July 30, 2011

Gunnison's The Bean

While in Gunnison, CO a few weeks ago I visited their local coffee shop, The Bean, quite a bit. In years past stopping at The Bean on a trip to Gunnison had always been a must, so this year was no different.

The shop is quaint, and definitely feels like a college town coffee shop (the college is just a few blocks away). They have an amazing breakfast and lunch menu, and some of the best espresso in town.

For years I have been captivated by their menu. It's colorful, full of delicious choices for coffee drinks, smoothies, breakfast dishes, and lunch items. It's also slightly overwhelming, and leaves my eyes searching around for minutes for the perfect coffee drink + breakfast/lunch dish.

This particular afternoon I went to The Bean by myself. I got a small iced americano, and sat at a table taking in the all of the sights and sounds surrounding me. Sometimes it's nice to just have a few moments by yourself to sit and reflect.

On another note, we're down to t-minus ten days until my homecoming. I'm so ready to be with my love every day.

What are you most looking forward to?
-Chelsea XO

July 29, 2011

Odds & Ends

Today I just wanted to pop in to let you know that I now I have an Instagram account:

I've been posting a lot there lately and would love to have you as a Insta friend! You can find me at: Chelseabirdd

Also, I've really been keeping up with my Tumblr lately! You can check out all of my tumbling right here.

Hope you are all having a lovely Friday! Enjoy the weekend!
-Chelsea XO

July 28, 2011

Telluride Farmer's Market

It's no secret, Scott and I are big farmer's market lovers and always take any chance we get to check out one. Well, when we pulled into Telluride for our day adventure the first thing we spotted was a sign stated that today was the town's farmer's market! So we found a parking spot on the side of street quickly, and made our way down to one of the most amazing farmer's markets we had ever been to.

The market was four or five blocks long, and all the way down there was booth after booth filled with homemade treats, fresh produce, delicious lunch choices, fresh flowers and handmade goods.

Since it was lunch time, food and a cold drink were definitely on our mind. We walked down the whole market before deciding on what we wanted to get. We ended up getting two different kinds of lemonade, mint and berry, as well as the most amazing fresh veggie burro for me, and grilled veggie burro for Scott.

The line for our drinks and lunches were super long, so it took us awhile to get our food, but the wait was definitely worth it.

It didn't take long for Scott and I to finish up our lunches, but while we ate we took in the sights of our beautiful surroundings. The mountain sitting in front of us was absolutely breathtaking, and all the kids running around, dogs playing fetch, and people enjoying a nice afternoon in the park around us made for the perfect atmosphere. If we didn't have more places to explore I could have stayed there all day.

See the ski lift going up the side of the mountain? I bet that is such a pretty ride in the winter!

Since our lunch wouldn't have been completely without dessert, we got freshly made donuts with powdered sugar. I am a huge donut fan, and these little o's were exceptional. I could have eaten an entire bag all by myself!

After lunch we went on a little walk along a nearby river. The water was crystal clear and freezing.

The surrounding scenery was so gorgeous. I felt like I was in a dream, wandering around in an enchanted forrest just waiting for something magical to happen.

This is one of the most beautiful places I have seen all summer.

We stopped on a cute bridge to take in the scenery before we headed into town to explore all of the local shops. If our afternoon adventure had ended right here I would have completely content. I had such an amazing time looking through the farmer's market, eating delicious food, and going on the prettiest walk with my love.

Soon after this photo was taken a large, yellow labrador got out of the river below us that it had been swimming in, walked onto the bridge, and shook out his fur as hard as he could. Scott and I were covered in spots of water from head to toe once he was done. It was just the funniest thing!

Do you ever go on nature walks?
-Chelsea XO

July 27, 2011

Redstone Castle

If you would have told me at the beginning of the summer that I was going to visit a castle while in Colorado I would have said your crazy! Well, life always has its little surprises and a few weeks ago Scott and I actually visited a castle in the middle of the mountains in Colorado. My dad had visited this castle when he was much younger, and was reminded of it when we drove past it earlier this summer. He encouraged us to drive the windy mountain and take a tour of the more than 100 year-old castle.

Redstone Castle was built in 1897 for John Cleveland Osgood, a coal and steel pioneer. The 42 room, tudor style house has seen many owners over the years, and has gone through many changes in the 100 years plus it has been standing. In the very beginning it was the home to Osgood and his first wife, then to him and his second wife, and on to him and his third wife, and then finally to him and his fourth fiance before his death and their soon-to-be wedding.

The castle sits on acres of land on the side of a mountain in Redstone, CO. To get to the castle we had to go to the local market (a teeny tiny store that sold just about anything you can imagine) and purchase our tickets, then drive up a winding road past beautiful trees, and a clear as crystal river which eventually put us outside the main gate of the castle. Before we headed in we stopped in front of the castle to take in the amazing view.

That afternoon the tour was quite full, so they broke us up into two groups. Our group started the tour outside in the carriage area. Our tour guide gave us so much background on the castle, the previous owners, and all the changes the castle has seen over the years (from a private home, to a bed and breakfast, back to a private home, and now a soon-to-be resort). Then we all headed inside to have another talk about the original owner and his three wives. After al little while we were free to wander around and look through all of the open rooms (about half of the rooms were not open to the public because they were said to not be maintained to their original standard).

Scott and I had such a great time looking through each and every room. We really loved all of the colorful bedrooms (there were so many!), as well as all of the great wallpaper, antique furniture, and paintings. Are tour guide gave us a brief history lesson on a few of the rooms and their previous inhabitants. It was so neat to imagine what life would have been like in that castle in the early 1900's. Osgood and his wives (one at a time, of course) seemed to live a lavish lifestyle and had the best of the best.

This pink couch caught my eye and melted my heart. I honestly wanted to take it home so badly! It was gorgeous!

The house was full of amazing nooks and crannys. This tiny room pictured above was most likely a closet at some point. I can imagine one of Osgood's wives picking out her outfits here every day and getting dress by natural light. She probably would look out this window and take in the gorgeous view, just like I did this day.

This room above was one of my very favorites. It was said to be a nanny quarters, which was attached to a room built for children (so the parents wouldn't be bothered with their every moment needs). The funny thing is, Osgood and any of his three wives never had any children, but the home was built with the thought that he someday might and would then need a place for the nanny and children.

Many of the rooms were fashioned in a pink scheme. Osgood's second wife was said to have a significant part in deciding the room decor and color schemes throughout the home. By all the pink we found throughout the castle I think it would be safe to say that pink was one of her favorite colors.

Our tour guide explained that Osgood fashioned each main living area after a different culture and country to show that he was worldly and well traveled. I believe the above living room was decorated to resemble a Scottish hunting room, hence the animal head and family crest on the wall. The lamps were made by Tiffany and were absolutely breathtaking.

One post does not give me enough space to blog about Redstone Castle in its entirety, so expect another post featuring more photos and little stories about the other rooms we visited while on our tour.

This staircase and vintage wallpaper was definitely one of my favorite parts in the whole castle!

Outfit details:
Crochet top: Levi's
Peach shirt: Gap
Maxi skirt: Target

Have you ever explored a castle before? Have you ever been on a tour of an old home?

July 26, 2011

Around Telluride

Among my most favorite towns I visited this summer is Telluride, CO. Telluride is a quaint, resort town that is full of charm. From their amazing farmer's market (more on that later), to all their sweet shops, and the free gondola ride that Scott and I could have gone on over and over again (ok, maybe not too many times because I'm sure I would have gotten sick eventually), the town is an amazing place tucked away between the most beautiful mountains.

We spent the afternoon eating, hanging out in the park, looking through lots of neat shops, and riding a gondola to the top of a very high mountain, down and back again. It really was a perfect afternoon that I soon won't forget.

Scott and I stopped in a few shops that had some amazing things in them. The picture above was taken in a sweet boutique that had the most amazing Frye purses and Jeffrey Campbell shoes I had ever seen.

The boutique had a tiny upstairs area that I am sure has been there for over a hundred years (as has the building). The floor was uneven, the ceiling was low (so low that Scott had to crouch while up there), and being up there made me feel slightly like I had vertigo!

We looked through a few more stores where I spotted my favorite Blowfish Shoes, and Scott tried on funny hats. Oh, and there was lots of kisses involved!

Our trip to Telluride wouldn't have been complete if we didn't ride the gondola. The gondola is free and takes you up to the very top of a nearby mountain, then back down to a village, and on to another one as well (and back to the very beginning of course). The afternoon we went to Telluride they were having a down hill bike competition so Scott and I got to see all of the racers go down the side of the mountain as we rode by on the gondola.

The view up there was absolutely breathtaking.

The ride down was slightly scary. I know we were safe up there, but going down the side of the mountain is much more scary than going up. It felt like we were just going to tumble down! ECK!

We both had a great time in Telluride and can't wait to go back some day. It really is such a great town!

On a side note, I made it to Utah safely and will be here for the rest of the week. The town I'm in is crazy about dinosaurs (there literally is giant dinosaur statues everywhere), and is pretty small. They do have a frozen yogurt shop and a clothing store so I don't think I'll be too terribly bored this week.

Have you ever been to Telluride before? What are you up to today?
-Chelsea XO

July 25, 2011

Leaving Colorado

Well, this is it! Yesterday was my last day in Colorado, and today I'm heading out of the state and on to Utah. My final week here was a very busy one, but I was able to spend an hour in my favorite spot in town, downtown Grand Junction.

I went downtown by myself and walked around to a few of my favorite spots. This alleyway has always been a fav of mine, so I had to stop and take one last photo set here before I head out for the year. Last month I took photos just on the opposite side of this wall, so it felt fitting to take my last photos here (bringing everything full circle).

It was a fairly warm, early afternoon, but I felt like layering one of my favorite Levi's dresses with skinny jeans and sky high wedges. I'm craving fall weather so bad, and I'm so ready to dress like it's 70 degrees out and I can drink hot coffee outside without burning up.

After my week in Utah, and my week in Wyoming I will be heading home to Phoenix to start Grad School. I've been missing Scott big time since he left, and lately I've been finding comfort in wearing this little Tiffany heart he gave me for Christmas one year. I absolutely can't wait to run off that plane and into his arms! I sure wish there was a fast forward button I could push to make the next two weeks zoom by!

For some reason this little area reminds of the park scene in 500 Days of Summer. The view isn't quite as magical, but the area still has some charm to it.

I'm going to miss all of this amazing exposed brick around here! My heart isn't feeling too bad, though, because I know once I get back home and down to Phoenix I will be surrounding buy it again (being surrounded around amazing buildings inspires me so much!).

I would be lying if I didn't say that this downtown visit involved a stop at my favorite coffee shop, Roasted. A large iced americano was purchased and gulped down! YUM! There iced americanos really are so good.

Outfit details:
Sunnies: Ray Bans
Dress/tunic: Levi's
Belt: My mom's
Key necklace: Tiffany's
Flourish bracelet: gift from Danielle
Skinnies: Levis
Kork Ease Bette Wedges: Won on Calivintage

What inspires you? Have you ever been to Utah before?
-Chelsea XO