Enjoying Food and Beer at the Denver BBQ Festival

We spent the weekend in Denver where we went to the 2nd annual Denver BBQ Festival. With 11 different pit masters, live music, cooking demonstrations, beer and drinks, as well as games for the family, it was definitely a fun time. Entrance is free and you can purchase items that you want or you can purchase a VIP pass that allows you to eat and drink all that you want. We chose to get the VIP pass so that we could try as many different barbeque options as possible. There were pit masters from all over the country including Kansas City, St. Louis, New York, Nashville, Texas, and Colorado.

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Leg of Lamb with Peppers
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Food Being Prepped
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Cooking Demonstration
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Tender Ribs and Baked Beans
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Pulled Pork and a Loaded Potato Salad

If you are a fan of barbecued food, this event is certainly for you. With choices that include leg of lamb, ribs, chicken, brisket, pork belly, whole hog, pork chops, and lamb ribs, there are options for every type of food lover. It wasn’t just about the meat, though, as there were side dishes that include baked beans, potato salad, carrot and raisin salad, bloody Mary salad, and, of course, coleslaw. To be clear, although we tasted just about everything that there was, we certainly did not sit down and eat full portions from each of the food stations. Even with just tasting small samples from each of the pit masters, we still had more than enough food to make us full.

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Different Bands Throughout the Day
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Tender Beef Brisket
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Serving the Large Crowds
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Mini-Taco
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Chicken Wing and Coleslaw

We think that beer pairs really well with barbeque, but there were many options available to drink. From mixed drinks made with Jack Daniel’s whiskey and Tito’s vodka to make margaritas, as well as non-alcoholic drinks, no one was going thirsty. It was a hot day, so an ice-cold beer certainly hit the spot and we chose to have a Colorado Lager from Odell’s Brewery. The festival took place in the parking lot of Mile High Stadium and it was certainly a very popular event.

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Ice-Cold Beer
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Sausage and Brisket
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Getting the Food Out
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Looking Out Over the Festival
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Ribs with a Dry Rub and a Sauce

It is hard to choose a favorite with all of the different dishes that we tried, but there was a beef brisket from Pappy’s Smokehouse that was so tender that it fell apart. The leg of lamb from Sugar Fire Smokehouse was also wonderful. The pork belly from Joe’s KC BBQ was one of the first things that we tasted and also one of our favorites. And finally, the ribs from Peg Leg Porker BBQ were definitely worth eating again and again. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t enjoy everything that we tried, including those from Salt Lick BBQ, GQue BBQ, The Shed, Ubon’s BBQ, Memphis BBQ, and Jean-Paul Bougeois.

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Lamb Ribs and Carrots and Raisins
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People Lining Up
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Chicken and Bloody Mary Salad
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Salmon, Slaw, and Guacamole
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Pork Belly and Pork Rinds

We will definitely put this on our calendar for next year. There isn’t a better way to spend a summer afternoon than eating delicious barbeque, drinking a beer, listening to music, and getting grilling advice from the experts. The Denver BBQ Festival is certainly an event that is fun for the whole family.

Ski Resorts are Not Just for Ski Season

One of the great things about living in Colorado is that you can get into the mountains in every season of the year. Obviously, the winter is all about skiing and snow boarding, but the other seasons are just as wonderful for hiking, biking, wildlife watching, and just enjoying the beauty of nature. There are many places to stay during those times of year, but the same resorts that are home to ski resorts also make a great destination year round. Ski lifts will take you and your bikes up to the top of the mountain for a thrilling ride down and ski runs are converted to hiking trails. There are also zip lines and other outdoor activities like putt-putt golf, tennis, horseback riding, and golf. There are even some resorts where you can ride down an alpine slide in cars that fly down the luge track. Depending on when you go into the mountains, you will also find a variety of festivals including those with music and film. We have been to several of them, but here a few of our favorite locations.

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Aspen City Hall
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Downtown Aspen
  1. Aspen – There is something special about this elegant city in the Colorado high country. The town has maintained a small town feel and walking the streets will be like going back in time to when skiing first became a popular sport. There is a reason that the Food and Wine festival is held in Aspen as there are an abundance of excellent restaurants for a town of its size.
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    Looking Down at the Village in Late Spring

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    Beaver Creek Colorado
  2. Beaver Creek – Truly one of our favorite destinations no matter what time of year, there is so much to do in Beaver Creek. There are rodeos on the weekends in the small town of Frisco, which is located at the base of the mountain, just outside of the resort. The resort has activities for all ages and physical capabilities and has some excellent hiking and biking trails.
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    View of Downtown Steamboat Springs

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    Fun for the Children
  3. Steamboat Springs – With a main street that has many different gift shops and restaurants, there is plenty to do during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. It is one of the easier destinations to get to from Denver, which makes it a popular location for locals to visit on weekends. The town hosts different events throughout the summer, so it is wise to check out their activities calendar to see what is happening during the time that you are planning to go there.
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    Alpine Slide

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    Steep Terrain Near Breckenridge
  4. Breckenridge – Although all of the resorts are family friendly, Breckenridge offers a wide variety of activities will that entertain children of all ages. For those that don’t just want to spend time hiking in the Rocky Mountains, you could pretty much spend all of your time at the resort if you so desired. Obviously, we’d recommend that you get out into nature either walking on a trail or riding horses to feel like an old-time cowboy or cowgirl.
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    Hiking in Autumn

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    Hiking in the High Country
  5. Telluride – Located in southwestern Colorado, Telluride is farther away than most of the other resorts, but well worth the effort to visit. It hosts one of the most famous jazz and bluegrass festivals in the state. We haven’t been to Telluride for a few years now, so it is high on our list to visit this coming summer.

There are plenty of other towns and villages where you can stay when heading to the mountains of Colorado, but staying at one of the ski resorts offer some extra activities that you might not otherwise find. With plenty of stores, restaurants, and lodges of various size, you can truly customize your experience.

Hochheim, Germany

Located just couple of hours outside of Frankfurt, we visited Hochheim for a quick day trip from the city. It is a small town surrounded by vineyards and still retains its medieval charm. It was early November and the town was holding its annual festival and market, so it was a lot busier than it normally would have been, but that also made it fun for us. It was a quick train ride from Frankfurt and since we had monthly passes for the train, we simply had to pay a little extra to get to the nearby town.

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Quiet Side Street
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Cookies and Sweets
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Decorative Stall
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Church and Vineyard
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Food to Keep You Warm

After walking up the hill from the train station past the vineyard and the church, we entered the town through its main gate. After walking the quiet streets for a few minutes, we found a nice Italian pizzeria called La Botte to grab some lunch and have a glass of beer and wine. After lunch we continued towards the heart of the town and quickly realized that we had come to Hochheim on the right weekend as the market was in full swing. We certainly weren’t the only ones who had decided to come to Hochheim for the day.

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Entrance to Hochheim
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Italian Restaurant
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Medieval Architecture
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Statue in the Town Square
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Nuts, Popcorn, and Candied Apples

The Hochheim Market has been held since 1484 and is actually considered one of the biggest fairs in Germany. A combination of fair, market, and festival, there was plenty of food, gluhwein, crafts, and rides for the children. It is a seven day festival and market, which happened to just be starting. A banner for the local winery welcomed everyone into the market and it got busier and busier as the day went along. This would be the first of the many markets that we enjoyed during our time in Germany, so it has a special place in our hearts.

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Getting Busy
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Fun for All Ages
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Lining Up for Food
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Squeezing Through the Crowds
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Crowds Starting to Gather

As the sun started going down and the crowds became overwhelming, we decided to find ourselves a pub to grab some dinner and a drink before heading back to Frankfurt. It was a quaint little place with signs from the 40’s and 50’s adorning the walls and ceiling. As with most places that we visited, the people were warm and welcoming, even with the language barriers. It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years to the day since we visited Hochheim. You can read about our initial thoughts about the Hochheim Market here.

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Red and White Gluhwein
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Wurst Anyone?
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Signs Everywhere in the Pub
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So Many Choices
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Banner in Town
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Had to Have Some Local Beer