Chataqua Park

Lunch at Poppies and a visit to Arts of Denver

 

Great Beginnings for lunch, and an IMAX at Wildlife Experience

Balistreri Vineyards in Denver – a very good tour and quite a nice lunch


Platt Park in Denver and an Active Minds Talk at Koelbel Library

What a great tour at the Inter-Canyon Fire Station in Conifer

Lunch at Spanky’s, what a fun day

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

Lunch at Hickory House, and an Active Minds talk on Sinatra

Preschoolers, croquet, walk in the sunshine and lunch at Breakfast on Broadway

 

 

This was an exceptional day.

The weather was nice enough for us to take about a 1/2 mile walk before lunch, we attended croquet for just an hour, but what a full hour it was!, we had such a fun time at lunch it’s hard to even explain…it includes us staying until five minutes before the restaurant closed, with their other last remaining customer literally throwing her head back and bursting with laughter as she enjoyed the antics and conversations at our table, and then silliness and singing in our cars, including  my car full of men singing along to Kenny Rogers …”You’ve got to know when to fold up”,  (The Gambler) and later to “These Boots are Made for Walking!”

And somehow, for some reason, my favorite moment of this amazing day was a very simple one. Jennifer and I were walking with the group after croquet, and we came across a playground filled with children playing in the fall leaves, kicking a ball around,  running…you can picture this. One of the balls flew over the fence and I saw R bend down, pick it up, and throw it back to the boys. It was just one of those quick moments that exemplified what our days are  like. We come across strangers, we pet the passing dogs, we laugh with other customers in a restaurant, we share stories with our waitress, we see people we haven’t seen in a while, we tease and laugh and sing, and sometimes simply throw a ball back over a fence to a waiting child. I have learned over the years a great deal from the people in our care, and one of the most important things I’ve learned is how to be present in the moment, like them, and to be open to whatever, or whomever,  comes our way.

I wrote down lots of funny quotes from today, but I think I ‘ll keep it simple instead, and let you know that some of the subjects we discussed were pecan pie, fraternities, chocolate chip ice cream, back seat drivers, our hearing problems, preschoolers, roller skating, birthdays, mansions, high school football, tattoos, and racing cars in Minnesota and Greeley!

Jennifer and Bruce and I appreciated all the interactions between the guys and look forward to next Monday!

Community Service today and a great lunch at Spanky’s

It was a beautiful first day of November and a perfect day to be of service. 

After picking the guys up we went to Einstein for bagels and coffee. G and I had a funny conversation about bagels and whether or not they really are that much better in New York City. I told G that my son had recently visited NYC and how much he raved about the bagels there.  G assured me that my son was absolutely right, New York has THE best bagels but the one in front of him was “pretty damn good too!” We were sitting at large table and we’re chatting away when someone, who had noticed J’s George Washington HS Swim and Dive team t-shirt. The man who joined us had GW  gear on as well and was surprised to see Jerry shirt. He was the phys-ed teacher for GW from the early 70s to the early 2000s, coaching football, basketball,  swimming, golf, etc. It was an interesting conversation, talking about the rise and fall of GW’s reputation as a great school for sports, chess, and drama.

 

From there we went to Wash Park for a good long walk around both lakes before heading to our leaf raking project. T  noticed a very large bird standing on one leg on a rail that appeared to fishing.  I took a photo, if anyone has any thoughts on what it is we would love to know!  If was unfamiliar to all of us! T, the tree climber also made a couple of attempts at a large cottonwood. The ornamental grasses at Wash Park caught both J and T’s eye today too.  J said that he some growing voluntarily at his house right now.  He isn’t sure how it got there, but he is just going to let it go.  Just before leaving the park we ran into James of Jiminy wicket. He spotted us first and hollered as we were loading up in the van. J hadn’t met James yet but T certainly knows him well.  The greeting that gave each other was warm, heartfelt, and very touching for me. Is a very good reminder about how important these connections are in this community.

 

The Leaf Raking Project went great! The guys knew exactly what had to be done and jumped in as soon as we got to the backyard. There was a thick blanket of leaves that needed to be cleaned up and we filled at least six containers, taking turns raking bagging and blowing.

 

Lunch was at Spanky’s in the DU area, soon as we walked in the waiter recognized our group immediately, greeted us with a big where have you been?!?  We were pleasantly startled by the greeting, G said it’s good to have a reputation !  J followed that with “Well, it depends”, T followed that with “Ah, it doesn’t matter!”  This was the start of a very good lunch.  There was a colorful conversation about politics, which we try to avoid, but clearly these guys are of the same mind so we went with it for a bit. Then after lunch G told us, very poignantly, about his families visit to their Synagogue after last week’s horrific events. He did not dwell in the negativity of it all but told us about the overwhelming support the community experienced.  G was directly across from me, T and J were sitting on both side of him.  G had all three of us wrapped up in the telling of this experience making eye contact with all of us, maybe a little misty eyed from time to time. It was another wonderful moment in a really great day of touching peoples lives.