Archives for April 2012

Mexican Food in Fort Collins, CO

Ever since relocating from southern California my wife and I have been on the hunt for authentic mexican food in Fort Collins.  We found that the dishes served in most of the mexican food restaurants were tex-mex, not the thick carnitas, carne asada, refried beans, tamales, enchiladas, and tacos al carbon we had become accustomed to in Orange County and San Diego.  Some of the well-known restaurants in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor include Rio Grande, 3 Margaritas, and Pueblo Viejo.

Perhaps slightly less popular (or advertised) is Los Tarascos located just south of Mulberry on College Avenue.  Los Tarascos offers a full salsa bar with a delicious variety of salsas ranging in ingredients and flavor.  The green avacado-celantro salsa and the frothy tomato-tomatillo salsa are very good.  Even without the added benefit of the salsa bar, the food is absolutely delicious.

Our family had dinner with another family last night at Los Tarascos and once again we were all completely satisfied with the food and drinks.  I love their house margarita and chicken enchiladas de los tarascos, which are smothered in a cheesy-sour cream white sauce.  Carne asada and chili verde were also favorite plates last night.

We are still trying new mexican food restaurants in Northern Colorado, and for now we think Los Tarascos offers some of the best mexican food we have found in Fort Collins.

Thanks for reading the Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog.

Mt. Elbert on top of Colorado

A couple weeks ago some friends and I hiked Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado.  I thought I was in fairly decent shape before the hike and the thought of completing a 14er really didn't intimidate me very much.  Even on the drive through Leadville, CO as I saw the peak in the distance I didn't think much of it.  After a couple hour drive from Fort Collins, CO we began our ascent around 7:00am.  And just as I had expected, the first couple hours of hiking didn't phase me very much.

But then it hit me – we still needed to ascend over four thousand more feet, and when I saw the snow-covered trail in front of me and the incline up the mountain I realized how naive I had been.  After nearly six hours of hiking, muscle cramps in both legs, and stopping every 10 steps to catch my breath, I made it to the peak.  I stayed up there long enough to snap a couple of pictures, but the wind was intense and the temperature was in the single digits.

The hike back down the mountain only took a couple hours, and I can faintly recall only a couple of times in my life that I had been so exhausted.  Was it worth it?  Yes!  Would I do it again?  Absolutely.

Long's Peak is now on my radar and I intend to condition much more before tackling my next 14er.  Now I can say that I have climbed to the top of the highest peak in Colorado!

NoCo Lifestyle website is LIVE!

If you have ever created a website from scratch, you understand that it can be a long process.  Designs, colors, fonts, plug-ins, and navigation – and my personal favorite…content!  Where do you even begin?

It's been a fun and exciting process and I'm excited that the website is now LIVE!

Now the real fun begins – blog updates.  I decided that NoCo Lifestyle blog entries should fit into three categories: recreation (events and things to do in NoCo), restaurants (local breweries and other great places to eat and drink), and real estate (homebuyer tips and general news about Fort Collins homes, Loveland homes, and the NoCo real estate market). 

More to come soon! 

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Lifestyle and Real Estate Blog.

How it all Began

If I had to guess, I think it all started back in California when my wife and I discovered we were pregnant and started to think about how we wanted to raise our children (my wife, on the other hand, may have known for years that she would eventually leave the busy, crowded streets of Orange County, so this may have been her plan before we were married).  We both started to question what would be important to our children and our involvement in our children's lives.

The discussions then led to questions about our lifestyle, whether my wife would stay at home to raise the kids, what type of housing we could afford, and the work-life balance offered by southern California employers.   And let's not forget how important a role our family and friends played in our lives.

The decision to leave the beautiful , sunny weather and salty sea air of Huntington Beach was difficult, and leaving our immediate family and life-long friends was even tougher.   However, my wife and I knew that if we were going to venture out of southern California we would need to move somewhere with a strong community, thriving economy, and affordable housing market.

After our son was born in 2008, we decided to focus our house hunting efforts on the state of Colorado.  Sure, we had heard a lot of people from California had moved to Colorado to escape the expensive housing market and busy freeways, but neither my wife or I had ever spent any significant amount of time in Colorado.  With so many cities to discover and explore, we did what most people probably do – we checked out the map and figured out where we would want to visit.

Armored with local news reports, community websites, and Internet blogs, we felt empowered to weigh the pros and cons of the cities on our list.  What we did not expect to find was that nearly all of the cities we visited offered the lifestyle we wanted – a small, family-oriented community offering extensive recreational  activities and stable housing to compliment our active lifestyle.  Our search included the cities of Denver, Cherry Creek, Parker, Centennial, Lakewood, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Golden, Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Firestone, Loveland, and finally, Fort Collins.

I will never forget the look on my wife's face the first time we drove up Highway 287 and transitioned into the tree-lined street of College Avenue as we approached Colorado State University and Old Town.   People were biking along the streets.  Small restaurants were abundant.  The air was crisp and clean.  The mountain views and falling leaves that symbolized living in a place with seasons just made it that much better.  We instantly fell in love with Fort Collins and we hadn't even driven beyond College Avenue.

After two subsequent house hunting trips to Fort Collins, we purchased a home in the booming southeast corridor of the city.  Then the real fun began.  We packed up our apartment in Huntington Beach, said good-bye to our family and friends in Orange County, loaded up our boxes and two Boston Terriers into our minivan, and enjoyed the thousand-mile scenic drive through Nevada, Utah, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Moving to Colorado was one of the best decisions we had ever made.

In our opinion, Northern Colorado (NoCo) is one of the most beautiful places in the US and a perfect place to raise a family.  My wife and I have traveled throughout the world – Mexico, Spain, Sweden, France, England, Puerto Rico, Belize, the South Pacific islands, the Hawaiian islands, the Caribbean islands to name a few – and we are still proud to call Colorado our home.  Hiking, biking, running, walking, skiiing, fishing, tubing, swimming – we take part in all of it.  Our hope is that our children will one day appreciate Colorado as much as we do and that they agree that moving to Colorado was one of the best decisions would could have made for their future.

I invite you to do your own research, check out the statistics, and reach out to me if you have any questions about housing in Northern Colorado.  I would love to help you with your Colorado home search and answer any questions you may have about the NoCo Lifestyle.