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 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.
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.