Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Colorado Girls Trip!

You know you are on a cheap flight when you board the plane from the tarmac.

 My little sister Kristi decided that she needed an adventure last summer so instead of traveling to Europe or backpacking through the African jungle she decided to MOVE to Colorado. Her job was kind enough to transfer her to make the transition smoother, however, no one was expecting her to call in August and announce that she was having a BABY!!
We were soooo excited, but also super bummed! How can you go throughout your first pregnancy alone without me?...or any family for that matter! My mom and I decided that we needed to plan a trip to see her and that we did! We decided to wait until January so we could go to the movie together to see "One For The Money" with Katherine Heigl, since the three of us are huge Stephanie Plum novel fans! Plus - the good news is: we traveled on Allegiant and flights to Colorado Springs in January are like $40.00! NICE!!
YAY!! We made it to Colorado Springs!! Now we just have to get to Denver!

 On our first day we decided to go to the movie since that was the whole reason we came when we did! It's a good thing the company was good because the movie was mediocre. From Katherine Heigl's weird fake Jersey accent to the overall bad acting it left a lot to be desired but it was fun anyways. It's hard not to love it when you love the book so much and the people you are with. But in reality, the book is hilarious and has more action and the movie focused WAY too much on the romantic stuff (there is not a lot of romance in the books, just enough to tease the reader).

With the scanner gun! So fun! They should have Birthday Registry!
After the movie we decided to go a little baby "shopping". We went through Babies "R" Us and helped Kristi with her baby registry. She was cute because she had already started the registry months before and it was a whole 1 page long. By the time we were done it was more like 8 pages! hahah! Hopefully she will get some of this good stuff for her shower that we are throwing her in a couple of months. (hint hint) Then we went over to Target and did it all over again! New moms are so cute! Her thinking is " I don't want to register for bottles, paci's, bibs, towels, diapers, wipes, (Pretty much anything less than $10 in price) because I can just buy that myself they are too expensive! Ha! Problem is when you add them up its a small fortune! Register for it all!!!! Plus what you don't get from your registry you get like 15% (or maybe 10%) off on those items for up to a year! Yes, baby needs a 60" LED TV. hehe!

This was the view from our hotel room before the snow really started to flurry.
After all that shopping we were exhausted! Plus it was starting to snow so we decided to call it a day. We went back to Kristi's apartment and hung out for a while and said hi to Mark (her boyfriend) then we all went out to dinner. We went to a Mexican restaurant. Mexican food in any state by Arizona is always comedic relief. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good. When you have to smother everything in cheese you might have a problem. :)

Mom, Me & Kristi at the Mellow Mushroom in Denver
Our last day we decided to be tourists. Kristi and Mark took us around Colorado and we had so much fun! We ate lunch in downtown Denver at a place called the Mellow Mushroom. It was pizza (and I'm pretty sure they have a location right here in Tempe) and they specialize in the odd. They had funky pizza combinations that were pretty good. Its pretty pricey, but its a fun atmosphere and its not bad pizza.

Did you know that this really happens???
We also perused the outdoor mall (Yes, OUTDOOR in DENVER in JANUARY), however it didn't seem all that cold. It's funny how a desert winter night is more bone chilling than a Denver winter night. I couldn't believe that it was cold enough to actually have steam coming up from the ground! We also had Frozen Yogurt from Pink Berry at the mall. OH MY GOODNESS! I have never been on the FroYo band wagon but this was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! We need a Pink Berry in AZ ASAP! {Update: apparently there is one in Tucson, a lot of good that does me}

Mile High!
We hit up the State Capitol where if you stand on that exact step (that we are on in that picture) then you are exactly 1 mile above sea level. There were some seriously weird people hanging out at the State Capitol though, so we just took the picture and bolted!


We went to Hammond's candy factory!! My mom had seen an episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network where they went to this place and she remembered that they gave free tours daily so we went. It was pretty fun to watch. They call it a factory but there was not very many machines. It was mostly people making candy by hand the old fashioned way. At the time they were just making ribbon candy since the busy season (Christmas) was already over.  

You get official candy maker hats when you go on the tour.
The Candy Room was amazing! I wanted to get the kids a little souvenir from here but man it was hard to pick stuff out! There was just so much! I ended up opting for large suckers for each of them. I picked them out according to color rather than flavor. It was just easier that way.

When we were downtown we stopped in to see Coors Stadium, where the Rockies play. I'm not a huge Rockies fan, but I am a HUGE baseball fan! This stadium was absolutely beautiful! I wished it was baseball season so we could just watch a game there. This will definitely have to be on the list of stadiums to see a game at when we do our tour. We tried to get in but they had to guarded because there was a funeral going on inside. What do you have to do to have your funeral inside a baseball park? That would be awesome!

We did other stuff too but we were having too much fun to document everything so I will leave it here. I am so glad that Dan and the kids were able to spare me for 3 days and that my Dad and Chad were able to handle things without my mom! It was so fun and something I would like to be able to do again soon. Maybe next time we will make it a trip to Oregon to see Andrea (if only Allegiant would fly there for $40!).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SemperFi Bowl

Today we went to the Semper Fi Bowl at Chase Stadium in downtown phoenix. It was a bunch of fun. This was the first year for this particular bowl so it was pretty low key - less than 5,000 people. Plus it was open seating so we got to sit anywhere we wanted.

The Marines hosted this bowl game and they did such a great job with everything. The national anthem and the presentation of the flag was amazing. Plus they did a fly-by. It was really moving to watch. During the half-time show they had about 20 new recruits swear-in. I couldn't help but feel for them. They all looked so young and scared and yet here they were, taking an oath to protect our country and all of us. I am so grateful for our soldiers.

The teams were East VS. West. They were the top 100 high school football players from all over the nation. We knew it would be a close game but we were rooting for WEST!

 Olivia was insane.
 as always.
 We brought Garrett along and those 3 boys had a blast together. Most of the game they sat along the front wall.

 Then they got caught on the jumbo-tron! They were so excited. They thought they were celebrities for a few minutes.

Oh! ..and WEST WON! 17-14