Upon arriving at home, the man and I packed up a suitcase and went to a surprise location, followed by a delicious 5-course meal! ❤
AN ARTFUL STAY
Nick took me to “the ART, a Hotel,” where we’d be having a fun birthday staycation! I’d only been there once, for a work meeting. It is such a cool concept! There is modern art at every turn, and it’s right next to the Denver Art Museum. Be still my heart!
After checking in and dropping our stuff off in our gloriously modern, high-tech room, we visited their bar for a glass of Prosecco.
It was so nice sitting next to the window and getting a view of the city. With the completely different-than-Denver vibe, it felt like we were in New York!
After our pre-dinner drink, we headed to Il Posto, a glorious Italian restaurant that Nick has been wanting to take me to for some time. It was hands-down amazing. The service was exquisite. The food was even better. Our favorite dishes were the crab fritters, the gnocchi (with smoked poblano peppers?!), and the risotto. And, of course, the rose. We were stuffed to the brim, and so so happy!
As we were finishing our meal, the staff chatted with us about wines and liquors, and never once made us feel rushed about leaving (truly Italian). The snow started falling outside and everything was just so magical. This man makes everything that way!
With full bellies, we spent a great night in the hotel before venturing out into the snow-pocalypse (about a foot of snow).
A SNOWY VENTURE
After checking out of the ART Hotel, we headed to Denver Biscuit Company. I’ve always wanted to eat there, and this was the perfect occasion.
(This mug speaks truth.)
We ordered the Ellsworth (buttermilk fried chicken, local Colorado honey, stone-ground mustard, and housemade pickles) and a simple scrambled-egg-and-cheese biscuit. It was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Those biscuits are the best I’ve ever tasted!
After breakfast, we went to the Tattered Cover Book Store downtown, a place I could happily explore forever.
It’s safe to say we were both in heaven… and big trouble…
But we both made it out relatively unscathed, purchasing just a handful of books each. 🙂
Emily Dickinson is one of my absolute favorites.
A NEW KITTY!?
After the book store, Nick thought I’d like to go visit the cats up for adoption at MaxFund. Thank goodness they were closed due to weather, because a big part of me knows I would’ve adopted a kitty… or at least been super conflicted about it. Perhaps we’ll go visit them another day when I have more resolve!
Instead, we went home, took a little cat nap, and then hit the gym hard (since it was a toasty 0 degrees out). We both ran intervals on the treadmill and then lifted weights. It felt great and worked up an appetite for sushi take-out from Taki!
Our favorite go-to. We ate sushi in bed while watching The Americans and being the giant dorks that we are. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday!
More birthday presents trickled in this weekend, too. My friend Erin sent me this hilarious card, a gold journal, beautiful earrings, and an eye shadow palette.
My friend Emily sent me a Hamilton songbook! Obsessed.
On Sunday, Nick and I braved the cold, snow, and ice with an 8.7-mile run in Wash Park. After a hot bath and doing some laundry, we indulged one last time (for this weekend) and created this lovely dinner spread:
That’s a delicious arugula salad with Annie’s Goddess dressing and Trader Joe’s croutons, a red-wine-rind cheese (not sure what that deliciousness is called), goat cheese, crackers, toasted bread, dill pickles, blackberries, and white wine. Yum!
We closed out the night by watching The Santa Clause. 🙂
LET’S GET REAL
This weekend was so humbling. The way one’s life can change in a year is truly astounding. I feel so lucky to have found the man, to have fought for a deliberate, genuine life, and to feel like I truly star in my own story. Change is almost always going to be painful, but it doesn’t have to be called suffering.
I’ve known but never known that hardship begets reward, not until this past year. I said goodbye to the learning experience that was my 20s, and I’m saying hello to the new lessons my 30s will bring. I am in the best shape of my life (physically, mentally, spiritually); I feel like I know myself better than ever before; and I care more about whether I like others than whether they like me. Here’s to more growth!
How was YOUR weekend?
This post is a part of the Weekend Snapshots link-up with HerHeartlandSoul.