The Mayor

11 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Cozumel, Mexico

HeidiTown is all about Colorado and I have no plans to change my brand. However, it’s been nine years since I’ve been on a vacation abroad, and being a writer, it was impossible for me not to share my experience with you.

As most of you already know, Ryan and I spent last week celebrating my fortieth birthday on the island of Cozumel in Mexico. Cozumel is located in the Caribbean, and is a 45 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen.

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We stayed at El Cozumeleno Beach Resort on the north side of the island. We’ve been to Cozumel before and we like the north side because it’s just a 80 to 100 peso (about $5) taxi ride from San Miguel, Cozumel’s charming town.

As you might expect, when we travel in Mexico we love to explore, and if we do an all-inclusive, like on this trip, we spend a lot of time off-resort. This trip was no exception. Continue reading

Facing Forty Fiercely

I’m going a little off plot in today’s post. You see, by the time you read this, I’ll be 40. 

I thought I’d be a lot more upset about turning 40, but it turns out that 30 was a lot harder. As I faced 30 in 2006, I’d just decided to become a writer instead of a lawyer, but I didn’t really know what it meant to “be a writer.”

Facing Forty Fiercely

Ryan and I had started our furniture business two years earlier and that too was still a bit of an unknown. I really thought I was going to be something by the age of 30 (a “Reality Bites” reference), but instead I felt uncertain about my future and less than confident about some of the choices I had recently made.

Over the last six months, as I faced 40, I realized that I felt much more at ease with turning 40 than I had with turning 30, and I began to pondered why. The answer was easy – it’s confidence. Today, I’ve got it in spades. I know who I am, and what I’m doing, and I love it. Continue reading

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

When I was asked to join a Local Table Tours outing at Jessup Farm Artisan Village in Fort Collins, I jumped at the opportunity to explore this unique Northern Colorado destination.

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

Jessup Farm was a working farm built at the turn of the century. In 2011, the Campana family of Bellisimo Inc. rehabilitated the property and repurposed the buildings to house modern-day businesses scattered around like a village. Today the property is home to multiple small businesses, a flock of chickens and a large garden.

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village (10) HeidiTown

Chicken coop at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

According to Steven Sorensen, a Campana family member and part of Bellisimo Inc., when the family first conceived of the plan for Artisan Village, they didn’t visualize it as a destination for anyone other than those who lived in surrounding neighborhoods. Continue reading

Telluride Blues & Brews in Review & Gondola Stories

I don’t always write a festival recap, but after returning from an outrageously fun weekend at Telluride Blues & Brews, I thought a review was in order, especially since I know some of my readers have contemplated attending this event, but haven’t done so yet.

Telluride Blues & Brews in Review & Gondola Stories

Ryan and I sailed into Telluride at 4 p.m. on Friday. We checked into Peaks Resort & Spa, my favorite hotel in Telluride, and boarded the gondola. Since we were staying in Mountain Village and Telluride Blues & Brews is in town park, we rode the gondola a lot during our 3-night stay, which resulted in a few stories.

Telluride Gondola Stories

The free gondola runs between Mountain Village and the town of Telluride, and I’m well acquainted with it. I love this gondola ride because 9 out of 10 times, I engage in a fun conversation with other riders. I think this gondola inspires conversation because at 15 minutes in length, it’s just long enough that people start to feel comfortable with the strangers around them. Continue reading

The Truth About the Towns on Colorado’s Worst Places to Live List

I recently read an article online where the author highlighted what he claimed were the “10 Worst Places to Live in Colorado.” It was unclear as to whether he had visited all ten towns, and as it appears he resides outside of Colorado, I am skeptical.

The Truth About the Towns on Colorado's Worst Placese to Live List

Trinidad, Colorado

He wrote that he based his article on statistics, although he sprinkled non-statistic based comments throughout the piece.

The word “worst” denotes something very bad, and when the word is used to describe a place, most people would immediately check the place off their visit list. The more I thought about this, the more the article bothered me.

I’ve met the people in these communities and walked the streets of these towns, and I am here to tell you that many of the folks who live in these places are fiercely proud of their towns, and rightly so. Not only are there wonderful reasons to visit each of these Colorado towns, I believe all of them would be a great place to call home.

After some consideration, I decided to highlight some of the best things each of the towns on this “worst” list have to offer. And I have taken the liberty if of putting the following towns in alphabetical order (this is not as they appeared on the original list).

Alamosa, Colorado

I spent a long weekend in Alamosa last winter during Rio Frio Ice Fest, an event that features a 5K race on the frozen Rio Grande River. Continue reading

Featured Festival: NoCo Mini Maker Faire 2016

Maker

Noun

1. A person or thing that makes or produces something

“A cabinetmaker”

          Synonyms; creator, manufacturer, constructor, builder, producer, fabricator, inventor, architect, designer

         “The makers of fine furniture”

2. God; the Creator

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I have a real affinity for makers. After all, my husband designs and builds furniture, so “making stuff” plays an important role in our lives.

A decade ago, the first Maker Faire was held in California. Since then, the movement has grown, and today there are maker faires across the world. A Maker Faire is a celebration of arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset.

The 4th NoCo Mini Maker Faire, held in Loveland, Colorado, continues to grow, and with growth comes change. This year, the event is being held in a new location, inside the First National Bank Building at The Ranch Events Complex.

More than 100 Makers converge on Loveland for this event, which kicks off with an adults-only party on Friday, October 7, called Sparks & Spirits. Cocktails will be provided by local distillers and entertainers include Rubens Tube fire and music, interactive light art from Solid State Depot and Mystica body paint.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Mystica body paint

One of my favorite gin makers, Golden Moon Distillery, will be there, along with a nice lineup of other Colorado makers of fine spirits such as Syntax Spirits from Greeley. Distiller, Heather Bean, makes small-batch vodka, whiskey and rum from grain-to-glass using all Colorado ingredients.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Sparks & Spirits fire art

The Noco Mini Maker Faire is an family affair. On Saturday and Sunday, children are more than welcome and in fact, encouraged to attend. A maker faire is an excellent place for a inquisitive child. 

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Makers Faire is for children too

Attendees will be inspired, awed and intrigued. Some makers are students, while others are adults. Exhibits include everything from social robotics from Robauto to creative music makers, Serenity Forge. In addition, there will be several community art projects including a Chalkboard Art Car where guests can give voice to their creative expression. And fresh from Burning Man, no one will be able to miss the 30-foot DaVinci Flying Machine.

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Attendees can expect to spend hours strolling through the event, chatting with makers and getting hands on with various projects and games.

A maker event is where the left and right brain merge to create amazing, innovative and beautiful things.

NoCo Mini Maker Faire

October 8-9, 2016

Location: The Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, Colorado

Advanced ticket prices $10 adults, $6 child/student

Sparks & Spirits, Friday evening, October 7

Advanced ticket price $50

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets

MakerFaireNoCo.com

Join this event on Facebook

Follow @NocoMakerFaire on Twitter

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

From Farms to Wineries, Where to Stay in Delta County, Colorado

Finding a place to stay in Delta County is really fun because there’s such a variety of accommodations in this area of Western Colorado. From farms to bed and breakfasts and everything in between, the only thing you’ll be hard pressed to find is a chain hotel.

Whether you’re heading over for a festival or just to explore, here are some of the interesting places that we’ve stayed during our trips to Delta County. 

Bross Hotel Bed & Breakfast, Paonia, Colorado

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Where to Stay in Delta County, Colorado.

We stayed at Bross Hotel in downtown Paonia on our most recent trip to Delta County’s North Fork Valley. This hotel is unique because it was a purpose built hotel and has remained a hotel for 110 years.

The Victorian rooms are cozy and will leave you with the feeling that you’ve traveled back to 1916, except that I expect the plumbing is much better today.

Each room at Bross comes with a delicious homemade breakfast, and don’t miss out on sipping your coffee on the expansive front balcony overlooking Onarga Avenue. I felt a bit like the Colorado version of Scarlett O’Hara on that balcony. As a bonus, Revolution Brewing is just around the corner from Bross Hotel.

Gunnison River Farms, Orchard City, Colorado Continue reading

Art Car Photos, ArtoCade 2016, Trinidad, Colorado

I can’t wait to write about our trip to Trinidad, Colorado. In the meantime, I’m going to share with you ten of my favorite photos from the festival that brought us to town. I was in town to cover ArtoCade, an art car extravaganza that was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Nothing could have prepared me for the creativity on display at ArtoCade. In it’s fourth year, ArtoCade brings people together from around the country to Southern Colorado – people who share the love of turning their cars into art pieces.

Without further ado, here are ten of my favorite photos from the ArtoCade, the parade that was held on Saturday, September 10, 2016, in downtown Trinidad, Colorado. There were 83 entries, so choosing only a few photos to share was very difficult.

Car #1 kicked things off. It’s, “Reincarnation”  and was created by Fritz A. & Gail M. of Trinidad, Colorado. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Mountain Harvest Festival, Paonia, Colorado

If you’re planning to celebrate the harvest season, why not do it in one of Colorado’s most bountiful areas? Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in the North Fork Valley, an area that is brimming with small family farms and vineyards.

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I didn’t know about the North Fork Valley until three years ago, and the region has stolen my heart. It is located in Delta County on Colorado’s Western Slope. It’s 40 minutes east of Delta, which straddles Hwy 50, the road connecting Grand Junction and Ouray.

Farm-to-table has been part of everyday life in the North Fork Valley long before it became trendy. It is made up of three communities; Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford. Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in Paonia, but celebrates the entire region.

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This photo courtesy of Mountain Harvest Festival.

The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, September 22, with a variety of activities including a Farm-to-Table dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Living Farm Cafe.

Things really get going on Friday afternoon. There’s a pumpkin contest, bike parade, a Drink Locally event at Town Park and live music.

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This photo courtesy of Mountain Harvest Festival.

This festival is a celebration of all things local, including food, music and art. After all, the North Fork Valley isn’t only a great growing region, it’s a place where artists flourish as well, and there are a number of area art schools.

On Saturday there’s a smorgasbord of events planned. Don’t miss the Cirque Bike Farm Tours at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We did a bike to farm tour with Cirque while we were in town earlier this summer (read all about it here).  You can also do self-guided farm and winery tours while in town for the festival.

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This photo courtesy of Mountain Harvest Festival.

A festival farmers’ market will take place throughout the weekend and the Drink Locally event in Town Park happens Friday through Sunday. In addition, Mountain Harvest Festival has loads of live music schedule, farm-to-table dinners, yoga, bike Olympics and so much more.

Mountain Harvest Festival is a feast for the eyes, heart and stomach.

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This photo courtesy of Mountain Harvest Festival.

And here’s a warning: If this will be your first visit to the North Fork Valley, you may fall in love. Because what’s not to love about a region filled with vineyards, rolling hills dotted with sheep and trees heavy-laden with fruit? In a recent magazine article I dubbed the region “the land of milk and honey,” and that’s not an exaggeration.

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If you’d like to experience this Delta County’s North Fork Valley to the fullest, you need to attend Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia, Colorado.

Mountain Harvest Festival

winner of the Governor’s Award for Best Small Community Festival

September 22-25, 2016

Paonia, Colorado

Some events ticketed/Most events are free

MountainHarvestFestival.org

Join MHF on Facebook

Mountain Harvest logo with date

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

SkyPilot Farm & Creamery, Home of Heidi the Sheep

Sometimes the universe has a funny way of working things out. This is one of those instances. As some of you already know, earlier this year, The Living Farm in Paonia, Colorado named one of their spring lambs after me.

SkyPilot Farm & Creamery, Chloe & Heidi the Sheep. HeidiTown.com

Chloe Johnson & Heidi the Sheep at SkyPilot Farm & Creamery in Longmont, Colorado.

Longtime readers should be familiar with The Living Farm as I’ve written about it here on HeidiTown.com.

I was very honored by this gesture and was able to meet Heidi during my visit to Delta County at the end of July. She was a big four month old by then, not really a lamb, but more of a sheep, however, she still sat on my lap as if she’d known me her entire life.

Heidi & Heidi the Sheep at The Living Farm. HeidiTown.com

My visit with my namesake, Heidi the Sheep, at The Living Farm.

Fast forward to two week ago when I got an email from Lynn Gillespie of The Living Farm, informing me that Heidi had been bought by a farm on the Front Range. As fate would have it, Heidi’s new home, SkyPilot Farm & Creamery is just 25 minutes from my home. It seemed written in the stars that Heidi and I should meet again. Continue reading

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