Forney Transportation Museum will become a regular place for us to visit

Brian said to me at the end of the day, “Man do those guys have fun together.” I agree, this group really gels.
I took my carpool for a walk and out for a morning snack, we settled in at Spinellis, where R had lots of memories and stories to tell us of being there with his Dad. Brian and his group went to their “clubhouse” (LaMars Donuts). Funny thing is, apparently they didn’t eat any! All I know is that after lunch later today I said, “I think we could split a few pieces of pie, right? Did you guys have donuts this morning?” They swore they didn’t! One of them even told me they all “split one”. Yeah, right.
The two groups met at 11:00 this morning at Forney Transportation Museum. What a perfect place for these guys. We had the entire massive space almost completely to ourselves, we wandered and pointed and talked  and laughed and completely  enjoyed our time there. At the onset, each of them made a comment or observation  which inspired  me to grab a piece of paper out of my purse and quickly jot down…
The signature item in the museum is “Big Boy”, (the world’s largest steam locomotive). When we were checking it out I noticed A walking the length of it counting his steps, so intent on measuring it. I told the group it was called “Big Boy” just as L was approaching our group and when T saw him he said, “well here he is!” R was  looking at the train and said,” this would be so hard to build”, L pointed many things out to me including the way the coal is delivered to the engine, and was pleased I noticed a spittoon!,  B stood back and took it all in  and said, “isn’t this beautiful”.
We saw many many classic cars, R knew about many of them, A shared with us his memories of his first car (did he tell me a 27 Model A?), he remembered very clearly what color it was so I got a picture of us standing in front of a car of that color. L told us when we were looking at a light weight aircraft about his brother’s career in aeronauatics, and all sorts of memories came up for these guys.
Great place for us to visit, they all appreciated it, and I told them this should be a stop for us a few times a year.

Longhopes Donkey Shelter, what a very special place

Longhopes Donkey Rescue

Longhopes Donkey Rescue



We met Jennifer’s carpool at the Donkey Shelter  which certainly is a special place. Those animals are so calm and affectionate. A bunch of them were following D around and I heard him say, “One at a time. Please.” We were able to leisurely pet and brush and enjoy basically hanging out with over 30 of these friendly creatures, while the staff person answered our questions and taught us about donkeys and the mission of the preserve.

J told me about how when he was a young man his uncle lived near him and had horses, B commented on how his dogs  will be jealous when he gets home  which was a good thought! T made me laugh – at myself – when I said a corny joke/pun about a horse of a different color; When he heard that he said he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be in this Tuesday group anymore… “I don’t know about you guys”.

The Donkey Shelter  is welcoming and a terrific place to visit. I brought a picnic lunch for us and they had a large room all set up for us, with tables and chairs and all we needed. A couple of adjoining bathrooms and a visiting cat and I started thinking what a great spot it could be for a large event sometime. Certainly unique! Jennifer said:

It was so much fun to watch how everyone connected differently. D was just giddy with the one donkey that followed her around, C and J were so captivated, a word I would use with J would be delighted, and I thought the rest of the guys seemed so happy to have such a different experience. Loved it!


Awkward Family Photo exhibit at History Colorado

Hi Everyone,
What a busy fun day we had.

We met at Higher Grounds Coffee House  in Golden. We were able to enjoy our beverages on the patio with a terrific view of both north and south Table Mesa.  M and L left after that, then  the rest of the ladies and I  walked the Historic 12th Street  District in Golden,  a 3-4 block long row of beautiful homes from the late 1800’s, when Golden was just starting to boom. The houses are a mix of old Victorians, simple family homes, and the occasional mansion. All the houses are kept up with beautiful landscaping. One of the houses is “The Morrison House”. It was built by the founder of Morrison. Funny how he chose to live in Golden, rather than in the town he founded.  We did more walking in this historic area, then drove to Denver for lunch at Governors Park. It had something for everyone.  We then headed to History Colorado Museum. They have an exhibit called Awkward Family Photos. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. There were a few grimace worthy ones, but it was just as fun to see some of the fashions that people were wearing. We couldn’t figure what the people could have been thinking as they posed. From there we headed home.
The ladies were sharp and really fun today. We were able to not only enjoy the beauty in which we live, but we also laughed a lot, and I mean a lot.

starting with coffee today at Higher Grounds in Golden…

L and I had some time just us two  in the morning, then joined the other Out and About Colorado Ladies Group for coffee in downtown Golden, at one of our favorite spots, Higher Grounds. We were able to be outside on their patio which is such a treat, it started out to be a chilly morning but warmed up so quickly. We were with the group for a little while, then we  picked up our new friend M. What a kick she is! I really enjoyed getting to know her today. She is a happy person, you can see that in these pictures, she was so friendly with our waiter at lunch that he ended up sitting with us! We had lunch at the Original Pancake House in Greenwood Village, they are always very good to us there.
We took a drive in the Daniel’s Park area after lunch, and went on a walk . I was pleased to see the two of them  interacting on the walk, some friendly teasing –  about “2 grandmas taking care of each other.”
We later drove to the Cherry Creek neighborhood and walked along the sidewalks there, the ladies  had good energy and we enjoyed the sunshine, before heading home.

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.