Learning to be Alone.

The title of this post sounds sad and lonely; but I promise you it’s not! In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a reflection on finding peace and happiness in those moments of necessary solitude that we almost never allow ourselves.

A very wise friend/personal hero of mine has a philosophy he shared recently:

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I don’t think I could agree more with his philosophy. I realized recently that for the last 24 years, I’ve spent nearly all of my time with another person (parents, roommates, friends, boyfriends, etc) and have never really stepped back to take a good look at my reflection, completely alone and completely independent of anything/one else.

That’s what this whole move has been about for me. Spending time alone, with myself. I’m not a hermit. I still go out, meet new friends, visit with family; but I’m learning to appreciate the solitude in my new life here. The simple things like having breakfast in complete silence and being fully conscious and aware of where I am in that moment. Going on walks in my new neighborhood, spending an hour everyday writing or reading a book before bed. (All of which I did in my own life, but without the conscious effort of self reflection).

Last week I spent the 24 hours in meditation at an Ashram in nearby Villa de Lleyva. I’d never spent that much time alone in my own thoughts and it was interesting: I learned more about myself in that 24 hours than I may have in the last 24 years. It’s something about shutting off everything around you. All the noise, all the negativity, and the outside thoughts. You begin to hear yourself a little differently and you pay attention because you can’t hide from your thoughts without the outside noise.

I still have a lot of growing to do but I’m open to it. I know that learning to be alone is the best achievement so far.

(Ps- If you’d like to know more about the amazing work that BC does, check him out HERE! He’s truly a beautiful human being.)

Learning to be Alone.

Colorado’s Backyard: Rocky Mountain National Park

Recently, I was bit by the nature bug. I’ve been jonesing to get out into nature and go for some hikes, explore the Colorado back country and maybe even hike a 14er. Conveniently, this happened when summer has come to an end, and when the warmer days are dwindling. With a couple good hiking days left in the year, I dragged Tyty out in search of the famous color changing Aspen trees last weekend.

Rocky Mountain National Park is only an hour and a half drive from Boulder and Saturday the park was free so decided to get our explorin’ on. As soon as we pulled in we saw a small heard of elk!

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Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve lived in Colorado for 5 years and never been out there.

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It’s absolutely beautiful! Spectacularly beautiful.

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The trailhead we wanted to start at was packed so we decided to go on a whim and take a different route through the back. We started toward Bierstadt Lake.

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When we got there, the scene was breathtaking!

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Utterly peaceful and if you’re quiet you can hear elk bugling in the distance.

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It also helped that we ended up with the best possible weather that morning! Gorgeous blue skies and a pleasant 76 degrees!

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After snapping some photos we continued our climb toward the second lake. DSCN1692 DSCN1708 DSCN1707

 

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A couple of miles later, we reach Bear Lake.

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How fantastic is it?

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It’s a popular spot in the park with a shuttle that heads directly to it so it’s a bit crowded but we found a spot near the water to have a light lunch and take a break…. DSCN1732DSCN1773

As soon as we got comfortable a family of birds swooped in around us and started asking for some of our seeds! We decided to share a couple with our new friends (don’t know how kosher that is in NatureLand…). A few minutes later, a squirrel was hanging out overhead and I was really starting to feel like Snow White…

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We decided enough was enough and set off to continue our hike.

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The hike was about 6.6 miles round trip and could be finished in around 5 hours, including stopping for lunch and photo ops. If you’re planning a morning hike, I highly recommend this trail! It’s steep but definitely doable and a good butt workout (~5.3 in difficulty). Set out early to avoid crowds and don’t forget a couple power bars and plenty of water!

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Colorado’s Backyard: Rocky Mountain National Park

Is it Summer Yet?

So I know its not quite summer but Memorial Weekend has become my official summer kick-off since moving to Boulder. This weekend I’ll be BBQ’ing, Creek Festing, working on my tan, and running the BolderBoulder on Monday (4 years  strong!).

In the meantime, here are a couple summertime things I’ve been dreaming about…

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Happy Weekend! What are you up to this holiday?

Is it Summer Yet?

3 Years!!

Today is the 3rd Birthday of Red Wine and Lipstick! It’s been a little inconsistent but still a great way for me to get my thoughts out there when I have them!

Thank you to all who have read, supported and enjoyed reading my thoughts! Here’s to another year of blogging and spreading ideas!

 

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3 Years!!

Bogota, El Centro.

This weekend we did a spot of cultural checking out. Wednesday we went to El Centro (The Centro), which is the oldest part of the city, known for its governmental buildings and historical locations and classic Colombian neighborhoods. We spent a good part of the afternoon exploring one of the city’s most famous locations: El Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), which holds thousands of pre-Columbian/pre-Hispanic gold artifacts and is the largest gold collection in the world.

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Afterwards, we skipped across a plaza or two over to the Museo Botero, which houses an amazing collection of Fernando Botero’s (famous Colombian artist) art, along with other works by artists like Renoir, Picasso, Monet, and Degas.

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Today we’re headed to Cartagena for a couple days, where more adventures and food await us… See you Wednesday!

Bogota, El Centro.

Travels Abroad: Colombia

Well, as promised to various family and friends, I’ll be blogging about our (me and Tyty) trip to Colombia!

My grandpa is getting married at the end of our trip, so we decided to fly down, do a bit of exploring in Bogota and outside the city while hanging out with my family. The journey’s about 8 hours by plane, so we watched a lot of inflight TV and ate snacks. (Btw, Broadchurch on BBC, is a brilliantly addictive and suspenseful show!).

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I got a fancy new blogger’s camera for my birthday this year (thanks Dad!) and figured it was the perfect excuse to dive back into blogging…. however, I’m still trying to figure the camera out and learn all the settings. Bare with me, I promise the pictures will improve over the week.

When we landed, it was 5 til midnight and we were greeted by my uncle and grandpa at the gate. The biggest  surprise? It was soo warm! Bogota is not known for tropical, sunny climates like the rest of the country. It’s typically rainy and a little cold, so the warmth was a pleasant surprise coming from 30 degree weather in Boulder.

We tried our best to fall asleep quickly so the next day we could begin exploring. After a simple and delicious breakfast (fresh juice, cheese and arepa), we were off! We started with a long walk through a popular neighborhood, called La Zona G, that was pretty close to my grandpa’s house. Tyler pointed out something I’ve always noticed but never thought about: constant construction. It’s a true sign that  a lot is happening in this city and it’s continuing to grow exponentially in very positive ways. Each neighborhood here is beginning to take the shape of its inhabitants, reflecting subcultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and cultural interests–much like you might find in NYC or LA.

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Soon after we found ourselves in front of Bogota Beer Company, a local microbrewery with a couple British-style pub locations around the city. The beer was excellent (similar to an Oscar Blues brew), and we may have underestimated the power of altitude…

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Afterwards, we caught up with some family and later headed to my birthday dinner (yup, my bday was yesterday) with my gramps and aunts and uncles in a great part of town called “Usaquén”. It’s considered a historic district in Bogota, so very few changes have been to the infrastructure. Cobble stone streets leading to old colonial style homes and buildings, with high walls and courtyards, now house shops and chic restaurants. It has become a foodie mecca with all the hottest restaurants and bars opening in this area.

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The next day was spent playing golf at the country club and hanging out with my little cousins before a big lunch (of traditional Colombian dishes) at my great-grandma’s house. Needing to digest such a big lunch, we slowly made our way back home, stopping for ice cream at one of my favorites: Crepes and Waffles (seriously, best pistachio ice cream ever), and a wine and cheese night with the fam.

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So far, I think Tyty’s enjoying his time….But maybe he should do a guest blogger segment this week?

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Travels Abroad: Colombia