The “Perfect” Colorado Picnic


royal arch trail

 

**You are about to read some serious #honestlymothering right here so brace yourself…..

So the other day I pictured this gorgeous breezy picnic with my family in the foothills and wanted to take a ton of photos and blog about it…. “The Perfect Colorado Picnic” is what I had imagined with a list of local food ideas and beautiful photos to go with it…….So I  had grabbed a few things from home plus the main food from my favorite place to get picnic food: Cured in Boulder. I thought I was prepared enough and wanted Nate to take some snaps of this adorable picturesque set-up for me while Liam and I laughed and did our
“cheers”  with our drinks.

Well… it really was beautiful but not so perfect. First of all – I have to add that the reason why it wasn’t so great was because of me. ALL ME. We left our house already hungry and then I spent almost an hour in Cured trying to pick out fancy picnic food. The guy  helping me was beyond awesome and kept feeding me sample after sample and I was inhaling these tiny bite-sized pieces of artisan meats and cheeses. Then we had to drive all the way up to Chautauqua park, find parking, and THEN hike to find a good spot to have our picnic. I did not plan this out very well! Actually, I didn’t really plan at all.

We were all hungry, my son skipped his nap that day and I had read the weather was going to be cool and partly cloudy and instead  it was 75 and sunny (which feels like 85 when you are so close to the sun) so we were all melting in long sleeves and jeans. Plus the spot we chose was not ideal in the least. There was no shade and there were cacti EVERYWHERE. My family was hungry and I still needed to set this blanket up all cute and take some photos of this beautiful spread! Well, between stepping on cacti, the sun beating down on me, the wind blowing my blanket away and my child and boyfriend whining because they just wanted to eat…. I became a mommy monster. I was hangry, hot and just wanted to have this picture-perfect picnic damn it ! I blew up. I actually started yelling at the food like a maniac and Nate and Liam watched me with wide eyes waiting for me to cool down. I just lost it. I know other mommas out there know exactly what I am talking about. You just want something to go the “right” way and then it doesn’t at all. And sometimes I just need to have a good ole’ tantrum. I know I look ridiculous and Nate thinks telling me to “calm down” actually does anything but make me furious…  but sometimes I just need to freak out because I am trying to be so calm and collected for so long. Soothing and taking care of Liam and all the kids I babysit every day can sometimes take a toll on me. I am usually last to eat, last to sleep, first to wake up…. and as mothers we are usually always just taking care of everyone but ourselves. So once in awhile, I can admit, I have a full-on tantrum and I feel so much better afterwards! Is this healthy? Who knows, probably not. But after freaking out I sat down and started eating. Then as my blood sugar rose to a normal level and I got off my feet and I saw how happy my son was for having a picnic in the mountains…  it all faded away just like that !

That silly tantrum of mine melted away as quickly as it came and I felt amazing. Nate made jokes that I just needed to eat and that a hungry woman is no one to mess with. And yes being hungry had a bit to do with it but I just needed to let some of that anger out physically. A lot of times I hold it ALL in. And then comes the explosion and no one is safe !haha   I have to physically speak (or yell) the words I need to and then I feel as if the universe has heard them and I can move on with my day. That is why when my son is yelling and he is so frustrated with something because he just can’t get it right… I try not to even get upset or tell him to stop! ( I use to be yelling over him telling him to stop yelling….?)  I started recognizing his frustrations and talking through it outloud with him and he calms down so fast now. If I am allowed to have occasional tantrums or meltdowns then so is he. We are not perfect so why must our kids be? I am working on breathing through these moments and I have gotten so  much better but I am human. And I am a sleep-deprived, over-worked and underpaid mother, after all. I can’t be alone right? Surely there are other moms out there that have occasional meltdowns/freak-out moments too??

For me, the best way to let go of whatever I am angry with is to get a hug. If Nate is not around, the second best thing is to  just LAUGH IT OFF. Do I sometimes look and sound like a crazy person awkwardly laughing at myself in the Target check-out line? Yes. But it beats screaming at my child and pulling my hair out.

We ended up having a blast and all the food we brought was SO yummy. That chocolate, you guys…. YUM. We ended up feeling great and getting lots of energy from eating and decided to keep hiking up for another couple of hours ! It was a perfect day, tantrums and cactus needles in our shoes and all.

So now that you all know the truth about our perfectly imperfect picnic… please enjoy scrolling through some of our photos from the day!

colorado picnic

 

 

For food we had:

  • 4 types of cheese and two meats from Cured (if you are local you just HAVE to go here! The service is always amazing and I have never had anything not delicious from here!)
  • Pistachios
  • 34 Degrees Crackers
  • Tiny jar of Jam (which we brought home from a hotel while traveling- I always keep these for picnics)
  • Fresh baguette
  • San Pellegrinos ( my favorite is the lemon!)
  • Fresh apple
  • A PB& J , Mamma Chia and yogurt for Liam

Extras:

  • Small wood cutting board
  •  Small knife to cut apple and cheese (I rolled this up into a cloth napkin)
  • three cloth napkins
  • three straw plates
  • Gypsy05 picnic blanket

I remembered my sunglasses and hat but forgot the sunscreen….which is an amateur mistake when living in Colorado ! Don’t forget that sunscreen people !

 

 

 

 

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We have gone to a couple different trails in Chautauqua park but this was our first time doing the Royal Arch Trail. Online it says easy- medium difficulty….. WRONG. Everyone was huffing and puffing around us and the only reason we weren’t was because we were having to stop every three minutes for Liam to look at a flower or pick up a rock to bring home. There are a few hundred “stairs” that you have to climb up made of large boulders and rocks. We made it all the way to the top and then we saw it goes back down and then up again and that is when we decided to call it quits and head back down to the car.  It was also quite crowded ! I know this park is a very popular one in the Boulder area but I was still surprised to see just how many people were there! It’s kind of like a one-way path so we constantly were having to step aside for people to pass us or vise versa. If it was any other 4-year-old kid hiking up this mountain I don’t think it would have happened. But because our son is a beast and is just use to this altitude he was just fine climbing up this thing the whole way by himself. He was getting really tired towards the end and that is I’m sure because he had no nap. But he still did it ! Everyone we passed kept saying how they were shocked to see a little guy way up there on his own! I would NOT recommend this trail to families with younger kids. I did see plenty of families carrying their little ones on their backs and then older children around 10 and up independently hiking. There are plenty of trails that are more kid-friendly there ! Check out boulderecolorado.gov for more details and information.

royal arch trail

All tuckered out after all that hiking

 

I hope you all stuck with me and enjoyed this post! Writing about our hiking adventures is my favorite and now that summer is coming there will be MANY more to come ! I can’t wait to share my open-fire camping recipes with you!* Make sure to subscribe via email because I will be sharing exclusive content for email followers soon !

 

I hope you all have a BEAUIFTUL day !

*Post contains amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase there is a small compensation to me at no cost to you.

11 Replies to “The “Perfect” Colorado Picnic”

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  2. This was my evening almost to a T. I also bottle it up and just let it explode (maybe it has something to do with upbringing) 😉
    The defrosted chicken intended for dinner was freezer burned, the backup hotdogs burnt on the grill while the baby found the only piece of dirt on the floor and decided to eat it. As i wiped up the mud dripping from her mouth, the sweet potato chips i was so exciged to try were also burning. Enter my lovely 6 year old who gives a face and says, “it smells gross up here” 😡
    Then after calling everyone 3x for dinner i ended up sitting by myself eating with a big ol glass of wine. Cheers! And today is another day.

    1. Natalie Aubele says: Reply

      haha! Ali, I have similar nights like that often ! Glad I am not alone .

  3. Sarah Forster says: Reply

    Sounds like you made the most of your time! The setting is just stunning and the food looked delicious!

  4. Haha, I love the honesty! And those cheeses look SO GOOD!

  5. I love the blanket! I got that same one in my fabfitfun box! It’s my favorite!

    1. Natalie Aubele says: Reply

      Nice ! Yea it’s really great because it folds up so small so it can fit in a small bookbag 🙂

  6. You get an A for effort mama! It’s amazing how we want to make everything perfect, but sometimes get so flustered with details. I feel like I always forget stuff when I’m trying to do something nice with my kids. It looked great mama!

  7. Oh man, I totally know how you feel about the blowing up tantrums. I do the same. I hold it in and then when I reach my limit, I can just explode sometimes. As mothers we constantly are putting ourselves last and it’s wearing on you.

    I’m glad that you were able to enjoy your picnic still! It looks absolutely beautiful there!

  8. Tamara Goyette says: Reply

    I’m a smidgen envious. We have yet to have great picnic weather and now I really want to go for a picnic with my kids.

  9. Can’t wait for picnic weather

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