In Instagram: St. Mary's Glacier, Tomatoes and Date Night (Uncle, Denver)

For this installation of "In Instagram" I decided to post a few photos from our recent hike to  St. Mary's Glacier. It's located in the Arapahoe National Forest, not too far from Idaho Springs, Colorado. A man I met at the Ollin Farms Tomato Festival told me that this high altitude hike "was great for kids." It was. And it did not disappoint. The scenery was breathtaking and the lake was gorgeous.
The 3/4 mile (1.5 mile round-trip) hike doesn't have any paved paths. You have to climb over rocks and boulders and the boys loved it. Truth be told, they did better than we adults did...
For lunch I carefully placed green zebras, red zebras and some other heirloom tomatoes into a padded tote bag. We got the tomatoes at a festival the day before and they looked and smelled great. I sliced the tomatoes, along with some good-quality buffalo mozzarella, and arranged them on a serving board, placing a big leaf of basil in between each slice of tomato and cheese. Then I drizzled the salad with some balsamic vinaigrette. (Some salt, black pepper and olive oil would do the trick too.)
And in case you are wondering, yes, I did carry a glass bottle of balsamic vinaigrette, a serrated knife and a wooden serving dish up the mountain. 
The quality of the produce was amazing, so not surprisingly, it was a very tasty lunch. 
A few days before we did this hike, my parents flew in to visit us from New York City. We spent an afternoon at the Denver Zoo and an afternoon at the Denver Art Museum. My mom also took the boys to a nearby playground so that we could pack up box, after box, after box-- since their visit came a few days before we moved to the other side of town. It was great seeing them and the kids had a blast. 
An obvious perk to any parent/grandparent-visit is that you can also (usually) squeeze in a date night. (Yay!) We went to Uncle, a fantastic new Ramen joint in the Highlands section of Denver, and it was delicious. 
I got the tofu steamed buns, the udon bowl with mushrooms, snap peas and onion dashi, and an unfiltered sake.
Then we hit the lanes at our local bowling alley. Sadly I didn't crack 100, but we still had a lot of fun. As for the scoreboard, I was "Ann" and my husband was "Mitt." No, those aren't our real names. And no, we don't vote Republican.
* * *
Here are a few non-Instagram pictures from the tomato festival which was held at Ollin Farms-- that's where we got our all of our gorgeous tomatoes for the Caprese salad. I had leftover tomatoes, so I made this soup again. Need cherry tomato ideas? Check out this board from TasteSpotting.  
 * * *
Here in Colorado, you can really feel that summer is on its way out and autumn is on its way in. That means I'll be revisiting some of my favorite fall recipes and discovering some new ones too! Recipe posts will be coming soon...please bear with me, there are still some boxes to unpack... 
Until then, happy cooking and have a great early September!