24 hours in landscape 

 

Click on the picture and check out more of our adventures on instagram.

 
From Denver, CO, to Minneapolis, MN, to Grand Rapids, MI (not pictured), to Muskegon, MI – it’s been a beautiful 24 hours.

Boulder Drive-By

Sang in the tune of the infamous “Tequila Sunrise”… 🎶

Just another Boulder Drive-by…

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Dishcrawl Denver: Cap Hill Edition

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Visiting Central Bistro in LoHi on our last Denver Dishcrawl. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

It’s time for another Dishcrawl, Denver style. This time around, we’ll be exploring  good eats in the Capital Hill area, starting off with City O’ City, a great eatery we’ve heard a TON of great things about, but haven’t been to yet. Starting at 7 pm, we’ll stroll around Cap Hill, lead by our fearless leader, Maggie, and hit a bunch of restaurants that are a MYSTERY until arriving at the meet up place.

Check out Dishcrawl Denver to sign up for the 30th event and others coming up. If you’re vegetarian, just make sure you let them know when you sign up! Spread the word – this is a great way to get to know different communities, small businesses, and new people around Denver.

Check out our other features on the last Dishcrawl and a taste of what it’s all about: Stop 1: LoHi Tavern and Stop 2:BambuCycles.

Hope to see you there, friends!

Kombucha, Bamboo Bicycles, Juicing, oh my! – BambuCycles

 

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Check out BambuCycles in the Highlands – stop in and slam a green one for us, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Healthy, scrumptious things to consume and cool bicycles are two things that Denverites go bananas over; it’s not hard to see why Denver, Boulder, and the Loveland areas made top 10 on a recent study’s slimmest cities! Check out this local business that’s helping us reach such lofty fitness goals – Stop #2 on the March 2014 Denver Dishcrawl, BambuCycles.

 

Using a masticating juicer (that means no blades, my friends) the fruits and veggies juiced by the guys at BambuCycles leave nearly all of the vitamins and nutrients in tact, extracting all of the pulp and fiber; the process uses a slower, crushing and squeezing method than other commonplace juicers. Another cool fact: BambuCycles in LoHi succeeds at extracting about 90% juice instead of the typical juicer’s 60% return. They make our Jack LaLanne juicer look like a joke! Check out the differences between masticating (more expensive) and centrifugal (more common, less expensive) juicers here for an easy run-down on the two.

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BambuCycles doing what they do best! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The guys at BambuCycles juiced two, glorious samples for us- one green, and one made of fruits including pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Ever wondered about how juicing works, or wanted to take advantage of the many health benefits juicing provides? Stop in and chat with Angel and the guys; not only a wealth of knowledge, the staff are happy to assist you with customized juice orders, detoxes, and cleanses.

 

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Bright and full of flavor – The Mexican Salad at BambuCycles. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Some of the fruit was saved from juicing and chopped into small salads with a spicy twist (pictured above).

Try a rendition of this vibrant, flavorful melon salad:

  • Take your favorite melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc), and chop into 1” chunks – we like to fill a standard dinner-bowl full of the fruit to split between two people.
  • Drizzle lemon juice (to taste). We prefer a TON of lemon juice simply because the tangy and sweet combination of the lemon juice and the fruit is incredible.
  • Dust some cayenne (we prefer) or chili pepper throughout the salad – be careful! (also, to taste)
  • Sea Salt (to taste).
  • Mix the fruit, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne / chili pepper together, making sure each piece of fruit gets this crazy combination of ingredients for the best variety of flavors in every bite. Seriously, it’s like a party in your mouth.

 

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Another great experience provided on this Dishcrawl stop? Kombucha on tap! If you’re not familiar with Kombucha Tea, let us explain: Happy Leaf is a well known Kombucha producer, pulling from multiple types of tea in their brewing: green, white, and black. Benefits of Kombucha per The Food Renegade:

#1. DETOX!

 

#2. Helps with those pesky joints

 

#3. Digestion & Gut Health

 

#4. Boosts the Immune System

 

Check out The Food Renegade for more great info on Kombucha.

 

 

BambuCycles offer a stylish ride that stands out in a crowd. Not only are they cool looking, but they also provide natural shock absorption that simply can’t be replicated by other machined bikes. Stop in and check out these sweet rides!

 

Alright, alright… juicing, healthy & delicious snacks, Kombucha, AND bamboo bikes? Does BambuCycles NOT do anything awesome?

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Annelise, enjoying some juice and Bamboo Bikes. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The answer is obviously no. They offer some serious benefits to the LoHi community, and definitely have a blast doing it. We look forward to stopping in again soon and learning more about their interesting business.

 

 

 

Gociety – Get Outside with Awesome People

 

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Gociety hooks you up with people of same outdoor interests – what a great platform to motivate more Coloradans to get outside and mingle with like-minded, awesome people! Check out Gociety on Facebook by clicking on their logo above – Photo Credit: Gociety Facebook Page, April 2014

Gociety is a site we’ve been watching for a while, and for good reason; their concept is fresh and new, and provides a GREAT service to the Colorado community. With Gociety, you can meet people from all over Colorado getting outside and doing what they love!

For example, we are avid bikers and appreciate meeting new people to bike all over Denver with – Gociety is a platform that will help us out with this.

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Road biking lets us exercise and see new parts of town; on Gociety, I can meet new people that love to do the same. Click on the picture above to check out the Gociety Facebook Page. Photo Credit: DenverSpeax Archive, 2013

Creating a Gociety profile is super easy – we just made one! By visiting Gociety, you can join via Facebook profile, OR email. Fill out  info about how you get down in the great outdoors of Colorado, and BOOM! – you have a Discovery Feed outlining multiple outdoor activities in areas all over Colorado. From Cat Skiing to to Fly Fishing to multiple runs and triathlons, there is a TON to do – and what better way to find it than one, organized Discovery Feed via your personal Gociety profile. Search options on the right-hand side make it easy to limit the feed to your interests only.

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Get outside and hike Mount Evans! Photo Credit: DenverSpeax Archive, 2013

 

With an easy-to-use platform, it’s no wonder more and more Coloradans are catching on to Gociety‘s awesome idea. We can’t wait to sign up for a few events (aka, Gocieties) and meet new, awesome people that love getting outside. We’ll be sure to give you an update as well as an inside look of our experience. Stay tuned!

For the meantime, go check Gociety out on the web or on Facebook and see what they’re all about for yourself.

OneSpark – Day 1 & 2

We’re having a blast here in Jacksonville, Florida, promoting our CitySpeax expansion project. If you haven’t visited our project on OneSpark and registered to vote for #20643, please do! Your vote helps us get NOTICED and, hopefully, funded. 

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Steve manning the booth at OneSpark! This was before our banner was created / hung as well as our signs created. Watch out our booth evolves over the next few days – we’re learning new things each day!

 

At OneSpark, we hope to expand the “speax” branded websites to CitySpeax, one brand that supports all of the “speak” city websites promoting small business through features, recognition, offering of small business solutions including advertising, social media, and consultation.

With the CitySpeax brand, we  can support small businesses and strengthen communities as we have through our separate websites for Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Denver

Check out our project, Creator #20643, here, and vote for us!

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Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville, FL – check out the traffic around all of the cool Creators. You can see all of the projects by clicking on tho photo and visiting OneSpark.com. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Apr 2014

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Beautiful Sunset at the end of Day 1 at OneSpark. Click on the photo to check out project and vote for us! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, April 2014.

 

OneSpark 2014 – CitySpeax Project Promo Video

Thanks to all of our friends and family that have made this trip to OneSpark in Jacksonville tomorrow possible. Watch our brand expansion project’s video – CitySpeax – your city, your love.

Also, please please PLEASE vote for our project to get NOTICED and FUNDED here. “Bookmark” it, and help us rise through the ranks of popularity. Thanks again for your support!

Colorado Craft Beer Week 2014

Welcome to Colorado Craft Beer Week, going on March 21 – 29, 2014. Check out the calendar and participate in events all around Colorado at favorite breweries, pubs, and restaurants.

Don’t see your favorite brewery, pub, or restaurant on the event page? Check their websites or Facebook pages! Odds are, they’re planning something for you, your family, and friends to enjoy for Craft Beer Week!

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Check out Tommyknocker’s beer flights! Photo Credit: DenverSpeax, 2013

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DenverSpeax enjoys trying out new beers and keeping up with old faves. Photo Credit: DenverSpeax, Mar 2014

 

Tell us your favorite breweries and why – help us out with new places to visit. We have a Michigander coming into town this weekend, and would love to enjoy a new experience alongside him!

 

Denver Dishcrawl Stop 1: LoHi Steak Bar, A Gathering Place

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Check out the gathering space provided in the private room of LoHi Steak Bar! Click on the pic to be re-directed to the LoHi Steak Bar’s website to check out their menu, specials, and events going on. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

A gathering place, LoHi Steak Bar is centrally located on 32nd Ave & Tejon St. – right in the middle of all the LoHi (Lower Highlands Denver, for you newbies) action.

With an easy locale, a welcoming atmosphere, and a killer restaurant and bar menu, it’s easy to see why LoHi Steak Bar is an easy choice in LoHi.

The first stop on our Denver Dishcrawl, LoHi Steak Bar, accommodated our vast group in a private dining area. With name tags on our shirts signaling vegetarian or otherwise, dishes composed of their specialties were placed before us.

On other organized  “crawls”, it’s not uncommon to receive a dish or two crammed onto one, crowded plate; it’s also not uncommon to receive a well-versed speech regarding said crowded dish from some trainee who barely knows the joint.

LoHi sent out their best dishes and friendly, intelligent staff to go over the SEVERAL dishes they created and disbursed. Details of local ingredients and other facts of each dish were provided in advance of each plate devouring.

 

Check out the deliciousness LoHi Steak Bar prepared for the Crawl: 

First, we were provided button mushrooms stuffed with Polidori Sausage (a local Colorado company!). Lemon was provided to be squeezed over the mushrooms, adding an incredibly tangy flavor to the hearty plate. Well done, LoHi… well done. Also pictured is a fantastic Moscow Mule in the proper, copper mug. Just a friendly, DenverSpeax reminder – if it doesn’t come in a copper mug, it’s not real. Write that down.

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We have a weakness for Moscow Mules – it’s true… And, stuffed mushrooms? Let’s just call this photo “Heaven”. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

Next, we’re presented with “not your average” Hummus PlateLoHi uses fresh ingredients to concoct a thick, creamy Hummus with olives and red pepper. DenverSpeax feels there’s a fine art in creating your own house Hummus, especially when it tastes as great as their’s (and when you’ve tried countless times at home, each ending in failure…)! Great starter for your table of friends.

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LoHi Steak Bar’s Homemade Hummus. Click on the photo to check out this, and other, menu items. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here we go – the pride and joy of Stop #1 at LoHi Steak Bar – the vegetarian Portobello Sandwich (made especially for the Dishcrawl) and the House Ground Chuck Hamburger. Both were exceptionally prepared: juicy, fully dressed, and flavorful. There wasn’t the slightest hint of stuffy or dull – just two classics that delivered nothing short of satisfaction. Oh! Their seasoned, crispy House Frites were fantastic as well, and served as a welcomed and complimenting, over-indulgent side.

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Mmmm…..portobello sandwich. How we love thee! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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For all of the carnivores out there, this one’s for you. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

As if all of this weren’t enough, LoHi went ahead and dished out creamy, delicious Cheesecake as well! Sorry, this went too fast for the camera to keep up – our sincere apologies.

Please keep in mind that this was only Stop #1 of 4 on the Denver Dishcrawl, folks. We understand that at this time you must REALLY be kicking yourself for not attending. We get it, and luckily there are more Dishcrawls coming up in Denver. Make sure you stop by the Dishcrawl site to check out the next events, and secure you & your friends’ spots. Even though we’re only one stop in to this magical, dish crawl blogging journey, I’m sure you’re understanding the great value and experience Dishcrawl.com is prepared to provide us all.

Not only does Dishcrawl bring us together within our beloved Denver community, it introduces us to great gathering spots, like LoHi Steak Bar. I think Maggie said it best when describing our first stop as a “non-stuffy” place; we agree that LoHi Steak Bar is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with those who mean the most. Check out their events, specials, and menus on their site. Also, make sure you invite us to your food fest – it hasn’t even been a week, but we’re ready for more mushrooms, burgers, and frites!

 

Mardi Gras 2014 in New Orleans, LA

We love visiting New Orleans. Period.
Not only do Steve and I, (Kirsten), get to see a large part of our family, but New Orleans is truly a flexible vacation spot. You can make the trip to NOLA whatever you want it to be.

I know, I know… I must be lying, right? Bourbon street, Bourbon street, Bourbon street…. NO! Honestly, New Orleans is more than just flashing, beads, and obnoxious Bourbon street – it’s like, the holy grail of culturally preserved areas that still remain within the United States. Let’s think about this – the state still follows Civil Code, established by French emperor, Napoleon, in 1804 (see Napoleonic Code), is the birthplace of Jazz (look up Buddy Bolden, born 1877), and has upheld tradition by producing the most delicious “fried fritters”, famously known as beignets, since 1862 at Cafe du Monde.

Because there is so much to do in this fantastic city, you can create a one-of-a-kind trip. Our kind of trip included going out and seeing the sights, staying in and catching up on some quality time with the family, and everything in-between. Check out our 4 night stay in New Orleans below over Mardi Gras, Carnival Season, 2014.

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Colorado Sunrise. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We took off from DIA at 6:30 am on a plane headed to Houston, TX. Steve and I had found tickets for less than $50 each way, and picked up a rental car for less than $300. We had never driven from Houston to New Orleans before; be aware, driving in on the Friday before Mardi Gras is going to add about 3 hours to your already 6 hour trip. Here’s a tip if you do take this way – as soon as you can get on Airline Highway, or HWY 61, do it!

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The Mississippi River – in all of its dirty glory. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Aside from using the car for transportation, going between Algiers Point and downtown New Orleans we used the Canal Street Ferry. In order to keep the ferry up and running in good, operating order, this past year a fee has been imposed of $2 each way. Coupons can be purchased in advance of travel that allow admission onto the 15 minute ride across the Mississippi River. Check out the view of downtown at night:

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Downtown New Orleans, all lit up! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We attended a few parades both downtown and in Metairie. All of the areas we gathered to watch were family-friendly. Downtown, we set up shop in front of the Palace Cafe. Here’s a small taste of the fun:

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AH! Real Monsters! No, not really – but check out the cool costumes worn in one of the parades downtown. Credit: Kristen Ebey, Mar 2014

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Down in Fraggle Rock – a cool float we saw while attending a parade downtown. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We find the parades just as fun as the kids do – stuffed animals, toys, and snacks are thrown in addition to beads. Our niece and nephew brought bubble guns to play with as well as played catch with a soft football in-between parades rolling. Mardi Gras parades are some serious fun, for grown-ups and kids alike.

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Our niece and her Uncle Steve enjoying a parade downtown on Canal St. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Because we brought a newbie with us, we had a brief visit to Bourbon Street and explored the French Quarter; kidless, of course! We always make sure to keep our wallets safe, and not leave our drinks unattended. As long as you don’t act like a moron, you can have a really great time in the Quarter.

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The sun setting in the French Quarter. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here are a few great places to visit:

  • Pirate’s Alley – an Absinthe house (bar), close to Jackson Square that captures the New Orleans charm. Their Pimm’s Cups and Bloody Mary’s are to die for, and the staff is fast, quirky, and enjoyable.
  • The Original Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter – Grab a chocolate milk or coffee, and beignets at any time – they’re open 24 hours. Be aware, there will most likely be a line… but, it’s so worth it!
  • New Orleans Musical Legends Park – This is a great place to stop, listen to some live music, and grab a delicious bite to eat.
  • The Spice & Tea Exchange – if you love the food of New Orleans, you’ll need to stop by this shop on St. Louis to pick up spices to bring home. Their Cajun Spice and Gumbo File are phenomenal! Don’t pass this place up.
  • The Dry Dock Cafe– a neighborhood bar and grill, this place serves amazing seafood. Our favorite is the seafood platter, or the catfish po’ boy, fully dressed. Situated right across from the ferry in Algiers Point, it’s the best place to stop and get a brew on the way to the ferry, or even on the way home from the parade.

 

New Orleans is a great place to vacation at any time of year; there are actually more festivals than days in the year, meaning there’s always something cool to experience. Also, there are tons of tours you can pay for that will guide you through the haunted areas of New Orleans, swamps, above-ground cemeteries, and more.

Our advice: Set out in the morning, grab some beignets, and just bum around the Quarter and Jackson Square – meet some interesting people, listen to live street music, and take a peak at the amazing artists set up in and around the Square. There’s so much to do that it’ll be hard to leave.

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City at your fingertips! Credit: Jeff Doorn, Mar 2014

It’s a city that dangles fun before your eyes; a city at your fingertips! We can’t wait to go back in a few months and find fun, new and exciting places to go to share with you all!

For more on New Orleans, check out our sister-site, Nolaspeax and stay up to date on what’s good in New Orleans, LA.