This weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Steamboat Springs, CO. Ahh the perks of a job that includes attending and speaking at conferences in cool places around the country. I heard many things about this beautiful place and it sure lived up to it’s name.

I have to give major thanks to the Steamboat Institute for inviting me to speak and having Rick and I out to Colorado! I was there from the 6th annual “Freedom Conference” and got the chance to meet Dr. Ben Carson, hear from Lynne Cheney and many other wonderful people.

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We stayed in the beautiful Steamboat Grande hotel, which reminded so much of the ski town I stayed in Park City, Utah earlier this year. I’ve done so little traveling to the West and it’s the first year I’ve ever been to a “ski town” hotel. I can only imagine how magical these places must be in the actual winter!

I’ve been skiing about three times in my life but maybe it could grow on me? Perhaps. Either way, there was a big mountain biking festival going on so I was texting my Dad photos to make him jealous (he’s hard core mountain bike!)

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On the first night, we visited a well known but tiny Steamboat bar called “The Powder Room” and Rick was convinced the bar tender was Will Ferrell. He did look and sound a LOT like him — plus told us a few crazy stories about people thinking he was him!

Friday morning we were up walking around the hotel area, checking out the gondola, downhill bikers, beautiful mountains and perfect morning air.

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At lunch, we heard from Lynne Cheney, which was pretty cool. I had never seen her in person and she seemed like a smart, lovely woman. She’s just written a book on James Madison and so knowledgable about those Presidents some of us don’t know that much about.

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Then, it was time for me to speak! I was up to speak about “Winning the Web” with my friend Erik . Unfortunately, I didn’t even think about getting a photo of me speaking so…the only one I’ve got is the one Erik’s fiance took when I was waiting for my turn! Oh well, just proving I was actually there? 😉

Things went pretty well — I’ll spare you details — but it’s always a relief to be done with your responsibility for the day! After that, it was time to head allllll the way up the mountain in the gondola. It was definitely the biggest one I’ve ever been on and a gorgeous scenery of course.

We had dinner in a big place on the top of the mountain, which was pretty cool. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Ben Carson, who is rumored to possibly be running for President in 2016. He actually spoke to it on stage, saying he wanted to see how 2014 goes in November before making any decisions. Wow! I actually read his book years ago…”Gifted Hands.” He’s credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. That surgery was in the book, as well as his very tough upbringing with all odds against him. Truly a success story!

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After a wonderful dinner, I was tired and ready to sleep! The next day we were up to drive to Denver, where I was making a stop to visit one of my oldest friends, Anne! Anne and I have been friends since we were 15 or 16 years old and though we’ve lived far apart for 10 years, it feels like no time has passed! The last time I saw her I had just started dating Rick — 4 years ago — and I couldn’t believe it had been so long.

But…Anne and her husband Bryce (who I went to elementary school with!) are like family and I love them! This time, I got to meet their new baby — oh don’t even get me started on this kid’s cuteness! He is a smiley little chub-face named Bryce as well and I couldn’t get enough!

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I’ve started to have a thing for babies in the past couple of years…so I just use my friends’ babies until I can get my hands on my own 😉

I loved spending time in Colorado — it’s so different from what I’m used to it’s almost like being in a foreign country. I love that feeling! And it also gives you perspective on different parts of life.

Luckily, I’m heading to Arizona in a few weeks so I’ll get even more good stuff!

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