My best friend paid us a visit the weekend before Halloween. We crammed a lot in one weekend like her last trip, and it was awesome. From Grand Lake to Denver, here’s a brief synopsis of the weekend.

First, I grabbed Tika from the airport, and we headed for the mountains. I called the Trail Ridge Road hotline to see if any weather updates were posted, and sure enough, Trail Ridge Road was open! This was unexpected; usually the road closes around the first weekend in October, and here we were, on our way to the highest paved road of any national park in the country. But first I planned on eating at Fat Cat Cafe.

We pulled in, and I’ll be damned if they weren’t closed for the season. I would’ve drove towards Estes had I known this. We regrouped and ate at Blue Water Bakery instead. Their breakfast sandwiches were good, but I’ll be honest: It ain’t no Fat Cat Cafe.

Afterwards, we walked to Grand Lake and chilled on the dock. I accidentally left half my sandwich and breakfast potatoes near the water and wondered later if any ducks lucked out that morning. I finally got a pic of Grand Lake I’ve wanted for awhile. It’s the view we saw as we paddle boarded last summer, and man is it epic. Afterwards we took 34 past the Continental Divide and drove all the way to the top.

I couldn’t believe how empty the Alpine Visitor Center parking lot was when we arrived. There was maybe 30 other people there, max. Normally it’s impossible to park, and it feels like MTSU days. But on this particular day, the wind whipped fiercely, and we barely made it out of the car. We walked around for about 10 minutes, snapped several photos and continued down Trail Ridge Road. I took a funny video of us at the top, yelling over the wind with my phone trembling in my hand from such strong winds. The video won’t upload

I love sharing these views with my friends and family. It was such an amazing opportunity to go to the top the one weekend Tika was in town, especially since the road had been closed for two weeks and reopened that morning.

Afterwards we headed back down to Georgetown and The Alpine Restaurant. Tika found this pizza place that did not disappoint, which was nice since the visitor center’s kitchen was closed. I sipped on a Rumplemintz infused hot cocoa before we took the haunted tour. It was fun and unusual; the train drove very slow, and Tika didn’t know we got out for the haunted mine tour. I thought for some reason that we stepped down into a cave, but no, the mine shaft was carved deep into the side of the mountain. The historical value of the tour was worth the money.

The next morning in Denver, we followed our list of to-dos: Roaming Buffalo BBQ, Union Station/Milkbox, 16th Street Mall/I Heart Denver/ H&M, Voodoo Donuts and PS Lounge.

We encountered a farmer’s market in front of Union Station and a drink-off featuring free shots from 4 different popular bars in Denver. The day was off to a good start.

Voodoo Donuts blew my mind, and I decided I am now a “donut person”. The customer service at PS Lounge was amazing, unlike my most recent experience (more on that later).

We ended the evening at Roma’s in Greeley. Tika seemed pleased with their pasta and drinks. My Hot House Pizza was on point, per the usual.

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You can’t stay with me and fall asleep early without me snapping a picture of you, bwahaha. 

We ended Tika’s trip with Butter’s Cafe for breakfast. I hated taking her to the airport, but all good things must come to an end. I love you Tika and hope you enjoyed your vacation!