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Colorado, Reflections

Home Is Where the Heart Is

A proper Colorado welcome

They say that “Home is Where the Heart is”. Well, my heart is in many different places… Denver, Alicante, Ternopil, Amsterdam and Hull. Last month, I finally got to visit home home.

It’s hard to believe that the last time I was home home (aka Denver) was last May. I haven’t seen my family, my fur babies and my friends for almost a year. One of the hardest things about my expat life is not being as involved in their lives. Watching the people you love do life things without you while you observe from afar can sometimes make people a bit homesick. While living abroad is an amazing opportunity and adventure, there is nothing quite like coming home.

My flight was from Manchester to Washington, D.C. The trip to Manchester from Hull is very easy. I just hoped on a train form the Hull Interchange, and the train arrived at the airport directly. My flight was long, but boy, has United really stepped up their game. I had free wine, many snacks, meals and even ice cream. This is definitely better than the crap box meal that I got last year. Let’s just say my flying experience was definitely improved.

Washington, D.C. to Denver was a different story. I was supposed to take the red eye from DC to Denver (at about 10:30 pm). A few days before, Denver was hit with a massive snow storm, and the whole state (airport included) shut down. That night, it was supposed to snow again, so I had to act quick and try and get in before the weather got bad. Thankfully, I was put on standby at for the 7pm flight, and landed in Colorado by 9pm. It did start lightly snowing, but for the most part, the weather was alright. While I maybe panicked a bit unnecessarily, at least I was home earlier, and got to see my puppy sooner.

I can’t begin to tell you how good it was to finally pull up to my snow-covered, suburban house. Not only was I going to spend a week with my family and my adorable doggy, but I also had planned seeing my friends, snowboarding with my brother and eating tons of delicious food.

Here are a few things I’ve missed about Denver…

My Nala

cutest dog cuddling

As soon as I came home, she started running in circles around the front yard in utter joy. This is her at a later point, completely exhausted after all that running!

Nala, Dog, Run, Colorado, Plains, Beautiful

I got to enjoy a nice run with my favorite running partner. Nala was never trained how to not run off to smell everything on the side of the sidewalk (which is basically every 5 seconds). This can sometimes prove to be challenging, but us two together, gasping for fresh air, is a welcome change from running alone. Not to mention all the kisses and cuddles she loves to give as a reward for finishing.

Our Kitchen

When I picture home, I always picture my parent’s kitchen first. It’s one of my favorite places in the house, for obvious reasons: the food is stored there. Everything is so comfortable and luxurious (the table, kitchenware, utensils, fridge, etc).

Poached eggs, level expert

{Top tip – Poached eggs on rye bread are ace}

I love making breakfast there… Mornings in my kitchen are the best. The sun shines right over the green belt in the back yard, creating a beautiful backdrop to my morning coffee.

Russian food, Olivier's salad, Olivye, Yum

{Mom’s cooking and my favorite Russian dish: Salat Olivye)

Crazy Colorado Weather

Crazy Colorado Temperatures

Even though everyone complains about weather in the UK, they haven’t seen what real winter is like. Colorado gets extremely cold in the winter time. Even up to May or June, we can get snowfall. Luckily, I had missed the blizzard by a few days, but these were the remnants…

snow, colorado, boulder

This is how we deal with snow in parking lots. We shovel it to the side as mountains that rival the Rockies (or at least are taller than me). It keeps things interesting, as you never know what weather you will face tomorrow. Or what flights may potentially get delayed.

Breathtaking Mountain Views

mountains, colorado, rockies, estes park

I can’t recall with certainty what mountain this is, but I believe it was around Estes Park area. Along the Front Range, it’s very difficult to not be tempted to take photos. Our mountains are, indeed, very breathtaking. This view, over HWY 36, is one of my all time favorite views of the Flatirons.

colorado, rockies, mountains, flatirons

mountains, nature, colorado, rockies, estes park

{Our family took a mini escape to Estes Park}

Good Ol’ Colorado Beer

Estes Park, Colorado, Mountains, Beer

These days I’m trying to avoid wheat and grains, but I occasionally like to make an exception for some beer. While I mostly enjoy drinking wine, I do love my Colorado brews. Colorado has a brewery in every town/city. Going out for a few beers is a cherished part of our lifestyle, and there was no better way to do this than to go to the middle of the mountains. My family and I went to The Wapiti Pub in Estes. The beers were served in cute boot-shaped beer glasses, and the burgers were incredible. I ordered the Big Daddy Fire Burger without a bun and with buffalo meat. It was delish!

~~~

I think the one week I was there was not enough time. It flew by so quickly, and I really had to juggle making enough time to spend with my family versus doing things with my friends. To be honest, it was a stressful week. I was running around Colorado trying to squeeze so many things in when all I really wanted to be doing was going on runs with Nala. Thankfully, I got to do a lot of fun things, but I arrived at the next leg of my journey (Amsterdam) exhausted.

To be continued!

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