Weekend Recap From Denver to LA

By: Emma Faulkner

Hi all! Emma here with a special Memorial Day weekend recap. I decided to go ahead and make my long weekend a little longer by heading home to Long Beach, California on Wednesday night. Because… treat yo self! My cousin and roommate, Frances, and I traveled to go visit my parents in California.  

When I visit home, I make sure to stop at all my favorite places and even try some new ones. We decided to start off the weekend with a delicious lunch at one of our go to spots Belmont Brewing Company right on the water in Long Beach. My mom, Frances, and I continued the ocean-side fun later that day with drinks at Ballast Point. My beer of choice was The Sour Wench Blackberry Ale which is by far the prettiest beer I have ever had.

I continued my food tour on Friday trying some new places. I am very much a can’t do anything without coffee in my system kind of gal, and always on the lookout for fun new coffee shops. My dad and I had a coffee date at Lord Windsor coffee shop in Long Beach. We shared scones and stories and I had the most delicious oat milk latte. Later that evening we ventured down to Santa Monica and got happy hour drinks at a rooftop bar called ONYX. This bar sits atop the historic Shangri-La hotel right across the street from the beach. Safe to say I think I have found some new favorite spots to visit.

I had the pleasure of attending the Ben Platt concert at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Friday May 24th and this may or may not be the real reason we were visiting. Ben Platt has quite the voice, he can hit notes that make my head hurt just thinking about them. He is incredibly talented but I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere he created. I was in the very back row but felt so pulled in and a part of everything that was happening. We danced, we cried, we wondered how Ben Platt is single, and we confirmed he is a gift from God. He shared stories and gave hope and encouraged us all to strive to be our most authentic self. He talked openly about his journey, his anxiety, his sexuality, his family, and his faith. These are the themes that are so beautifully strung through his music, and as he sang and shared, a sense of comradery filled the room. Everyone could relate to him in some way and for me it was through his song ” In Case You Don’t Live Forever” which struck a chord in my heart as I looked down through my new teal vans and heard the lyrics “I have a hero whenever I need one, I just look up to you and I see one” I thought of my little sister cousin and how she too created a world for everyone to feel welcome, to connect.

After a lovely relaxing few days with family and friends I waved goodbye to gorgeous Southern California and the ocean and headed back to Denver.

Memorial Day is typically a day off people take to relax, well we did the opposite. We gathered 11 runners to participate in the Bolder Boulder which is a Memorial Day 10K that takes place in Boulder, Colorado. We ran for #MilesforMollie sharing in something she loved and challenging ourselves at the same time. It was definitely a challenge and at times a literal uphill battle. My boyfriend Dylan and I ran as best we could but at the same time stopped and engaged with the live bands and race-watchers handing out Doritos to runners. We even saw Elvis and a Pirate! We wanted to take it all in, running, sharing kindness, and having a good ole time just as Mollie would’ve. I didn’t think I could cross the finish line, but I did! When I crossed I saw my family cheering me on in the bleachers and I was overwhelmed with joy and relief. I think we should all do something that scares us, challenges us, do something because someone inspired you to do it.

After a jam packed 5 day weekend of good food and good company I am going to rest my noodle legs!