How We Ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go

Sometimes the best part of traveling is when something unexpected occurs. Even getting stuck on Vail Pass in a snowstorm can result in a nice long soak at Glenwood Hot Springs, which is what happened to us in 2014.

It wasn’t a snowstorm that brought us unexpectedly to Minturn last month – it was Record Store Day. If you are an avid collector of vinyl, like my husband, Ryan, you know that this is an important day. It only happens once a year and vinyl nerds do not miss it.

How we ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go. HeidiTown (6)

However, having been laid out flat with the flu for the week leading up to our Vail trip, Ryan had forgotten that Record Store Day was the Saturday we’d be 150 miles away from his hometown record store.

Thankfully, while browsing the Vail Daily over a beer at Vail Brewing on a Friday afternoon, Ryan realized the Record Store Day was the following day. Where in the world could he participate in Record Store in the Vail Valley? Continue reading

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Denver Date Night

Ryan and I hadn’t been out in the big city since the fall, so when we read that the Colorado Symphony was playing Beethoven, we decided it was time for a Denver date night.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver,, © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

Colorado Symphony © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

We used to frequent the Colorado Symphony quite often. In fact, for several years we bought concert packages to the CSO, giving us an excuse for a Denver date night every month. The Colorado Symphony has all sorts of subscription packages available, making it easy to pick and choose the number of symphonies you want to attend and which shows.

We started our Denver date night at TAG Restaurant on Larimer Street, an eight minute walk from Boettcher Concert Hall. This restaurant has been on my radar for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver, TAG Restaurant octopus

The food scene in downtown Denver has come a long way since we lived in the Mile High City in the early 2000s.

Chef Troy Guard, who opened TAG in 2009, is a big part of the city’s culinary expansion. He has opened a number of restaurants since, and there are still more in the works. Guard’s restaurants elevate food, while still making it approachable, and I think this is why he’s so well-loved by Denver foodies. Continue reading

How I Almost Lost My Colorado Cool Kid Card

I know what you’re thinking, how could the Mayor of HeidiTown ever lose her Colorado Cool Kid Card? Well, there are a few ways to lose this card and one of those is by not attending an event at Red Rocks and another is by not attending a concert The Mishawaka.

How I almost lost my Colorado Cool Kid Card. The Mishawaka concert venue.

After living in Colorado for 16 years, I’ve been to Red Rocks a couple of times, but a show at the famed Mishawaka Amphitheater in the Poudre Canyon outside of Fort Collins had alluded me.

I’d driven by about 85 times, and even stopped in once for lunch, but I hadn’t seen a concert there until last Friday night which means my Cool Kid Card is safe and has another Awesome Stamp.

A couple of weeks before, my girlfriend texted me, “Toad the Wet Sprocket and Rusted Root at The Mish. Wanna go?”

As a quintessential child of the 90s – I graduated high school in 1995 – I responded with an emphatic yes. Continue reading

Top three songs that represent HeidiTown, Colorado

Stan Carm Heidi 1970s.

My parents strongly influenced my musical tastes, so I decided to embarrass them by using this photo of them (and me) in the 1970s.

The key to blogging professionally is that you have to do it regularly. I typically blog two to three times a week, and I aim for three. Not an easy task since I am also a full-time freelance writer.

This week I was struck down with the plague, and when I’m sick I’m about as creative as a rock. And it takes more than a few ounces of creativity to do any writing, unless perhaps you’re writing a mathematics textbook.

When creativity has taken a backseat to a runny nose, some writers (me) turn to top five lists. The reason you see so many top 3 , top 5 or top 10 lists on the Internet is because they are relatively easy to put together, although I did have to ask my readers’ help via Facebook on this one.

One of the hosts at KRFC 88.9 FM, asked those of us with a show to put together the top three songs that we felt represented our programming. This got me thinking”¦ what three songs would I pick to represent HeidiTown? Continue reading

Giving the gift of music – Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Part of violin on music sheetNobody beats my husband at birthdays, nobody. And that’s impressive because I’m a tough customer. After all, I travel a lot, and I go to dinner theater on a regular basis, and as a media type I get a first glimpse at a lot of cool stuff happening in Denver.

So how does he do it?   He listens to me”¦ when it counts.

For the past six months or so, I’ve been lamenting the fact that we don’t have a lot of live music in our lives. In fact, after visiting Steamboat Springs during All Arts Fest, and getting a chance to hear their amazing Symphony Orchestra play at Strings, I was even more hell-bent on adding more live music to my life.

I have a lifelong love of classical music, stemming from my childhood. My father, a guitarist who loves singer/songwriter material, also instilled in me a serious appreciation of classical music. I remember my dad asking me, as we listened to Tchaikovsky one evening, what imagery does this bring to mind? That’s the game I still play when listening to an orchestra.

So what does this have to do with my husband?   Last week was my birthday and he presented me with a season ticket package to Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Years ago we had a similar package, but this time around I’ve got tickets to more concerts, and wonderful seats.

The best thing about this gift, other than bringing beautiful music back into my life, is that a night out at the CSO in downtown Denver is a built-in date night opportunity. Going to the symphony is a classy night out with my husband. We’ll have to dress up a little, shine our shoes and look presentable, not something we do on a regular basis, after all we are casual Coloradans.

If you are looking for a refined gift for your loved one, consider the gift of music, because it is also the perfect excuse for a monthly, romantic date night.

Featured Festival: Golden Music Festival (June 14-16, 2013)

Golden Music Festival LogoI love music. I grew up in a family where guitars were played on a nightly basis and a singalong accompanied by the piano was commonplace. I don’t, however, go to a lot of music festivals. There are two reasons for this, and the first reason is that they tend to be pricey. Second, like beer festivals, there are a lot of them. They happen all the time, especially in the summer, all over the state. I just can’t keep up.

I’ve known about the Golden Music Festival, formerly the Summer Solstice Music Festival) for a few years. The event features folk, Americana and bluegrass. I have a soft-spot for singer/songwriters and I love acoustic guitar – if you throw in a fiddle, I’m in heaven.  When Visit Golden invited me to attend this 3-day music festival over Father’s Day Weekend, I jumped at the chance.

I am happy to report that tickets to this event are very reasonably priced. A 3-day admission to the fest is just $35. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are $25, and to attend just one day is $15. The best part? Children under 12 are free.

The event is a yearly fundraiser for the Golden History Museum and is held at the natural amphitheater at Clear Creek History Park, a beautiful setting right downtown. Picnics are allowed, but alcoholic beverages may only be purchased onsite.

I know this is an event that will appeal to lots of music-loving fathers out there. I hope that you will join me!

I plan to dance.

Golden Music Festival

June 14-16, 2013

Clear Creek History Park

Golden, Colorado

GO HERE for band line-up & to purchase tickets

Join the Golden Music Festival on Facebook

Golden Summer Festival Crowd Shot

Golden Summer Festival at Clear Creek History Park. Photo from Golden Music Festival’s Facebook page.


Featured Festival: Denver Record Collectors Expo

Old fashion record player

Nothing moves us quite like music. If you are anything like me, music is one of the most powerful memory triggers. While certain tunes take me back to college or high school, other songs take me back to a specific place and time. To this day if I hear “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray I have a vivid memory of driving through the hills of west Seattle with my girlfriend Rachel, singing at the top of our lungs.

Our relationship to music is often deeply personal, emotional and truly powerful. I cry anytime I hear “In the Arms of an Angel,” by Sarah McLaughlin because it was sung at my uncle’s funeral.

With this intense relationship i mind, it’s not surprising that people are crazy about collecting music. And records are gaining popularity again. Some claim it’s the baby boomers who long for the nostalgic items of their youth. Perhaps it’s the hipsters and their fanaticism about everything retro, but whatever the reason there is a renewed interest.

That’s why this year’s 20th Annual Denver Record Collectors Expo should rockin’. This is the Rocky Mountain region’s premiere music collector’s show because more than 40 dealers from around the country attend the one day event.

This expo will have everything from records to 45s and even CDs, and every style of music is represented. Whether you are a hardcore collector, often called audiophiles, or just a fan of music in general, there will be something for you at this event. In addition to music there will be posters and memorabilia for purchase.

So without further ado, here’s the nitty gritty:

Denver Record Collectors Expo

Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ramada Plaza

Just off of I25 at 120th

(directions here)

Admission $2

DRCE is a brought to you by Big K productions.

Big K Productions logo Denver Record Collectors Expo

Featured Festival: KRFC Birthday Bash

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been on the radio at KRFC 88.9 FM for over a year and a half now. They came to me during the summer of 2011, asking if I’d be interested in doing a community segment, and I jumped at the chance. For 80 weeks I produced nearly 100 percent new material for the five minute show. With an increasingly active travel schedule, at the end of January, I decided to cut back to two shows per month.

My show is pre-recorded and then produced by either Dianne Fishman or her assistant Mickey. They make me sound like a professional before the show airs twice a week, once on Wednesdays just prior to 6 p.m. and Fridays at 5 p.m.

It’s been a fun experience and I look forward to continuing my relationship with KRFC.

KRFC is Fort Collins’ public radio, and it is supported entirely by volunteers and individuals who make contributions via memberships or one-time donations.

This week’s featured festival is the KRFC 10th Annual Birthday Bash, taking place on April 6 at the Sunset Event Center starting at 6:30 p.m. The musical lineup includes Great American Taxi, featuring Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Mama Lenny & the Remedy and Michael Kirkpatrick from The Holler! This is a fundraiser for KRFC, so come ready to spend some money on auction items.

10th Annual KRFC Birthday Bash

April 6, 2013

Sunset Event Center

General Admission $20

Purchase Tickets Now


Featured Festival: Estes Park Winter Festival (Jan. 18-21, 2013)

Four years ago, Ryan and I decided to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, and afterwards we stopped in Estes Park and stumbled into what has become one of our favorite winter festivals.

Me & Jack at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

Goofing around with Jack at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

At that time the Estes Park Winter Festival was a small affair, a lot of local cooks serving up chili and just a few beer and wine vendors, but what fun we had. We tasted every chili under the tent and then, like kids, took pictures all around the ice castle in the park.

We’ve watched this event grow and grow, but the organizers have done a great job keeping it organized. Why is it a favorite? We love chili – who doesn’t? And we love beer. This event combines beer, wine and chili and new this year, mac “˜n’ cheese. Yes, in addition to the massively popular chili cook off that pits restaurant against restaurant and amateur cook against amateur cook, the event organizers have added a mac “˜n’ cheese cook off.

chili cook off pic Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

A chili taster at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

Not only do guests of the fest get to taste all the chili and mac “˜n’ cheese, they get to vote for their favorites. So put your New Year’s resolution on hold and go crazy!

Another great feature of Winter Festival is that it really is fun for all ages. There are activities for kids that include ice skating and an amazing interactive ice castle. Last year we attended Winter Fest with friends who have two little boys. The ice castle kept them entertained for hours.   There’s even more fun for the kiddos this year including a toboggan run and an interactive snow globe.

Having fun in and on the ice castle at Winter Festival 2012 Heiditown

Our friends' kids love the interactive ice castle at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

4th Annual Estes Park Winter Festival

Location: Fairgrounds at Stanley Park

Date: January 18-21, 2013

Festivities get underway on Friday with the FREE Ceilidh Barn Dance that includes live music, a caller, dancing, a bar and more.

Saturday & Sunday enjoy the MAIN (ticketed) event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s the Block Party across from Bond Park at the ice skating rink. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, balloon artist and FREE ice skating. Monday is also a FREE day at Rocky Mountain National Park.

For the entire lineup of events & to buy tickets go to

Avenue Q at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre – Like nothing you expect

Avenue Q Kate & Christmas Eve

Avenue Q at Boulder's Dinner Theatre runs through November 3, 2012. (Courtesy photo)

Dinner theaters often produce shows that will appeal to a mass audience, and old Broadway musicals are the norm. So when I go to dinner theater, I’m usually familiar with the production. Last weekend was the exception to that rule, and it was refreshing to have no preconceived notions about the show I was about to see at Boulder’s Dinner Theater.

In the spring, we saw “Cinderella” at BDT, and were pleasantly surprised to find a new, expanded menu. This time we started with the artichoke spinach dip appetizer, and I have to admit to enjoying the hummus platter on our last visit much more. Our entrees, however, were both outstanding. I opted for the potato cod served with Spanish rice and vegetables. The cod was flaky, and the chipotle aioli drizzle was packed with flavor. Ryan ordered the chicken cordon bleu, because it never disappoints.

As we ate dinner, we admired the stage set. It’s an authentic looking New York apartment building, complete with trash can and fire escape. It reminded both Ryan and I of Michael Garman’s Magic Town in his Old Colorado City studio.

“Avenue Q” is a puppet show for adults, and the winner of three Tony Awards. While the presentation is something you’ve probably never seen before, the story is ages old.

Avenue Q entire cast

Courtesy photo

Princeton is fresh out of college with a BA in English, and finds the only apartment he can afford is on Avenue Q, a not-so-trendy part of New York City. While he searches for his purpose in life he meets his neighbors, an eclectic bunch that includes an engaged interracial couple, an assistant kindergarten teacher, an odd couple, a porn-junkie and Gary Coleman as the apartment super.

The last character is somewhat confusing, but the creators of “Avenue Q” thought the Coleman character epitomized the play’s central themes, and those themes involve the misconception that we are somehow special and the painful realization that comes with learning life is much harder than anyone told us it was going to be when we were children.

There are only six cast members in “Avenue Q,” but they have more talent than most much larger casts – they sing, they puppeteer, they change characters and voices on a dime, and they keep the audience in stitches.

While Princeton (Brett Ambler) and Kate (Ellen Kaye) are the two main characters, I can’t pick a favorite in “Avenue Q” because the entire cast works their butts off in this show. MariJane Scott, new to BDT, plays Christmas Eve, one of two “humans” in the show, and Scott Beyette is her fiancé Brian. Beyette proved his comedic chops when he was Don Lockwood in BDT’s production of “Singin’ in the Rain” in 2010, while Scott proves hers in this musical.

puppets in Avenue Q

Courtesy Photo

Joanie Brosseau and Seth Caikowski round out the cast, and these two often perform together as one puppet – each taking an arm. They are also two of the funniest characters in the musical, the Bad Idea Bears. These are the friends we’ve all had (or have been) through the years, the ones who suggest shots at 2 a.m. just before leaving the bar.

“Avenue Q” is much more relatable and poignant than you might think. Numbers like, “We’re all a little racist,” points to the hypocrisy that is rampant in today’s society. “I Wish I Could Go Back to College,” reminds us of how easy we had it in college, and why we can’t go back.

This musical is not for children, so unless you want to explain what those puppets are doing in that bedroom scene, leave the kids at home. However, “Avenue Q” reminds adults, in a not-so-subtle way, to take life less seriously, and live in the moment, because all you’ve really got is now.

I’ve been attending Boulder’s Dinner Theatre for a decade, but BDT is celebrating its 35th year in Colorado, and they set the bar for professionalism in the industry. “Avenue Q” is on stage at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre through November 3. To buy tickets go to  and be sure to like BDT’s new Facebook page.

Subscribe to!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival Logo


Check out my travel column in Mountain Living magazine online

Latest Pins on Pinterest
  • Follow Me on Pinterest