Harvard Gulch Park today, and lunch at Annie’s Café on Colfax

It was a little bit of history today for ladies day.

We started the day at Harvard Gulch Park, enjoying pastries,fruit and sparkling cider next to the children’splayground. Then off for a little walk through the park- which is next to a golf course-on our perennial search for restrooms. We decided to use the one in the Clubhouse of the Harvard Gulch Golf Course. Here is when wewe stumbled upon the history of the area.! Who would have guessed!?We learned from the golf pro that the land used to be a dairy farm as well as the Colorado State Orphanage. As many as 17,000 orphans resided inthis facility. It was stunning newsto all of us. We talked about the many reasons so many kids would have been orphaned in the early 1900s,World War 1, World War II, the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and disease. E had lots of questions about all this! The man who was telling us about this history has lived in the area for quite some time. He’s actually met and have had conversations with a few of the orphans who came back to visit as adults.

From there we drove downtown to visit and poke around the Brown Palace Hotel which is 127 years old. As we were driving downtown JM was reminiscing about the years she spent working downtown. She spoke fondly of the“husltle and bustle”, and having lunch on the 16th Street
Mall.  The Brown Palace was as beautiful as expected. Flower arrangements filled with orchids were everywhere. We simply wandered the lobby,
the 2nd floor, and the bridge over Tremont Street for about 45 minutes, exploring, oohing and aahing.
Lunch was at Annie’s Cafe on Colfax, a favorite.  Again, a lot of history. There were black and white movies playingon the TV’s, displays of collectable lunch pales which C noticed right off the bat (particularly the covered wagon one), and old game boards. 
On the way back to Littleton I told the ladies that Mary would be waiting for us with dessert, but we probably didnt have room after that bug lunch. E said “there is always room for desserts” and JM immediatley said “oh, thank goodness for E! ” Ha! 

Keys on the Green for lunch, in Evergreen, and a walk at the lake

Good day, this group gets along very well.
I made some notes about things people said, and I see a theme here. I noted their observations  which meant to me they were “actively engaged” rather then “passively participating”.   It might be quiet in the car for a while, for example, but then someone says something and I realize we’re all paying attention.
When we were on Highway 74 and approaching Evergreen,  J said, “these trees are so beautiful”, and “that sign says Taco Bell. Is that where you’re taking us to lunch!?”, or V pointed out a baseball diamond which I hadn’t noticed,  or when we were  looking at the honey bee hives and G told  us a story about his wife coming across a hive one time… those comments mean a lot to me.
I enjoyed the conversations I overheard too. J in the backseat of my van saying to A, “so where did you grow up”, and A giving her a detailed and interesting story about his childhood. Or S telling the group, while we were at the gardens in the morning, “I can’t hear well out of this ear”, then  G walked over and pretended to shout into it, making S laugh. Or –  this was cute – I handed J a water bottle and said, “I know you’re good about drinking water, but here’s some more”. J:” Yes, water is all I drink.” And rV, sitting a ways away from her, throws in: “yay, right, only water!” That made J laugh, and she instantly said, “you caught me,  I’ve got a stash of something else in my pocket.”
Lunch was at Keys on the Green in Evergreen. J said she’d like to return sometime and bring her husband. It’s a nice atmosphere, with decent food. The highlight for G  was probably our waiter, a young man who is an enthusiastic Oriole’s fan and noticed G’s hat.
We chatted about golf, since our restaurant was sitting on a golf course.  We talked about motorcycles too, V told us he and his brother  used to own one. We talked about tattoos and French fries and twins and elk and lots more!
My line of the day award goes to G, and though he had a bunch of one line zingers, this simple thing he said is what touched me most. We stopped at a gas station on the way down the hill to use the men’s room. S was still in it, G had come out, J and I were waiting in the car. Ga came up to the car and said to me, “I’m going to wait  for S”
It just meant a lot to me, that G was being so thoughtful, and even that he remembered his buddy’s name.
One of my happiest memories of today was in the car when G and S both sang along to the radio, with dramatic flair at “captian kaaangaroo”, who Jerry and I both remember watching on T.V.!