Sunday, October 27, 2013

Before: A new house

We've felt a new kind of pain after ripping up most of the carpets. But it will be a huge transformation once the new floors come in and we get some paint on the walls that isn't tan!

Our kitchen is in pretty good shape, cabinet-wise, but those countertops will definitely have to go.

Our downstairs half bath is a hideous shade of lavender and pretty boring, but definitely not our top priority. At least it has mirrors and a light fixture, unlike the master bathroom.

This is the view from the dining room looking into the living room. It gets very bright with all the windows, and we love it.

One of the worst rooms ever — our guest bedroom. Two walls are gray, two are primary-color blue, and yes, it IS that poorly painted — it's not a trick of the light. Definitely excited to rip off those closet doors and paint it all one color that isn't splotchy.

Here's a bad shot of the master bath — it has no light fixture yet, so it's pretty dark. Obviously they took the light fixture and medicine cabinet, and the shower isn't too great either, but it's livable for now!

Here's the master bedroom (yes, those are mirrored double closet doors, ugh). Once we get the hardwoods down it will be so much nicer.

And the bane of our master bedroom — the weird hotel sink outside the bathroom. It's a different color and style from everything else in the house, and it has at least two layers of terrible wallpaper border along the top. We are at a loss with what to do with this space.

This is what we're calling the kitty bedroom/workout room. It has no closet and is quite small, but will be perfect for the cat food/litter box and an exercise bike. We plan to decorate it with sports-related things.

The carpet is nearly impossible to get off these stairs, but boy will it look so much better when we stain the stairs instead of having this gross plush carpet.

This is the deck off the master bedroom, though it's not stable enough to enjoy quite yet.

Our backyard full of rocks! It's more spacious than the photo indicates, and wraps around the house to the garage. We'll definitely need to do some work here next spring, as the "grassy areas" are more "weedy areas."

But it sure is cute! It will look even better once we re-side it — up close it's got a few troubled spots on the wood siding and has a terrible paint job (these people really sucked at painting, clearly). It's a work in progress, but we love it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A long weekend in the mountains

July Fourth weekend afforded us the chance at four straight days off. So we took advantage of it.

Against our better judgment, we spent July Fourth at Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs with about 10,000 other people. But it was still beautiful (and even better once we got away from crying children, strollers and all that).

The Siamese Twins trail gets you away from the crowds, mostly because it's not paved and you actually have to do a little bit of work. It's only one mile round-trip and a relatively easy hike, but it's amazing what tourists will bypass sometimes. It had the best view of Pikes Peak alongside these impressive rock formations — the Siamese Twins. 

On Saturday, we decided to get up super early and drive to Rocky Mountain National Park. Since we're still not in high-altitude shape, we chose an easier trail that promised great views — a 1.7-mile, one-way hike to Gem Lake, with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. 

The views of the Rockies along the way were incredible, and the ability to go off-trail and climb on granite rocks was the best part.

Almost to the top finally! The lake is just to the right of this ridge.

And we made it! It was the perfect place for an early lunch to cool off from the aerobic climb to the top.

The view from near the top was the absolute best, overlooking the small resort town of Estes Park. RMNP, we'll definitely be back soon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was an extremely pleasant surprise in such an urban area. Great trails for hiking abound, as do animals. Tread lightly, and don't forget the camera.

Find the bison!

Patterns in a frozen lake.

This guy was down one antler. Still a beautiful creature, though.

And the whole thing was free, which makes it even better. I'm still surprised at how few people were there on a Saturday so close to Denver on a warm-for-winter day. We'll definitely be back, time and time again, and I can't wait to discover the different animals and sights in each season.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Boulder adventures

Well here we are exploring Boulder already! It still feels a bit like an extended vacation, mostly because I'm not working. But it was great to get in a hike, even if it was short-lived (thanks, lack of oxygen. It makes a bigger difference than you think).

So we visited a park that boasts tons of trails, and it seemed pretty popular, so we figured it would be a good place to start seeing the beautiful locales around our new home. There was a bit of snow, but it was packed down and easy to hike on. These trails were certainly popular on Sunday morning, as we had to fight for a parking space. Did I mention it's free? BECAUSE IT'S FREE!

Here's a photo early in the hike looking back over the town of Boulder:

And here's a photo of Boulder's famous Flatirons — it was an incredibly warm and sunny day:

Don't mind the rock climbers — they were hiking up to, I assume, take advantage of the Flatirons' well-known rock climbing.