Category Archives: Entertainment

Alamosa Weekend for Rails and Ales

For a couple years i’ve been trying to get a trip down to Alamosa for Rails and Ales. Basically a long drive, for a train ride to the middle of nowhere, for beer, enh food, and hill billy music! Sounds fab, eh? I thought so! And it was!!! Can’t wait to do it again!

Basically every year we don’t know when WWDC (the big apple event) will be until april. Sadly sometimes this event can sell out prior to that. This year, it did not, and WWDC was earlier than normal! Woot!

We had enough miles to stay at the newish Farfield Inn, so that was a bonus.

Sadly, work made it so leaving early was a no go, so we had to leave at 4ish… that put us into town, tired, and close to 9. Ugh.

The next morning was the main event – see my blog post on that here.

I had a fabulous time, perhaps due to my expectations being pretty low – beer, nowhere, train… so i received all 3 of those and more! Like i said, can’t wait to go again next year!

We got back to town close to 6pm, chowed on some delicious thai food and then tried to stay awake long enough to go to bed like grownups… Y’know… 9pm.

I feel we had enough water so the next day was not too terrible (i even got in a good workout at the gym) and i could convince the hubby to take some crazy side trips on our way home!

First up was Gator Land – i mean seriously – how could you not? Gators/Colorado – they don’t really go, so we had to stop to see how they did. Bonus points – the hotel had a brochure with a coupon for a bucket of free gator food! OMG-  yes! Thank you road side america for showing me this gem and my hairdresser for going there years prior!

There is a cute history on this place – it used to be a tilapia farm and they got a couple gators to clean up the dead fish etc…  this lead to people breaking in, to see them and due to the warm thermal water the growth rate was crazy! Then lots of people would just drop off exotic animals for them to take care of, so you have gator land!

 

Definitely was a hoot to see all the gators and their stories and all the other random animals wandering around!

You do get to hold a gator – a baby one – upon entry – for their “head count” – we declined… but were able to get our photo with the helper fella… we did not pay for any of those photos… (Use your imagination – john pushing me closer, me leaning back…)

It was kinda hard to use up all the bucket of gator food… some were not that interested, some just had too many people also tossing food their way. But i am not sad i had it, but, be warned – we smelled like that stuff for the rest of the day, no matter how many times we washed our hands!

We did spend an inordinate amount of time at the last tub which was all turtles and baby gators. So fun to watch them all!

Next up on our adventure was the UFO viewing platform… cause… why not…

Notice a significant lack of another person in these photos?

Definitely worth a drop in! Walk the crazy vortex area just to view things people have left if not try and feel some energy!

And the viewing platform – such a great place to view the valley and the dunes! Next nightime event (halley’s comet comes back soon right?), i think we might need to get a camp sit and enjoy the views after dark

 

  

Worth the $2 per person donation! And i picked up a cute pin to keep on my hiking backpack!

After that is was a meandering route home with a stop at one of the breweries we found over the weekend in Salida! Coconut Milk Stout – omg – like ice cream in your mouth – but beer…

Awesome weekend with the hubby doing crazy things!

Fun with Kim

When hubby travels for work, Kim comes to play!

Kim and i were trying to find a weekend to get together, and I saw on the calendar that Hubby was out of town for a conference, so I decided to have kim come play for the weekend. Not that she doesn’t like the hubby, but i don’t like to share, so i get more time with her, just for me! And we get to do stupid things we like that doesn’t include boys! Squee!

The day started with a thunderstorm, sigh. I was very hopeful her flight would not be diverted and it wasn’t, whew!

I were both starving so i brought her to My Brother’s Bar for some historic and delicious burgers! SLurp! We had the “new owner” as our waitress – Paula! We have known her son forever and it was a treat to meet her and to know that the restaurant was staying as a local owned establishment and that things would remain the same!

After we stuffed ourselves, we headed up the road for some some spice shopping – oh how i love Savory Spice Shop! I always get my spices there now, and they are super friendly, offer up suggestions and help me find exactly what i  need. Kim had fun and got to tickle her cooking fancy! Next up the street was Denver Beer Co – not my favorite, but she’s into beyond hoppy beers, so it was a treat for her! We chatted, stayed out of the rain and eased into our fun weekend!

Next up was home, seeing the boys, and relaxing! Eventually we were feeling a little hungry so we popped over to 10 Barrel to have the Pimento Cheese and Bacon Jam dip (because, why not, and it’s amazing – if you go, just start with an extra set of crisps). 10 Barrel used to be my favorite brewery, we would always hit them up when i was in Boise for business. Alas they have succumbed to the we are in colorado so we must only make hoppy beer and have discontinued my most favorite brew – Swill – a light, wheaty radler…  There is a sour – Cucumber sour that is light and drinkable, but if i go to a brewery, i don’t want there to be only 1 thing i like and they pour it from a can…  sigh. I digress, Kim has a number of options and we pleased with their hoppiness!

Saturday the weather was still not cooperating, so we decided to head up north to my favorite Thrift Boutique – Queen Esters (all profits go to providing water wells in 3rd world countries).

After that we had a lunch of cheese, dips and some meet from my “meat box” from the Carnivore Club – it is so much fun to get a box of meat in the mail… just saying.

The weather broke, so we decided to pop over to the botanical gardens for a walk and more chatting! It’s now a standing joke that Kim has yet to see the gardens in bloom…  Every time she visits and we take her, they are mostly dead. This time there was a bit more and we popped into the Rain Forest (saw a blue poisonous tree frog – he so didn’t look real, but then he moved) and Orchid area to see some of those things as well!

 

Next up was more relaxing on the couch, and then off to one of my favorite places to eat – Cho 77, and then down the street to Adrift Tiki Bar for mai thai’s – cause why not on a cold rainy saturday! We got Suman to come along for the evening fun too!

Cho 77 – how we found this place is a funny story – hubby and i were in the area a couple years ago for a music festival that lasts 4 days. We were looking for a bite and this place seemed interesting. We nearly died when we tasted the Pork Belly, Bok Choy Noodle dish. First time, we shared it – i ate the bok choy, he the noodles and we shared the pork belly. Since then, we have not branched out! He orders his with no bok choy, i order my with no noodles and extra bok choy and we slurp this dish up like nobodies business! That weekend we ate every dinner at this place and were beyond happy! It was a treat to share it with Kim and Suman.

As for Adrift Tiki BAr – it’s been on my list to try – we won a Drink Passport one year and this place was to be the end location, but work or something got in the way and the passport expired and I never got here. But it;s been in my head forever and when we were going to be down there, i decided it was an excellent gal’s place! And it was!

We stayed out pretty late for me, but still early enough for it not to be too crazy of a night!

Next up was our final day together – boo…

Sunday it was finally sunny and a nice temperature! Our day started with Rosenbergs for lox and bagel sandwich! Delish!

Next up was some random sight seeing!

First up – Mother Cabrini Shrine! I have seen the sign for this place for all the years we have driven to and from the mountains and always thought it might be interesting to stop. And Then i found out there were stairs to climb! Squee!

Kim being the good sport came along. There is a cute museum about the life of this nun, a place to get holy water from a spring she “found under a rock”, and then of course the 360 stairs to see the statue. What was funny, was i thought the statue would be of mother cabrini… nope, it’s a giant jesus… Well there you go, now i know what i’m looking at from the I-70!

Our next stop was the “buffalo” that live along the  I-70 in a preserve, but they were hiding… so it was a very quick drive by. We had a still a couple hours to spend before i had to return Kim to the airport, so i offered up a “chuck wagon” option for lunch. She was totally in! It was another – on my list to try eventually, so i was happy to get there! Definitely hearty portions, quick delivery, pretty sure most of the staff has been there forever, and know their craft! Definitely will be hitting this place up after hiking this summer!

Final stop was a little downtown that is just too far from downtown to get to very often. My main plan was to hit up The Chocolate Therapist – a shop i had found as a chocolate festival! I stocked up and then we returned to the house to relax on the deck chairs before the final trip to the airport.

All in all a fabulous weekend with kim and i’m so glad she could come out to play!

Perfect Hard Boiled egg

Over the years i’ve attempted many different ways of hard boiling eggs…

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This year, i think i found it!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover them with cool water by 1 inch. Slowly bring water to a boil over medium heat; when the water has reached a boil, cover and remove from turn off heat. Let sit 12-18 minutes.

  2. Transfer eggs to a colander; place under cool running water to stop the cooking. Eggs can be peeled and served immediately.

I also found the best way to peel an egg! It seems silly, but i love it.

All in all a great easter!

 

 

Campfire – fire starters – DIY

I’ve known forever, that egg cartons, dryer lint and candle wax were the basic ingredients to creating ones own fire starters to take camping. I attempted once to melt the wax in the microwave inside the egg carton – note – don’t do that. After last summer of enjoying quite a bit of camping and using the walmart brand fire starters that turn your fingers colors and probably contain more chemicals than i want to know about I decided it was time to do our own thing.

So i started saving dryer lint, and candle remnants, and toilet paper rolls (not sure why except that are quite flammable and it’s kind of like recycling…) and egg cartons…

This Saturday it was snowing and i knew we weren’t going anywhere – so it was time – to create magic!

I looked on line and found a couple options of how to do it – the regular in the carton, the neat kind where you dip the whole thing in wax (too messy for me), one that was just toilet paper rolls, lint and paper and matches, and even one using used coffee grounds (that’s the next project!)

Step 1:

Prep the area. Setup an drip catcher for when you spill wax or your wax seeps through your egg carton, and for where you cut up your wax. In theory you should have 1 spot to cut up your wax to equivalent type chunks so they melt at the same speed.

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Note: Remove the front and back off the egg carton. And cut all the wax into similar sized pieces.  Also – just to be safe, wear some safety glasses or if you are lazy like me, slap on your own glasses, just gotta protect those eye balls!

Step 2:

Prep your egg carton

I decided to use my toilet paper rolls by cutting them in half and rolling them till they fit in the middle of each egg location, then stuffing the lint around and in them.

I”ve seen options of just doing a pine cone, just the lint, or the one on deck for next time is coffee grounds and some filter!

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Step 3:

Melt the wax. I didn’t realize was could be so deadly, and had bought a “disposable” pan at the goodwill during the summer for this experiment for $2! But as i read the others that had gone before me, i saw the error of my ways and obtained a glass jar to place in the middle of said disposable pan! I would probably go for the metal can instead of the glass (i also decided as it was bubbling and moving around the pan, safety glasses – a good plan!)

Having all the pieces of was the same size makes the melting go better. And once you think it is all melted, guaranteed, it isn’t, let it sit and melt longer!

And melting wax take a long time, well longer than i thought it would… here is my time lapse of the melt!

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Note: you might have to refill the water occasionally while the boiling is taking place!

P.S: really glad i cleaned my stove earlier so these pictures look ok!

Step 4:

Pour wax over the prepped egg carton!

Using your ove-glove pick up your bottle/can from the pan. (shut off the burner)

Carefully pour the amount of wax needed to cover the lint and cardboard and create a “hard” element that will be used as your fire starter later. As other have mentioned, the more wax your use, the more time it will take to burn…  Some of the lint and egg carton will be your “wick” to get the fire going in your starter!

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Step 5

Repeat the wax meting and pouring till all your egg carton cups are filled. Took me 3 melts. But i had a small bottle and small pan

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You can either store the whole thing or cut each cup from the main. Depends how many you like to or want to use to start your fire. They certainly look gross, but i’m very confident they will work fabulously! (We’ll try burning one soon and give you and update!)

Items of Note:

  • Ove-glove – was vital to being able to pour the molten wax
  • Safety glasses – just made me feel much safer
  • Wax – its takes alot, alot
  • Time – it took much longer than the hour i thought it would.
  • Location – make sure you have paper or something down to pick up the wax etc that might drip.

Trail of Lights – Denver Bontanical Gardens!

We finally got to enjoy the trail of lights at the botanical gardens! It was a nice night, not too cold, but cool enough to have a twinkle in the sky!

 

   

Enjoying the trails at night was lovely! Enjoying how everything looked was such an enjoyable time!

 

Enjoying the evening air and the plants in a different light was so great!

Botanical Gardens

This weekend during a visit with the mother-in-law we finally returned to Denver Botanical Gardens!

We decided to also join for the year so that we could have some romantic days this coming year!

It was a gorgeous day and the flowers were amazing!! Here are a couple photos of some of the ones we saw!!

Anniversary Trip

The hubby and I celebrated our 6th year out in Colorado Wine Country!

It was our first trip to a hotel with the pups! Not sure they enjoyed being in a weird place, even with their toys and their bed, but they did seem to have a good time!

We stayed downtown Grand Junction so we could walk to numerous places for dinner, enjoy the possibility of extreme midget wrestling, see a hot rod show and pop by a chocolate shop!

Saturday – We managed to get to a number of the wineries – probably a bit more that we – ok maybe just I should have enjoyed! But they were all great and we came home with quite the stash!

It was a pretty relaxing weekend – except for worrying about the dogs waiting in the car when we enjoyed wine, and worrying about them in the hotel room when we went to dinner, and worrying about them when we were in the room and hoping they didn’t pee and poop!

But we did get some quality time and were happy to spend another year together!

Cheers to more years!

My First Opera

I was invited but a friend to go with here to see an Opera. At first i was afraid, i was pretrified…  Just kidding, i just hadn’t ever been to one and the streotypes of it being stodgy and boring, and…

I told her i wasn’t sure if i liked operas, so if she knew someone that liked it more, she should take them!

She said she had been known to fall asleep during boring ones and that she just enjoyed the singing and scenery.

So friday night off we went to enjoy high society!

The tickets were a perk of her job, so we had no idea where we would be sitting, assuming nose bleeds and correct in that assumption.

We arrived at our seats to find them already occupied by an older couple that had no intention of even considering that their tickets might be wrong.

Being easy going gals, we asked the usher what we should do – apparently “double booking” was happening more than they were liking. So we waited… And waited…

Eventually the “manager” came to us and said she was terribly sorry and would it be “ok” if she gave us Orchestra seats.

Snickering internally we said, that would definitely be fine.

So we ran down the 3 flights of stairs, and found our amazing Orchestra Center seats! Take that old stogies up in the sky. I was hoping they could see us clearly!

This Opera was called Rusalka and sung in Czec – oh…

The Denver Opera House has been re-done and they have sub titles on a screen at your seat – so that was cool!

A little discom-booberating to look down at the words, then up at the screen, then down then up… But I also figured out, they only decided to translate about 50% of the words cause they were singing for a really long time before that little screen switched to a new sentence!

The story was definitely more “risque” than expected, innuendos, talking about “womanly passions” and “being lovers”. Tee hee. Yes, i am like a 5th grade boy!

All in all, it was definitely not an exciting story – it’s the “original” little mermaid – done around 1901…

The “evil” princess – had the most amazing voice. I felt the vibration in my chest. That was really cool.

Being that close we were able to actually see them belt out the sounds. So great! What strong abs you have!

Czec like russian or korean – is not a pretty language – but it was still awesome to see it performed.

And to know that some of these singers were not Czec speakers, so they had to learn to sing in a new language. I guess as a layman i would compare it to learning La Bomba when i didn’t know spanish! I could definitely sing the whole song, but no idea what i was saying! But to know when to add the emotion etc etc etc…  Wow!

It was a fun evening, I got to see a type of Performing Art i had never seen before with a friend i don’t get to see enough of!

Yeah!

Easter!

The above were the results of a craft night the tuesday prior to the big day!

We had our friend Jake and Talia over to enjoy the night!! Talia is a wonderful artist, so she made some great eggs!

We decided to host East Dinner for some of our friends! It got a little out of control and I hate for people to not have somewhere to go for a holiday so I ended up with 16 people RSVP’ed yes to dinner and then 2 more added on… oh my!

The eggs above were sacrificed to become deviled eggs to feed the people!!

This was one of my babies! I started with rubber bands over it, then into the marbleizing bath (vegetable oil on the dye bowl!)

Dinner was fun and yummy!

I did most of my cooking on Good Friday – i got the day off from work!

I made mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, mocha fudge, banana bread, polenta lasagna (1 vegetarian, 1 meat)

That left only deviled eggs, topping for the casserole!

I ended up putting the mashed potatoes in the small crockpot and the sweet potato casserole i split between 2 bread pans, and put 1 pan in the big crock pot while the other one cooked! – yes i am brilliant!  ;)

Our friends donated some amazing food to the meal – asparagus, lemon squares, cupcakes, coffee cake, dips and chips, fruit mixture, asparagus souffle, and more!

We had a very enjoyable dinner!

David Sedaris visits Denver – and we saw him!

David Sedaris visited Denver,  to  a packed house at the Buell.

The stage was still set for Wicked, but he looked great under the giant dragon!

Hubby and I last saw him years before out in Southern California – so we didn’t feel the need to pay the big bucks to see up his nose!

We were waaaay up in the balcony – 3 rows from the back! We could see pretty well, but of course the fun of “seeing” David Sedaris is to hear him read his stories.

He read a couple excerpts from his next book! We hope he calls it “Animal Stories” – you’ll have to wait and see when it comes out!

NPR – KUNC (did you know they do a 1 day donation drive? how cool is that)  and The Tattered Cover were there to support him and he supported them right back!Very cool!

His suggested reading this time around was “Our Dumb World

It sounded hysterical and I think at least one person might be getting if for Christmas this year!

He also suggested a weird recommendation for TV or internet viewing was a show on BBC called The Specials – Sounded interesting…Weird, but interesting.

The crowd was well behaved, creepily well versed in Mr Sedaris’s life, family and habits, and just happy to have him in their midst! The hour and a half flew by and we all moaned when he left the stage.