June 21, 2016

Out & About: Aspen, CO

A trip to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Check out Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com!

Last Wednesday I flew to Aspen, Colorado to attend the Food & Wine Classic with my maj.

Joy was on assignment for American Express and I got the opportunity tag along. (YAY MAJ TIME!!!)  It was an incredible trip. There were moments of relaxation, mixed with work, altitude wooziness and non-stop laughter. Oh yes…there was also FOOD AND WINE.


But mostly, there was pause–pause from my everyday life. There was time to reflect on my life and what my current sense of home/place is. There was time to myself- something I don’t think I’ve had that in a really long time.

Ummm….I had 7 hours in a hotel room all to myself…with no one talking to me or needing anything from me.


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Honestly, traveling is sometimes scary for me because I get anxiety about packing and getting to the airport on time. I get hung up on checking bags and not checking bags and then I always take a smaller suitcase to challenge myself to pack lightly but then I forget things… There’s a lack of control in traveling that’s both good and bad for someone like me. I’m a person who is early to the airport and loses my plane ticket every 5 minutes because I don’t put it back in the right pocket. Traveling is annoying and cumbersome at times,  but being away from home and experiencing something new is so good for my soul. It’s important for me to step out of my comfort zone, so I can have a deeper appreciation of my everyday life. Being away makes me miss my routine. It also recharges my creativity, which is something I have been struggling with lately. So YAY, VACATION. Even more YAY that I was able to have girl time with my best friend.

Aspen!  Here’s what I experienced:


The air is pure up there. SO SO PURE. You’ll just want to huff it until you get dizzy…which happens fast. Altitude is crazy, man. Or maybe it’s the trees. SO MANY TREES.

The sun is also super intense thanks to being up so high. It’s an interesting experience for sure.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Food & Wine Classic! The reason why we were there. I would love to see Aspen in the winter.

Maybe one day! Hello, dude with the pink pants. I admire your fashions.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

We did a lot of walking….a lot of looking around…a lot of talking…and….

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

A LOT OF EATING….but actually not a TON because I generally don’t like waiting in line for food.

I also really hate standing up & eating so we would grab food, sit and REPEAT….sometimes throwing a new drink in the mix with each round. It was PACKED.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

I burned my face off with this nuclear fried chicken from Hattie B’s.

Not mad at it. Not mad at all.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Fried Chicken bouquet!

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

A dinner for two at  White House Tavern. Basically all of our favorites from Houston’s.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

One night we had amazing BBQ here. Look at the reflection of the trees in the pool!

I almost jumped in because it was so beautiful. Did we end up at the magnum party after this? I dunno…the memory is a little foggy. Must have been the altitude 😉 I do remember eating an epic cheeseburger slider though…so there’s that.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

The next night, we went to giant/fancy party at the top of the mountain.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com


We were able to watch the sun go down while heading up 11k feet in a gondola. It was peaceful/terrifying/thrilling to be up that high.


In Colorado, the mountains are filled with so many trees. It’s surreal.


At the top!

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Besides all of the eating and drinking, I took a lot of notes during the #amextrade panels.

The Power of Mentorship:

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Talk on Technology in Restaurants:

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

The Importance of Adaptation:

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

All of them were incredibly thought provoking. I left feeling inspired.

We went up to Tyler Florence and talked to him briefly about the inappropriate question I asked him when he was on our podcast (we cut it out).  For the record, he does not want balls for ears. No balls on his face, please.

Maj’s new book arrived in our hotel room! It’s going to be AMAZING.

Oh look! Us on a gondola.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

I fell madly in love with the decor at Hotel Jerome. The details were supreme.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com


Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

The breakfast at Prospect was delightful. I will definitely recreate this one here for sure.


On the day I left, we walked around and checked out the Aspen Farmer’s market.

All the information you need to know about a place can be found at the Farmer’s market.

There were some good vendors there!  Charming as heck.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Oh look! Two pregnant goats hanging out under a sandwich sign. Cannot resist a big goat belly.


I can imagine the scene is a little different here in the winter 😉

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

Other things to note:

  • I stood next to William H. Macy for 10 minutes, waiting for our baggage….thinking about how weird it is that Casey and I watch him play Frank Gallagher on TV.  I had to walk through the airport with him whistling a song right in my ear… behind me. He seems like a nice guy.
  • Celebrity chefs sometimes look like real life caricatures.
  • My cab driver backed into a car behind us.
  • High altitude is weird.
  • Christina Tosi is my hero & her entourage is pretty cool.
  • I still don’t like mayo…even though I had a lobster roll.
  • Andrew Zimmern is a hard worker.
  • Some chefs think they’re baaaaaad to the bone.
  • Didn’t see Guy Fieri but got to share shuttle with Anne Burrell, so I think I still met my crazy/intense bleach blonde chef quota for the year.
  • Packing was pretty easy thanks to my capsule wardrobe. But, I did forget to bring a pair of leggings so that sucked.
  • I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase.

Out & About: Aspen CO on Shutterbean.com

So, that’s my trip! I’m back home and settling back into my routine.

My heart is full and my creative spirit is ignited. Thanks for an amazing trip, Maj. You’re simply THE BEST.

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    We go to the Food and Wine Festival in NYC every year and enjoy ourselves. I have always thought the Aspen one would be fun. And gorgeous. Your photos are so inspiring as are your notes. Stunning. Pretty notes are the best.

  • Amanda

    Love love loved your snaps, although the ones of you guys in the gondola made me want to pass out because I am so scared of heights. I was scared for you!

  • San

    What an amazing trip… and your photos are fabulous, as always.

  • Ashley

    Such a great post! Your pictures are just beautiful.

    I absolutely can’t wait for you to recreate that breakfast, it looks so yummy!

  • ellen

    Great photos! Truly one of the most beautiful places. What a treat!

  • Krystal

    Such fun pictures to look through, thank you for sharing! Your handwritten notes are even fun! I can relate – I usually take a few days to unpack after a trip.

  • Adrienne

    Always warms my heart to see you two together again! Looks like a great trip.

  • Lori

    Super fun and such a gorgeous place!

  • Beth

    The picture with T.Flo cracked me up! I’m always making a face in group shots and everyone else looks normal, maybe it’s a Leo thing?! I just moved from a little mountain town in BC and I miss that mountain air, nothing compares to it! Happy you got to hit the reset button, your content is always inspiring!

    • Tracy

      HAHAAA. I think it’s what happens when someone takes FOREVER to take a picture and then the impulse for me is JUST TAKE THE PICTURE AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH because I couldn’t hold my smile in any longer. Thanks for your kind words, Beth. xo

  • Debbie

    I also hate to stand up and eat at the same time. Walking and eating is equally a no-no. When I read that line in this post, I wanted to fist-bump you in solidarity.

  • Megan

    Ahh I would donate an hour of my day once a week of you ladies would take it and revitalize the podcast. Your combination is so welcoming to a lady who is now too old for a trampoline.

    • Tracy

      oh goodness! I’m too old for a trampoline…so what does that mean?

      • Megan

        Ha it was a reference to one of old podcasts I was listening to that made me laugh. Let’s just say you correctly identified the correlation in getting older, bladder control issues, and how that ties in to being wary of trampolines. 🙂

  • Kari

    It looks so incredible there! Plus all of that food!!

  • Michele

    Great post! I feel the same way about travel, the logistics give me anxiety, but my soul yearns for new experiences and I’m always thankful for what I learn when I get out of my comfort zone.

  • Tricia

    Loved hearing about your trip. The snaps were awesome!

    Looking forward to seeing your maj tomorrow at the class she is giving at KAF. You should give some classes! Set them to music. We can all bring our cats. 🙂

  • India

    Wow. Aspen is beautiful. And you take phenomenal pictures. Glad you two got to go away. Thanks for sharing with your fans (me!).

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