Jared and I tapped out early last night due to the onset of some stuffy noses and wanting to be careful to not get sick the first three days on the road. By the morning, after a great night of sleep and hot showers, (two beds!!!) we were refreshed and ready to hang with Jared’s high school/college buddy, Ethan. The last time we saw Ethan was on our cross-country honeymoon trip. He gave our broke assess a free room, got me hammered on home-brewed beer (I did NOT account for the attitude and found myself getting friendly with the hardwood floor before too long), and took us around Denver, including the Left Hand Brewery, where my husband found his true people and a delicious milk stout. This time around, however, we had to be a bit more responsible and respectful to our bodies. Ethan took us to a local breakfast house called Snooze.

We sat down and Ethan ordered a hot chocolate and an apple juice. If not for the beard, I would have thought we were dining with a 6 year old. However, the hot chocolate was as decadent as the “pancake sampler” he ordered. Snooze boasted such treats as “Turtle cakes”, “Cinnamon Roll cakes”, “Blueberry Danish cakes”, and “Bacon But Not” bacon. Ethan is a fit man, but stands 100 feet tall (at least it seems so to my 5’2”), so he can put food away. I got a veggie, quinoa, egg bowl, Jared got the “Goldilocks” porridge. Ethan got a breakfast sandwich and cleaned up the remainder of samples cakes and bacon…to make to server’s job easier, I’m sure. 

After several cups of coffee, loads of catch-up convo and a quick wee, we were off to see Ethan’s new home addition, say hi to his wife, Jen, and then head over to check out the venue…which was a good thing. 

Originally, when I asked Jill, who booked us for this gig, if where she had us playing in the ice arena was cold, she said, “No. At least no one’s ever complained about it before.” My friends, I am here to tell you, it was indeed…cold. 18° cold. 

Ironically, a few months ago, I bought a ski suit from H&M that looked like something Bowie might have worn on the slopes. I don’t ski, but at the sale price of $19.99, I couldn’t resist. Well, I wore the hell outta that ski suit for this gig, with long underwear and I was STILL cold. Of course, I HAD to walk my ski-suited behind out the ice and get some slip-sliding in while we sang “Happy Day”. I mean, when will I get that opportunity again?!?

All the cold aside, the gig was really fun because the event coordinator, Jill Mintz, ice skate instructor and rink darling human extraordinaire was there and she was AWESOME!!! Strangely enough, just like Ethan, Jill was from Jared’s home town of Bradford, PA. Growing up, Jared and Jill weren’t  super close, but Jared remembered her fondly as always being cheerful, being an ice skater, and being part of the same circles of friends and activities with him in school. Jill said she had been following us on FB over the years, so when she started the “Lace ‘Em Up” program, creating skate opportunities and events for ice skate lovers, she couldn’t wait to book us for her Friday Night Skate night! She was so wonderful to work with. From the warm welcome and words of praise and encouragement, to the gift of handmade soaps and lotions, the rainbow hair extensions she got for all the skaters so they could have “Jessi” hair, and the leather leggings she and a bunch of ladies got to sport our rock look, Jill Mintz went above and beyond as hostess for this event. 

You could tell she loves her job and is super loved in return by the skate community. She gave us a card with our paycheck that reiterated how happy she was to have us and how awesome it was to see people pursuing their passion like we are. I guess it takes one to know one because we felt the same about her! 

After the gig, we warmed up in the 28° Denver evening and joined Marianne Brown and her man, Nate, (who supported us at the ice rink too) for a delicious nitro stout at the Lowry Beer Garden. 

Heaters ablaze and winter coats zipped up made for a snuggly night cap. Being with Marianne Brown is like reading an old journal where you feel both nostalgic and melancholy at the same time. I didn’t want to be sad, since old friends are never more than a quick text away and always in our hearts, so I diverted my attention to the Great Pyrenees in the corner. 

It must have been something in my eyes, or the squeal of delight when he finally addressed me, but the owner of said dog finally invited us to come meet Greta. When on her hind legs, Greta stood probably 5’9’ and looked like a super model wearing a Sherpa wrap. She was slender and gentle and draped her long legs over our arms and shoulders in a commanding, yet welcoming way that said, “I dare you to not fall in love.” 

The Ingrid Bergman of dogs left us as quickly as she had stolen our hearts, and we were left to say our goodbyes with each other with “just one more hug” in the parking lot. With our sweet fix of friends, music, and Greta, we headed back to our hotel. 

We will most DEFINITELY come back to Denver!

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