So - Breck the 2nd time was so much more fun then the first.  I didn't get a concussion and I didn't fall a thousand times.  I stayed up! And I ended up doing about 13000 feet on Saturday.  I stayed in a condo on the bottom of Peak 9 and could ski in and out - AWESOME>  Also could walk to downtown and eat so easily!  
Park and Main was my favorite restaurant by far!  Just opened up this year and they are serving some tasty food.  The ambiance could be seen as cool in the industrial sense or maybe a bit desolate.  Wines served in a beaker (and a great wine list - a 04 reserva rioja for $7!!!)  and some flavorful food (fava bean bruschetta with aged balsamic, bahn mi, beautiful salads, bacon and jalapeno deviled eggs)  They also serve brunch!

Another great restaurant was Modis - I had been there before and enjoyed it.  I had Homeade Ramen with Ritual Pinot Noir from Chile (one of my faves!) 

Empire Burger had tasty burgers for a quick lunch.  The crepe shop downtown is a must too!  The line snakes around the block like the ladies room at the Packer game BUT - a better end result here!  There is sweet or savory crepes with the fillings.  Strawberry cheesecake or the Parisian (brie, ham and mustard) or pumpkin maple or etc etc etc.   There is a crepe hippy master slinging these crepes to order and he does it right! 

The drive back to Denver was beautiful and a stop at Red Rocks was well worth it.  What a cool concert area!  I can't wait to see someone live there.  And it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere but you are 2 miles from the highway! 

PS - if you ever go to Denver in search of an amazing restaurant open on Superbowl sunday - OMG - will not happen!  Thank God for CRU in lodo.....

 
 
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Waking up In Nebraska on my way to Colorado......this is what I saw.  The sky looked like the ocean upside down and pink and orange.  It lasted for what seemed like an eternity.  Hwy 80 - the flattest - longest boring road in the world....and then this.  Makes you realize that beauty is everywhere

 
 
A 3 hour drive north and there we were. At ski brule.
It was my first time there and I have to say that I recommend it highly.
Stayed at a cottage right in the property. Eagles nest top. Sauna. Outdoor hot tub. Wood burning fireplace with tons of wood outside. The fire never stopped burning the 2 nights were were there. Full kitchen with appliances and dishware.
We had a problem with our coffee maker and 4 minutes later they brought a new one. We called for a shuttle to bring us with all of our gear to the hill and seconds later he was there to help us load up. They had kids ski school, great helpful people, night skiing, and I heard good rentals. There was some easy runs, and some great challenging ones. It was a blast.
I will go again in a heartbeat. PRay for some real snow though please.
 
 
I started this year with the flu and confused on where life was going for me.
I ended this year with hope, clarification and a clear head.  
Feels good to not only say that, but believe it.

I am blessed with a year of great health again! 

Some of the best moments of 2012
I went to Disney World for the first time of my life.  It was even better then I thought it would be!  
M I C K E Y * M O U S E......
My best friend got married on a perfect April day to her love.  The days leading up to the wedding and all the time we got to spend together are days I will never forget.  I didn't think our friendship could grow and strengthen more - but I was wrong.
I got the best title added to my name this year - Godmother.  My brother and Erin had a baby - his name is Jack.  Hes a smaller version of my brother - who is pretty amazing - but Jack is my main man...He is not just cute- but smart and smiley and perfect.  I find myself a little infatuated with seeing him smile.  
I took trapeze lessons and did a flip about a mile in the air (i'm exaggerating but it felt like it)
I saw the magnolias and Azaleas in full bloom in Savannah, Georgia.  And stayed at the best place of my life for my birthday, with my dear friend,  in South Carolina - The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.
I went to Palm Springs for some old 50s style charm and to see a movie or 2 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival - and also went to the Napa Valley Film Festival to watch the Premiere of "SOMM" and it was spectacular.
I went to California Wine Country about 10 times this year - went horseback riding, made my own wine and ate and drank like a queen there.  Every time is still like the first time out there!
My oldest and dearest friend had a baby, Ella, a red head of beauty. 
I went to Texas with a friend I hadn't seen since High school - we rode a longhorn with a 9 foot horn spread.  We danced under the stars on a perfect starry night to Jake Hooker. We went to Texas Wine country, which was surprisingly great....I have new cowboy boots, went to Austin and seen live music and smiled and laughed with the cowboys!  San Antonio river-walk completed
I went to Bayfield, WI for my first time and biked on Madeline Island.  Also found many waterfalls there!  and the opening of Wild Rice Restaurant.
My 71 Volvo had an amazing Photo shoot with Motor Trend Magazine and I was featured in the fall issue.  It was over the top cool! 
I spent loads of time with Kila - In wis, cali and many other places!
We celebrated my grandparents 62 anniversary - I had many Sunday mornings with them and great stories of love and faith to share.
Emily got engaged to the most amazing man - I cant wait for the wedding.
I took a new job at my company and have more time for a personal life!
Time in Door County was relaxing - Sheboygan fun over the summer with paddle-boarding  fires on the beach and bocce ball in the sand!
I went to a 5 day Wine Seminar in California and learned so much! 
HAWAII - one of the best, if not the best, trip of my life.  Maui is a dream - like paradise that I could have stayed in forever. I intend on going back and soon!  Please go!
I paddle-boarded, cross country skiied, biked, ran many miles, snorkeled, golfed, swam, hiked and biked.
I drove the entire 269 mile Blue Ridge Parkway - from Washington DC to North Carolina.  It was gorgeous. Virginia was one of my biggest surprises of the year - their wine country, the food, the vibe, the history - I am going to explore more this year!
Ft Lauderdale, Miami and South Beach were firsts too this year! 
 I went to a Catalina wine mixer, and also saw Madonna front row in Minneapolis. 
So Many New great friends this year! and that stupid scramble with friends!


I had some tough times this year too.  But out of the tough times has come positives.  I realized I was carrying someones elses burdens.  I was living in a life that was mentally unhealthy.  And what finally has changed that was unfortunately - the worst part of my year.  I lost my grandparents in a tragic car crash.  There really is nothing worse than seeing not one, but two, hearses leaving a church with your favorite two people in the world inside of them.   It is still hard every day BUT out of this has come clarification and peace.  This tragedy made me re-evaluate my life and its contents.  It was like a light switch flipped on (or off) something and I have never felt better mentally.  I feel like I can finally breath.  Thank you to them for helping me see things differently and getting on a healthy track.  They have given me a solid foundation to work from.  I am blessed to have been able to share so much time with them and watch their love grow still every day.
I also went to Michigan and rekindled a dear friendship that means a lot to me.  Friends are my family and I'm glad to have that dear friendship back in my life.  
I want to be a better communicator.  I want to travel and I want to love hard and be able to take a new and healthy chance with someone special.  

lastly - there is wine.....that perfect grape elixir - So many memories have been made and I drank so many grand bottles of red, white, bubbles, pink and with so many amazing friends, co workers, family and just randoms. 3 liters, magnums, regulars, minis - beautiful dinners and lunches all over the country....I spoke at over 100 wine dinners/events this year! and at Kohler Food and Wine....I had lunch with Lydia Bastianich.  I met so many other celeb chefs and winemakers and have had the pleasure of staying at many wineries overnight - Jordan, stags leap, Franciscan, and my favorite the Inn at Buehler Winery! 

On this day - the first day of the rest of my life on January 1st 2013 - I wish you all faith, love and health

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.  I can choose which it shall be.  Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.  I have just one day, today, and I am going to be happy in it........Groucho marx


 



 
 
What were you doing on new years eve 2012?

I rang in the new year with an awful man - Mr Influenza.  Who eventually I upgraded to Mr. Pneumonia!  But I will say - a night in full "sick" gear (stocking cap included)- I still toasted the new year from my tempurpedic bed, with an old bottle of Taiitinger champagne (one glass that hurt later), watching the famous ball drop while feasting on my "12 grapes of the NEW YEAR".  If you haven't heard of this - its a Spanish tradition (check out this website) http://www.entertainmentinspain.com/12%20Twelve%20Grapes%20New%20Years%20Eve%20Tradition,%20Spain.htm 
and I added my own twist to it by writing down the months on a piece of paper.  Then while eating each grape I would write down how each was (crisp, sweet, tart, rotten etc...) and they would correspond the month.  Weird enough - March (sour) and November (rotten) were the two grapes that were "bad" for me - and HONESTLY....Leap Year Day (which we had this year and I would say could be Feb or March) was awful and November, by far, was the worst month ever (my grandparents passing) 
 My best months being August (Hawaii) and December (clarification and moving on)I guess a coincidence but a fun one to rekindle.  
I hope you have a Safe and Blessed New Years Eve!  Drink Some bubbly! I will be - 
My Pick tonight will be Pol Roger and Piper Heidsick Champagne!

 
 
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I have this crazy notion in my head - and have for years - that every amazing sunset is for me.  Like people have "purchased" this day for me and sent me this sunset.  It could be my gramps or gram, friends, family - whatever.  Its ridiculous but completely amazing and I still think it even though I know its not true.  So this was my sunset sent to me on Christmas eve - as my dad would say "its a dandy" 




 




 
 
This is my Gram Rose.  She is sweet as pie most times....dementia has been nipping at her heels and she cannot HEAR! but she is cute! just like Jack....some of my fav people right here!
 
 
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86 degrees a week before Christmas....Heaven without SNOW!  Santa came to visit there and they had a full size Gingerbread house that any 6 years old could cook a Christmas feast in.  I enjoyed many glasses of the Ritz Carlton trade-marked champagne and franciscan Magnifcat by the glass.  The rooms were cozy and felt refreshing...breakfast was gorgeous and the coffee was like I was sitting down in Italy without the smells of baking bread in the air.  AHH.  Then to walk outside and it be 80 and sunny with palm trees is such a weird feeling for this Midwestern girl!  Christmas in Florida - I would want to eat oranges and drink cold sauvignon blanc all day.  Maybe next year I will try it!





 
 
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So Yes!  It is a 94 white grenache from Gallo.  A classic really.  I tend to believe that there is no possible way that this still can be good but crazy enough, the color is still pink and not the usual rusty old color most would have.  
  This just so happens to be what my Gram used to drink and what a coincidence that I would get this as a "white elephant" gift at one of my wine dinners.  I will keep it for now, and then every time I look at it remember my Gram and also think about the weird person that saved this, maybe thinking it was going to get better with age!  Fat chance there - 

 
 
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Its true - Santa is my friend.  We hang out and I am actually the one that adds people to the naughty list.  THat elf above takes care of the nice list.  Santa was ready for his big night and as you can see. he was looking out the window getting ready to leave!  

Am I the only one to have a life size Santa Clause?  Really one of the best gifts I have ever gotten.  Too bad Santa does not fit in my house right now - Im glad he has a nice home with a friend!