Have you all realized by now that along with puns, I also like alliteration? It’s wonderful.

So our weekend events were a little more minor this weekend (hmm, is that phrasing considered a triple opposition or something?) – at least in terms of picture taking. But I still have a lot to say so…happy reading!

On Friday night, I wanted to go out for dinner – sometimes I just like a good, quality date night and for me, that includes a sit down restaurant. So we went to a little Italian dive downtown Golden called Tony Rigatoni’s and if I had to describe it in one word, it would be “quaint.” I loved it! (Of course I did, what don’t I love here?) It’s in an old converted house which totally gave it character and I wish I would have taken my camera to show you the inside. It was literally like we were dining in someone’s Italian/American home during the 19th century. We walked through the front door and into the main entry and everything around us was festively decorated which made it feel even more like we’d stepped into a charming old-world Christmas scene. Then were led to the family room for a romantic dining experience – complete with a fireplace. And our food was delicious – I got the Ravioli Roberto (sausage & red pepper with gorgonzola cream sauce) which provided another meal for me the next day, too. And thanks to our Entertainment book, we got a free entree which is always an added bonus.

After a great meal, we went to watch the Golden Center of Dance Christmas Fest. We didn’t know much about it, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out since we had nothing else going on. However, what we thought would be a semi-professional dance performance actually turned out to be a bunch of adorable little girls dressed up in cute costumes who awkwardly spun, tapped and twirled around completely out of unison. It made for an preciously entertaining show, but we ended up leaving before it was completely over because the audience was mostly relatives and teachers, and to be honest, we felt a little awkward being the only ones there from the general public. The Golden calendar wasn’t as specific as it should have been – we felt we were led slightly astray. But it was still fun…for a bit.

Anyway, so after dinner and a show on Friday, we decided to check out some fun towns just outside of Golden on Saturday afternoon – Morrison and Evergreen. I had actually gone to Morrison with my Michigan-turned-Colorado friend, Sara, earlier in the week but wanted to take Ryan back there as well as visit the much talked-up town of Evergreen which was farther into the mountains. Morrison is just a tiny little town with a few shops, but we ended up buying a bunch of great CO gifts there at a fun hippy shop called Sundance Sensations. Then we headed to Evergreen where we discovered what we could do for our next “friend date” – go ice skating on the frozen lake! It looked like a ton of fun and of course with it being sunny and warm (we LOVE Colorado winters!), it made it that much more appealing. Then we took a walk around the little downtown shopping area before heading back to Golden.


Just watching the skaters for a while with our newly purchased hats – aren't they cute?

Right as we got back, my friend Sara called us up for a night on the town downtown Denver. Since we hadn’t yet been, we were excited to visit the city. So for dinner we enjoyed some excellent pub food at Lodo’s (Hickory Bacon Burger…totally hit the spot) and then met up with some of her friends down the street at another local hotspot afterward. Since she was showing us around her part of town, we didn’t get a tour of the entire city or anything but from what we did see, I’d say it’s like a cooler, slightly bigger version of downtown Grand Rapids – sorry Michiganders.

HC and GVSU friends united again.

HC and GVSU friends united again.

Then this morning I felt really gross (nothing to do with the night before, I assure you) so we opted to sleep in. After taking a bunch of medicine and getting the extra rest, I felt much better in the afternoon which was good because we’d already made plans earlier in the week with two of our friends from the Sweaterfest party to hang out tonight. Unfortunately, that means I do not have a Sunday gold nugget to share with you…sorry!

Anyway, so since I was feeling better and it was a fantastic day yet again, we went for a motorcycle ride this afternoon. Yes…at the end of December it was warm enough to take a spin. Crazy, I know. We only had an hour or so before we had to leave to meet our friends, so we just drove around a residential section near our area to check out the big houses on North Table Mountain. But when we saw a bunch of rock climbers and people walking on the trail, we decided to be like them and take even more advantage of the nice day. So we took a brief hike to let Sadie stretch her legs. Oh, did I not mention she came along? Yeah, she loves the ride. If you haven’t seen what she looks like in our make-shift doggy backpack, here you go:

I am not ashamed. And honestly, she thoroughly enjoys this.

I am not ashamed. And honestly, she seriously enjoys this.

Ryan standing near our future home on the butte.

Ryan standing near our future home on the butte.


You can't see them, but there are a bunch of rock climbers on the rock face behind Ryan.


A view of Table Rock on South Table Mountain.

After a short hike about halfway up the butte, we thought we should come back another day to hike the whole thing and also do some rock climbing since we were running short on time. Oh, I should mention here that with a wonderful REI giftcard from a Chicago friend, I got myself a climbing harness! So now I’m good to go. Anyway, as the sun was setting behind the mountains, we headed downtown to see the Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo with our new friends Ian and Leah. It was really pretty and was the perfect “date” to find out more about each other. We walked and talked and sipped hot chocolate from our souvenir mugs while enjoying all the beautifully lighted trees, pathways and light sculptures. We also got to explore some of the open zoo exhibits. They’re really fun and it seems as though we have a lot of the same interests so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more photos of them in upcoming posts.

I love that they also enjoy posing with random things.

I love that they also enjoy posing with random things.

Seriously? Meant to be.

Seriously? Meant to be.

Well, since it’s officially been a month since we’ve arrived (crazy!), to sum up our first month in just a few words I’ll simply quote a Colorado native: “It is a privilege to live in Colorado.” We wholeheartedly agree.

I hope everyone has a great holiday week and enjoys their time with family! We miss everyone and we wish you were here!