Beautiful sunrise on the road....at 5:30am.
Sharing a chocolate chip scone makes life easier. Me: How's the coffee? Tim: It's ok, but I like the lid. Closed, open, closed, open!
A whole disc of King of Queens makes any drive faster.
Nebraska is endless.
Waking up early +a late seminar start time + a gym that doesn't open til 8 = a lazy Clare morning.
Finding out the gym lady is perpetually late til 8:45 = a glare from Clare.
Upside: the front desk called a van to take us up the mountain to a neighboring hotel miniscule workout room.
Tim ran back down the mountain. I would break my leg trying. At the very least.
Extra warm waiting in line outside for Susan Feniger's Irresistable Street Food Seminar.
Susan was hung over, yet very high energy crazy.
Made cucumber melon cocktails, an egyptian lentil starch dish, Indian dish with more cilantro than I thought existed, and a lentil melon salad.
Right outside the tent we shared a mini CP burger (stellar) and sweet potato fries.
Lululemon isn't open on Sundays, and I'd waited ALL weekend to go, bummer.
$4.85 a gallon in Aspen
On the road to Denver by 12:15!
MC Yogi playing, driving with the windows down through the mountains.
Took Tim's picture at the Continental Divide.
Lunch @ Dam Brewery in Dillon (yay soft pretzels!)
Traffic going into Denver
80 minutes longer getting into Denver.
Wandered the 16th Street Mall downtown for an hour.
I love the Love Denver store.
End of Pride week brought out some pretty entertaining characters.
We could see the wildfire smoke even from Denver.
First Whole Foods was too small to properly stock up. The second worked JUST fine :-)
Thank god we brought the big cooler.
Our hotel is exactly like the Hotel SO in New Zealand, so bubble gum modern. Bright shiny plastic and more colors than Tokyo.
But the gym suits me just fine.
Our 5:30am leave time will come far too soon.
Last circle of Grand Tasting got me a picture with Spike Mendelsohn.
Also my first shot of Mezcal (fire starting fuel), a chocolate Patron popsicle, and a duck daikon apple slaw taco (best of the day).
Leaving, there was no line for Gail Simmons, Paul Qi, or Tom Collichio. So naturally we hopped over and got our passes signed.
Tom looked so bored, and Gail made Tim wait so she could put on lip gloss.
Walking out, BEST PART of the day happened.
I got my picture with Fabio Viviani. And Tim asked him about the 5k.
Apparently it only took the guy pulling him in the wagon 40 minutes to finish. Impressive!
More cupcakes OUTSIDE the grand tasting on the way to the car.
Found delicious local Taster's pizza in Snowmass for dinner (I swear a few hours happened between tasting and dinner).
The White Bliss pizza, add pineapple.
Quick visit to the grocery store we wish we'd known was there all week, a mini exploratory drive up the mountain, and a long bike ride at the gym….
Woke up early and refreshed, but again, no yogurt to be found!
Lucked out early in Aspen for the Farmers Market and a GIANT blueberry muffin and fresh cherries.
Ended up circling the block extra for a photo with Michael Symon, who was super nice as Tim couldn't get the camera to work.
Ming Tsai's Asian BBQ seminar was first, but only after seeing Michael at least 6 more times, looking like a stalker.
Ming Tsai was a great entertainer with hilarious stories and humor, making spicy salmon & beef satay.
Jose Andres ran in at the end to join the banter.
Chillier weather today.
Grand tasting brought us more goody bags, free tshirts and food that seemed to follow a shrimp theme.
Drinks consumed and liked included; Moscato, Roscato, & Red Velvet Cake liquor.
Waiting for Bobby Flay's Parisian Flair with American Flavor, we were entertained by four older intoxicated women.
Bobby Flay has quite the sexy voice.
He also did an interpretive Skate wing dance trying to explain his skate dish to the drunk rowdy crowd.
Flay was in full swing awesome even with Giada deLaurentis and Michael Symon there to heckle, and a drunk lady trying to high jack his presentation all the way through peach crepe dessert.
We got to wait in line downstairs for Michael Symon's Meatless Mondays.
While seating, I encountered rude lady, but lucked out with Daphne Oz in the row ahead of us.
Symon sponsors whiskey and that was clear with lots of amusing side track stories, going ten minutes over time.
Tim refused to go into the Lexus photo booth with me, so I rocked the pink hat alone.
We watched John Besh brutally butcher a whole lamb and it all looked like carnage.
But he served bourbon lemonade while he did it, urging people to shout out randomly stupid questions.
I felt hung over from Grand Tasting #1 the whole time.
Saw Mario Batali & Emeril Lagasse while waiting in line for Top Chef: Sweet & Salty seminar.
Got highly annoyed at volunteers letting people sneak down early for seats.
Even madder when we were FIRST in line and yet halfway back in the room.
We received nail polish goodie bags and cups of Pinot?
Andrew Zimmern sat across the aisle from me, I totally braved up for a picture.
Gail Simmons & Tom Colicchio were a giggly and mess making duo, making sweet and savory peach dishes.
Tequila and ice cream went EVERYWHERE.
Tom started live Tweeting his food.
Perused the grand tasting for special tastes and ice cream drinks.
Ice cream topped w/ olive oil and salt?
Godiva was promoting their truffle line based off of ice cream flavors.
Free Champion gym bags with goodies.
We didn't last long before deciding to skip the F&W classic t shirts (just too ugly this year), and then headed back to the hotel.
Making it just in time to get our Snowmass Tshirts.
Tim had the ham & brie, and tomato cheddar soup sitting outside at The Stew Pot. I just ate the fruit off my salad.
Hitting the gym was easy in comparison to getting dressed for the 10pm party.
Last Bite Dessert Party by Gail Simmons & Johnny Iuzzini:
Somehow we ended up parked under the industrial sprinklers.
You know it's a good party when the front hall is lined with chocolates.
ANOTHER open bar.
Dessert stations were everywhere with gourmet desserts. Chocolates, pound cake, handmade pies, zillions of cupcakes, handmade doughnuts, cheeses, nuts, honeycomb, passed trays of mousses, flans, tapiocas, ice creams, cheesecakes. And so much more.
Johnny's station had a chocolate log, Melon soup panacotta, and strawberry salad.
There was even a 15 foot moose to take pictures on, to go along with the Harry & David stations.
Somehow there were nail polish freebies?
Stalking Johnny right before we left deemed successful.
Saw Gail as we left, but we were just pooped! An hour was PLENTY of fun and sugar.
Today has been so jam packed (since bright and early 5:30am) I have no idea how I'll fit it all in one post! Unless I go with random thought bullet points....let's try it! (edit: ok, it'll be a two parter…)
Bobby Flay 5k:
Perfect cool Colorado morning.
First celeb sighting of the weekend, Richard Blais.
Got started with only a tiny altitude problem, gone by half mile in. Sadly the problem lay in my shin splints.
Halfway through, I passed Top Chef Fabio Viviani being pulled in a little red wagon.
There was a trail running section that I absolutely loved.
I came in seconds behind Tim at sadly a really slow time (32:something).
Afterwards we happily walked around eating fruit cups and bagels picking up freebies.
Morning @ Food & Wine Classic:
Walking through Aspen, I was inches from running straight into Daphne Oz, who was immediately followed by Mario Batali. I super nerdy geeked out.
We were among the first in lines for Game On with Andrew Zimmern. He prepared antelope and deer hearts. I'm vegetarian enough already!
Lines here are long. Without actually feeling long.
At first we were surprised at the amount of food at the Grand Tasting (80% booze / 20% food).
But then I had a few cocktails (first in years) and that 20% of food made it A-OK! The trash recycling volunteers are Nazis.
Patron made full sized watermelon margaritas.
EVERYTHING is free.
Mini tacos, shrimp, mini sandwiches, shaved beef, cookies, chocolates, and cheese are the hits of the 20%.
Mudslide shakes are delicious.
There was a tent dedicated to Spain?
The freebies including bottles of liquor and beer glasses were insane.
The Fiji water girls look like blue hookers from the 70s but they are my best friends.
Tim was second in line to get his Andrew Zimmern book signed.
Afterwards he said he was fulfilled and we could leave.
Yesterday we embarked on the long long road to Aspen, Colorado. Last night wasnt too bad. Leaving around 5pm after Tim got off work, we stopped in Des Moines for a delicious Chipotle dinner before finishing the drive to good ole Lincoln, NE where we had already booked a room (Priceline is the best, ever). Not so bad so far. Although I'm not sure how many times we can hear Call Me Maybe on the radio before going insane.
Today was a slightly different story. The hotel breakfast options consisted of cereal, waffles, toast, or doughnuts. That's it. ALL complex carbs. We even attempted THREE gas stations and not a single one had yogurt. Nebraska is afraid of yogurt, that's just gotta be it.
I'm pretty sure my butt was asleep in the first 20 minutes. Boredom soon followed. You know it's bad when you get excited for bathroom breaks just to have something to do....
Late lunch in Denver. You guessed it, Chipotle. I love me some quasi faux Mexican! Tim picked up his local Colorado beer to take home, and back on the road for the last three hours! It was strange driving past Dillon and Silverthorne, especially past Copper, where we usually stay while in Colorado.
But almost exactly 24 hours after we began the journey, we parked our poor little sputtery hybrid in Aspen. Our first mission to get registered for the weekends activities, the 30th Food & Wine Classic. I'd saved for a few years in order to give Tim something special for his 30th. Fingers crossed this is it!
Registration was super fast and easy. People are beyond nice, seems like this will be pretty chill, love it. We also got our stuff for the Bobby Flay 5k, bright and early tomorrow morning. Armed with swag bags galore, we headed for our lodge in Snowmass Village.
We barely got in the room (which is very nice and woodsy lodgy) before we dumped out the bags to go through all the goodies. This is no small peanuts event, that's for sure!
Eventually we wandered out for dinner at The Stew Pot. It was perfect. Between the two of us, we chowder down on chicken chipotle stew, salad, homemade bread, cranberry turkey sandwich and a ham and Brie sandwich. I'd say for not even starting the classic yet, we are eating well!
Thus why I'm at the gym currently. Gotta work off as much as I can so I can feel less guilt tomorrow!!