Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a great Christmas weekend spending time with family and eating and drinking till we were full.

We headed North to the Hanke farm on Sat morning and watched the Patriots game with Rich and Belinda. Then we headed over to Erich, Julia and Wyatt's house for a turkey dinner with Julia's parents, John and Judy, and her sister Kristina and her husband Justin. Tucker got to meet Daisy, Kristina and Justin's new dog and they all played out back while we ate. After a gift exchange, we headed back to the farm and awoke Sunday morning to blue skies and warm weather.

Belinda made tasty apple pancakes that we enjoyed with bloody's and mimosas. We opened gifts with Erich, Julia and Wyatt. Then later in the afternoon, Rich, Belinda, Melissa and I took a two plus mile snowshoe out back. It was a beautiful afternoon and it worked up our appetite for a New England style Christmas dinner in Colorado. Mussels, little necks and lobster were on the menu!

See photos from the weekend HERE

Christmas Tree at the Smith's

Melissa gets a new ski helmet from Marsha and Mark

Time for a snowshoe out on the back 40 at the Hanke farm

See photos from the weekend HERE
or see the slide show below

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Night in the Swiss Alps at Arapahoe Basin

~ See photos here ~

Saturday evening we headed up to Arapahoe Basin ski area for a dinner mid mountain under a full moon. I gave this to Melissa for her birthday back in Oct., so we had been looking forward to this for a while now and hoping we would have clear skies because it would be a full moon. We lucked out and there was not a single cloud in the sky. Just a million stars and a glowing full moon shining off of the ski trails and mountain peaks all around us.

At about 6:15 p.m. Melissa strapped on her snowshoes with her skis on her back and me my tele skis and skins, and we headed up the High Noon trail towards Black Mt. Lodge, midway up the mountain. It was 5 degrees, but the hike warmed us up quick. We arrived at the lodge around 6:45 and enjoyed an amazing dinner with about 100 others. The food was spectacular and in huge quantities. It was buffet style so we could try a little of everything. (See the menu below). After stuffing ourselves and enjoying some great conversation with others at our table, we strapped back on our skis and headed back down around 10 p.m. The ski down was a blast under the glow of the moon.

~ See photos here ~

Swiss Menu

Hors d'oeuvres

An Assortment of Swiss Cheeses, with

Swiss Style Air dried Meats and Sausages

Smoked Seafood Assortment

Soup & Salads

Busecca Ticines (tripe soup with garlic bread)

Gemischter Salat (mixed salad)

Swiss Chard Apple and Cherry Salat

Assorted Sweet and Hearth Baked breads


Roasted Leg Of Lamb

Rippli (smoked pork loin with cabbage)

Alplermagronen (famers style macaroni)

Baked Pike Fillets

Lapin au Marc (stewed rabbit in grappa)


Apple Strudel

Fresh Berry Tart

Carrot Cake

Dinner Itinerary

6:30p.m. to 7:00p.m. Start skinning or snowshoeing up to Black Mountain Lodge from the base area.

7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. Cocktails, hor d'oeuvres, dinner and dessert
9:30p.m. to 10:00p.m. Ski, snowboard or snowshoe back down to the base area

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Refurbished Desk lamp

I found this old desk lamp on Craigslist and thought it would be a great Christmas gift for Melissa to go on our new desk for the office. After picking it up from the seller, I noticed that it could use a new coat of paint and the wiring looked a little shotty. I opened it up from the base and saw that most of the wiring was frayed through the fabric sheathing. I stripped out all the wires and took inventory of what I would need from Home Depot to replace it all properly. As usual, it took a couple trips to get all the parts correctly. The ballast was an old General Electric two lamp version and the new two lamp versions are much larger. So, the new one would not fit in the base. I had to resign to installing a single lamp ballast, but I think it will give off enough light with today's newer bulbs. Before installing all the wiring, I gave the outside a fresh coat of new silver paint (to match the original paint color). The plug to the wall got a little upgrade to give it that "retro" feel, and the lamp was done. Looks great on the new desk!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eric & Steph's Wedding Trip East

In August we headed back East for a week. The reason for the trip, my brother Eric was getting married! He and Steph had a awesome wedding in Salem MA, where we got to enjoy some great seafood, dancing and time with family.

From there we headed all over New England visiting friends and family. Some of the places we traveled to were: Salem where the famous witch trial were held, Jaimee and Wes's in RI to see Autumn for the first time, Dad and Lin's in N. Falmouth and a visit with them to Martha's Vineyard, Fenway Park for a Sox game, Nate and Vanessa's as well as Mom and Mark's in Madison where we had a cookout with close friends and family, Mt. Washington (all the way to the top via Tuckerman's Ravine {Tucker's namesake}), Hampton Beach with Cara and Tom, and finally back to Denver where we meet up with Kristy and Mario at the airport to see Cruz for the first time.

We had a blast and you can see all our fun in the photos below. Enjoy!

See photos HERE.

Or watch slideshow right here:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tucker Photos

See photos of Tucker as he grows HERE

More documentation of Tucker growing up.

He was recently neutered, and it did not phase him one bit. All he was upset about was that he did not get breakfast that day. He has fully recovered and is now back to playing with other dogs and having fun at the dog park.

We went to the REI garage Sale on Saturday and they have some bronze life size bears out front. As we walked by, Tucker was a bit unsure if they were real or not. The hair on his neck went up and he would not get close to them. Funny stuff. See a video of it HERE

See photos of Tucker as he grows HERE

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spent Grain Dog Treats

We brewed last Sunday and Melissa made Spent Grain Dog Treats for Tucker. He loves them!!

6 Cups Spent Grains
6 Cups Four
1.5 Cups Peanut Butter
3 Eggs
3 Bananas

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Camping - Durango, CO

Enjoy photos from our trip HERE

We extended the Memorial Day long weekend by taking Friday off and decided to drive the 400 miles to the Durango, CO area to enjoy a weekend of camping, fishing, sightseeing, eating and brewery visiting. Our friends the Haugh's came along with us (Ryan, Annette and Yama) and we reserved an amazing site at the Haviland Lake Campground, just North of Durango.

Departure time was an early 4 a.m. Friday morning. On the way there we headed West on I-70 towards Grand Junction (it was snowing at the top of Vail Pass and they still had a ton of snow ont he ground. Copper Mountain could have still been open for skiing!), then South on 550 through Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray and Silverton. In Ridgeway, we stopped for a dip in the Orvis Hot Springs, natural springs that range in temperature from 98-112 degrees. Next stop was the small historic mining town of Ouray, CO. We walked the streets with the dogs and had a killer lunch at the Ouray Brewery. The Ourayle House, aka Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewery, was unfortunately closed, but their original signs entertained us anyways.

From Ouray, we headed South over Red Mountain Pass via the "Million Dollar Highway" that winds precariously through the rugged San Juan mountain peaks. The sleepy town of Silverton was the next stop and I was keeping my fingers crossed that the brewery was open. The last time I was in town, a couple winters ago with Erich and Tom to ski Silverton Mountain, the brewery was closed. This time, it was closed as well. Some guys were up on scaffolding on the facade of the building painting and said that it should be re-opened after renovations next week. D'oh! Oh well, guess I'll have to hit up this part of CO again. We grabbed coffee at a quaint shop on Main, and then continued South to our campsite.

The area around Haviland Lake Campground is beautiful with views of the Hermosa Cliffs and we got a perfect spot right by the lake and far away from all the other sites. During the weekend, we enjoyed cooking meals, hiking and fishing a bit, reading, playing washer toss and letting the dogs play with each other (that is when Yama would allow it). We traveled into town a couple times and visited four local breweries; Steamworks, Ska, Durango and Carver. We also watched the 40th Iron Horse Bicycle Classic where road bikes race a circuit through downtown while Mtn. Bikers race a course through the nearby hills then end up in town where they ride through the Steamworks Brewery! And on Saturday road bikes raced the train from Durango to Silverton (47 miles, 5700 ft. elevation gain). The winner beat the train by about 30 min!

On Monday, we packed up and traveled South, then West back home. We stopped in Pagosa Springs and had a pint at the Pagosa Brewing Co., then enjoyed a great dinner at Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, CO (great pizza and beer!!) We arrived back home, tired and dirty, but overall relaxed from the awesome weekend at about 10 pm. We covered 845 miles from door to door.

Enjoy photos from our trip HERE
or see the slideshow below:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tucker Smith

Welcome to the family Tucker!!

  • Named after Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington in N.H.
  • 2 months old (DOB ~ 12/23/10)
  • Mountain Dog mix (we think Swiss Mountain Dog - shorter hair, but will still be big)
  • We got him from the Colorado Puppy Rescue on Saturday. He was found with an abandoned litter in a culvert in New Mexico.
He is very calm and already going to the bathroom outside the majority of the time. Only a few #1 incidents inside so far and he recognizes when we say it's wrong. We are looking forward to taking him hiking and camping with us this summer!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Honeymoon - Costa Rica Style

Pura Vida!

Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they call themselves, use this term to describe their lifestyle. It translates to Pure Life. We spent 12 days in Costa Rica for our honeymoon and enjoyed the Pure Life as much as we could.

It was an amazing trip with adventure and relaxation all wrapped into one. We saw quite a bit of the country from the dirty capital city of San Jose, to the pristine rainforest on the banks of the Pacuare River, the cool cloudforests of Monteverde to the amazing palm lined beaches of Manuel Antonio, and the volcanic hillsides in La Fortuna to the hippie/surf town of Jaco.

Our approximate route, counter clockwise from San Jose.
(Dashed line is airplane on last day)

Destination360 Costa Rica Map

Our adventures took us in a raft through class 4 rapids, hiking through rainforest trails, zipping across valleys on a thin wire, soaking in volcanic hot springs, rappelling down 150' waterfalls, drinking natural farmers coffee with a third generation fair trade coffee farmer, sunbathing and swimming at Costa Rica's #1 rated beach, and seeing a plethora of animals indigenous to the country on a nature tour ... just to name a few!

We also took a few photos to document our trip and help us remember it for a lifetime. We'd like to share these photos with you. So sit back and enjoy Costa Rica from our point of view. There are about 1,000 photos (sorted down from more than 1,500!) broken into four sections, so take your time, swing back by and view them when you can. If you have any questions about what you see, or how to enjoy Costa Rica if you interested in visiting, please drop us a line or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to share all the info we have with you. You'll have the time of your life if you get the opportunity to visit this country.

Pura Vida!!

Photos can be viewed at the following links:

Costa Rica Part I

Costa Rica Part II

Costa Rica Part III

Costa Rica Part IV

Slideshows of photos can be seen below,
or in full screen at the links above.

Costa Rica Part II

Costa Rica Part II

Costa Rica Part III

Costa Rica Part IV

We shot a few random short videos during the trip.
You can view them here: