Denver Art Museum today plus a walk in Wash Park area

This is getting to be a bit repetitive but…it was another beautiful fall day and I love spending the day with these people!

When D and I picked C up, she said “Let’s go find some mischief” she and I laughed and D said “I’m getting scared already!”  As always, D

gets out and lets C have the front seat and when I then checked all the seat belts and hopped in the car I commented that I needed to clean up my car.  D immediately said “There aren’t any volunteers to do that back here”  I knew it was going to be a fun day.

All three carpools met at the St. Johns Coffee House across from Wash Park and everyone else was in great spirits too. I was so glad to see R again, it had been several weeks since I was had seen him.  We had a quick snack of apple slices and a few baked goodies then took a walk along Franklin and Gilpin Streets looking at all of the wonderful, mostly older homes that line the streets, the various architecture styles, craftsmanship, gardens, and Halloween decorations.  It was fun to listen to all the chatter and everyone was pointing out all sorts of different details.

From there we headed over to Wild Eggsfor lunch.  It is a favorite of Out and About Colorado, however, they appeared to be understaffed and the service was quite slow today.  The food made up for it though…our group had a mix of food…Rubens, Chicken and Waffles, French Toast, a burger, tamales with eggs, pancakes with lemon curd and raspberry sauces, and good old sausage and eggs. Everyone was quite please with what they chose!

Brian and the guys had a 1:00 tour at the Denver Art Museum so they took off in order to make it in time and J, D, C, and I were able to linger a minute or two longer and decide what to do next. The plan was to go to History Colorado, but because lunch took longer than expected we went with lan B. We went on another wonderful walk through the Arts Complex, Civic Center Park, up to the west steps of the State Capitol, then back across Broadway in front of the Carr Colorado Judicial Center. These 3 women took great care of each other, making sure everyone was together, felt safe and comfortable,they helped each other when footing might be a challenge, and were enthusiastic to look for more sights.  We read about the various statues and monuments, we watched 2 people working on the balcony just below the clock-tower of the City and County Building (we think they may have been working on the Holiday lighting), found the step on Capital that says “One Mile Above Sea Level” and more. A very kind man noticed me taking pictures and offered to take one of the four of us together, we all commented on how kind that was off him. We crossed the Arts Complex again and found the guys waiting for us.  Tuesdays tend to be filled with laughter, teasing, and camaraderie…but today seemed to be even fuller.

From Brian regarding the men’s tour:
We were all glad to see our docent and friend G. G is with us frequently. She knows our guys pretty well, and is able to adjust and interact well with us. G took us to the new exhibit on Venice that just opened. Wow, there are some amazing works on display. There were Gregorian chants playing in the background, and beautiful religious iconography. It was amazing how realistic some of those 500 year old paintings looked. G took us to 3 or 4 works to observe. She had us sit in front of  each piece  for a few minutes, then started asking questions such as “what was the first thing you saw”, which  opened up the discussion. All of us were engaged and participating. G even took me to the side at one point to tell me how great the guys were doing today. All had insights, and picked up some things that I hadn’t seen. There was also a huge wall with a blown up picture of Venice. The guys giggled for quite a while as we talked about jumping in that picture.  Great tour! 

Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

Visit to the Harley Davidson Museum today

Hi Everyone,
Boy did we have a beautiful day.  We were going to the Springs to see a Harley Davidson Museum. We stopped to get some coffee, and then, it was on the road. The drive down was exceptional. It was crystal clear, lots of color, and the mountains looked wonderful. As we were driving down we spent a lot of time talking about how pretty everything was. As we were coming up on the Air Force Academy, both T and B brought up our previous trips there. We talked a bit about the chapel, and as we drove by the Academy, the sun was reflecting off of the chapel. It looked like it was glowing. It was pretty cool.

The Harley Davidson Museum  is in a huge Harley dealership. It is in a cavernous room, and it probably had 30-40 vintage bikes there. The earliest was a 1914. They also had different bikes on display, including BSA and triumph. D saw a Honda just like the one he used to have. They also had all sorts of paraphernalia, and just about anything you could put a Harley logo on. The two big hits, oddly enough, were not motorcycles. Each dealership has their own special t-shirt. The owner had a wall full of shirts from shops he has been to. We got a kick out of looking at all the shirts, and we were all able to find our home towns. The other big hit for us was a 1957 Wilys Jeep that they had for sale. It was in terrible shape, but it looked beastly. The previous owner tried to placate his wife by doing the interior with dark red Victorian looking designs.  It really looked like he used his grandparents curtains. The tires on it were literally as big as we were. All of us figured we would probably get in some trouble if we took it home with us, that and we didn’t have  seven grand.

We then headed down the road to BJ’s Brewhouse and restaurant. We have gone to the one in Aurora, and it’s always good. They didn’t disappoint today. Service was great, as was the food. D and I had sandwiches, while T and B got the salmon and asparagus lunch special.
We got in the car and started to work our way back. We made a quick stop in Parker for a ice cream and bathroom break.

All the guys were fairly sharp today.  Usually I see verbal skills increase during the day. Bit different today, started strong and slowed down a bit. Guess they were tired and full. But all the guys were social and interacting with one another. It was a nice day!

Denver Botanic Gardens and at the Highlands Ranch Mansion

I quickly scribbled down some notes on a scrap of paper this afternoon, to remind me of some of my favorite moments today…
…when we were approaching the Denver Botanic Gardens we had to drive around the block a few times looking for a parking place. E was sitting in the car up front with me, and I said to her, “E. I know you well enough. I bet  if I gave you a quarter, you’d stand in the street and direct all these cars out of my way, right?” So quickly she replied, “Of course I would.  I’d do that for a dime!”.
Her retort made us all laugh, but it also led to an interesting talk between E and J about how far a dime used to go when they were younger. As they were talking, I realized the connection between them, not only their similar age but that they both spent much of their youth in New England, and I brought up that similarity to them. They could both tell me stories of going “into the big city” (Boston) when they were children. L has spent time in Mass as well, (Wilbraham). I hadn’t connected those dots until today. We had some discussion about the “Park the Car” Boston accent, and other comparisons of east and west coasters – For the most part,  L and I refer to ourselves as the “California girls”.
First thing this morning, the four of us enjoyed a walk in L’s neighborhood, around the Highlands Ranch Mansion property.  We then got drinks to go and drove to the Denver Botanical Gardens where we spent the remainder of the day. It was so perfect for this group, we all were appreciating the beauty there, plus the weather was quite cooperative.
We had lunch at a table which we all agreed was the absolute best one in the restaurant, in a quiet corner, a round table under a massive tree, overlooking the water lily pond which attracted a lot of small children!  How perfect. The food was really good too, and I noticed how quiet our chatty group was while we were eating. The plates seemed to be made out of an unusual recyclable material, so we asked our waitress and she said yes, they were made from leaves. She also pointed out the vegetable garden where parts of our meal had been grown.  E was amazed at how small her potato chips were. She wondered aloud a few times where such “small potatoes could come from”! So we decided they were cut from little homegrown potatoes from that same garden.
E  made a few observations like this today which were right on – good questions, including, yes, how is it possible that  the potato chips were so small?  After our walk around the outside of the Mansion in the morning, and as we were heading down a path with a good view of the mountains, she stopped in place, put her hands on her hips and said, “You know what? That mansion is facing the wrong way!” (and this is a 25,000 square foot mansion we’re talking about) “They built it the wrong direction!” We all agreed with her assessment…why doesn’t the front of it face that view of the mountains? I love it when anyone is so engaged with what we are doing, and is making such observations. L always reminds me, she has done this to me for years now, to literally stop and smell the roses. She’ll frequently  stop in her path as well, to bend down and touch a flower, and I should be more like her.  Or she’ll do a little dance when she hears music which I hadn’t even noticed. J – I snapped a photo of this today – often stops in her path too, to say hello to a child, or read a sign, or to wonder. Today, for example,  we all stopped to admire some  blueberry bushes, and E told us stories about collecting blueberries as a child, when I said, “sorry ladies. I just noticed the sign here, these are actually Oregon Grapes. ” Oh well. Those  blueberry collecting stories were still
august 12 highlands ranch mansion

our day at Wash Park and so much more

august 5 Wash Park august 5 along the highline canalAnother Lovely Ladies Day ! I picked up E first  and on our way to pick up L and D we had a terrific conversation about golf, her love of the game, and how much her husband taught her. 
When I picked up D she opened the car door, peeked in with a big smile on her face and said “Hello Friends!!”  I loved that and it set the tone or the day.  D filled us in on her trip to Frontier Days and is looking forward to the Rockies game this weekend.
During our morning refreshments E and D had very touching conversation. There is friendship and trust between these two.
We then went on a walk along the Highline Canal Trail for about a mile and half.  I looked up the history of the canal, when and why it was built, and how long it is.  When I told everyone that it was 71 miles long, E said she would probably only make it 70!   There are many enormous  Cottonwood trees along the path, one in particular that is wider that L, E, and D together.  Another thing that got our attention was a horse eating chokecherries!

Lunch was at Smash Burger.  E and D had the burger with fires (gluten free buns!) and Louise had a fantastic looking salad with grilled chicken.  We talked a lot about how very different Southglenn Mall is now, how it seems like a small city, and planters filled with such beautiful flowers. From there we made our way to the Eugene Field Library in the Bonnie Brae area for an Active Minds talk on the history of Denver.  When we got there, it was packed and people were standing in the door way to listen.  So, on to plan B.  We drove over to Wash Park, walked around the Mount Vernon Gardens and along the lake.  It was a perfect weather for this stroll. Lotsto see and talk about.  It was fun for me to watch who was drawn to which colors and varieties of flowers.  While sitting on the park bench we talked about the park itself and again I looked up a quick history of it.  It was built in 1899 and with design help from the the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown.
The day seemed to go by very quickly. Everyone was so observant of our surroundings, high energy, and very quick witted!
I love spending time with these women!

time at History Colorado Museum today

Another very enjoyable day!
After picking up B and T we met Mary and K at St John’s Church for coffee and pastry. Nice easy conversation with all.  It was warm again but a walk to the croquet lawn was really nice. We played croquet for a bit then headed off to The Colorado History Museum. We ate lunch in the museum cafe.. Next we attended a discussion about trolleys in the Denver area. We all were fascinated to learn how many there were and how popular they were. A gentleman visited with us and mentioned that we should go to the museum store. We did! B was so excited with a t-shirt he saw. He wanted me to buy it.  I took a picture of it so that maybe another time he could get it. I’ve not seen him  this  excited since we saw the red Ferraris in Morrison!
The day was full of memories of old rock and roll songs. We all sang “Let’s Twist again like we did last summer” before getting on the elevator at the museum. What fun guys they are! Hot again, so we were off to get ice cream sundaes.  T and B had several business experiences in
common which they loved sharing while we had our desserts.
What a special day for us all!

walking along Pearl Street in Denver

Hot temps obviously today, but we did our best. We started with coffees and waters and  getting ourselves settled into our day, then hit the road. Everyone was in a good mood and what I appreciated in particular, was  how eager they seemed to be to see each other. When C and I pulled up to D’s home, for example, C said, “Oh I’m glad D is coming, she’s so sweet”. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
The plan was a walk in Wash Park but we got as far as the area around Porter Hospital, when D said we were near where she lived as a child and asked if she could point out the way. So we did that instead, drove around that neighborhood, then parked and got out and walked throughout it as well. Then on to lunch, where a volunteer L was scheduled to join us. We went to a restaurant I had chosen on Pearl Street which I thought would be festive and fun, though I was  hesitant about the menu for this group. Turns out that yes, the menu was not one that appealed to the majority, so we had drinks and chips and guac then moved on to the pizza place next door! I like that I can offer that flexibility and spontaneity and decision making to the group, already we had scratched most of my plans and that  was perfectly fine with all of us!
We had  pizza and salads, at “Sexy Pizza” (why that name? We never figured that one out) at a long table along the sidewalk (oh the breeze felt good). We blew off the afternoon Active Minds talk I planned for us, and instead  lingered a little longer over lunch at restaurant #2.  Afterwards, L offered to stay with us a bit longer and we all took about a 45 minute walk in that Pearl Street area. Lots of interesting houses to see and discuss, plus this unique trump vine I grabbed a picture of. I have seen it dozens of times, and am fascinated by the way the property owner adapted the fence to the tangles of the plant. It seems representative to me of how we adjust our lives to make room for whatever happens to come along – just like we did today, adjust and accomodate and go with the flow, which suited us quite well today.
Thank you for the privilege of spending time with these wonderful ladies.

Wild Birds Unlimited

L and I went out in the morning for coffee – well, I got her a large apple juice which is our routine, she loves that, then on a little drive – before we picked up S. I got him some coffee too, this is funny…I had a destination in mind and as I was driving up Hampden I saw a coffee place I like up ahead so said, out of the blue I guess as far as S was concerned, “Would you like a cup of coffee?” He was sitting next to me in the passenger seat, turned and looked at me and said, “how cavalier of you! Perhaps a cigarette as well?” He cracks me up!!

After that quick stop we went to see a demonstration at a “Wild Birds Unlimited” store. An organization that educates the public about wildlife was there with some live birds – an owl, a hawk and a falcon. S and L stood there watching and listening like they were in a class, and they seemed mesmerized. After that, out to lunch, they both ate a bunch, then we took S home. On that drive (he had been singing pretty much all day by now) L started singing – not sure why this popped in her head, but she sang for us, “..we ain’t got a barrel of money…maybe we’re ragged and funny..but we travel along, singing a song..side by side.” Fun day for me with these two, plenty of joy.

Cherokee Castle and Daniel’s Park

july 14 view from Cherokee Castle

Hi Everyone,

Fun day!  We had a 9:30 tour of Cherokee Castle set up. The castle is out in the Daniels Park area. I’ve heard numerous stories about the lady who was the last owner. One of our guys who grew up in Englewood had told me about this nice old rich lady named Tweet. He said that when he was young, she would come into Englewood for supplies, and all the kids would gather for treats from her. Well, it turned out this was her home. It sits on a overlook, over looking the Roxborough area. As we came up the two mile drive, we were greeted by a ranchhands dog. He followed us up to the portico, where he immediately made friends with the entire tour group. The castle was built in the 1920s. It was built to be a hunting lodge for the owners who lived in Park Hill full time. At the entrance to the greatroom there is a bison head, and two mounted bucks heads, all of which had been hunted on the grounds. The house is filled with art and beautiful antiques which Tweet acquired on her many trips abroad. There were also some unique artifacts that were gifted to her from various royalty and dignitaries that visited her there. The docents were on point and able to answer any question. Tweet was an avid reader, and at the time of her passing owned over 14,000 books.  We saw several rooms, but I think our favorite was the terrace. We could see from Pikes Peak to the Wyoming border. Terrific views. Apparently Tweet was an animal lover and instructed her staff to leave all the leftovers on the terrace for the wildlife. The property is still a working ranch of about 200-300 head of cattle. After the tour we drove into Castle Rock and went to Las Fajitas. What a find.  B and T both gave their shrimp tacos an enthusiastic thumbs up. Definitely have to keep it inour restaurant rotation from now on. After we threw in the white flags at lunch, we knew if we didnt start moving again, food coma was imminent. We drove to the Bluffs in Lone Tree. We followed the trail to the top and back down again,about a 2 1/2 mile hike. We stood atop the bluff, pointing out all the landmarks we could see. We were also close enough to Centennial airport that we could watch a few takeoffs and landings. We made our way down, with time to spare for an ice cream at Freddy’s. When I asked T how it was, he said “I hope there arent any of these close to me, or I would be there everyday.”

 Good day, both guys enjoyed the tour, saying it was much better than they would have guessed. No issues on the stairs in the tower or anyplace else in the castle. Both guys were sharp, with B asking questions about things we did together several months back. Terrific way to spend a day, and terrific company to share it with.

Jiminy Wicket at Wash Park Denver

Good Morning –
Attached are a couple pictures from yesterday. R was with me in the morning, it was just the two of us and we had some great conversations, he sure had me laughing. Brian had C with  him in the morning and we decided to join up at croquet. This is a regular activity for R and me, but new to Brian and C, and they also picked up T on their way who was a newbie also! I think it went well, it was a great day to be outside and at the very least everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves sitting on the chairs in the shade, but they all played a round as well. The organization which hosts this event is Jiminy Wicket, they make us feel welcome every time and are so good to us! It made me laugh when today’s  round of croquet was finishing up and T said to R, “I wouldn’t want to play cards with you”, as R kept pretending he was cheating.
We were going to go our separate ways for lunch afterwards but Brian suggested we join up and go to Governors Inn and have lunch on their patio, which I thought was a great idea. They always have good food, and I was really pleased with our round table in the corner; I like when we get tables that aren’t in the middle of all the activity or in restaurants which are too noisy – this was perfect yesterday.
Brian took T and C home after that and R and I walked a lot – all throughout City Park and in his neighborhood as well, before I brought him home.
I enjoyed my day with the guys, thanks for giving Brian and me  that opportunity.

lunch at McKinners and coffee in Park Hill


Hi All – We had a pretty easy going day, which seemed to fit this group just fine. In the morning I picked up M, A, and D. We met Mary and R at a terrific little coffee place in Park Hill. We found a nice patio in the shade, and got caught up a bit. I have not had a chance to do many outings with A or R, so it was a good opportunityto get to know each other. Conversation rolled, as we sat there enjoying each other’s company. A regaled us with his sailing stories, while D and M shared stories of growing up in the Englewood/Littleton area, and the changes we have seen. Fun morning. We took a quick stroll around Park Hill, commenting on the architecture, and the challenges the neighborhood has faced over ther years. We made it back to the car for a water break, and the drive to Littleton Historical Museum. Its always a fun place to visit and our local guys had some memories jogged for sure. Inside the museum we spent a bit of time looking at the 1965 Flood exhibit. D told us that his family had been fishing in Wyoming when it happened and when they drove back and saw the devastation they thought we were at war. Different times back then. We then meandered outside to check out all the newborn animals. We saw the longhorn steer for Als Texas roots, a passel of piglets, and a bunch of pecocks. We also walked by a young child in a Pittsburgh tshirt. Needless to say, R’s es got big, and he had to talk to him.  As it started to warm up a bit, we left for lunch. We went to a local restaurant in downtown Littleton. Basic sandwiches and pizza, but done very well. The restaurant (McKinners) has ton of pictures of old Littleton, which M really seemed to enjoy. Conversation flowed at lunch, with topics from Leave it to Beaver, to shopping and eating local. The table of guys had such wide ranging experiences, it was never boring!

Good day, everyone was engaged, and hit it off great. Looking forward to next time!