post-toobin farewell pho

Texans in the snow

On our last day in Colorado, we woke super early to make the most of  it.  And since we hadn't made it snow tubing the day before, it had to be today!  We drove west toward Breckenridge for about an hour and a half until we got to Copper Mountain.

Despite the fact that I'm from the East Coast (though I admittedly referred to myself as "Texan" in the caption of  that photo above...), I've never been a snow sport person.  The one time I attempted skiing was laughable and kinda miserable.  I've never dared snowboard.  I momentarily entertained the thought of doing one of these things while we were in CO.  And then I thought-- WHY?  I'm not trying to take up snow sports at the age of almost-30!  Why spend a ton of money to fall down and be sore for days after?  So we decided to go snow tubing instead.  In Texas, we get lots of opportunity to practice tubing (though it's usually at a snail's pace and with drink in hand but heyy!)  Oh, and it's TOOBIN.  Guess they can't spell in Colorado...

As you can see below, it was -1 degree today-- but felt like -20??-- which was just odd because I could've sworn last night in Denver (which was 4 degrees, at least around 11pm) felt colder!  This CO weather is so wacky.  It was at least bearable enough for us to catapult down a snowy hill, spinning like a human tea cup ride, and still be pretty content for a short period of time.  Not to say the ol' toes didn't need to defrost when we went back inside.  (what, did you think we came prepared with the right gear?  ha!)

toasted caramel whiskey and cider

Thank goodness they had a warm drink special at the resort bar!  Toasted caramel whiskey you say?? Yes please!

We wanted a little "snack" and so we ordered these nachos, which arrived in a mammoth heap!  And were also pretty gross.  The smoked shredded pork was cold.  And the "queso" was just...not.  Come on, Copper Mountain, better step up your food!

The ride back was Narnia-esque... misty, snowy pines and grand mountains.  Even if we hadn't snow tubed (which was a blast, by the way!), it would've been worth it to drive out here for the views alone!

Silver Plume, CO

buffalo sighting!

We spotted buffalo on the way back!  This was the only photo I could get (and I kinda lunged across the driver's seat even for this one).  Not the best, but you get the gist.  

Then, because we just can't get enough (and who wants to be stuck with airport food?), we met up with Willi for one last meal before we got on the plane.  And pho seemed like the perfect meal after coasting through all that fresh powder, brah. 

We chose a place on Federal Boulevard, which was a never-ending strip of Mexican, Vietnamese, and Chinese joints.  A street I'd definitely explore up and down if I lived here!  Pho 95 (one of MANY numbered pho shops on the street!) exceeded my expectations!  The egg rolls you see above were perfectly crispy and chock full of veggies.  Could it be... homemade eggrolls??? (If not, they certainly fooled me!)  And for some reason they came an a bed of extra noodles, crisp lettuce, mint, cucumbers, and carrots.  We used these veggies to supplement our pho (as well as the heaping plate of bean sprouts, basil, et al) and still had leftovers!

The broth was fragrant and rich... the steak so fresh and tender...Pho 95, I couldn't have asked for a better parting gift than a warm belly full of delicious pho as we boarded our plane for Austin!