It’s Finally Friday: I’ve been everywhere, man!

For the last two weeks, my husband and I have traveled from Northern Virginia to Denver, CO and back (by car) to help our oldest daughter move (into a new place, in a new city and a new job location). Along the way we discovered a few new things: places to hike and enjoy sunrise, places to eat and drink, and my new favorite deodorant (so random)!!

Hiking to Bierstadt Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful ways to take in the fall colors of the wondrous Aspens; they seem to shimmer in the breeze. While the elevation change and switchbacks are challenging, you’ll be glad you did it!

Rocky Mountain National Park – Bierstadt Lake Hike

Sunrise at Sprague Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park was spectacular and a little chilly, but totally worth it. We never saw the moose who use the lake as their morning watering hole, but you can follow them on Facebook to catch a glimpse. However, we did get to see a sunrise wedding, such a cool idea. I’m sure the happy couple has some stunning photographs!!

Rocky Mountain National Park – Sunrise at Sprague Lake

Downtown Estes Park, CO has the cutest downtown chock full of shops, restaurants, and galleries. While we were only there for 2 days, we had the chance to enjoy the Avocado Margarita, Bison Tacos and Carne Asada at Ed’s Cantina and Grill, delicious!! Sit on the back patio if the weather is nice and enjoy the views and relaxing sounds of rushing water along the Estes Park Riverwalk near where the Big Thompson and Fall rivers meet.

Enjoy breakfast on the deck of Dunraven Inn with spectacular views of Lake Estes. There’s a walking path around the lake where you’re sure to see a few Elk along the way. Stop by The Stanley Hotel (inspiration for Steven King’s The Shining) where you can tour of the grounds and maze!

Elk at Lake Estes, CO
Elk – Lake Estes, CO

In the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, City O’ City is a vegetarian restaurant that will leave you wanting to try everything on the menu. We ordered three different things and they were all amazing!

Located a few blocks from historic Larimer Square (restaurants, shopping, bars and nightlife) in downtown Denver is the The Corner Office offering tasty American Cuisine and great cocktails – try one their delicious concoctions or the “Up To You” drink – you choose the spirit (vodka, gin, tequila, rum, or whiskey) and they add angostura bitters, ginger and lime. We each had a different spirit (tequila, gin and whiskey) each with delicious results.

The Next Door American Eatery on Pearl Street in Boulder, CO offers scenic mountain views when dining al fresco. Try the street tacos or one of their inventive (and filling) bowls and salads. Your tastebuds will thank you!!

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO offers a museum and tram ride to the top of the Arch allowing views of Illinois and Missouri. Then try Anthonino’s Taverna in The Hills neighborhood. We dined inside (great COVID protocolls in place) and the food and staff were amazing! I will definitely eat there again next time I’m in St. Louis! Try the Palermo Style Chicken with lemons, capers and olives in white wine butter sauce. I mean, fuggedaboutit! We decided to stay downtown in order to enjoy views of the Arch as we drifted off to sleep.

And for a bit of randomness, about 6 months ago, I purchased a travel size Native Cucumber-Mint deodorant when I was re-stocking my toiletry bag. I finally got the chance to try it out on this trip. The verdict: it smells and works great! I’m sold. It’s made with clean ingredients, it’s cruelty free, and made in the U.S. They even have seasonal scents like rosemary & lemon zest and pumpkin spice latte!

And, lastly a special shout out to Kansas, Colorado and West Virginia for their renewable energy wind farms in fields and on mountain tops!!

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