This weekend is our second annual pilgrimage to Palisade, CO to attend the Colorado Mountain Wine Festival.  It’s the largest festival featuring Colorado wines, and ever since we recovered from last year’s, we have been planning to attend again.

We could tell from the start that this would be another charmed trip…traveling west from Denver on I-70 in the middle of rush hour we hit no traffic jams, and in a quick 4 hours we made it to Grand Junction, CO.  It was a beautiful drive, with startling yellow aspens just starting to dot the hillsides, and it’s always a shock to see the alpine landscape turn into the stark gray mesas of western Colorado.

On the drive we were very serious about finding a place to eat, and since we were celebrating birthdays, Yelp told us about Bin 707 Foodbar.  We made a beeline right there, sat at the bar and had a manhattan-like cocktail, some rosé and white wine, and a delicious charcuterie.  The highpoint of that selection was the chicken liver paté, which was served in a small glass jar with sourdough bread.  We did have ambitions to try the crispy cauliflower and truffle fries, but decided we couldn’t fit another bite, and headed out to our condo.

These events are the perfect opportunity to check out online home rental marketplaces.  Hotels are overpriced during festivals, and having a place with a living and dining room where we can eat most of our meals and work at night, meets all our needs.  We have also found that individually owned condos or houses are nicer and about half the price per night, and we each get our own bed and bath.  This year we hit the motherlode.  On VRBO we found a very nice woman named Lizzy who has a beautiful condo that is clearly a 2nd home, so it was spotless with all the amenities we needed, plus some extras that she graciously left for us, like soaps, lotions, a good blow dryer, coffee, creamer, and bottled water.  Today while we were out (she asked if it was okay) she left homemade cookies and some Palisades peaches.  Who does that?  We love you Lizzy!

We stayed up way too late and drank way too much wine, agreeing that even if the rest of the weekend was crappy, we already were way ahead of the game.