Friday, April 14, 2017

Come Fly With Me, Let's Fly Let's Fly Away.

GUYS! I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUUUUCH!!!! 

It's been awhile since we've talked. That's my bad. Recently I've been doing a LOT of traveling. Some for work, some for fun, and some that was technically for work but ended up being super fun. 

First up, Colorado! A while back, Dad asked me if I could spare a long weekend to hang out with them in the mountains over Kim's Spring break. I had just submitted my paid-time-off request for our trip to Europe, so I was timid to ask for more. Fast forward to watching all my sisters leave the house, not knowing when I'd get to hang out with them next, and I was completely wrecked. Who cares WHEN I use my PTO days? They're MINE dang it! 

A few clicks later and my tickets were booked.
Since Eric had school, I got to take this trip all by my lonesome. And you know what? It was AWESOME (not a dig at my husband...promise). I read my book, explored the airports, and tested my carry-on-only skills with our new fancy backpacks

We all arrived in Denver at different times, but once the tribe was united, we shifted gears (literally) and headed into the mountains. Up, and up, and up, we drove, until finally arriving at our destination; Copper Mountain.

This place is a snow bunny's dream. The sky is such a vibrant blue against the stark white snow, pictures don't do it NEARLY enough justice. We had beautiful weather, and the sunshine kept things toasty even while surrounded by ice. Mom and I got pretty good at cross-country skiing, while the rest of the clan tackled the big hills.
Overall a super quick trip, I left Friday morning and flew back on Monday. But every moment of late-night talking, glass-of-wine-in-hand giggling, and side-splitting laughter made it 100% worth it.

So back to work I went, doing a little "it's already Tuesday!" dance, and what do we discuss during the company meeting? The opportunity to visit our Scottsdale office, and attend a training session that very next Monday. 

Umm sunny Arizona? Sign me up! 
I couldn't leave OH until around 3pm Sunday, so by the time I arrived in AZ (with one delayed flight, a change of airplanes, and hotel switch) it was well after midnight when I got to bed. 

Since the original hotel overbooked, they arranged for me to stay at The Phoenician, which is gorgeous and made me feel like a princess. I didn't really have the opportunity to enjoy it though, since my schedule consisted of going to work, and my stay totaled just over 48 hours. Still, the view right outside my room was pretty epic. 

One of the reasons my boss invited us to a day of training, was to discuss attending the Landmark Forum. My coworker and I signed up to attend our forum in St. Louis mid April, and that's where I recently returned from!
I won't get into details about Landmark now, it's difficult to explain, and I hope to have a post about my experience in the future. As for the city of St. Louis? We totally owned it! Every free moment we had was spent exploring and taking it all in.
Of course I have a few suggestions if you plan to visit...

FOOD:
Taze Mediterranean Street Food - Think custom made gyros prepped like Chipotle, with a side of pita and hummus.
Mango - My first dip into Peruvian cuisine, but all it took were the sweet plantain chips to win me over.
The Drunken Fish - Located in Ballpark Village, this sushi was perfectly paired with me not-realizing the Reds were playing the Cardinals next door...oops. 
Sauce on the Side - This restaurant's calzones are huge, mouth watering, and conveniently connected to our hotel. 
Rooster - Best crepes I've ever had...well really the only crepes I've had. Nutella + bananas = sweet sweet victory.
The Mud House Coffee & Kitchen - Nestled in the middle of Cherokee Row, this cafe's cold brew is on point. Not to mention the selection of fresh lunch options, and quirky animal table markers.
Blondie's Coffee, Wine, & Dessert Bar - Here's to the ladies who brunch. If I could start every morning at Blondie's, being serenaded by classic 90's pop, I'd die a happy woman.
Bailey's Chocolate Bar - You sit down, they pour you a glass of water, and give you two mini chocolate chip cookies before you even say a word.
Mission Taco Joint - All the tacos!!!! BBQ Duck wins, hands down. 
Pappy's Smokehouse - Damn. Good. Meat. Just ask the over 2,000 reviews on Yelp. 

TO DO: 
St. Louis Zoo - Beautiful from trunk to tail, and admission is FREE!
The Gateway Arch - Although the tram to the top is closed until late April, it's still an incredible sight to see. 
Ballpark Village - Am I a baseball fan? Not entirely. Am I a have some drinks, socialize, and enjoy the atmosphere fan? Absolutely!
Three Sixty - Even if you're not hungry or thirsty, the view alone is worth the trip up.
Cherokee Antique Row - Located in South City, this historic neighborhood is the home to almost 40 unique vendors and shops. Many of which are also the home to adorable dogs. 
City Museum - Literally the most unique place I have ever experienced, and I still have bruises from climbing everything and anything I could get my hands on. 

One of the best parts of the trip? This guy DROVE FIVE HOURS for the final night of my forum. We were encouraged to invite guests, so I did, with absolutely no anticipation of anyone coming. I mean c'mon? They're in Ohio, and I'm in Missouri. 

Well give ALL THE POINTS to the husband because he won.
I felt bad we couldn't stay longer, he didn't even get to be there an entire day. But I was able to cancel my flight, and drive back with him, so we spent a long time planning our next trip to St. Louis.

On the journey back, we stopped in this teeny-tiny town called Casey, IL. They're currently the Guinness record holder for 7 of the "world's largest" items, including a mailbox, rocking chair, wind chime, and golf tee. 
My 6ft 8in hubby can attest, bigger really is better.

After being away so often, I can't even express how excited I am for these next few weekends at home. It feels like forever since I've had a chance to do anything to the house, and it's in desperate need of a cleaning (...ew). Guess it's time to open the windows, rock out to some classic Spice Girls, and get to it! 



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