JM started it! She put her cute pink hat on sideways and called herself a rapper.
E asked, “I don’t understand. What are you wrapping?”
JM started it! She put her cute pink hat on sideways and called herself a rapper.
E asked, “I don’t understand. What are you wrapping?”
Bruce came back to the office tonight enthusiastic about today’s adventures! He said the day “went very fast, we were very busy”
Torrey and Bruce hosted the guys to morning snacks and drinks at Whole Foods, then to croquet at Wash Park. Torrey left the group after this, and Bruce took the group for a walk in the park, then to lunch in Morrison, (sitting by the river, on the patio of “The Cow”) then they made a spontaneous stop at Bandimere Race Track to walk around and reminisce. John Bandimere happened to there, and spent time chatting with us, telling us we were welcome to back for a visit anytime, fantastic!
G’s been singing more these days, he started off the morning with “American Woman”. He played croquet and got to know James who owns the croquet program. (“Jiminy Wicket”) They shared quite a lengthy conversation – James is British and they chatted about London and G’s time there. Croquet is always a good choice for us, some physical activity and lots of socializing!
Conversation the rest of the day continued regarding London, Europe, travel. When a stop at Bandimere was brought up over lunch, R lit up, since racing was such a big part of his life. Bruce asked him if he ever raced against a woman driver. R said, “I did, but I don’t remember who won”. He also talked about his father, “I wish you could have met him, he was fun to hang out with”, and how everyone in the group thinks of themselves more as sports fans and players then musicians.
The guys had a terrific day, we were outdoors a bunch, took some decent walks, socializing…good stuff!
We don’t recall exactly how this happened, we’re guessing A started it. When Jennifer had the group pose for a picture, they all held hands! We also got a beautiful picture of the park, and both of the “Devil’s Thumbs”. E couldn’t figure out “why there would be two devils!” See the two thumbs in this photo?
We spent about 40 minutes at Chataquqa Park today. Great views, as you can tell. We walked around the park and into their Visitors Center. Before we arrived in Boulder the two carpools had separate coffee breaks. Bruce and the ladies went to Observation Park and had a tailgating sort of start to their day, with goodies and juice and some fresh air. Then they met K and Jennifer in Golden. Jennifer said she and K had been discussing solar panels – she told him about the ones her family got back in the Carter era. He told her about when his were damaged by hail, then they talked about hail, then weather, and she said the theme kept to those topics as they met Bruce and the ladies and started driving together towards Boulder. They passed the windmill fields in Golden, then the brand new housing developments – one of which has solar panels on each home!
Then onto Chataqua Park for some exploring and walking, then to lunch at Walnut Street Café, where they are always so so good to us. E sent 1/2 of her sandwich back to the office for me at the end of the day and it was still super good! Bruce and Jennifer told me the conversations at lunch focused a lot on women – how they struggled to get an education in certain eras, how it wasn’t always assumed a woman might want to further her career, how things have changed.
A told the group about a recent trip to California, for a family wedding, and also of a distant memory she has of the day WWII ended. Angie said she was a very small girl, and her mother grabbed her and danced with her. She said they danced so much that the clock fell off the shelf.
And they got on the subject of names and rhymes. Couldn’t find a rhyme for the names E or A, but for J there was a bunch!
Then to our 1:30 tour of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is very tourist-friendly. We started with a 10 minute orientation video, then the guide showed us around for 45 minutes. She was kind and patient with us, and quite scientific, but her passion for science was refreshing. She was good with our group, though some of her information went over our heads. I like the picture of K smiling on the tour, however. He soaks this stuff up.
So the thread of conversation K and Jennifer shared earlier in the day, continued…weather, climate change, hail storms, here we go again!
Cups of water back at the car, and then we hit the road. I’m told the rides home were pretty quiet, this was a full day and everyone seemed pretty darn relaxed!
Our morning stop was at Whole Foods for at least an attempt at a healthy start. We did pretty good, the peanuts were very popular, plus we had sliced apples and rolls and shared one large organic Rice Krispy!
This morning when Jennifer picked up T she was introduced to a childhood friend who was in town. T talked quite a bit about his buddy on the drive, telling Jennifer they got into trouble together, but not the kind “that would make my mom really mad”. Over coffee JM told everyone about a recent conversation with her daughter that many in our group could relate to. She said her daughter, who is college age, told her something along the lines of “I’ll always need you”, which JM said made her feel proud and made her feel like crying at the same time. We get that!
D pointed out the architecture in the Whole Foods which has never crossed my mind! But yes – the windows, the open ceilings, the natural light. It IS interesting. D told us about the start up of the Women’s NBA – something else many of us have not focused on, and then he turned and focused on a Whoopie Pie in a nearby pastry shelf! Ha!
Jennifer mentioned how she has an event coming up this weekend that she’s apprehensive about, and T so thoughtfully told her, “But you are wonderful. You’ll do great. There’s nothing to worry about”. Ahh. And P told us about how he and his wife will be downsizing soon. Steve got a kick out of this conversation between them, Steve said “you won’t have to mow anymore” and easy-going P said, “oh, I don’t mind mowing. Well. No. I guess I do. ” And then the same about shoveling snow! “I don’t mind. Well, I guess I do”.
While walking out of Whole Foods, E laughed when she spotted the sign for the restaurant called Snooze. “I bet I could wear my pjs in a place named Snooze!”
Then off to our next adventure, a visit to the gallery “Arts of Denver”. This is a small space and we only had about 20 minutes to look around, which was just right. JM kept going back to a painting of a little girl who was looking at a statue of a girl, with an impressionistic image of another female looking over them both.
E really liked the painting of two men in the mountains. E really liked this and asked the price. Jennifer said, “$2,000” and quick witted Eleanor said, “oh. I only have $1800”
In the car earlier this morning there was a James Taylor song on the radio that D and Steve discussed. What did the lyrics mean? Can they be interpreted differently by different people? And then D brought it up again in the gallery, talking about perspective.
Lunch today was at Poppies, they are so good to us. We had an 11:45 reservation, and walked right in on their busy Friday. The waiter was “fantastic”, Jennifer said, extra friendly to everyone. P got a kick out of the Bandito Burrito on the menu and ordered one for himself, then tried to sneak in a Spanish word wherever possible throughout lunch, lots of “Si senior” and “Adios”. He couldn’t finish his massive burrito, but he gave it a go!
E felt very much that she and her husband had been to Poppies over the years, that would certainly make sense. It’s sort of an institution in that part of town.
Wings over the Rockies was our last stop of the day. We had been warned that with spring break going on it could be packed with kids, and that they tend to leave by 2:30. So we arrived about 1:30 and found a large open area of the museum where everyone in our group could safely roam independently, as all the children were heading out the doors in the opposite end of the building. Jennifer enjoyed watching everybody walking over to whatever caught their eye, and T and JM paired up and talked about all they were seeing. E had a hard time here, she was reading the statistics about the horrors of war, and became emotional. We were there to support her, and got her refocused as quickly as possible.
Lots of variety today… Fine art and Whoopie Pies and 70s music and aviation history!
Today just flowed right along, and we had many laughs. G was in a terrific mood and full of energy from the moment he climbed in the car. We then picked up R and P and off we went to meet Bruce who had T and T with him. Bruce took the guys for these funny little donut things at McDonalds, and bought coffees for them. They sat and watched customers, and children playing. T is not only Mr. Navigator but also Mr Observant, we always notice that about him. Bruce was very surprised when T pointed out a park they drove past and said to Bruce, “you and I have walked there”, which was correct. T commented on things at McDs like, “that little boy’s green shirt”, or “that girl is stuck!”.
Not too sure we’ll partake in McDs donuts again, but it was a perfect, brief start to the day for these guys.
My carpool had some time in Barnes and Noble, and made our way to their Starbucks. On the way G picked up a stuffed animal (Beatrix Potterish) and then of course found a child to hand it to, he really had this boy laughing with the dancing bunny, it was sweet.
We had apple tarts and coffee, then off we all went for the days’ adventure.
We took a scenic drive in the Ken Caryl area, and listened to music in the car. I had been told that G was a big fan of our 60s satellite station, and man is that true. Whistling, singing, ..fantastic. All of them were enjoying the music.
We talked about Sears closing down, and P reminded me that it used to be called Sears Roebuck, which I’d forgotten. He and T had a hilarious moment when I said something about them being “Larry, Curly and Moe in my car.” Then I asked them if they could remember the name of the 4th Stooge. P said, “give me a minute. Or give me a few days.” And really after a few minutes he shouted “Shemp” and was tickled with himself. T was amazed! T asked him how he remembered that, and P said with his huge grin, “I brought it up from the depths!”
We wandered a bit indoors and out, at CU’s Extension School which is also called the Wildlife Experience. Beautiful building, lots of sculptures and art work on display. We attended a noon film about nature in our own backyards, deer, coyote, frogs, birds, raccoons…it was 3D and had some terrific scenery.
T liked the CU images in the center, and told me to be careful on the walkways, pointing out where “the salt is to get rid of the ice”.
We talked about last week’s storm, G told us how he watched out his kitchen window as the snow blew sideways, P told us stories about his career, his time ushering for the Rockies, about his father’s love of Lawrence Welk. R told us – and our waiter who was curious – about racing at Pike’s Peak and Bandimere and Indianapolis, T made a “snowball” out of toilet paper and threw it at G, and T kiddingly called him a “tough guy”.
We had lunch at Great Beginnings, they were exceptionally kind and welcoming to us, discounting our bill and bringing us a plate of cookies too. I have two favorite standout moments of the day, one is during lunch when Bruce got up to use the restroom. As he was walking away T said, “ok, now we can talk about him”. Ha!
And secondly, on my drive home, when it was getting quiet after our full day, listening to P sing along un-self-consciously with Anne Murray, “Can I have this dance for the rest of my life”.
Today was another amazing day as this group continues to blend so nicely. A is a great addition with her positive outlook and infectious energy. She and J get along beautifully; A being the southern belle and J being the consummate gentleman. E and F also quickly fall into their easy, entertaining banter. They are both playful and self deprecating. They both have such a quick wit. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one liner.
Our first stop was Lamar’s donuts. Bruce and Steve were both in attendance and we were even able to stop by for a visit with Mary. It is unusual to have as many attendees as we have caregivers and it was great fun. When we had an extra donut A graciously offered it to the whole group but when their were no takers she was thrilled and said “you all are too kind.”
It was a perfect day for a scenic drive in the foothills. All admired the beautiful homes near Red Rocks Golf Course Community, which led to conversations about three-car garages and how big does a home really need to be? As we passed The Fort, F reminisced about meeting her husband in Ohio and moving to an area near the The Fort, and said they enjoyed many meals at the restaurant. Our drive then took us through Red Rocks park where we saw the trails where Steve used to ride his BMX bike as a child. We learned that E visited the park often with her husband and that J had taken in quite a few shows. On our way out of the park we stopped at the Trading Post to use the bathroom. J and A decided that we had found “the most beautiful bathroom on earth!”
Our lunch and tour of Balistreri Winery was lovely. This is a boutique winery run by family with a deep Sicilian winemaking history. A happily connected with the owners about her shared Sicilian ancestry. We loved learning about some barrels that the winery received from Stranahan’s. The winery uses them to make Port with a hint of whiskey. When someone didn’t remember how many bottles there were to a barrel A chimed in “290, but who’s counting?” J had great questions today which led us to learn that CSU agriculture school provide some of the grapes for this wine. You’ll see a photo of the barrell with CSU written on it, which was what made Jerry curious. Fascinating! I think E’s favorite part of the day was watching them seal the bottles with a very unique wax formula. It was beautiful and artistic. E was amazed “the wax is still warm”.
It’s always great fun with this group F is still – as she says – smarter than a seatbelt, J is still a gentleman. E is still thinking about growing a little taller next week and A is always agreeing with the group. “We’re perfect, we’re always perfect!”
The ladies had separate time this morning, and the guys met at the office for our morning snacks. We recall some funny tidbits of conversation; somehow we got talking about the first man on the moon and the theory these days that it might have been a hoax!? We laughed about that, maybe someone arrived before America did, and hopefully they didn’t leave any litter behind. We talked about the idea that the moon is made of cheese – just silly stuff, and also other conspiracy theories which changed the tone of the conversation to a more serious one – MLK, Robert Kennedy, etc. Then P told us how he went in for his physical during the draft but was turned down. “Too skinny” ! D told us about being in the National Guard and working under his father’s leadership. That’s about when D grabbed an Oreo cookie from across the table, saying it’s “important to chew Oreos while drinking coffee”. Back to the silliness!
In the afternoon the 2 groups met in Platt Park for a walk, just about 20 minutes, exploring the park a bit but mainly the mansion on the premises. We couldn’t get inside, but were impressed with it. And then off to lunch. Panera Breads for salads and sandwiches. The sandwiches were huge! P took it as a challenge – determined to eat as much of his as possible, but the rest of us surrendered. And E took over when Steve surrendered as he tried to open all the potato chip bags. She grabbed them and got the job done!
Across the street is the beautiful Koelbel Library, where we attended the talk about the Tuskagee Airmen. As everyone was getting seated T acted as usher, making sure we were all together. C.J. laughed aloud when she heard this being said during the presentation: Eleanor Roosevelt was scheduled once to fly in a jet piloted by a black person. Apparently someone was concerned about how she’d feel about that but she said she was determined to go ahead. They called FDR and asked him what he thought. FDR replied, “no one can stop her”. CJ loved that!
Yay Friday group, see you next week!
Big group, big laughs, and big fire trucks! We had a wonderful day!
Both carpools met for coffees, hot chocolates and snacks, then we went quickly on to our 11:00 tour of the Inter Canyon Fire Protection District fire station, near Conifer.
Of course the mountains are beautiful right now with the blanket of snow and with the blue skies. No one was upset about heading to the mountains for the day.
Our tour was fantastic! Chief Skip was our guide. He is a warm, enthusiastic, and all around good guy. He encouraged questions and there was one from JM right off the bat. “What is the best thing you like about your job?” Skip’s reply came quickly and easily. He said it was days like today. “Sure I love to go and fight fires but more importantly it is touching the lives of the people in his community and making their day just a little bit better.” I have no doubt that he meant it.
He told us about the fire engines and the ambulance that are housed at that particular station, the cost of that equipment , about the protective garments that are worn by the firefighters, the number of men and women that are served in the district, and told some funny anecdotal stories about 911 calls that they have responded to. E asked about the number of calls they respond to daily, D asked about the lighting on the outside of the trucks, and when Skip invited anyone in our group to get into one of the trucks E, T, P, and D were enthusiastic volunteers.
We asked where the dalmatian was which prompted Skip to tell the group about the link between fire departments and dalmatians back when fire trucks were drawn by horses. He also told a story about the beginnings of volunteer fire departments and who started them. That person was Benjamin Franklin which got a big squeal from JM. Franklin is a Philly native which always brings great pride to her.
We had allowed for about an hour for the tour but things were going so well that we actually spent about an hour and a half there. Skip gave each of us a patch that is sewn onto the uniform of every emergency responder at inter-canyon. Apparently there is a long history of emergency responders trading these patches across the country. Skip told us we could take that patch to any fire station in America and be welcomed as family. Pretty awesome!
We needed to head over to Kittredge for lunch but not before each and every person in our group expressed such gratitude to Skip for a great tour.
Lunch was at a favorite of out and about, in Kittredge, at the Blackbird Cafe. It was a big group but our waitress handled it easily and just about everyone was part of the Clean Plate Club. Because it was a big group there were conversations going on between two and three people rather than across the table as a whole so I can’t give you tidbits from everyone, but I know that there was a lot of gabbing going on. D spent some time getting to know Steve, and JM was getting a kick out of D’s quick wit.
From there the two carpools split into groups for the return trip down the hill and back home. J and I joked about being so close to his home on Quebec yet the traffic was slowing us down so very much. I told him that we were close enough that he could probably walk , but I wouldn’t make him . He laughed and said “oh thanks , I am glad you don’t say here get out I want to show you something then zoom off !” E quickly came to my defense and said “she would never do that !” Then T said “oh yeah! ?! ” Ha ! E, D, T and I had a really interesting and heartfelt conversation about the homelessness in Denver, each expressing an opinion about whether or not to offer money, food, or nothing at all. Each had some really interesting and well-thought-out opinions and T, in particular, was very interested in knowing what each person in the car had to say, and in his own way was able to say that he may not agree but wanted to hear their viewpoints. It was fun for me to listen to this conversation yet not be involved or facilitate it.
It was a really great day that went by very quickly.
|We had such a good day today ! Sunshine, music, art, laughter, and friendship.|
After the morning snack routine we just had to enjoy the spring-like weather. We found the perfect park nearby. Great views, dry pathways, a dog park, and exercise area. Everyone except J tried out a piece of equipmen. Pull ups, bicep curls, leg lifts, etc. Knowing that J has been going to the gym recently I teased him and said “Oh you must be sore from yesterday’s work out right?” He smiled and said “Yea, that’s it” HA ! I never did get him on one of the machines.
We had an early lunch at Spanky’s in the DU area. We go there fairly regularly and are always very warmly greeted by the same waiter who recognizes us immediately. When he was taking our orders, L asked him if the Reubens were good. Our waiter’s response was “Have you ever had a bad Reuben?” L had to admit that he hadn’t and after he finished it told the waiter it was one of the best ! It was a very musical lunch ( and day for that matter). I have a habit of starting a sentence and pausing for a few moments then finishing my sentence. Well, the “Jukebox brains” L and S would fill in those pauses with the lyrics of a song. For example I would say “everything”, then pause and either or S would fill it in with “Everything she does is magic magic”. They did this all day long!
J got in on that too, only not with music. I ask L” Did your mother”, I paused thinking about how I wanted to phrase the question. I guess my pause was too long and J said “What!??” with this tone of like are we supposed to guess or what? It was hilarious and the timing was perfect!
After lunch we visited the Denver Public Library to see a performance by the “Bookshop Band.” What a treat. The duo is from the U.K., and they perform in bookstores and libraries. They are on a tour of the U.S. now, Tattered Cover, etc..The songs they perform are those they have written which were inspired by books they have read. It was wonderful. They would explain the premise of the book then play the song. We took a front row seat and were able to watch them up close and personal as they played the cello, ukulele, and guitar. It really was a treat. They tour the US with their twenty month old daughter who, as L pointed out that she “provided some great background vocals.” J and both said it was great, T said about 5 minutes later it was still giving him the “shivers” and he wiggled a bit ! After the show, we had T led the way to “The Table” on the 7th floor of the Library which was used by the Summit of 8 that involved President Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. The 7th floor has great views of the Denver Art Museum, the City and County Building, the Capitol Building and Civic Center Park, and the halls are filled with great art. Steve and I just let the guys gravitate to what drew them in for 15 minutes or so before heading out.
Terrific day !https://youtu.be/2U0nREncdFU
It was a crisp morning that lingered until after lunch. I got to pick up J first thing. I like my one on one time with him. He talked about his trip to Michigan and visiting with his daughters for Thanksgiving. He said that it was so good to see them and that he misses them. When I said that’s what we do as fathers, get them prepared for the world, he responded, “But I don’t have to like it.”
G was next and we got some time with his dog to start the day. J leaps out of the car to get some of those Bernie kisses!
After we picked up E we caught ourselves singing to the Christmas songs on the radio on our way to meet the gang for morning snack.
We met up with Mary, L, J and A at Great Harvest Bakery for pumpkin muffins and drinks. This really is a group of friends, Mary and I love our time with them.
I got to talk with A some. I shared a bit of what I’m doing with the Masons, and Al being a Fraternity Brother is always so encouraging. I’m glad we have that bond.
L reminisced about his childhood Thanksgivings and he said one of his favorite things after eating and being stuffed is laying around and watching football “with the top of his pants unbuttoned.” I can relate!
After our morning get together, we stopped at Silo Park for a quick walk. We got a good walk in around the park. In the summer the area is teeming with wildlife and color. Today we agreed that it was all too brown, but the fresh air and physical activity felt good.
We then took a drive thru Cherry Creek State Park. We glimpsed a hawk on our way to the Remote Control Model Airplane Runway. And boy did we get lucky there was a few operators flying planes. They buzzed right past us, just great. We were able to talk to one of the pilots while he prepped his model for flight. We got to see a wide variety of styles and sizes, very interesting. This was a nice treat. E wondered if anyone ever got thier hair stuck in the propeller!
We picked up our friend S, who used to be a regular with our Tuesday bunch, and he joined us for lunch. We kind of surprised him and he said he was so grateful that we thought of him. We ended up at our favorite BBQ restaurant, Hickory House. Many got the Tuesday lunch special of ribs, messy, but delicious.
We wound down the day with an Active Minds presentation on the life and achievements of Fran k Sinatra. His story is incredible. We learned that he was quite a humanitarian, which J related to. We got to enjoy some of his music, wonderful. The speaker played songs and then spoke about “Old Blue Eyes”, telling interesting stories, like about his relationship to the Kennedys!.
When the final song came on, both S and G sat up straighter, and they both sang! Gary was even dancing in his seat a little! (The song was “That’s Life”)
Everyone was paying attention, and we were in a very comfortable theatre. S was in a comfy chair and some of the fabric had fallen to the ground, he picked it up and put it on his head (picture attached). J was completely engaged and at one point turned to Mary and said, “wow”, when we were told that Sinatra once performed in front of an audience of 175,000 in Rio de Janeiro. When we were leaving the talk she said, “that was really fun”.
The sky was gray above, but it seemed the sun was shining high on the mountain peaks all day, which we noticed often as we were driving down Parker Road and in the State Park. Eeveryone commented on just how beautiful Colorado is, J pointed out Longs Peak, the sky and view of the mountains were pretty dramatic.
It was a very good day.