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The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is best known for craft beer, bikes and Horsetooth Reservoir, but downtown boasts a healthy variety of retail stores and whether you’re shopping for the holidays or for yourself, there’s a store here to fit every need (or want).

The Mayor Goes Shopping, FNB, The Perennial Gardener

The Perennial Gardener

This past week I went on a little shopping outing in downtown Fort Collins with my friend Karen, and our first stop was at a store that’s been a longtime tradition in downtown Fort Collins. The Cupboard just celebrated its 45th anniversary this summer, and while this milestone is fantastic, what makes this store even more special is that it’s been in the same family for all that time. Continue reading

HeidiTown’s Ten-Year-Anniversary: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About HeidiTown

It’s apropos that I’m posting this anniversary blog post on October 10, my birthday, because I have always considered ten to be my lucky number.

Thank YOU for taking this road trip with me and please don’t get out of the car now, the fun has just begun.

HeidiTown's Ten-Year-Anniversary Ten Things You Didn't Know About HeidiTown. Buttercup the camper at Delicious Orchards

Hanging out with Buttercup the camper rental from Rescued Relics at Delicious Orchards in the North Fork Valley during Mountain Harvest Festival earlier this fall.

My first official HeidiTown blog post was posted on October 8, 2007, and that means HeidiTown is 10-years-old this month. At first, I thought I’d write a retrospective, but even the word “retrospective” sounds boring, so I decided to write a list. Lists are fun, lists are easy and I try not to do very many, so here you go.

1. The Who: My name is Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer. I was born in southern Oregon in a hospital that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. The ocean still calls, but the pull of Colorado sunshine is greater.

HeidiTown's Ten-Year-Anniversary Ten Things You Didn't Know About HeidiTown Oregon Coast pic

The Oregon Coast is one of the best spots in the world.

I grew up in a family that took road trips to most of the National Parks in the Western United States and who backpacked every summer into back country around Mt. Rainier. These trips instilled in me a strong love and respect for the natural world. Continue reading

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two: Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado

Last week, I shared with you part one of my two-part “Meet Me in Meeker” series. In last week’s post, I wrote about the surprisingly vibrant downtown we encountered. Click here to read it. This week, I want to introduce you to where we ate, drank and stayed in this fun little northwest Colorado town.

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado (10)

As a reminder, we were in town for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a culinary event that’s part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials which I wrote about here. I’d been invited to town to be a judge for Jammin’ Lamb Festival.

After discovering all the neat stores in downtown Meeker, we drove the short distance to 8th Street to find our bed and breakfast. Festival organizers had booked us a room at the Bear Mountain Inn. Cheryl Houser welcomes guests into her home as if each one were a long-lost friend. Her husband Dale and son Toby are also very sociable and accommodating to guests. Continue reading

Meet Me in Meeker, Part One: Shopping in Meeker, Colorado

As some of you know, I grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and I have a real affinity for communities where the cows — or in Meeker’s case, the sheep — outnumber the people.

Meet Me in Meeker, Part One. Shopping downtown. HeidiTown.com

Meeker, Colorado

Meeker is located about one hour and 40 minutes north of Grand Junction and three hours and 45 minutes northwest of Denver. When they asked me to be a judge for this year’s Jammin’ Lamb Festival, I answered a resounding “yes” because I’d been looking for an excuse to visit the town ever since we stayed in Rangely, Meeker’s neighbor, and one of the friendliest Colorado towns that I’ve ever encountered.

Jammin’ Lamb Fest, a culinary competition, is part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials, which I previously wrote about here.

We pulled into town in early September and despite summer drawing to a close the town’s proximity to the White River had kept it green. The area surrounding the town of approximately 2,300 is really quite lovely. Continue reading

Two Restaurants in Grand Junction, Colorado that Foodies Can’t Miss

Let’s face it, many people who grew up on Colorado’s Front Range tend to think of Grand Junction as that far away cowtown town that’s practically in Utah. Of course, that reputation has slowly been changing thanks in part to the growing popularity of and interest in local food.

Eat All the Things in Grand Junction, Colorado. Farmers' Market. HeidiTown.com

Grand Junction Farmers’ Market

Colorado’s western slope is a place where local food has been a way of life long before it became trendy. It doesn’t hurt that food grows relatively easily here when compared to other parts of Colorado, so sourcing locally is a little less complicated for chefs.

On our trip earlier this summer, we had the delicious pleasure of dining at two of Grand Junction’s most foodie restaurants. These two eateries, 626 on Rood and Bin 707 Foodbar, have set the bar high for farm-to-table cuisine (and for cuisine in general). Continue reading

Dogs, Sheep & Meat Pie at the Meeker Sheepdog Trials

If you think sheepdog trials involve dogs chasing sheep around, you’d be a little right, but not entirely right. Sheepdog trials are much more involved than I ever realized and our weekend trip to Meeker, in Northwest Colorado, was an eye opening experience. I liked it so much that I’m hoping to sponsor a dog/handler team in 2018.

Dogs, Sheep & Meat Pies at the Meeker Sheepdog Trials (7)

When I set out on this trip, I didn’t really intend to write specifically about the sheepdog trials, after all, I was there to judge and help promote the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a lamb cook off in downtown. However, after watching the competition, I really wanted to write about it.

So what are sheepdog trials? In a nutshell, it’s a competitive sport in which herding dogs, under the command of their handler, move sheep around a large field, through fences and gates and into enclosures. The sport is mimicking the work that many of these dogs do at home on the ranch, although some of these dogs spend most of their time competing. Continue reading

A Weekend Itinerary for Longmont, Colorado

I like to keep things real here on HeidiTown and so I will start this blog post by telling you a personal story about Longmont. When Ryan and I decided to move out of Denver in the early 2000s, we looked into Longmont and decided it was a big nope. There just wasn’t much going on in the town.

Fast forward to today and I think we may have made the wrong decision.

A Weekend Itinerary for Longmont, Colorado, HeidiTown.com. bikes on main street

Longmont has blossomed into a beautiful and vibrant community. Downtown’s renovated sidewalks and artful alleyways make it a welcoming place. There’s always a festival or live music happening somewhere in town, and places like the Prospect neighborhood are cute little escapes with their own special vibe. There’s also a plethora of breweries, a cidery and several distilleries.
Continue reading

Take Road G to Wine Paradise in Mesa Verde Country

There’s a road in Southwest Colorado where the rocks take the shape of sculptures, where canyons are speckled by twisted green trees and low-lying mesas are camouflaged by vineyards. In addition to being home to thousands of ancient archeology sites, this is grape growing country.

Take Road G to Wine Paradise, Guy Drew Vineyards 0

Guy Drew Vineyards

Located in the western part of Mesa Verde Country, close to the border of Utah, Road G runs from Cortez to Hovenweep, and there are lots of reasons to drive down this winding county road.

Of course, Hovenweep National Monument should be on your agenda when you visit Mesa Verde Country, but taking it slow on your way there is my recommendation and here’s why. Continue reading

Shooting All the Flowers at Denver Botanic Gardens

I admit that I have a small addiction to shooting flowers, as well as birds, landscapes, and animals at the zoo, but flowers are my favorite thing to shoot.

Sculptures by Alexander Calder are on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens through September 24, 2017.

Sculptures by Alexander Calder are on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens through September 24, 2017.

There’s no better place to shoot flowers than at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The person who accompanies me to the gardens, usually Ryan, ends up doing a lot of standing around, however, I’d argue that there are a lot worse placed in which to stand around than at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Last week, as you probably know if you read my last blog post, my mom was in town from Oregon. She is likely the reason that I love flowers so much, but she prefers planting and painting them as opposed to shooting them. Continue reading

A Spa Getaway with Mom at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa

I’m not a girlie girl. I can count on one hand the number of manicures I’ve gotten over the course of my 40-year-life, however, I’m no stranger to spa life. I adore the aroma, the hot tea, the cozy robes, the steam room and sauna… did I mention the aroma?

A Spa Getaway with Mom at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa (3)

When I told my mom that I needed a distraction during eye surgery recovery, she jumped on a plane and flew from Oregon to Colorado. During her visit, I decided to treat her to an overnight stay and spa getaway at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain. As a late birthday present for my mom, I booked treatments for us at Spa Anjali.

The Westin Riverfront property is located in Avon, just a few minutes west of Vail, at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain. It’s a ski-in/ski-out property, but it’s also popular with summertime guests who enjoy all the recreational activities offered in the area and the outdoor pool area which made The Heidi Guide’s “4 Mountain Resort Pools to Help You Beat the Heat” on MountainLiving.com. Continue reading

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