Every third weekend or so, we drink a little too much coffee and have to excitedly declare a new (and non-negotiable) family tradition. A year ago at this time, we were in the throes of wedding-plan-finalizing. The hours after work were dedicated to seating chart spreadsheets and glassy-eyed stares. Two years ago marked our move from Boulder to Denver. This weekend’s declaration? We must leaf peep. Now that we’re able to enjoy our third autumn in beautiful Denver, we decided we had to take to the road to see some aspen groves giving up the green. These trees aren’t going to marvel at themselves, you know?
I’m a Colorado native and no stranger to autumn colors. My parents took my brother and me to the woods above Chaffee County every year without fail. My senior photo from high school is even backdropped against a sleepy, orange tree. Classy. Drew has a fond memories of leaf tours in northern Michigan, where his family has roots.
I’m embarrassed to admit that, until this past weekend, I had never been to Central City or Black Hawk, a pit stop that derailed our leaf viewing plans almost entirely. *defeatedly peels Colorado Native bumper sticker off of car*
Holy hell, was it a surprise! I would compare Central City to a paved, more populated Silverton. Black Hawk, slightly down the road, is more glam and corporate, all hotels and penny slots and all-you-can-eat prime ribs. Because we had Boris with us, several of the locals stopped to pet him and chat with us. A server from one of the casinos in Central City recommended their upcoming Halloween Creepy Crawl tour and warned us away from the Hotel de Paris, which is truly haunted. Say no more, lady!
There’s something about a stretch of historic brick buildings that sag with the weight of a century that makes me feel right at home. Probably because it so closely resembles my own hometown. We wandered from block to block, reading the plaques and admiring old and updated murals.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a leaf peeping tour? Details, details.
This sign outside the church in the above photo said, “Here lies an atheist, all dressed up and nowhere to go.” Rude!
After any long adventure, we return home and I put the back of my hand to my forehead and tell Drew that I cannot possibly lift a finger to cook. Never mind that he’s the one in our household who mans the kitchen. My ulterior motive is simple: get him to agree to get back in the car and drive to Tony’s Market.
It’s no secret that Tony’s is a favorite of ours. We’re food nerds and we love their products, mission and the warm hospitality of the folks that staff their shops. On nights when we have driven all over greater Colorado and need dinner in a cinch, we swing by Tony’s for a quick takeaway pizza and a big ol’ salad. Favorites: a pizza with pancetta, pickled onions and goat cheese on one half for Drew and olive oil, garlic and pickled onions on the other half for me. Drew has a Greek salad fetish but he lets me eat all the olives. Marriage.
My husband, the talented food styler.
This post was shared in collaboration with our homies at Tony’s. We were honored to join their blogger ambassador program as the only technically non-food bloggers in the group. Check out the company we’re keeping:
— Tony’s Market (@Tonysmarket) September 25, 2015
Great recipes are constantly available on Tony’s Market blog. Next month, check back for a post about Drew cooking with ingredients sourced exclusively at Tony’s. I’ll be the one taste testing and taking all the credit.