Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Perfect Aspen Evening

My brother and his wife have 4 kids. Three girls and a boy, who was born in September. Last week, Amy Jo flew with the girls to Washington where they will spend the next 3.5 weeks with their grandparents.

Her first night back in town, minus 3 munchkins I knew the guys would all be working late, so Amy and I went in search of the best place in the valley to have a glass of wine outside. We found it. Tempranillo in Basalt has a large, open front yard that is surrounded by huge old trees. They put lawn furniture outside for people to enjoy while they are waiting for their tables. We took full advantage of our situation. We ordered a bottle of wine and relaxed in the yard. Within the hour, Bryant joined us, and about 10 minutes later, Trevor and Tyson arrived too. We pulled 2 tables and the rest of the chairs together. It was an amazing setting, like being in your own back yard with a private chef and wait staff. No stuffy restaurant patrons, just our family out on the lawn. It was perfect. Several of the guests leaving the restaurant looked at our group and asked their spouse, "why didn't we think of that?!"

Three courses and several bottles of wine later, we all went our separate ways. The next day, we all chatted on the phone and reflected on our great evening the night before. We quite possibly found our new favorite spot.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another great weekend in Aspen

Our first summer thunderstorm pounded through the valley last night. These are a near daily occurrence in the summer here. Because we are surrounded by 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet elevation), the sound of the thunder echos through the valley. It is pretty incredible.

Besides that, the weather all weekend was too beautiful to waste a second inside. Friday night my little buddy, Claritza, who is 14 invited me to the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival. A local DJ, who is also a big buddy gave her patron tickets. The face value of these tickets is $400. I was so excited and honored that she asked me to join her. Included with these tickets is a 3 course meal catered by Syzygy, parking across the street from the venue and 3rd row seats for Manhattan Transfer and Anita Baker. It was a great experience. The highlight for me was when Claritza ate an appetizer that was a small piece of filet topped with foi gras. I waited until after she ate it and told me how much she loved it until I told her what foi gras actually is. The look on her face was priceless. I love her to death. It was the perfect setting for her to enjoy her first concert!

Saturday afternoon, Bryant and I were taking a break on the couch when Mali came over and was begging for some scratches. Bryant proceeded to scratch and pinch her (for those of you who have spent more than 10 minutes with a Ragan, you know these pinches and the face that accompanies them...see the picture below as example A of the Ragan pinch face).

On Sunday Bryant and I and Dave and Emily went to Ella in Carbondale for brunch. Our friend Jackie, who is 5 months preggo joined us. The food was amazing and the company even better. Later that night, BR and I went to Dave and Em's for Sunday night family dinner. Their little girl, Siena was such a crack up. She was doing these massive flip turns on the couch and then landing in Bryant's lap. What a flirt!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Until the next adventure,


Friday, June 20, 2008

Pause in posting

Aspen Food and Wine (photo by Steve Mundinger)

I apologize for the delay in posting. I have had a crazy couple of weeks at work. In addition, the weather in Aspen is finally amazing, which means Bryant and I are outside as much as possible.

Food and Wine was last weekend, and we were able to join in some of the festivities! I saw all of the judges from Top Chef, almost tripped over Ivanka Trump and dined next to Bobby Flay at the Little Nell at brunch on Sunday. It is always a fun reminder of what a great town we live in when you see how many people from all walks of life spend time here.

My boss is again in Florida, so my days have been crazy trying to make sure things happen here while he is away. We had the summer tour of homes for valley brokers over the course of this week. I hosted several open houses and met hundreds of local brokers.

So, until I have a chance to catch my breath, I hope you are enjoying the first few weeks of great weather and the last few days of spring!

Peace and chow, (a great pre-meal praise I learned while at Outward Bound)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


To some of you, it may seem like I am making a huge ordeal out of a little thing; however, today, I found something I have been looking for since I left Pullman, Washington in 2004. When I was in college I frequented a restaurant called Min's Deli. A tiny lady from Vietnam named Min runs the restaurant and offers everything from authentic bubble tea to asian pastries. But, my all time favorite menu item was Pho. It is a Vietnamese soup that makes my taste buds tingle.

Today I went to Asie for lunch with the other assistant in our office, Stacey...and I found it!!! They put Pho on their new summer menu. It was just as good as I remember. If you see it on a menu at your favorite Asian restaurant, take a chance and give it a try!

Happy Birthday to My Dad!!!

I wrote the following blog around 9:00am today. To update you on the typical weather trends in Colorado, it is now a blue bird beautiful day! YIPPY!

Today is my dad's 60th birthday! If you know him or have known him, feel free to shoot him an email at He would love to hear from you!

On a much more grim note, it is SNOWING in Aspen today. I got up to go for my training run, took one look out our bedroom window and dove back into bed. I could really use a bikini and a beach.

Until the next adventure,


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Outward Bound with the Buddy Program


This weekend my little buddy, Claritza and I joined a group of about 24 big and little buddy pairs at the Leadville Outward Bound Camp for a great adventure. Each pair was selected and invited to participate in this incredible weekend, and the Buddy Program did an amazing job of selecting big and little buddies who melded together perfectly as a group. Everyone got along so well and the OB staff was incredible!

Please enjoy the pictures of our great weekend by using the link on the right under the rotating picture album.

Saturday we did several group trust building activities. Sunday we spent the entire day rock climbing at Camp Hale, the training site of the WWII 10th Mountain Division, and on Monday we took all of the buddies through an amazing ropes course high up in the trees. It was incredible to see big and little buddies alike stretched almost beyond their limits and far outside of their comfort zones.

My expectations for the weekend were far exceeded, and I can't begin to describe the level of pride I have for Claritza and all of the participating buddies for the amazing accomplishments and breakthroughs they had last weekend.


Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Latest Adventure...Marathon Training

I can't believe it was two years ago that Bryant and I met and started training for the Lausanne Marathon in Switzerland. We took last summer off to plan our wedding and here we are again starting week 1 of 20 of our marathon training program.

We aren't nuts, and we don't love to run. We love the organization and people we are running for. Challenge Aspen is an amazing non-profit based in Snowmass that creates possibilites for people with disabilities. Challenge Aspen provides recreational, cultural, competitive and educational experiences for individuals who have cognitive or physical disabilities.

Have you ever skied down a mogul field next to a blind or paraplegic skier? They are why we run. Have you ever seen a group of severely wounded American soldiers learning how to ski and snowboard, and for some how to have fun again? They are why we run. Have you ever rafted down a raging Colorado river with a group of energetic autistic children? They too, are why we run. The aim of Challenge Aspen is to carefully orchestrate life changing adventures, giving participants the courage to learn something new, trust their own abilities and carry that ideal forward, reaching toward goals in other areas of their lives.

Bryant and I, along with my brother, Trevor, and his wife Amy have all pledged to raise $4500 each for Challenge Aspen, and we will train and run the Dublin Marathon in October with a group of over 60 people from the Roaring Fork Valley who have made that same pledge.

So, as the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning for my first of countless runs ahead, I was energized and reminded of how grateful I am to have the ability to wake up early and go for a run. This isn't about me.

If you are interested in donating to Challenge Aspen's cause and to help us reach our pledge goal, please contact me at Any amount towards our $9000 goal is helpful.

Thank you in advance for your gracious consideration and for supporting the amazing efforts of Challenge Aspen.

Until the next adventure...


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Naturopathic Doctor

So, yesterday I went to see a naturopathic doctor to see if he can help me balance out my stomach issues that have dealt with since high school. He did several tests to conclude that I have a sensitivity to wheat and cheese. Great. There goes the days of binging on Italian dinners of pasta and cheese. The key factor is that I don't have to eliminate them forever, I just need to practice moderation. However, I do have to eliminate all wheat for 2 weeks. This is proving to be a major challenge for me. Last night, mind you the first night of my no wheat challenge, we went to Trev and Amy's for Khloe's 5th birthday party. The menu: Pizza and chocolate cake. Yippy (with heavy sarcasm). I scraped the toppings off the pizza, leaving the moist, yummy crust on the tray. No cake for me, so Bryant had my piece instead.

In the end, I have come to the conclusion, that no wheat for me means healthier choices. Maybe I will lose the few extra pounds I have gained in my freshman year of marriage. I am taking 2 herbal supplements to help my body function more effectively. I will let you know how everything goes.

Until the next crazy idea...


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It has been a while

I apologize for not posting in a while. Bryant and I have both been busy with work and life. Last weekend we went to Nathan and Lauren Waldon's wedding in Colorado Springs and had such a nice time! We went down Friday night and stayed in Denver and spent Saturday morning enjoying the overwhelming shopping experience at Park Meadows Mall. All we have for shopping in Aspen is Prada, Gucci and their clones, and the Gap, so going to a mall is almost surreal.

That afternoon we drove an hour south to the Springs and checked into our hotel, which was also the venue for the wedding. The Garden of the Gods Club overlooks the amazing red rock spires that jet up from the Garden of the Gods National Park. There were several couples at the wedding from our church in Aspen. It was a lot of fun to watch them cut loose on the dance floor (including our Pastor and his wife!).

Nathan and Lauren are off to Greece and Switzerland for their honeymoon, and we are back in Aspen. We took the scenic route home through some amazing Colorado back roads. I can think of worse places to go home to.

For those of you who have visited us in our Woody Creek home, you will be pleased to hear that we ordered a new and oh so comfy couch that is to be delivered in about 20 minutes! I can't wait to get home and sink into it...and torch our horribly uncomfortable, but very stylish old couch. This time, the heals weren't worth the pain, we had to get something much more comfortable for our own sanity and that of our guests. This was a lesson for us on why we shouldn't be so impulsive.

In about 15 minutes, I am heading to my first appointment with an acupuncturist. This will be my first experience, but I have very high expectations for the results. I will let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I have posted the few shots we got from our weekend in my albums on the right. Enjoy!

Until the next adventure!

B,B & B

PS, for those of you who know my brother, it is his youngest daughter, Khloe's 5th birthday today!!!