Thursday, May 17, 2012

BLEND Retreat Recap Part I

We arrived in Denver around midday and rented our car from Enterprise. How mundane, right? Actually, I want to mention them because we received spectacular customer service. Any company who treats their customers so well deserves major kudos and a huge shout out, so here it is! Check to see if you can rent from Enterprise for your next trip; if other cities’ staffs are as awesome as Denver’s, you’ll be in great hands.

We had our first stop planned, really, from the moment I decided to attend the retreat. We had been there once before when my friend Katie, now a Denver resident, introduced us to it. So we were off to Park Burger without a second thought! Park Burger serves fresh, meaty burgers, including turkey, buffalo, and beef. I ordered the buffalo burger on a whole wheat bun, and Terry opted for the pork burger (beef patty with pulled pork on top). Both exceeded our expectations – not an easy task after we dreamed about it for two and a half years. We also ordered a basket of sweet potato and parmesan truffle fries, which I absolutely do not regret. One of our favorite aspects of eating in Denver: you’re almost guaranteed to get to try local beers. I went with my usual Fat Tire (in a can!), and Terry got O’Dell’s Five-Barrel Pale Ale.  

Weird face in my excitement for the burger

Bison burger FTW

Then we were off to Boulder! It was a new destination for us, and one that didn't disappoint. I expected beauty, I got purely majestic scenery. I expected nice weather, I got 90 degrees on our first day (thankfully it cooled down for the following day's hike). We stayed at Chautauqua Park, a peaceful resort at the foot of the hiking trails. The cabins included kitchens, which would be great for extended stays. And we are already planning to visit again, hopefully with family. 

Upon arrival, we headed over to check in, where I was greeted by Lindsay, Janetha, and Katie, the retreat organizers! They were super sweet and excited, and they immediately put me at ease about the weekend. Even though Terry came with me, I was very nervous about my first blogging trip! Silly me. 

The focus of this retreat was to meet new people, exercise, and enjoy a weekend together. Check, check, and check! While I can be extremely shy in large groups (I'm much better in small groups or one-on-one situations), everyone was super nice and even made a huge effort to include Terry, one of only a handful of guys. I got to meet lots of new friends and even met THE Tina Reale (inventor of Best Body Boot Camp) and one of my favorite bloggers, Courtney from Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. I didn't take a ton of pictures with people (I told you, I'm shy in big groups!), but you can enjoy lots of other BLEND recaps and photos by clicking here.

Meanwhile, I'll share a few awesome moments that stick out to me from the weekend:
Flying over the Rockies

Downtown Denver (through the car window)
Breakfast sponsored by Xagave - seriously phenomenal

See? Chobani plain yogurt mixed with granola, nuts, and Xagave

Off on our hike!

Everyone grabbing Simply Bars on the way up the mountain

Flat Irons

Look at all those blends!

Halfway up

At the top! Royal Arch - totally worth the tough hike!

New friends!

Stunning view of Boulder

With my new buddy Amanda

Tina, Courtney, and Alyssa at the top
So fun!
More to come! And am I the only one thrilled about the fact that tomorrow is Friday? It just couldn't come soon enough.