Turning 20 in Colorado

This past Tuesday, I left the toxic-green-algae-infested shores of sunny Florida to visit my grandparents in the mountains of Silverthorne, Colorado.

My family arrived at the Denver airport at about one in the morning, and I was immediately struck by how cold it was for June (to give you some reference the heat index in Fort Myers today was 105 degrees).

While we were there, I spent an amazing week with my family doing all things outdoors and fitness related (I do think they were trying to kill me).

On our second or third day in Silverthorne, we hiked Buffalo Mountain, which has a ‘strenuous’ difficulty level, according to protrails.com. I would, by the way, like to thank my family for telling me that after we returned from our 7-hour hike. Needless to say, my calves, my thighs, my back, my shoulders (???), basically every inch of my body hurt for the next four days.

The view was worth it, though. After I finally dragged myself, panting, to the top of the mountain I spent the next fifteen minutes just staring in awe at the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounded me. And hurling snowballs at my neighbor. Obviously.

On the way back down, the skies decided to open up and we were pelted with hail and then rain for about an hour and a half, because what would a Peña vacation be without a little drama. When we finally got back to my grandparents’ condo, I couldn’t move my fingers and my neighbor’s fingertips were blue. Actually blue. Like, for a second, I was worried we were going to bring him home without fingers.


That week, we also went kayaking in Lake Dillon (where I learned that I literally have zero upper body strength) and mountain biking (where I learned that I really just have no strength anywhere, at all. Also, I don’t know how to breathe like a normal human being). On a serious note, though, the bike trail was absolutely beautiful and was probably one of the most fun things that we did on the trip. I even developed an embarrassing mantra while I was biking uphill, so I’m basically a professional athlete now.

On the day before my birthday we went to a tiny Czech restaurant in Georgetown where I had, possibly, the best gnocchi I have ever had in my entire life (#gnocchidontfloat #mom).

And then on July 4th (my birthday), we spent the day doing all of my favorite things. Eating barbecue, hanging out with my family, eating ice cream cake, biking, eating cookies, exploring Breckinridge, exploring three pizzas (I like to eat, okay?). And last but not least, forcing my family to watch a fireworks display that started way too late in the night and lasted way too long (it was great. For me, anyways).

So, that was my birthday week. I had such an amazing vacation and was so happy to be able to spend some much needed time with my family.

Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the trip.


The start of the Buffalo Mountain trail


Happier times (e.g. before we really started hiking)


Looking out over Summit County


We made it to the top!


pc @michael_cilurso


Crazy, crazy


The marina


Guy Fieri, I love you (and milkshakes)

6 thoughts on “Turning 20 in Colorado

  1. Marybeth says:

    It truly was an amazing trip and in addition to your gift with words, I think you are developing a penchant for all things athletic and outdoors!


  2. Granny Frannie says:

    I love reading your blogs! You are such a wonderful writer that all your descriptions and cute remarks made me feel like ai was there with you. Your gift of writing will certainly be helpful in the future. Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to more of your very interesting blogs. They always make me smile.


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