Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

After our usual morning coffee stop (or coke or hot chocolate) the four of ​us ​headed to the City Park area and visited the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys.
We were greeted warmly and given a laminated card with pictures of various items in the museum to find, a scavenger hunt of sorts.  The museum houses
​a ​wonderful collection of miniatures of all types, new an old.  The detail, craftsmanship, and creativity, is really wonderful. J was drawn to bonnet that had unbelievably tiny bead work, as well as teepee depicting a Black Crow camp.  C took note of a beautiful Japanese doll that was from the 1920  As we were looking around the “Polly Pocket” room D started laughing and told us that her daughter used to have Polly Pockets when she was little, which brought back fun memories for her.  We walked by a display of toy airships from the 1930’s. I was having trouble coming up with the name of the one that caught on fire,  It starts with an H, I said,…like Heimlich.  C is the one that retrieved  the word and pretty quickly too…The Hindenburg! 

We found a few items on the scavenger hunt card and returned it when we were leaving.  We were asked if we found any or all of the items, we told the truth and said ​”only ​a few.​”​There was a prize for even given it a shot,​which was ​the little yarn dolls.​ ​There was a huge tub of them to choose from.  Everyone seemed to get such a kick out of them, I hope they all made it home.


We lunched at Annie’s. As we ate lunch the rain was moving in, so no walk today.  After lunch we took a drive through the historic Park Hill neighborhood and popped into the Spinellis grocery store, and enjoyed it’s nostalgic atmosphere. Oh how we love our time on Ladies Day, singing and laughing and sharing memories.

Denver Art Museum tour

While I’m not positive, I think our sunny dispositions and laughter helped drive the clouds away today.  At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe.
We had a full day planned, but as always I think it is more about the small moments. One of my favorites of the day was in my car on the way to lunch.  D, C, and L were in my car. It was L’s first day with us and D was giving her  the lowdown. She said “if you’re going to come on Fridays, you have to be ready to sing and laugh, a lot.” D is right, we do both, a lot.

The Denver Art Museum has a new exhibit called Mi Terra. It’s a Latino look at life in America. Our docent avoided the political aspect and focused on the art itself. We spent most of our time with 3 pieces. The first was a imaginative version of courtyard in Mexico. The artist created a huge piece made almost exclusively of tissue paper. She  said his muse was pinatas. It took 14 artists 14 days to build the instillation, only to have to tear it down in a few months. Poor E just couldn’t grasp why anyone would want to tear down something so beautiful.
The next exhibit was comprised of 65 miles of thread. It was next to a window so the thread would catch the light. It was beautiful. When the docent said it too would be torn down, I thought E was going to fall off her seat. Luckily she recovered in time for lunch. The last exhibit was an animated short about our influence in Mexico. The ladies didn’t really pick up on the statement, but I think they enjoyed the animated buffalo for sure. We have had this docent before, and she is wonderful. She comes down from Boulder just for our group. She is kind, patient, and greated us all by name after not seeing us for months.
We headed to Panera on Colorado Blvd for lunch. Jennifer found us a nice table by the fireplace and we settled in for lunch.

I had a ball today, these ladies share of themselves and have a nice connection between them.

17 Mile House today with a long walk on the Cherry Creek Trail and lunch at Saltgrass

Gosh, what a nice day we had. All three guys were with me on Tuesday when we visited the Denver Art Museum, so I figured a day outside before the snow hits was in order. And all three of them we’re especially sharp today. Not sure why, but I’m not arguing.

We spent the bulk of our day at 17 Mile House in Parker. We jumped out of the car, gave the buildings a cursory look, then headed for the trail. We did over 3 miles out and back, and kept busy for all of it.  D had fond memories of walking with his son there, and was excited to find an amphitheater that was close by. We found the amphitheater and so much more. We saw old farm equipment that T was able to explain to us, B spotted a couple of huge red tail hawks soaring over us. We found eagle nests, llamas, an old car graveyard and a bunch of other stuff.
The park has a very zen atmosphere. It has trails named tranquility, reflexology path, path of solitude, and our favorite, the center of wisdom. As you can imagine, we had fun with that one. I think it was D who said they put it up because they knew we were coming and would be standing tright here. We also had  fun with some pull up bars that we found. While D, B and I were horsing around on the low kids one, T jumped up on the adult side and kicked out 5 clean pull ups. Beat me by five.
 Of course we met several dogs and their owners, really nice walk. We spent so much time walking about that we worked up quite an appetite. We headed over to Saltgrass in Parker for lunch.  It was a long lunch for us. We were so relaxed after the walk, and everyone was so talkative, that when we left it was time to head home. I know I had a wonderful day, and  your husbands said they enjoyed it as well. Have a good weekend!

Buffalo Bill Museum in Golden

There was a lot of energy in my carpool this morning!  Many times when  I pick someone up in the morning and ask how they are, the answers tends to be pretty blah. Anything from “Oh, I’m okay” to down right “Not great”, which I think is pretty normal.  This morning was no different, but it certainly didn’t take long for us to lift each other​’​s spirits.  Before I knew it we  were ​working hard on recalling nursery rhymes, “Jack Sprat” being the 1st one​, ​and from there it was why to do we tell our children such scary​ ​stor​ies  ​like Grimm Fairy tales then send them to bed and say “Sleep well!”

We met the other two carpools for our morning “refreshments”, coffee and munchies. More laughter and very wide ranging conversation​.​Everything from Jewish communities in the Denver area, to  Garden of the Gods  to Kissing Cousins.  “What are kissing cousins any way?”  I asked.  T’s reply was “Trouble!”   J looked around the table (10 of us ) after about 15 minutes and wondered out loud..”I wonder what these business​es ​and restaurants think about this group of crazy people after we have left! We all laughed at that too. ​ She told Mary at the very end of the day , “this group is so much fun.”​

We had high hopes for Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bills Grave and Museum today for fresh air, warm temps, and sunshine.  Lariat Loop Scenic Byway is a very pretty drive, although we did have to deal with a slow truck and backed up traffic.  The wind was really whipping on top of Lookout Mountain with just enough chill in it that we had to pass on the views of mountains,​ but what we did see were fantastic though.  Clear, crisp views of the back ranges still full of snow.  We did walk up to Buffalo Bill’s grave site though and there is a tremendous view (out of the wind) of Denver, Golden, DIA, and just about everything south of the city.  From there we did a self guided tour of the museum.  The room that was of most interest to everyone housed the Indian artifacts.  Headdresses, bead-work, traditional clothing, etc. Beautiful pieces.  Lunch was upstairs at the museum’s grill. Nine buffalo burgers with ​the ​works!  Then we were each treated by the owner to a generous chunk of their handmade fudge and a little conversation about his personal and long history with the gift shop!

It was another good day with the Tuesday Troop.

Lunch today at Crossroads in Pine, and a wonderful hike

Crossroads restaurant and a walk at Pine Lodge

We had so much fun today. It was a quiet where we walked, really peaceful, at Pine Lodge. We walked at our own pace, stopping to point and discuss – the color of the water, the remaining bits of ice in the water, (M wanted to jump on it and break it and I don’t blame him, it was tempting) , the fishing hook which D found in a tree!, the jet overhead, the hawk overhead, the historic building up on a hill, the muddy ravine, the fallen trees from a fire many years ago, and the goose poop on our path ( always a favorite topic! )
All three of these men today were very conversational, talking talking talking all day long. That’s what I enjoyed the most. And the singing  and the whistling, and the  laughing.
Thank you to Trudy – our terrific waitress at Crossroads, where we stopped for lunch today. Some servers and tour guides and people we meet along the way, have good intuition or instinct  – and they understand us very quickly. Trudy was one of these gems. She immediately learned our names, realized I was the host and that the guys would need some assistance, and she was clued in. Friendly and warm and patient with us. We like to sit in the back room where there is so much to see, and since the theme in that room is definitely motorcycles with some cars thrown in, it was a perfect spot for the group today. Conversations naturally turned to cars (B’s former Corvette) and the guys who have been to Sturgis, and road trips we’ve all taken. Thank you again Trudy for the hospitality, we will look forward to next time.

Balistreri Vineyards tour today, what a wonderful surprise this place is!

We had a very good morning together, sharing snacks and drinks together, there were 3 carpools of us today, each arriving separately at the LaMars, everyone walking in and being greeted like old friends. Good stuff. We had a morning tour of the Hammonds Candy Factory and the highlight for us was the gift shop after the tour! It was hard to get out of there, lots to see!
 Village Inn for lunch. Our server was terrific, that always helps. The table was large, but all three caregivers were scattered about to help keep the conversation going, smooth sailing.

And as  if that wasn’t enough, we had a tour of a local winery arranged for after lunch.  The wife of the owner gave us the tour, and it truly is a local operation.  Balistreri  Wines, an inviting and beautiful place to visit, and learn about the family owned operation. The winemakers wife explained the process from smashing and fermenting Colorado and California grown grapes to corking and sealing the the bottles. We got a chance to see the cork bottles, put wax over the cork, and even how they attach  each label by hand. Then a tasting for those who were interested, which was fun too, and a couple of the guys bought bottles to take home.

The group was a lot of fun today. The mood was light, and as usual we laughed a lot.  I’m guessing everyone has had a quiet evening. I know I’m tuckered out just writing about it. I’m looking forward to next time!