It’s seldom you see mother to three Liz Fernandez without a camera in hand – or at least with one nearby. A photographer who runs Xaris Studios with her designer husband, Vinnie, Liz isn’t one of those photographers who stops shooting after work hours – it’s a lifelong obsession.
As relatively recent escapees to the ‘Mile High City’ from Arizona, the family are still marveling at the natural wonders all around them and love taking photos of their daughter and twin toddler boys in and around their Denver digs.
Denver is famous for it’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains and glitzy ski resorts, but the thriving city is constantly popping up in those ‘Most Liveable City’ kinds of lists that rate factors such as amenities and quality of life. Summer through to winter it’s a magnet for advocates of active, outdoor lifestyles.
Where’s home right now: A suburb of Denver called Centennial, CO.
Kids ages: 6 y.o, and twin boys, 20 months.
Q: How do you juggle the whole work productivity/parent thing?
A: Try to keep to a schedule and keep it structured loosely enough to make adjustments as necessary.
Q: Best thing about where you live:
A: Awesome weather. More sunshine than San Diego. Easy access to the mountains. Biking/hiking trails everywhere, and plenty of things to do outdoors. Festivals and activities year round – both in the city and in the mountains.
Q: If you had overseas visitors with kids staying with you, where’s the first place you’d take them?
A: Denver Museum of Nature & Science – great activities and exhibits for kids.
Q: Best local coffee joint (and is it kid friendly?):
A: Peet’s coffee in Southglenn – it’s somewhat kid friendly, but the coffee is excellent.
Q: Family friendly places to eat out:
A: Upscale: Bar Louie [ Located at The Streets at Southglenn] – American fare, loud enough to mask any fussy kids, cheap $5 burger night on Tuesdays. Cheapy: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill [ Various locations ] – Mexican fare, large portions that are great to share, cheap kids menu.
Q: Best local places to keep the kids entertained under $20:
A: Southglenn Mall splash pad (free), Pirate’s Cove Water Park (admission around $10), Denver Zoo (admission around $12), Denver Children’s Museum (admission around $13).[image_gallery images=”1215:http://www.happyplacehunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/13872335_10210501141633581_170215886_n.jpg,1214:http://www.happyplacehunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/13874889_10210501142953614_1713380158_n.jpg,1212:http://www.happyplacehunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/13872596_10210501142193595_1368097250_n.jpg,” ][/image_gallery]
Q: Local park with the best kid facilities:
A: Centennial Center Park [ Located 13050 E Peakview Ave, Centennial ] – splash pads and playgrounds (free).
Q: Tell us a bit about your biz – and how much of what you do is inspired by being a parent and/or where you live?
A: I’m a photographer ( www.XarisStudio.com ) – portrait, corporate and fashion. It’s easy to find inspiration everywhere, but especially when my kids are involved. Colorado has such amazing places to play outdoors, and it’s hard to put the camera down when their playtime is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Colorado landscape.
Q: And finally, best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever been given:
A: “The profound mistake that many parents make is that they believe they are raising children, when the reality is they are raising adults.”
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Happy Place Hunter's resident Editor In Chief, Caz Emge, has written for publications around the globe for two decades. An avid outdoor buff, in her (limited) spare time she and her videographer husband and two sons gather insights for this site – sharing happy places as they find them Click to read full bio