Urban gardening & a bike

I got a bike today! $29 on Craigslist. It's not the best bike ever but it will do. Denver has awesome bike trails, where you can ride through most of it without hardly ever sharing the road with cars. The trail runs by our place, right across the street, so it's very convenient. It's really beautiful and peaceful on the trail, with trees, a stream along some sections, and all bikers, runners and walkers. Today we biked about 7 miles total, and made a stop at Whole Foods to pick up some things. Can't wait to do more biking! It's a great way to exercise and relieve stress, I've found.

My first batch of plants
I am also taking up gardening! It's something I've been wanting to do ever since we moved to Ohio, but kept putting off because I wanted to do it when we got our own permanent place. But I'm realizing I don't know when that will happen, so I might as well start now. It is a big learning curve, for sure (I've already killed some of the plants pictured above). I picked up this book from the library, and got some tips:

The book gives advice on how to create a garden in a small space like a patio or balcony. We actually have a pretty large balcony so I'm hoping to set it up so we can enjoy some nice evenings out on it, reading, eating or sipping tea there. I haven't put any of the plants out there yet because the weather's been up and down, but in a few weeks I will put them out. My goal this week is to get some patio furniture. I will keep you updated on the progress.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed about the whole gardening thing after my initial excitement (and the death of some of my plants after a few weeks), but got re-inspired by two things this week. First, my friend Allison's garden. I got some helpful tips from her via skype this week too. Here's a photo of her garden:

Image: Kinda' Vegan (Allison's blog)

I love that much of her garden is edible. Also, I've seen this space, and it's super tiny - so I love what she's done with it.

The second source of inspiration was a post I came across on Apartment Therapy.

Image: Apartment Therapy
This is the balcony garden of a couple who lives in a regular old apartment complex. Isn't that amazing?

My balcony faces north so it only gets about 2 hours of direct sun each day, in the late afternoon. It's also on the 8th floor and can get windy some days. Let me know if you have tips for my balcony garden!


TV-less life / pop culture

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart every morning.
Almost finished reading A Dance with Dragons.

#348 on the library wait list for Downton Abbey, Season 1
#544 for Game of Thrones, Season 1

Haven't seen a Korean drama in awhile and could tell my Korean had gotten worse during my mom's visit.

I'm out of books to read and it's a long wait for the DVDs. Let me know if you have any good book recs - especially a series.

For Hunger Games fans: I liked Divergent and Legend.

P.S. Did you hear they're coming out with an Ender's Game movie?


Spring in Denver

I never tire of watching the miracle of winter transition into spring. Although spring in Denver isn't as much of a relief as it is in Chicago or Columbus, I still enjoy it.  I thought I'd share some phone photos of spring in Denver for your enjoyment!

Mom's visit

eating mom's delicious cooking / a walk through washington park
hiking at chautauqua park / lunch at boulder
eating crepes in downtown denver / mom making kimchi

My mom came for her annual spring break visit last week, and we had a great time. The photos above are a pretty good summary of what we did here - show her around Denver, take walks/hikes and eat! She cooked lots of delicious food as usual, and made a few months' worth of various types of kimchi.

I wanted to take her hiking and got a recommendation from a friend for Chautauqua Park in Boulder. The length and difficulty were perfect for what we were looking for. W and I are thinking about tackling the 14ers, which are the mountains that are higher than 14,000 ft in elevation. There are 88 of the in the U.S. and 53 are in Colorado. Originally, I wanted to take my mom on one, but after some research realized that even the easiest one is fairly challenging.

The weather was perfect during her visit, and although spring is more of a gradual transition here than it is in the midwest, I'm enjoying watching the city become greener as leaves begin to appear on trees, and soaking in the beauty of flowering trees before they're gone.