the questions. Don’t forget to share them with me.

Cheers!

Red is for Sex and Other Fun Lessons In The City 

I want a red pair of boots now – just saying. You can’t possibly not want a pair after watching Kinky Boots. But I’m jumping ahead.

After some down time at the hotel Friday afternoon, we went to TKTS in Times Square to score discount tickets to Kinky Boots. Don’t let the long que scare you. It moves super FAST. When we got there the line was wrapped around the building with gads of people dripping in the rain. Yes, the promised rain had arrived. Wish I had snapped a picture of the que, instead we ended up chatting with a guy exclaiming he had seen Kinky Boots six times and that seven times may be excessive… after seeing it I would tell him to go again.


The Rum House

With tickets in hand and a bit rain soaked, we ducked into a small bar a few doors down from our hotel. The Rum House has a retro, speak easy vibe. It’s cozy, dark space and Rat Pack music playing in the background called for a glass of bubbly.


If you do get to the Rum House check out the menu. It’s old school art with lots of classic cocktails and era appropriate quotes which made for an entertaining read by my iPhone flash light.



From there it was onto Kinky Boots. I won’t spoil it for you. But trust me, it’s big, it’s fun and it’s absolutely a feel good musical. The performance pulled on a few heart strings and then, orchestra ready, lifted in a happy high that had the audience clapping along. Go. You will love it!

Saturday Morning – Good Morning New York!


Great message to start my last morning off! Artist swarm around me as I walked to Bouchons for coffee. Ok. Maybe that’s a hyperbole. But four young men walked behind me going on about scripts and performing for several blocks. I just smiled, shamelessly eavesdropping. Welcome to New York!

Take a walk with me.

 

 


Another Adventure Comes to an End

Like all good things, this weekend is quickly coming to an end. My real life back in Anchorage is calling my name. I stopped at one of the plethora of souvenir shops to pick up a few small items. I can’t leave New York without a magnet!



I’ve been asked lots of times about traveling to and from Anchorage. Let’s just say that it’s a journey. Travel time back to Anchorage will take me about 15 hours. It’s just the way it goes when you live in the Last Frontier. From New York to Seattle and then in to Anchorage.

I hear it’s snowing and it’s warmed up to a toasty few degrees above zero. Let’s go home.

Until next time!

Cheers!

💞