Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A 99% Complete Bathroom!

I wish my photography skills were better but at least you can get an idea of what our almost finished bathroom remodel looks like. We just need a little drywall touch up and we can officially be done with our first winter house project!

The above picture is what the bathroom looked like when we purchased the house back in January 2010.

This picture shows our first attempt at making it better. Not sure what kind of crack I was on when I picked the colors but thank goodness that's something easy to change :)

It's definitely not perfect but we are super happy with how everything turned out and how it flows with the rest of the house.

Bryce's parents printed off some cool artwork that really add a great finishing touch to the whole room. Coupled with some modern IKEA furnishings, this might just be our new favorite room in the house.

My favorite part is the large raincan shower head! I haven't actually taken a shower in it yet but it looks really cool :) On to project #2 - THE FIREPLACE!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A much needed vacay!

Round 2 of SUP-ing went much smoother than our first attempt. Not only did we have less wind and smoother waters, our skills were starting to improve as well.

We both really enjoyed this activity and would love to give it a go back home at the Boulder Rez. It's a great workout if you want to get after it, but also extremely relaxing and enjoyable if you just want to cruise around.

Finding options for meals hasn't been too difficult as milk products are hard to come by and beans/rice is a staple food in the area. One of our favorite discoveries was the 100% Organic Dominican Cocoa. We've made hot chocolate with Almond milk and LOVE sprinkling it over fresh mango and bananas bought right in town.

We were told that if there is one thing we cannot miss on this trip, it's the 27 Waterfall Tour. We weren't interested in taking a full blown tour so we decided to drive ourselves to the destination. As we mentioned before, there are no rules in terms of driving and we were on the edge of our seat the entire time. We almost hit a chicken, a dog and even a cow! Needless to say, we made it there in one piece.

The above video is a great clip of various waterfalls you get to jump off of during the 3hr tour. You get a personal guide and hike about 45min through the jungle to the start. From there, you climb, swim, jump and maneuver your way through 27 different waterfalls. Unfortunately, we didn't have a waterproof camera but pictures just wouldn't do justice on this adventure :)

We didn't know what to expect since we didn't see any of the videos prior but it was one hell of an experience. Papito was a great guide and we're so glad we made our way out there to check it out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Cabarete Fun!

One of the first things we planned for our trip was a little Stand Up Paddle Boarding. It's something both of us have wanted to try for a long time so we made it our number one activity. Walking down to the section of the beach where the water is a bit more calm takes about a half hour. We've done this walk several times and have frequently seen horses in full gallop along the beach.

It's hard to get pictures on the SUP as we did about as much swimming as we did paddling on our first try. We learned that the sport is nowhere near as easy as it looks but a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. After all that hard work, we were ready for another couple hours of lounging in the sun and playing on the beach.

The ocean water is exceptionally warm and the sand is smooth so it's very enjoyable just wading around in the surf. After another good sun absorption session, we went to an afternoon yoga class at the resort next door. The studio was in an awesome ocean front cabana and we were the only two in the class. The sound of the ocean and the whole experience was really cool.

After finding out that Iguana Mama (one of DR's top tour guide companies) had a 'Max Endurance' mountain bike adventure through the jungle, we simply couldn't pass it up.


Neither one of us had our own bike equipment or clothing attire so we were in full tourist mode. I used some yoga clothes while Bryce rocked board shorts and a tank top. We both had to use flat pedals with tennis shoes. It really makes you appreciate the amazing equipment and comfy apparel we ride in at home.

Above was my sweet Fuji bike that got me through our 4hr adventure ride. Bryce was on the same ride, just 3 sizes larger :)

Our trip began right from the main road in town. The driving style that scared us while we were in a car was 100% more terrifying on a bike. Luckily we made it off the pavement and onto the dirt fairly quick. We rode alongside the ocean for a bit then turned inland and began heading up into the Dominican mountains. Go figure, I'm the one that flats before we even hit the trails!


After a rather large climb, we made it to the Monkey Jungle facility where they have zip line tours. It was an absolutely gorgeous view.

Max, our tour guide, was an extremely fit local who has been riding mountain bikes for 15 years in the DR. He was a blast ride and hang out with for our 60km experience. 

 Instead of bringing energy bars and sandwiches on rides, Max eats fruit off the trees for energy. We stopped and had some delicious and sweet grapefruit that was knocked down straight from the tree!

Despite a lot of recent rain and some seriously slick clay type mud, we had a great time. Thanks again Max, we cannot wait to come back for more!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

We have made it to DR!

When my friend (and owner of Madd Gear) Brian extended an offer to let us use his beautiful condo in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, it was an easy decision for both of us! The hardest part for me is letting go of work and taking some time off. However, I haven't been on vacation since 2003 so taking this opportunity couldn't be passed up.  It was something that both of us really needed to do, and after seeing pictures like these, we decided we're doing it! 

There is really only one good flight to the Puerto Plata airport (which leaves Miami around noon on Saturdays).  We didn't want to stay the night Miami on Friday night, so we opted for a red-eye flight which arrived in Miami early Saturday morning. I'm not very good about sleeping on planes or airports so it was a long 3.5hr flight and 6 hour layover before the second leg. We boarded the plane for DR around noon, and landed just a short 1.5 hours after.  We rented a car, stopped for some groceries, and finished the sketchiest part of the trip (the scooter-dodging drive into Cabarete), just before arriving at Brian's beautiful condo.

By the time we arrived we were totally exhausted and almost felt guilty about getting into bed so early. Obviously we both needed it, as we slept about 15 hours the first night!  We woke up much more refreshed and began planning our activities.  We left plenty of time to walk the length of the beach, sit by the pool, check out town, and exchange some money. 

After watching the kite surfers and relaxing by the beach, we went into town for a fun dinner and entertainment at LAX. It had a super relaxed vibe, modern decor, good food, and Carribean house/electronic music. We have some really fun stuff planned for the rest of the week so stay tuned!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A gift from Bryce

Bryce surprised me the other day with a personalized Road ID bracelet :) They recently came out with a super slim version and since we've been on a responsibility kick lately, he thought it would be an appropriate thing for us to have. We are out riding, running, dirt biking, etc. quite often on our own so this just brings a little piece of mind in case anything where to ever happen. For $15, it's the perfect gift for a friend or loved one!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A little furniture switcharoo

After much debate, we decided to re-arrange the living room furniture so that we could bring the dining table over to the big open/living space on the main floor. Above is the new couch configuration to make things feel a little more cozy!

Before we had the larger of the two couches on the far wall by the patio slider and the loveseat  off the small walled section between the kitchen and the hall.

It wasn't a bad configuration, it just didn't utilize the space very well and I always felt disconnected.

The other major annoyance was that we had a dining table crammed into the kitchen nook which just didn't work. It was too big of a table and no one ever really sat there because it was uncomfortable. We have since moved the same table we had to the living area and purchased a cool extendable lamp that acts as a chandelier.

 Not the best pic to visualize the before pic of the kitchen, but you get the idea!

Our overall plan includes purchasing the same table we got from IKEA for the Winter Park condo. It fits four comfortably but includes two hidden leafs to extend the table out which makes room to fit eight!

The final piece of the re-arrangement puzzle was trying to find the right piece to fit in the kitchen nook. We lack a bit of counter and storage space so we figured something that could suit those needs would be the best option. We searched for weeks looking for the perfect sideboard/console/etc but couldn't justify spending thousands of dollars on the ones we loved. Instead, we opted for the above butcher block floating storage unit from IKEA. We wanted a darker (black) piece to match the rest of the furniture but we can paint it later if need be. For now, it's been perfect and I'm so glad we made the switcharoo!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Continuing the path towards adulthood

I've been putting off getting a term life insurance policy for while now, but this week I finally got it taken care of. I had no idea how intensive the whole process was! Not only was the application a million pages long, I had a physician met me at home this morning to draw blood, take a urine, and read my blood pressure THREE different times! A little over the top in my opinion but hopefully it puts me in a lower rate bracket :) This was honestly the last thing I needed to deal with considering the workload on my plate but I now feel a weight lifted off my shoulder. Now to get those Wills and POA's signed and filed...growing up is not easy!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Getting outside!

After a long drive down to Pueblo on Saturday with two of my favorite boys, we got the dirt bikes going and joined some good friends for some braaaaap-ing. I haven't been on my dirt bike in ages and actually felt horrible but I have to remember how quickly it comes back. Tony, however, enjoyed the new terrain and has his mind spinning on getting a smaller bike!

 The weather couldn't have been more perfect for a big group ride on Sunday. Although most of us stayed up late watching the first round of Supercross, we were able to rally up a 2.5hr fun ride with the best of Boulder. Stuff like this just makes me smile all day :)

On a somewhat related note, our Christmas present from the Binghams finally arrived this week and we couldn't be more excited to have a fully functional bike pump in the house. Although it may be a bit of an 'over the top' pump, it's gorgeous and works like a charm.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 is finally here

THIS IS MY YEAR!!!! No seriously. The past 4 years have been filled with amazing and memorable events but I've also struggled with injury, sickness and lots of athletic disappointment. With my recent findings, I'm hoping this new year will be the year for all things to fall into place. I certainly don't expect to be right where I left off at the beginning of 2009 but I'd like to take several steps forward without any back :) Below are five simple goals for 2013:

1) Wake up every morning and LOVE what I do
2) Not meet my health insurance deductible
3) Complete a full cyclocross season
4) Take a few vacations
5) Clear some big jumps on my new downhill bike