Running Away From Home

Rockies

Between the last post and this one I ran away from home.

Bear in mind, I’m not an advocate of running away from home (nor life) and there was much more involved in this impromptu foray than tying a makeshift hobo bag on the end of a stick, slinging it over my shoulder, and taking off for the wild blue yonder.

Let’s just say it was a realignment of my life…

A much needed one.

On the heels of the ‘mysterious cookbook project’ I’ve been editing since last Spring (more on that in a post or two!) and despite the contented musings in my last post, the same ol’ same ol’ was becoming all too familiar.

Don’t get me wrong! I love editing and I’m at peace with my Sis’s sudden passing. And, life on the lake with TMOFW is still wonderful… but… I was beginning to feel “at my wit’s end.” It was time to do something off the wall.

Different. Spontaneous. Grown-up girl.

And just plain fun!

After submitting my last-minute RSVP to Google+’s VIPCON2014/Denver HIRL (Video In Person Conference/Hangout In Real Life), I packed up the Jeep and hit the road. Truthfully, it was the first long trip I’ve taken by myself in 15 years… other than “the trucking years,” of course!

For three glorious days and nights, I hung out with online buddies I’d only hoped to meet ‘someday,’ visited with folks I’d never met in person until then, and parted as lifelong friends with all of them. We laughed uproariously, cooked, danced, sang songs, sampled complimentary cocktails and wine from our sponsors, cooked some more, and talked into the wee hours of the morning. Basically it was an ongoing slumber party… er, business meeting. (Who says business can’t be FUN?!)

Wood fire pizza oven at All American Johnny's Pizza Grill

My first night in Denver began with dinner at a wood fire pizza grill — All American Johnny’s. (Why I didn’t take a photo of my ‘customized’ pizza made with the tastiest gluten-free crust I’ve eaten to date, topped with house-made San Marzano tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, wild mushrooms, freshly-made Mozzarella, and spicy Italian sausage is beyond me.) Yup. I ate the evidence.

Also included in the event were a tour of the Breckenridge Brewery which I missed out on due to an unexpected travel delay, but they saved a T-shirt for me — (thanks!) — plus a tour of the Spring 44 distillery in Loveland. Good spirits abounded!

Did I mention cooking?

Chef Larry Fournillier whipped up his amazing Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice one evening (swoon), Shelley Pierce made her fabulous bhindi Masala (again no photo, but soooo appreciatively savored), and Wayne & Dawn Nix shared their Louisiana-famous Gumbo, much to my taste-tester’s delight! (FYI, click on the blue links for visuals. ;)

There was also a ‘live’ HOA (Hangout On Air) featuring the lovely Azlin Bloor, who made Smoked Salmon Fish Curry. Oh my… it’s on my must make list! (And please pardon my ‘deer in the headlights’ gaze… there’s a first time for everything. LOL!)

I was so inspired I decided to stretch my culinary wings. Pictured below are some of the dishes I threw together (made possible with much appreciated assistance from ‘sous chefs’ extraordinaire, Larry and Debi) ~~ Pepper Steak & Eggs, Oven Baked Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a Lingonberry Reduction made with Spring 44’s Honey Vodka. Mmmmm…

After the VIPCON 2014/Denver HIRL (thanks for your generous-hearted hospitality, Hermine!) I stayed an extra couple of days with Debi Davis — couldn’t bear to leave — and Debi was gracious enough to open her home (and fridge) — to me.

More cooking & revelry ensued!

Here’s one last peek at “running away from home.” Such fun! (Thank you for letting us crash your kitchen two nights in a row, Mia Voss — hugs to Greg, too.) And, thanks, Halter Ranch vineyard and Tangent Wines. Exceptional sipping!

On the way home (all good things must come to an end…) I stopped in Trinidad, Colorado before making the final trek. Here’s the view from my hotel room…

Room with a View

And this was dinner ala room service. Ahhhhh….

Salmon Salad

When all was said and done (including driving 12 hours the next day to get back for choir rehearsal that night), I felt uplifted and entirely prepared to dive into life… and ready to be me again.

(Not that I wasn’t before — just a ‘subdued’ version of me.)

Plus, I was met with these upon my arrival…

Roses from Russ 1

When you celebrate life — when you celebrate YOU (!) — folks just naturally celebrate with you.

(You don’t even need to run away from home.)

Celebrate you today. xo

Enjoying real life revelations,

~ Kim

17 thoughts on “Running Away From Home

  1. It sounds like the time you spent running away has totally reinvigorated you. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since you had a holiday! And that’s a long drive home and I can’t believe that after that drive you then had to go out to choir practise. You do fit in a lot! The roses are stunning xx

    • Charlie, every trip we (or I) have made since TMOFW & I got together 15 yrs ago has either been for family, a funeral, or some sort of obligation. This was totally unprecedented (woohoo) and I loved every minute of it! I suppose we don’t feel as compelled to get away with the view we have in our front yard, but it’s good to step away from the routine now & again. I’m still smiling!!! :)

  2. Oh wow, so that’s what you’ve been doing since I haven’t heard from you! Everything sounds so fun with the chance to show off your culinary skills too. Good food & great company makes a wonderful trip! Love the view from your room, Kimby! xoxo

  3. You deserved a nice long holiday after so long to reinvigorate and enjoy yourself! I totally think this would be such a fun trip :) Great company and fabulous sights all around just for you!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. You so so needed and deserved this, Kiim…I’m just giddy w/excitement and have a slight wave of green envy that I couldn’t be there w/ya’ll! It’s amazing how something so spontaneous like this turns into something that’s almost life changing…you’re a gal that deserves more pampering, more fun and MORE DANCING!! Love you sister! xoxo

    • Ally, you know me like the back or your hand and/or your beloved Appalachian playground … yup, I NEEDED this! (xo) Positive energy begets MORE positive energy, and we’re both headed in the right direction! :)

  5. How nice that you took time out for yourself and ran away for a bit. And wow, what a “tasty” running away experience. That row of three food photos…I’d love some of that, please. It’s so nice to hear that you celebrated YOU. xoxo

    • Tracey, when you ‘know’ you need something and you follow up on it (and follow your heart), good things appear by golly and by grace. Wish I could’ve shared w/u… sooooo tasty… and/or put in your request for our “first ever real life” visit (hopefully coming soon!) Looking forward to sampling YOUR cooking, too! :) Hugs to you & “S.” xo

  6. Pingback: In My Kitchen ~ November 2014 | a little lunch

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