The Best Coffee Shops in Denver

Every perfect weekend starts with coffee! Make sure you're going to the best one when you're in Denver next!

I have loved coffee since I was a kid and my babysitter made what she called "Coffee Milk". It was basically a bunch of milk and a little bit of coffee. That was it, I was hooked to the taste!! There are so many different aspects of coffee that just make me happy: the idea of sitting in a coffee shop and catching up with a friend over a wonderfully crafted cup of coffee, or spending a quiet morning making french press coffee. There is just something so wonderful about it, that brings people together. I also have this thing about wanting to constantly try different coffee shops. Therefore, I've been to quite a few in Denver. My base for coffee is a cappuccino, therefore at all of the below I've had their cappuccino and I approve this message! 

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Thump Coffee

This is my favorite coffee shop in Denver. The coffee is always spot on, still the best cup of coffee I've found yet, and the food is just as good! In the back of the coffee shop there is a "no computer/technology" area, and that just reminds of the Gilmore Girls "No Cellphones" sign, it makes me smile. The one downside to this coffee shop is that they don't have plugs around the shop. They only have them in the front by the windows. Therefore, make sure you charge your device before setteling in. Thump has community tables, so get use to sitting across and next to someone you may not know. You can always tell who hasn't been there before when they start to search under the table for something that isn't there. 

 

 

 

 

Steam Espresso Bar Denver

Steam Espresso Bar

This is my second "go to" if you will. Steam is located a little more south near the college. Smaller is size, but just as wonderful for the coffee. There is one community table near the front, similar to Thump, but Steam has a few smaller more individual tables in the back area. There is also an outdoor space that is perfect when the weather is nice. Steam is located more in a neighborhood so you'll have to street park, but honestly most places in Denver if you're driving you'll have to street park. They also have the garage door type doors behind the counter which let in so much wonderful outside air!

 

 

 

 

PigTrain Coffee Union Station Denver

Pigtrain Coffee Co

Did you just get in from the airport? Looking for a quick cup after your redeye flight? Pig train is the stop for you! Located in Union Station in Downtown Denver, Pigtrain is a good cup of coffee and a a great grab and go. If you're looking to sit and work, you can do so in Union Station, but not really in Pigtrain. If you do go, you have to check to see if they have popsters!! Homemade pop tarts, you literally can't get any better!! The one that's my favorite is their raspberry popster! Blue frosting and sprinkles! YUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amethyst Coffee Denver

Amethyst Coffee Company

Amethyst is the smallest of the coffee shops on this list. Located just off of Broadway and just south of downtown. Amethyst is a nice walk if you just went to the Denver Art Museum and are looking for some good coffee. The parking lot is super small! So be warned when you have to circle to find a spot. My favorite drink is the cold brew. Although the smallest, Amethyst also has probably one of the most Instagram like insides. Good for a quick in and out coffee.

I would like to say I've been doing "research" on these coffee shops, but really I just truly enjoy each of them. There is something unique about them all and the more time I spend looking for new places to visit, the more gems I find!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Stella's Coffee Denver Pearl Street

Stella's Coffee House

Are you headed a little more south of Denver? Looking for a place that feels more relaxed, but still has great coffee and pastries? Stella's is a wonderful option for you. Located on Pearl surrounded by cute boutique shops and homes, Stella's is a great escape for a quick coffee or a few hours of work.

When I first walked in I was confused that I only saw one table, but then I turned the corner and realized there was an entire back section that wrapped around. So much space!! They also switch up their "coffee of the day" section often so see what's new before ordering your regular. 

 

 

 

 

Corvus Coffee on Broadway Denver

 

Corvus Coffee Roasters

Located on Broadway, about 7-10 minutes south of downtown, this is a perfect coffee shop to stop into if you're in the mood to shop! Broadway has so many cute little, privately owned boutique shops.

The coffee I tend to get at Corvus is their nitrous coffee. Disclaimer, it's strong! It's actually really funny, because every time I really need to get things done quickly I'll go to Corvus because I know the coffee will kick in and I'll speed through my work. It's also perfect if you need an oil change, I'll explain... It's located about a block or two from a mechanic so it's another great stop if you're trying to have a multitasking productive day! 

 

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Visiting A German Christmas Market

A German Market Downtown Denver, who knew! What a great way to spend a December night!

Christmas markets bring out the Christmas spirit in all of us. Walking around a fairy light filled market, drinking a hot beverage and listening to the holiday songs is such a wonderful way to spend a December evening. One of my goals this moth was to visit the German Christmas Village that's in downtown Denver, called the Christkindl Market. 

The market is built specifically for the Holiday season. Open every day from November 17th through December 23rd. It's located on 16th street which is a pedestrian walkway; save yourself the headache and don't try to turn down the street when you're making your way to the market. There is a 16th street shuttle you can use that only drives up and down the street, so you don't have to worry too much about your parking. You can street park on an adjacent street, or you can park in a nearby parking garage. If you're staying in downtown, walking may even be the best way to get to the market. You'll have the opportunity to see all the lights on the trees and those ice skating near the clocktower. I personally suggest going to the market at night although it opens at 11am. I feel like the Holiday spirit is much more alive during that time, and the lights sparkle even brighter! 

The market has pastries, bratwurst, candied nuts, hot apple cider, and many other food options, but I still ate before so I could focus on the hot cholcolate and mulled wine. I had never tried the very highly anticipated mulled wine before, but it did not disappoint! It was so good. I could definitely see how this wine can be dangerous, it's that good. When you purchase the wine you also get a cute mug to commemorate your visit. 

Have you ever tried Mulled Wine? The German Market is definitely the place to try it!

The above picture is from inside the tent that has the wine, they do only take cash so be sure to bring some with you. Outside there are booths all around selling so many different types of holiday items. There was one booth that had homemade hats and scarves, one that had small figurines, but my favorites are always the ones that have food. The only down side is that all of the places that had food were cash only and I always forget that fact until I'm already there. Boo the atm fee, but it was worth it! 

 Do you have a Christmas Market in your area? I've been obsessed with looking around at all of the Christmas Market posts I've been seeing. Good friends, and good times had by all! Now I just need to go to a Christmas Tree farm and snag some garland to hang around the house! I'm a little behind on that, but it's a work in progress! 

Our group may have stayed all the way through until closing time. It was just so perfect out we couldn't bring ourselves to leave. The below pictures is the exact same place as the first but at the end of the night vs. the beginning. Thank God for warm beverages around this time of year!

German Market Downtown Denver! - AVintageJoy
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A Weekend In Los Angeles

A Weekend in LA Los Angeles - AVintageJoy

Sometimes you don't have a week to spend in a place. Working full-time you have to pick and choose when you want to use your PTO, but you also want to escape every now and then and enjoy a quick weekend in a new place. This is going to be a more "stream of conscious" post about how my weekend was and what I did.

One of my goals from November was to "Take a Day Trip", now while this wasn't within driving distance. I'm counting that as one of my goals met! 

This is how I spend my weekend in LA...

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Night One:

In order to ensure I have the most time possible in a place I always take a night flight after work, that way I wake up the next day in the place I want to visit and I'm ready to go! So, I took a night flight out of Denver to LAX. Didn't check a bag, because why would you! So expensive. 

Went directly to In-N-Out got a burger and fries, however I just realized I never got a milkshake. I'm disappointed in myself. We then went back to my fiends house, because why would I waste money on a hotel room when I'm going to visit my friend anyway! We could spend that money on food!! #priorities 

Day One:

Slept in, it was glorious! Got up and actually spent time on my makeup. We then braved the downtown LA parking and went to Grade Central Market where I first got a coffee and then we walked around wishing I had a desire to cook that day. Whenever I'm in those type of places I always want to get all of the handmade pasta and cook something, but I really would rather just eat everything in the market. 

After exploring for a while we decided that we should probably eat something, so we ate at Eggslut. The breakfast sandwich was actually pretty good. It was so much fun to watch them make the burgers and cook the bacon! 

We found the bench that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sat in during the montage in LA LA LAND, so of course we took a picture!! I posted it on my Instagram if you haven't seen it already. 

Then it was off to The Last Bookstore. The best part of that bookstore is the upstairs. When you go up if you turn left you end up in a place where there are little shops that you can purchase art from, but if you turn right you end up in the best kind of book labyrinth. I couldn't help but wonder how they got all the books to stay like that! 

Game night at a new friends house was the closer to the day. I can proudly say that I won the game!! Even though I'm not entirely sure if we played correctly. Then we got ice-cream because what is a hang out night without dessert?! Sad that's what it is.

Day Two:

This was definitely the favorite of the days for me because one of my dreams became a reality!!! I wrote a post about it here but I got to walk around the WB Studio Lot which was a literal dream come true!! I have never felt more like a Gilmore. I also got to see where they filmed so many iconic movies, where Mary Jane kissed Spiderman, where Rachel finally gave into the Phoebe run, and got to danced around on the Ellen stage. 

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We spent so many hours there!! 

After we got back, we got ready and went to west hollywood where we hung out at a Star Wars theme bar. At the Scum and Villainy Cantina the photographer shot first because we took so many pictures. 

Day Three (The Final Day):

Griffith Observatory - AVintageJoy

Brunch was the main item on the menu for the morning. 

The main thing that I was so glad that we did that day, but it was painful at the time, was Griffith's Observatory. It ended up being so worth it in the end but during the painful time of driving around in helpless search for a parking spot I almost gave up!! M, thank you for making me stay and keep going!! We ended up finding a spot and making it just in time for it to get dark, bye golden hour, but it was still beautiful! 

I didn't realize how large it was, in the pictures you always only see one section of it, but it's beautiful from every angle. It was also another location from LA LA LAND, but such lie when they pulled right up to the Observatory!! All lies!! 

From there we drove to the airport and I went home. It was a great weekend filled with laughter, friends old and new, and exploring! 

Have you been to LA before? What was your favorite thing you did during your trip?

Also, trying to take a picture outside of a popular observatory, nearly impossible to do without others in the shot...queue random guy on my right. 

Griffith Observatory - AVintageJoy
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10 Super Easy Walt Disney World Tips and Tricks

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I absolutely love Disney!! I also firmly believe there are simple things that you can do when you visit to make your life easier. Here are a few of my tips I use when going to the parks, that make my life easier.

1// If you've been to the parks before, get a park hopper!! If you have never been to Disney before, I think you should really do one day at each park. It helps you not to feel rushed and you can learn about each park. If you have done the parks before, the park hopper is such a lifesaver! Since Pandora is new, the lines are crazy right now! So when I went to get on the rides and it said, 127 minutes I decided to go to another park for a few hours and then come back and try the line again. When I came back it was 60 minutes. Such a time saver!! If you only have a day, you don't want to spend it waiting in a line! Bonus Tip: Get the app, you can check on wait times and not have to go back and forth to parks guessing on what the wait time will be like. 

2// Keep your parking receipt when you park hop. You only have to pay for parking once each day. Keep your receipt and show the next park and your parking is free! Also, if you have a pass or you're going with anyone who has a pass, your parking is free. 

3// Get your fast passes before you enter the park. Theres always a huge line just to get fast passes in the parks, so download the app and plan out what you want to do before you enter. Pick the rides that normally have a long wait time. If you have any questions on what those are or my tips on what to get a fast pass for in each park let me know in the comments! 

4// Bring an extra pair of shoes and an extra outfit to keep in the car. On hot days, you get so hot!! I mean it is Florida after all. Make sure you're drinking a lot of water, but also bring extra clothes. After about half a day of walking around, it's so nice to change between parks. 

5// Similar to number four, bring a small umbrella into the parks and keep rain boots in the car. Check your weather, but honestly if you're going in the summer, unless the rain chance is zero you'll probably get rained on. Don't let that deter you, that's when you can get some food and wait for a little bit. People tend to leave the parks when it rains so you can end up getting on rides faster!! If you're in Magic Kingdom it's a perfect time to go to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride or the Peter Pan ride, they're both inside. Bonus Tip: bring a ziplock bag to put your phone and wallet in, you'll thank me later! 

6// If you buy something in the shops they can either hold it at the front of the park or send it back to your hotel, if you're staying on property. No need to lug around your purchases. I would suggest talking to the cashier and making sure you have the right timing, but more than likely if you don't leave tomorrow you should be fine to send it to the hotel. 

7// Check to see what's happening in the parks before you go. Around this time of year there is Mickey's Not So Scary, and later in the year it's the Christmas Party. If you're at Magic Kingdom and you don't have a separate ticket for the party, they're going to ask you to leave at like seven pm. That almost cuts your day in half, and you don't get to see fireworks. On the flip side, if you're going to Epcot there are so many different fun events that involve really good food. Maybe you'll be there during Food & Wine?!

8// If you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary or family event, the shops have free pins you can wear. There's nothing like being wished happy birthday by fifty cast members. So great!! Side tip: If you see someone wearing a birthday pin, it's ok to say happy birthday to them too!! Keep the magic alive!! 

9// If you're out of fast passes for the day, Parades are the perfect time to go on rides! While everyone is watching the characters pass by, you can run to the ride you've been waiting for. This is also the best time to shop, no lines! If you've never seen the parade before, it's fun to see. If you have, it's going to be the same. Get on those rides!! 

10// Remember that Magic Kingdom is a "dry" park. If you're looking for a drink with lunch, or wine with dinner go to Epcot. They have great drinks in Mexico and Italy! You can always take the monorail back in time for the fireworks, or hang out for the rest of the day walking around the world showcase in Epcot. 

These are tips I use every time I go to the parks!! So simple, but really do make a huge impact on how the day goes. If you're planning on going to Walt Disney World let me know! I'm always happy to answer any questions about the parks. 

LOOKING FOR MORE DISNEY TIPS? Check out this post filled with Disney tips from a local! 

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Disney Tips From A Local

Disney Tips From A Local

I have always loved Disney! It truly is a magical place! I lived in Orlando for years and sometimes I would go do Disney just to read, or just to eat at Casey's Corner because I was craving the hot dogs. Since I've moved away I've been really missing Disney. I've realized even more so how blessed I was to be so close for those years. Now in order to go I have to save up, and fly to get to a place that I use to live 15 minutes from. Here are some of my favorite Disney tips I've used over the years. Here are a few.

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