Stanley and Studio Vino

I guess I should have mentioned in my earlier blog that I’m doing a couple tonight. There is a lot going on and splitting it up seemed the best way to go. So this blog is….The Stanley and Studio Vino!! I’m still drinking the Thorny Rose and I’m still listening to Florence….who is an amazing artist if you haven’t checked her out.

Whenever my sister visits we always make a trip to Estes Park. We visit the mountains, check out the elk and then head to the Stanley for a drink. I love the mountains so this never gets old for me. Every year my husband and I buy the National Pass and visit as much as we can. I can never get enough and I usually take pictures every time…I probably have a thousand pictures of elk. I don’t know why I do it but I can not help it!!

Anyway…this year was almost the perfect year. We made it all the way to Many Parks Curve (for those of you who are familiar with the park it’s actually not far in.) before we had to turn around. It was super windy and the road was closed. When we got there I was disappointed and feeling invincible but as we were coming down a huge gust of wind actually made my steering wheel shake and it was then I thanked the park rangers for closing it. Sometimes though it surprises me when they close it and when they don’t. Case in point… last year we made above the tree line, just before the Alpine Visitor Center, before I had to turn around. At the bottom it was sprinkling a little, somewhat windy but by the time we made it to the top it was sleeting/snowing and insanely windy. I was driving my brand new car (which I’d already wrecked after 3 weeks, so yes I was paranoid) and she and I weren’t at that comfortable stage yet so I told my sister we were heading for the lower ground. I clutched that stupid steering wheel the whole way down. And I turned down the radio.

This is me…lost, confused, mad or when it’s raining….it works for everything.

This year other than the wind it was a beautiful day to be trekking up the mountains. And as a sidenote I didn’t get to actually trek up any mountains on foot this year which was really disappointing. Hiking is one of the greatest things of living here! I digress…we made it to the Stanley** and had our annual drink. Usually a martini of sorts. Now I’m not a huge plain martini drinker. I’m that frou-frou girl who orders apple or chocolate but I wasn’t feeling it this year. I ordered the bartender’s selection of a martini with elderflower and some super sweet liquor. I wasn’t a huge fan but I stuck it out then ordered a bloody mary. They do serve great bloody mary’s.

After our Stanley afternoon we headed to Studio Vino in Loveland. It was my first outing to a wine and painting session. It is so much fun! Everyone should try it. You can order beer or wine and go on painting. We were a few minutes late and the instructor was great about it. It was an easy painting and she did a great job giving everyone enough time to paint and play with colors, etc… I’m glad my first time was something easy that I could have fun with. It gives me confidence that I can attack a more complex project.

   

**Now I’m the first to say the Stanley is a little overrated. If you’ve never been there then it might not be but since I frequent it I’ve gotten to know it well. You’re paying for the atmosphere which in my opinion is worth it. It’s a nice place and has a lot of history. Each year (sadly not this year though) we attend the Shining Ball for Halloween. The tickets are upper $80’s plus you have to buy drink tickets and most drinks are $6+ so…yeah it’s a lot. But it’s a lot of fun to dress up and attend a ball at a famous hotel, that’s supposedly haunted. Last time we stayed overnight I woke up every hour because I was freaked out a ghost might be lurking outside. That and we accidentally left the tv on the channel that only plays “The Shining” (movie, not tv series) over and over, 24 hours a day. Needless to say I didn’t sleep well. I still think people should visit whether it be the bar, the ball or just the lobby. And the ghost tour is a lot of fun. Scary Mary is the best if you can get her…

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