15 Nov 2008 3 Comments
Not the movie version. We had a very cool opportunity last night. In honor of Denver turning 150 years young next week, a bunch of museums stayed open till 10 pm last night and were free. It’s part of Denver arts week. If you know me, you know I don’t pass up an opportunity to go somewhere for free (when it’s usually a pay deal.) So, after work we ate and headed downtown.
The first stop was the Byers-Evans house. We had been there before, but James hadn’t. The city grossly underestimated how many people would turn out in 30 degree weather to see free museums. The place was packed. We had an introduction in the parlor and we got to stand on the side that’s usually closed off. The lady talked about the theater groups that use the house as their performing center. We found out it’s the only way you’ll get to see the upstairs of the house too. She read a letter from a Colorado nurse writing during the civil war. It’s one of the things they do in the summer called ‘letters from home’. They go to different areas of the house and read real letters from Coloradoans from US wars. After the reading we went into the living room, tea room and the music room. The original owner, Mr. Byers, started the Rocky Mountain newspaper, which is still publishing today. He sold it after 6 years to a business friend Mr. Evans (whose father was the Gov. of Colorado.) You’ll see a lot of things named Byers or Evans in Denver, these men came here to help build a city, so their legacy goes on. The house sits in the shadows of the 2 art museums that we now have.
Next stop was the Colorado History museum. For those of you in Denver, it’s free again next Saturday when the Denver 150 exhibit opens (free cake too.) We wandered around for a bit and then made buttons from pictures of Denver. The girls made some with the Capitol, mountains, and the library with pretty colors on them. Joel made one that said Denver’s 150th and one of a pilot leaving his plane at Stapleton airport. We also got a black and white copy of a parade down 16th street in what looks like the early 1900’s. We did want to go to the Molly Brown house, but we missed the shuttle and it was 6 blocks up (and therefore 6 blocks back.) James had given me a limit of 3 museums, so we left and drove to the next stop.
We have never been to the Forney museum of transportation before. It was very neat. We thought (because the paper had said so) that we would be exploring the museum with headlamps and lanterns, but they just meant that the cars and trains had their headlamps and lanterns lit.
We saw cars from the 1900’s, buggies, hearses (did you know children’s hearses where painted white and had colorful scenes painted on them?) We saw the history of bicycles, antique children’s ride on toys and tractors.
We saw this contraption from the 1950’s; it’s a car-plane.
Apparently it worked, but you’d never get me in there. Yeah, the words experimental are probably a good reason to stay away (that and it was made out of plywood.) We saw trolley cars, trains, and the Herbie car from the demolition scene in the movie ‘Herbie fully loaded’.
This picture turned out horrible,
but it’s the inside of the old KIT car from Knight Rider (we’re watching the new version of that show now, it’s not great but Val Kilmer has finally found his niche – being KITs voice!) We sat in a Model T, saw Colorado’s first art car (not that old, in Houston we have an art car parade every year, and it’s been going on for awhile.)
We also saw Amelia Earhart’s car! After looking at a few more cars it was time to go and there were still some things we hadn’t seen.
All in all, not a bad trip. Of course if James hadn’t been along I’d have dragged the kids to probably 8 more museums (Joel says good thing Dad was there.)
Oh, and I am soooooo ready to get my new camera in the mail!
12 Nov 2008 Leave a Comment
That was a very nice ceremony.
We had a bagpiper, placed a wreath on the memorial, had a 21 gun salute, sang songs and had a fly over (that Joel said was braking all FAA rules, but I bet they allow them to fly that close to us on Veteran’s day.) The mayor of Littleton gave a speech and the roll call from 2 posts was called. Then people could come up and remember a vet in their family that died or that was still living to honor them. One vet came up and told us about how he was dropped near the woods in WWII and he came upon a group of Germans. They were surrendering so he took the officers’ luger and still has it today. He asked the Germans why they were still fighting when they knew they were losing, the officer replied, ‘We fight for the comrades.’ The veteran said that’s what we do too; we fight for our friends, our country and our freedom. Joel thought it was very cool that this man got to keep a German luger (yes, Joel, it’s called ‘spoils of war’.)
Here are some flags for the vets in my family; sorry didn’t get one of the Army flag.
But, here is the Navy flag.
The Marine flag.
Joel with the Air force flag (which as far as I know if he goes into that branch he will be the first person in my family and James’ family to be Air force.)
01 Nov 2008 Leave a Comment
While Joel was learning CPR and other first aid stuff with CAP today, the girls and I were learning about art. Joel is a card carrying member now of emergency services, he can help you if you have a heart attack, need a defibrillator, cut your arm off, drown or just need basic first aid. Hopefully he will never have to use his new found skills, but it’s nice to know he can if he needs to. He also learned the important art of directing a crowd at an emergency scene, so if he tells you to do something…do it!
At the art museum we got a backpack for the Latin American floor.
It was the only one left….We did a puzzle and then went to find the vase that looked like our puzzle.
Grace found it after searching for a few minutes. Then we played a cube game where we rolled a cube and then had to find that piece of sculpture in the room, that was kind of hard. Last was the craft, a monkey mask to color.
I think we had another piece to put on it, but I couldn’t figure it out. We went up to the 6th floor after that to see the renaissance paintings and paintings grouped by theme. In the discovery lab Grace found something that she’s been studying in history.
Here is Pissaro’s impressionist painting that could be a picture of my backyard (hint: that would mean still no snow yet.)
Here is a violin, Grace was inspired by it, she says she’s doing one like it when we get home.
Antique furniture is up here too, Bethany and I really like this chair, she’s going to paint a picture of it at home.
In the old building there are lots of skinny rectangular windows that frame the outdoors just like a painting.
Looking down at the Greek theater across the street I’m not blocked by a frame though, I know what else is out there and can imagine it. Isn’t it frustrating to be a painter and run out of canvas? To get to the frame and just end?
We had a special treat today, a group of sculptures from the artist Jean-Antoine Houdon from France.
The exhibit is on loan from the Louvre, which aroused Bethany and Grace’s curiosity (they’re taking French.) Here is Morpheus the son of the god of dreams done in marble.
Here is George Washington done in terra cotta. Houdon was invited by Ben Franklin to come to Mt. Vernon to do the cast for Washington’s sculpture.
Here is the security guard telling me not to take any more pictures (well, imagine that part.) But, he didn’t ask me to delete the ones I already took! We bumped into a friend from our HS group and her sons at the clay table, a nice treat (but we were almost ready to leave.)
We tried our hand at doing some clay sculpture, man….eyes are really hard. I guess you need to like to work with clay and be good at it in order to make something like Houdon.
Back in the other building we returned the backpack, saw the Clyfford Still and Daniel Richter exhibits and popped bubbles in the reactix bubble lab.
Here is a mobile that we were trying to make at girl scouts (it’s hard!)
Then we went around the corner where you could write a poem from a template that asked you questions about the museum. Here is someone’s poem written in algebraic equations, pretty cool.
Here is Grace’s poem:
Shadows in space
The moon creaking
Like I’m jumping
A garden of origami
Reflections of water droplets
In a dream
Echoes of laughter
Flying through space
It’s kind of neat to not know what the questions were and just see the answers. I’ll give you one though; the first question was ‘What does this museum (the building) look like to you?’ After a pass though the gift shop we left to go pick up Joel. I’m still at odds with our new museum, I think the space inside is very broken up and has lots of wasted space, but at the same time it’s growing on me. Here are some parting shots for reflection.
31 Oct 2008 Leave a Comment
No, we don’t.
Just because, we never have, so we don’t.
We did however, go out to eat.
Buy 6 pounds of candy.
Got a hotel room.
Watched the last 2 episodes of Lost season 3 and ate candy.
It was nice.
25 Oct 2008 5 Comments
James thought that meant we were going to see stem cells, no. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I heard that the Friday one was really packed with lots of school kids. So, I knew that Saturday would be better. The school kids wouldn’t voluntarily come on a non-school day! I was right!
We got in and answered some space questions to win star markers and a model of a satellite (which is going to take awhile to put together, lots of tabs.) Bethany had to say the planets (she asked them if they wanted Pluto as an answer or not, we’re fond of Pluto, so we haven’t dismissed it as a planet.) Joel had to say which planet has the most moons (Jupiter), Grace had to say how long it takes for the earth to go around the sun (from 1 birthday to the next.) Then we went over to the electricity booth.
There we shocked each other silly and magnetized a piece of PVC pipe by rubbing it with a cloth to move it’s electrons around. We played with magnets there too, here’s a game where you push 1 magnet and it hits 3 others and then knocks down a piece of wood.
Hannah thought it was cool.
We wandered through aerospace booths, saw robots running around and saw a working trebuchet (which gave us an idea….we’re going to make one.) Then we headed over to the DNA extraction booth. The guy there said it would take about 30 minutes to do the experiment and looked at the girls. Yeah, we can sit for 30 minutes (he had 50 school kids at a time the day before overwhelming him and not sitting still.) First we were given a vial of Gatorade to swish in our mouths and then spit in a cup (Hannah looked at me like, what? Spit it out, but it’s my favorite drink!) We did that and then put it back in the vial. We added soap to it, swished it around and then placed it under our arms for 15 minutes (this was the sit still part.) We had to heat up the solution so the soap could break down our cheek cells. Hannah just had fun using the pipette to transfer soap and Gatorade back and forth from the cup to the vial.
After 15 minutes we slowly added ethanol into the vial and then after a few minutes we could see a globby white substance start to form, this was our DNA. I tried to hook mine out, but ended up using the pipette to suck it out and transfer it to a vial we could wear around our neck. Grace’s DNA never formed (probably because she was eating mints right before), Bethany’s and mine came out good, Joel’s was not very formed, but I manage to suck out a few particles.
The guy helping us praised the kids for being so patient and Joel tried to swipe some more vials to play with at home (no dice.) We wondered if you could use alcohol to separate the DNA instead of ethanol. We also found out you could get more than human DNA (say if you ate a burger before doing this) in your sample. But still, that was pretty cool.
Here is a cool experiment we saw. You stick some eggs in 3 solutions: corn syrup, water and salt water. If the mixture is Hypertonic then water molecules diffuse out of the cell (egg.) If the mix is Hypotonic it’s got more water coming into the cell. And if it’s Isotonic it’s the same flowing in and out of the cell. I think I’ll get jars with a lid though! (Corn syrup is hypertonic, salt water is hypotonic.)
We wandered around some more, through the star lab, by the zoo booth and saw a prairie dog.
It’s not that we can’t see them at home, but they sure are cute up close. We went by this science supply booth where Bethany won a magnifying glass and calipers.
We got to see a lot of science equipment up close and play some games. We went by the shadow puppet booth and the make a movie booth where Bethany made a you tube video of her dance from last Christmas. We went by the math estimating booth where Grace was right on for 2 of the guesses (how many balls in a jar.) At a college booth Joel asked if he could solve the rubix cubes, the guy said yes so Joel did all 3 of them in a few minutes. The guy asked for Joel’s name so that when he was ready for college he could recruit him. Joel knows there is math involved in the formula to solve the cube, but really he just memorized the whole thing. We saw earth science booths, rocks, space stuff, engineering, chemistry and machines, awesome!
We left with lots of stuff, posters, handouts, information from colleges, DNA and of course calipers. On the way home we stopped off to buy some test tubes (we want to do the DNA extraction again) Joel didn’t find any beakers so we have to get those. We are going to do another DNA extraction, build a trebuchet and use marshmallows to model chemical reactions I’m sure I’ll finds a use for those calipers too.
17 Sep 2008 Leave a Comment
We seem to be the only people that knew it was Constitution day today. It’s not like it’s national hat day or clean up your earth day, it’s a day devoted to the study of and acknowledgment of the Constitution.
So anyway, we started our day by delving into an on-line lesson that had a newspaper print out. We read about the 13 colonies declaring war against the British, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitutional convention. 55 delegates from the states met in Philadelphia to talk and debate and come up with a better governing law. We talked about what the founders wanted, they wanted something better than what they had as colonists. They wanted a self-governing law that would protect their rights. We talked about what the Constitution says about: federalism, republican government, limited government, individual rights, separating of powers, and popular sovereignty. We talked about how a bill becomes a law and walked through the steps. When we got to step 5 (Senate debating the bill) and saw filibuster; I brought up “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” as an example. We watched it a looonnng time ago; we’re going to have to see it again. I don’t like Jimmy Stewart, but as he is filibustering that bill and talking on and on until he falls over he really shows the passion someone can have when they stand up for what they believe is right. We talked about the Bill of rights and the other amendments to the Constitution. I had the kids pick out 5 that they couldn’t live without. Joel picked 1,4,5,10 and 26; Bethany picked 1,4,10,13,19; Grace picked 1 and 13 (I think it’s the only ones she heard.)
1-freedom of religion, speech, press, assembling.
4-secure in your house and person, warrants need to be issued with cause.
5-can’t be held for capital crime without grand jury, no double jeopardy, can’t be a witness against yourself.
10-powers not delegated to the US in the Constitution are reserved to the states or people.
19-women’s right to vote.
26-yong people’s right to vote.
Then we did a crossword puzzle and went through a story about a girl at school who was an editor for the school newspaper. The principal didn’t like her story so he pulled all the newspapers and she was suspended from the paper. Her teacher had okayed the article, but the principal overruled. We talked about how freedom of the press does not apply in a school situation because the school is paying for that paper, so they have the right to pull anything they find offensive. We also found out that students in a public school are protected by the Constitution, while student in a private school are not. The government isn’t involved in private schools or for that matter in home schools, so technically a homeschooled student isn’t protected by the Constitution while ‘in school’, interesting.
Next we did an on-line game where we went back to the 1787 convention and asked questions of delegates and listened to their answers. Then we got to choose what we would have voted to be in the Constitution. We heard arguments about too much democracy, too little democracy, term limits on presidents, how much of a vote should blacks get, how little vote should blacks get and more. After each vote it would say what was actually put in the Constitution and then we made notes of it. We did an on-line quiz with some really hard questions that we had to go into our copy of the Constitution and look up. Some of that wording is really hard to understand, so we found a site that summed up amendments 11-27 in 1 or 2 words each. We also talked about how an amendment ends up on a ballot because we know about the girl in Kiowa who started a grass roots effort to get the personhood amendment on the ballot this year. She got more signatures than needed and Nov. 4th Colorado will be able to vote on the personhood amendment to add it to the law. It basically says that (to quote Horton) ‘I have to protect them because after all, a person’s a person no matter how small.” It says that a person starts at fertilization. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. We ended our study by going to school house rock’s website and learning the Preamble to the Constitution, I’ll have that song stuck in my head for weeks to come. Here’s the full song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_TXJRZ4CFc
I decided that we’d celebrate our learning by going to a Rockies game.
What does that have to do with the Constitution? Nothing, but we had a treat when we got there. The Air Force had F-18’s do a fly over and that should have clued me in that there was something else going on besides a baseball game. I saw lots of people in uniform wandering around before the game. When the game started they said that during the 3rd inning Congressional Medal of Honor winners would be on deck signing autographs. (I have pics, but my camera is being difficult about getting them off of the card, so I’ll try to get them with James’ computer tonight.) So we went down and waited an inning and a half (and missed the only homerun/point of the game) to get autographs from men who fought in many wars, showed great heroism and came home alive and with more than this medal. They were all so humble and most of them didn’t seem comfortable sitting there signing autographs, as if they had done more than their duty. But the government said they did. We talked to men who were in wheel chairs, missing an arm, on oxygen, had no feet, missing a leg, deaf, and heard their stories. It was worth missing a home run. I’m not going to write their names, but here are some things they did.
Vietnam, Army, specialist 4th class-Ignoring heavy weapon and grenade fire, he leaped to his feet and charged a heavily fortified enemy bunker firing as he ran, silencing 4 bunkers. He fought through a hail of fire and helped evacuate wounded in a pinned down company.
WWII, Army, private-He rushed an enemy strongpoint and encouraged others to join the attack. He inspired his squad in halting a counterattack. He killed 12 enemies during this attack and his fighting spirit turned impending defeat into victory.
Korea, Marines, private 1st class-Ambushed by mortar fire he and others sought cover in a trench line. A grenade landed in the trench and he unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the charge and shielding his fellow Marines as he suffered grave injuries.
Vietnam, Navy, lieutenant-He led patrols deep into heavily controlled enemy territory to rescue 2 downed pilots, saving one and continuing attempts to rescue another 2 days later. Disguised as a fisherman he found and hid the pilot and came under machine gun fire, but reached safety.
These are just a few of the stories that we heard and read about. It was very appropriate that on this day, this Constitution day, we got to honor heroes of war who helped and help us everyday to keep our rights given to us by a piece of paper.
“Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure” Abraham Lincoln.
BTW, Rockies won 1-0.
16 Sep 2008 Leave a Comment
Oddly enough, Bethany’s history lesson was about the Constitution and France’s and America’s revolutions. Tomorrow is Constitution day, I’ll post links for that above this post. Joel raced through science and vocabulary and had a homeroom session for 30 minutes. Then back to math and history for him. Grace did math and phonics and science. For writing she had to write a sentience about ‘I wish’. So she wrote, I wish I could be a whale scientist when I grow up. Hannah was busy with her leap pad and counting beans in a bowl, throwing beans on the floor and spilling beans on her table. But, it kept her occupied.
After lunch we worked on our Picasso type prints.
We engraved images onto styrofoam plates, then painted and pressed them onto paper. It was hard work getting the paint just right, but the results are worth it. Hannah decided to paint her hands as well as her plate.
Here is Joel’s rose and Bethany’s cup of coffee (well she doesn’t really know what it is, but that’s what it looks like.)
We kept printing pictures of trees, bunnies, smiley faces and abstract art until we had papers overflowing all over the kitchen. Engraving is hard work!
After we cleaned up we took Maisy to the creek with us. Fall is starting to peek out of the bushes here.
At the creek Maisy took off and was jumping through the water biting it like a mad dog.
She rushed after the girls and then rolled in the dirt (I was hoping the creek would be her bath, but she was filthy after rolling in the sand.) We waded and played and watched the dragonflies flit around.
The purple thistles are all gone; all that remains of their fleeting beauty is a dry brown husk.
There were some purple flowers and a few black eyed susans popping up around the creek.
We dug out this hole in the side of the creek to sit in the shade.
Bethany imagined she was ‘playing by the banks of Plum creek’….After some more digging and wading we dried off and headed back to the car. I think we wore the dog out!
12 Sep 2008 Leave a Comment
Last night we went over to the Wing’s museum to hear Richard Rutan speak and also the authors of the book “Capt. Jepp and his little black book”. First up was Mr. Rutan.
He told us that when he was a little boy his mother took him to air shows and he was very excited about the planes. Then one day he saw an F-100 pilot next to his plane and thought I could never do that. His mom sensed that he was thinking about the awesome job of piloting that plane and asked him, ‘Dickie, do you want to fly a plane like that?’ He said yes and she said, ‘Then set that as your goal. If you can dream it you can do it and remember only the only way to fail is to quit.’ So, he set the goal of becoming a jet pilot and he did. He flew missions in Vietnam and when he retired from the Air force he came back home where his little brother was concocting a scheme of flying non-stop around the world. Richard thought it was an impossible goal, but then so was his becoming a pilot, so he told his brother, Burt, that he’d do it. Mr. Rutan said that if he had known how much time and effort was going to go into the building of the plane he would have quit, but then like his mom said that would be the only way to fail.
After 5 years the plane was ready to fly, they loaded up the plane (which originally weighed only 939 pounds) with 2 pilots, fuel and supplies and suddenly the weight was 9,694.5. The fuel made the wings so heavy that they bowed out and dragged the ground. Richard insisted on 300 more pounds of fuel to be put it the plane, his brother said it would never fly, he was wrong.
They started down the runway at Edwards Air force base (the longest runway in the US) and it took 95% of the runway, but they made it in the air. We were watching a video of the take off and as the Voyager went down the runway the wing tips were scraping on the ground. Once they got airborne and ascended to 1,000 feet both of the wingtips were wrenched off the plane’s wings. Suddenly they had lost 3 feet of wingspan and the wings were flopping up and down as they flew. I don’t know how they made it, but 9 days later they touched down at Edwards Air force base having traveled 26,358 statue miles. To this day no one has gone on a longer non-refueled around the world flight. Neat! He also said that no one in his youth could imagine that he and his brother would grow up to be famous or do amazing things like go around the world non-stop. He told us that as we teach we should remember that those in our tutelage have the opportunity and the ability to grow up and do great things. We should never underestimate the will of youth and the power of encouragement.
Next up were the Authors of the book, “Capt. Jepp and his little black book”. If you fly then you know about Jeppesen, even if you don’t that name may sound familiar. You may have seen the terminal name at DIA or his statue or the company in Englewood. All of them are in honor of the man who made flying safe for the masses. If it weren’t for Jeppesen and his navigational charts, many people may have died in airplane accidents and wars may not have been won. What’s so important about navigation? Well, go get in a Cessna, get up to 12,000 feet and ask me then! Elrey Jeppesen was an adventuresome spirit; he loved planes and hated school. I’ll bet he would have loved HS’ing. Anyway he quit formal school and became a wing walker and acrobatic pilot. His pilot’s license was signed by Orville Wright!! He did barnstorming, aerial photography, stunt shows and flew for United Airlines (back when it was Boeing.)
All the time he flew he kept a little book with notes in it about his trip. His altitude, where good landing sites were, perimeters of fields, height of silos, length of runways. More and more pilots began asking for a copy of his book, so at night he would mimeograph a small book and sell it for $10. Eventually he gave up his passion for flying and devoted his time solely to making navigational charts. WWI and II made his business boom as the Army and Navy came to him asking for charts. Eventually his business was sold to Sanderson and changed hands a few more times before finally becoming known as Jeppesen. Mr. Jeppesen left for awhile, but was asked to come back as a consultant. He was there at the ribbon cutting of the opening of the Jeppesen terminal at DIA and he was inducted into every pilot hall of fame there is. Mr. Barnhart who co-wrote the book was actually able to sit down with Mr. Jeppesen at lunches and talk about the book, but it wasn’t until after Mr. Jeppesen died that the book started to come about. Mr. Barnhart hired Mr. Whitlock to help him finish the book and it came out last year on what would have been Jeppesen’s 100th b-day. Joel went to a program at the library when the book came out and had the authors sign it.
So that was our night, very cool to have met a real live pilot personality and hear tidbits from the life of a pilot’s favorite person (because without Jeppesen, Joel would end up in Sterling when he meant to be in Pueblo!)
06 Sep 2008 Leave a Comment
(That’s festivals for the rest of us.)
We went to the Highlands Ranch days this morning. I wish Shea homes would just make it a museum, move in some furniture and open it year-round. As it is, you can only see the mansion during Highlands Ranch days, pity.
Anyway the mansion sits on top of a hill overlooking a valley on one side and the foothills to the other. It was built in 1891 when John Springer came here to homestead. He started to build a castle style mansion. After his wife died he wooed a lady named Isabelle who was 20 years his junior. He re-named the castle ‘Castle Isabelle’ and they married. I guess he should have stayed home more or not bought his wife a room at the Brown palace hotel (she liked to party.) She got involved with other men and eventually 2 men fought for her outside the Brown palace, one of them killing not only the other lover, but some innocent bystanders too. John divorced his wife and sold the ranch to his former father-in-law Colonel Hughes (from Texas.) He re-named the ranch Sunland ranch and after his death it passed to his granddaughter Annie Springer-Hughes. Annie and her husband sold the ranch in 1920 to Waite Phillips (one of the brothers who founded Phillip’s petroleum corp.) Then the ranch passed to Frank Kistler who called it Diamond K ranch. He sold it to Lawrence Phipps Jr. (a name we’ll see later at Lowry.) This is where the name we have now comes in. Phipps Highland Ranch, later shortened to just Highlands Ranch and with a ‘s’ thrown in for good measure.
His father was a Carnegie steel man and a senator from Colorado. When he died in 1976 the ranch was sold to Marvin Davis of Davis oil corp. Then he sold it to Mission Viejo Company from CA. They wanted to make a master planned community and in 1981 broke ground for Highlands Ranch as we now know it. Mission Viejo also did a community in Aurora a little earlier than HR.
Now once a year we have HR days. We get to see fur trappers, miners, civil war re-enactors (know how many civil war battles there were in CO?….0, so it’s kind of funny that they’re here.) We get to ride the carriage around the property, tour the mansion, play games and see Indian dances. Before we even got inside the grounds we sat in the Wells Fargo carriage.
Next year they’ll have the horses attached to it, they didn’t think it would fit through the gate so they left the horses at home.
I could see riding in this carriage out west; it had padded seats and windows (probably not too authentic.) Next to the entrance was the petting zoo. Grace found a huge bunny.
Hannah started hugging all of the goats and feeding them carrots.
We saw a really big desert tortoise and a baby pig (oh, he was so cute, can we have miniature pot-belly pigs in HR? Probably not.)
Here is part of the original house, the castle that Springer built.
Finally we made our way inside the house for a tour. In the main room there is a 2 ton grandfather clock on the wall.
It was made in Italy and I guess the reason it’s still here is that it’s heavy! The mantles were all replaced by Kistler and he carved the original house style and the additions to it, also an aerial view of the house.
So if you get lost (it’s not that big!) you can find a mantle and locate where you are in the house. This room was a billiard room once upon a time. There are holes in the walls with a secret passageway to climb through that will let you go upstairs or down. It’s really small and I guess was made for the kids (Joel would be hard pressed to fit in there.)
There are no nails in this room (which freaked Bethany out) just butterfly shapes to hold the walls together and pegs in the floor. In the kitchen I saw this oven, I like it!
I really want that for my kitchen, I don’t know where I’d put it though. Back outside we saw the Tudor addition and watched an Indian dance.
Then we wandered around to the cook’s wagon.
He told us how the cook would ride ahead of the cattle drive and start cooking an evening meal for the cowboys.
His rig was really 100 years old, looks in pretty good shape. We took a hay ride with the horses around the property. Here’s the old carriage house, right next to the machine shop.
One last pet for the horses and it was time to go.
We’ll be back next year.
Next stop Lowry AFB for the Glory days festival. This festival celebrates the ‘glory days’ of Lowry, back in the 40’s-50’s. Back then Officer Row quarters and hangars no.1 and 2 provided the base for air operations in CO. The chapel was visited by Dwight Eisenhower when he visited the base. Lawrence Phipps Jr. built a sanatorium here for lung patients and in 1937 the Army air corps started to transform the old sanatorium into an AFB. They put up hangars 1-4, a runway and classes began. In June 1941 the Army air corps became the Army air force (it wouldn’t be until Sep 1947 that the Air force would become its own branch of the military.) Lowry turned out officers and flight crew for the war. After the war ended Lowry field became Lowry AFB (1948.) The cold war in the 50’s pushed Lowry and the Air force into Jet systems. Now Lowry was teaching about Jet-powered aircraft, guided missiles, nuclear ordnance, and electronic and computerized equipment. The Korean war was responded to by Lowry adding more classes and turning out more pilot’s that were equipped to fight different war. In 1952 President Eisenhower signed a bill authorize an Air force academy. Lowry was where all cadets went for training while the academy was being built in Co. Springs. The base continued to train and operate as an AFB, but in 1994 was closed down. Then it became a neighborhood like no other.
The officers row was revamped, the hangar became a museum, businesses and buildings opened up and now we have the neighborhood of Lowry. It’s really neat how they took the old quarters and houses and kept them intact. The first time we moved up here they had just finished the apartments that were enlisted men’s quarters, I thought it would be really cool to live there. Plus if we had lived there we’d be right next to the Wings museum, oh well, I like my house in HR.
We wandered around the festival and got tons of free stuff: shirts, sun lotions, pens, dog bowls, candy, candy, cotton candy, starbucks coffee, magnets, hats, wallets, oh the list goes on. We saw the Buckley honor guard do the flag folding ceremony.
I wish they had done it with the explanation of the folds like last year, they didn’t, but here are the folds and what they mean (attributed to a chaplain from the Air force academy.)
1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
10. The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
11. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
12. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
13. The thirteenth fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God we Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
I think that’s cool. Anyway we went around and saw the chapel built in 1941 inside and out.
Then we found more free stuff, ate our candy and saw the officers row town homes (only 225K) on the way out.
We always have an affection for Lowry Glory days because it was one of the first ‘vegetables’ we attended when we moved up here in 2003. We got a free goldfish at the festival that we put in a glass jar in our hotel room to keep us company. Ahh, the memories. Next we stopped over at Wing’s over the Rockies because they were having a book sale. Of course they had mostly aircraft books and Joel got a haul. He bought 3 big cardboard boxes of books for $3 plus a few other books that were lying around for another $3 and some free magazines. Titles range from Aircraft radio training to Algebra to The mans guide to war. Of course most of the stuff is out of date, but they’re books and Joel wanted them!. We showed James the airlock that we heard the lecture on and the girls got to ride the pedal planes and then it was time to go.
2 festivals in one day, not quite 7 museums in one day, but still good.
01 Sep 2008 3 Comments
I made out at the thrift store this morning, hmmm……I mean I got a good deal at the store (James was home, how could I ‘make out’?) Anyway I got the girls new coats, Hannah a new snow suit, Joel new snow pants, all the girls new jeans and some for me too. Now we’re almost ready for winter, I just need to see how many gloves we’re missing and who needs them, oh and maybe 1 pair of snow boots (the rest get passed down.) I hate trying to find a matching glove when we’re ready to go sledding. I know the last time I looked in the glove bin we had plenty of mittens, but mismatched gloves. Not that I care, as long as I can find 5 pairs of gloves that have a reasonable match in size to each other I’ll take them. Time to start knitting hats again too, YEAH!
After lunch we went to Daniels park in Highlands Ranch, it’s about 6 miles from our house. Technically it’s part in HR, part in Castle rock and part in Sedalia (I have no idea how that is possible.) It has an awesome view of the Front Range from almost peak to peak.
The kids had fun climbing on the rocks and listening to the cows ‘moo’. Hannah picked up rocks and found a little lizard darting around.
No one fell off the rocks, that’s good because it’s a long way down.
We sat at a picnic table for awhile while the kids rambled and just soaked up the sun and breeze.
This will be an even prettier view when we get the first snow in a few months. On the way out we saw the buffalo, not roaming just sitting, and a few prairie dogs.
I think we’ll have school here this week. We went to the mall to get our coffee shake snack at Borders and then headed home.
That was a nice holiday weekend, back to the grind tomorrow.
30 Aug 2008 6 Comments
8 museums in one day, a new Carberry record. James was off today and I told him it was the last weekend to do this thing called ‘Our Journey’. Colorado decided to promote the Eastern plains and get some tourists out there, so they made up this package. You get a ticket with all these tourist museums and attractions on it and as you go to each place you get a stamp. Collect 7 and get a free book. Think of it as a scavenger hunt involving new places and attractions to see. Well, I asked James if he wanted to go, he said yes, so we hopped in the car and took off. All of the museums on the list are free with the ticket, sad to say it’s over Labor day. Most of the museums are seasonal, so you’ll have to wait until next year to visit. I’ll have a list at the bottom of this post about museum locations and hours. We were going to start in Burlington and work our way back, but our first stop was in Genoa.
Now, if you are afraid of heights, claustrophobic or have an intense dislike of clutter, then the Wonder view tower is not for you! As we approached the tower on a dirt road I thought, this is it?
I was thinking it would be like the Florida citrus tower………um……….no. Always gaudy and gimmicky on purpose, the World’s Wonder View Tower was the promotional invention of Colorado’s P.T. Barnum, C.W. Gregory, and his partner, Myrtle Le Bow.
Almost 60 years ago, Gregory built the original tower of wood, and then continuously added rock rooms until the complex sprawled over the knoll east of Genoa for several hundred feet.
Now add in thousands of rocks, glass bottles and antiques for sale, a treacherous climb to the top where Ripley himself said you could see 6 states (my, he has good vision) and you have to tower.
With binoculars on a haze free day you can see CO, KS, NB and WY, with a stretch you could maybe see NM and I have no idea how he saw SD. We saw this.
You start your climb on an inside twisty staircase that takes you past glass bottles and books.
Each room up is colored; the red room, the yellow room, then after climbing a ladder you reach the little room.
We left Hannah here and went one at a time to the top through a smaller hole in the roof and another ladder.
It was very windy and I’m amazed this thing doesn’t blow over.
After climbing down we saw the PT type stuff (2 headed calf, 8 footed pig.)
Do you know what happens to stuff that is supposed to be in formaldehyde and you let the liquid evaporate? I do now, it turns into a skeleton. Note to self, keep jars full and airtight.
Wandering around we went into the rock rooms. This was originally built for a café and grocery store, Indian paintings on the wall were painted by a Sioux Indian named Ravenwing (of course PT was involved, so I’m not sure how much I believe that.)
There is a fireplace made out of 1 rock from every state, a petrified rock room, and just a maze of rooms with old books, kitchen stuff, everything!
We could have wandered around in there for days, but we had 7 more stops to make, so we bought some rocks and books and left. If you want to rock hunt or like to buy glass bottles, this is the place for you!
Usually admission is $1 and if you can guess what 10 items are used for you get your dollar back.
Next stop was the town of Arriba, now that’s not A-ree-ba, it’s Air-uh-buh (which means high place.)
It was founded by a man with some foresight, his name was Charles Creel. The new town was called Arriba and it’s not really high, since everything around it is flat, but I guess he thought it was a nice name. He said to himself, ‘ya’ know that train is going to be moving west and when it does it will need a town with a water tower to stop at’ (trains had to stop every 10 miles to add water to the boiler.) So, he built a house to replace his tent at 48 Elm Street in 1887 and sure enough the train did come and make this town a stop. All went well until 1904 when a man named C.C. Coleman purchased acreage east of Arriba’s boundary. He was a man who liked a drink, Creel was not – his town was dry. Well Coleman named his city Frontier city, proclaimed himself mayor and built a saloon – then the feuding began. Not only did he lay out his streets in line with Arriba’s, he then named them different names and to this day as you travel on Elbert St. you are suddenly on Lincoln St., also Colorado St. becomes Front St. and so on. The feuding men built a fence, but people still crossed it to get a drink. They dug an 8 foot deep ditch between the two towns and placed barb wire on top, but people still crossed to get a drink. The feud continued for 14 years and the area was known as no man’s land, finally both towns had a vote and decided to take down the fences and rename the whole area Arriba. Also of note: the Great Western stock show that comes to Denver every year was started by men from this small town. In the little museum we saw a video of the towns’ colorful history, old photos, dresses, land maps, it was neat.
There isn’t much to see in Arriba, but you can drive through the whole town in a few minutes.
Next stop Grampa Jerry’s clown museum. If you have nightmares about poltergeist, don’t come here. If you don’t like clowns….head to the next stop.
Grampa Jerry started his clown collection as a kid, and then thanks to family and friends it grew to the now almost 4,000 pieces of clown memorabilia. The museum is free, but takes donations. There are clowns everywhere, on the wall, ceiling, windows.
There are clown sun catchers, paddles, buttons, dolls, the list goes on. Jerry had a visit from the real Bozo the clown (that was on TV in the 1950’s.) He still gets clowns from visitors, if you want to send him one:
Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum
22 Lincoln Avenue, Arriba, CO 80804
From there we went to Burlington to see the Kit Carson county carousel and Old town. First the carousel and museum. The museum was really nice. We saw ads from the company that made the carousel (originally at Elitch gardens) the Philadelphia toboggan co.
We saw a miniature version of the carousel, how the animals were carved out of wood, the restoration process and more.
We saw the inside of the music machine, the paper that goes through the machine and how the pipes get to sound like different instruments (by the shape of the wood as they come out of the pipe.)
The carousel was bought by Elitch gardens in 1905 and then bought for Burlington in 1928. It is the only antique carousel in America that still has original paint on the panels and animals and is run by the original engine.
It is a stationary (the animals don’t move up and down) that runs 10 MPH while you listen to the pipe organ play its paper tune. The animals are a menagerie (animals other than real ones) and it is the only surviving menagerie from the Philadelphia toboggan co.
It’s housed in a 12 sided white frame structure and here’s the story.
In the 1930’s during a drought and the dust bowl the fairgrounds closed and the carousel closed. They actually used the structure to house grain (yes, on top of the carousel animals.) When they finally opened the doors, oh you can imagine the mess. Rodents had eaten away all of the pipe organ tubing, chewed at the animals and paintings and just destroyed it. Some townspeople said ‘let’s burn it’, but fortunately there were some who thought they could restore it. They cleaned it up, sent the paintings off to Denver to be restored and varnished the animals to save the paint.
It’s also the only carousel with 98% original paint on the paintings and 90% original paint on the animals. You can ride for a quarter and the museum admission is $1.
Next stop in Burlington was Old town. If I had to pay, I would have been slightly disappointed in this one. In the summer months they have gun fights, soda shops goodies and shows in the saloon, but today it was quiet. We went through the structures, some old, some just housing old stuff.
We saw the barber shop (remind me to not use that thing to perm my hair), the printers shop, jail, church, and school house.
There was a sod house that looked like cold would never get in that thing, a barn, drugstore, saloon and soda store.
It was neat getting to see the old stuff in each house, but if they had shows and things going on that would have made it neater. If you want to visit both the old town and carousel you can take a wagon called the old town express from either place and then when you are ready they’ll take you back to your car.
Hugo and the Hedlund house museum was our next stop. This house was built in 1887, 2 years after Mr. Hill homesteaded a plat of land and named a town Hugo. No one’s really sure why it’s called Hugo; they think there was an earlier man named Hugo. This house is really, really old. It’s a nice size downstairs and 2 bedrooms upstairs. Eventually the house became the property of the Hedlund family, they had 8 daughters. I’m not sure where they put them all in this 2 bedroom house, but since they had 8 girls they have dress up stuff upstairs.
We got to try on hats and look at old dresses. Hugo’s claim to fame is that in 1903 Teddy Roosevelt stopped here on a stump speech, that’s pretty cool.
The mother of the family made lots of quilts and this braided rug, pretty isn’t it?
Outside we got to see the old 1940’s fire truck, it still runs at Christmas in the parade down Main Street.
Also they had the sculptures that were on the old courthouse, I think they fell off and never got restored, so they hang in here.
We saw an old bank vault, teletype machine and an old TV. I love old things (and boy this trip has had enough of them to last me for awhile!) It was getting dark and we wanted to make the last stop, so we told our guides goodbye and headed to Limon.
We asked at each stop how the town got the name; Limon was the name of a railroad foreman. All of these small towns were born from the railroad, Limon is no different.
In 1910 The Rock Island and Union pacific rail lines made this their new depot. Limon is planning a big birthday in 2010 when the station turns 100. You used to be able to get off here from Denver or CO. Springs, but passenger rail stopped after 1970. We got to see telegraph lines, the engineers shop, and the desks for the train depot workers.
They still had paper with Rock island printed on them from 30-50 years ago stashed in the cabinets. There were old phones and machines, signals and photos.
Outside we got to climb in the Pullman car with it’s bar and nice chairs.
The next car had upper level seating that you could climb up to. We almost missed the Limon heritage museum at the other end of the trains. Limon will be 100 next year and they are having a grand celebration on August 1, 2009 (you’re invited!)
They had life on the plains from Indians to the 1970’s.
They had tipis, wagons, a general store, old washing machines, 1930’s furniture, photos and a weather system that was used before Doppler radar.
In the 1920’s Ripley proclaimed Limon as the ‘city with the most gas stations’, there were 24 gas stations on a mile of road.
Like all of these other towns we visited, when the main road 24 was moved to interstate 70 they started to die. Some have held on better like Burlington, but towns like Genoa and Arriba are a shadow of their former self. It’s a little sad to see what was in the old photos and see what it is today. Maybe we can relive a little of history by going to the old places and seeing their museums and shops. We can travel down Main Street and get a glimpse of Colorado on the Eastern plains in the 1930’s.
As we left the train depot and listened to the trains pull in I could almost see a town full of people, plowing the fields, raising corn and wheat and living their lives. Visit these places and maybe you can see it too.
Lincoln County’s Hedlund House Museum
617 3rd Avenue, Hugo, CO 80821
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays 4-7 p.m. • Saturdays, 1-7 p.m. • Sundays, 1-4 p.m.
or by appointment (719-743-2233)
Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park – Limon, CO
899 1st Street, Limon, CO 80828
Open June 1 to August 31 | Mon-Sat, 1-8 pm
Free admission. Tours available.
World’s Wonder View Tower
30121 Frontage Road, Genoa, CO 80818
Open Daily, Year Round, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
719-763-2309 $1 admission
317 Lincoln Avenue, Arriba, CO 80804
Open April 15 – October 15 Daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Off Season by appointment only (719-768-3412)
Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum
22 Lincoln Avenue, Arriba, CO 80804
Open Daily 10-6 p.m., Memorial Day – Labor Day
Off Season by appointment only (719-768-3257)
Kit Carson County Fairgrounds at Burlington
815 15th Street, Burlington, CO 80807
25 cents for a ride and Carousel tour
Museum admission: $1 per person; children under 10 free!
Open Daily Memorial Day to Labor Day, 1-8 pm
420 South 14th Street, Burlington, CO 80807
Open all year round! Take I-70 or Highway 385
Group specials available. $6/$2
25 Aug 2008 1 Comment
If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to make 60 PB&J sandwiches….I didn’t time it. I think it was about 8 minutes a loaf and that was 11-13 sandwiches, so about 40 minutes or so. Half a jar of jelly and 1 ½ jars of peanut butter later (plus 60 sandwich bags) we were done. We had 2 packs of cookies, water and sandwiches ready to go downtown and feed whoever was hungry. On the way to the bus I was herding the kids up the hill and noticed Hannah didn’t have any shoes on. It’s amazing we made it to the bus on time, I had to run back and find her shoes and then we ran up the hill. We got on the bus and had the nicest bus driver. We talked about Jesus and where we go to church and what we were doing that day. When we stopped at the rail he announced over the system ‘Have a blessed day and God be with you.’ Right then I knew we were going to have an awesome day (and a safe day.) We gave him a sandwich and then went to the train stop.
As we waited on the platform a Denver host came up (they are the ones in yellow shirts, look for them if you have a question downtown.) She commented on how cute the girls looked in their matching dresses; I said it’s to keep track of them downtown.
She said ‘downtown!’ Yes, I was apparently almost the only one taking kids downtown today. Anyway I told her we were handing out free sandwiches, walking the mall and going to the art museum. Oh yes, it’s free today she said, yeah I’m a HS’er I know when everything’s free! She also didn’t know about the MSNBC platform or the fact that the trains at Union station have the cheapest snacks. What kind of host is she? On the train we colored our Colbert Nation signs, we’re going to ferret out if he’s here and we WILL see him. The train got really packed as we got closer to downtown, all these nice people reducing their carbon footprint (oh, what me? Sure, we rode the bus/train, but I handed out 60 plastic bags and 60 plastic cups, threw away 1 plastic water container and 2 plastic cookie containers. I think that made up for my non-car use.) We passed up the big blue bear at the convention center and it was teaming with people.
Next stop 16th street mall. The shuttles were working (for now) so we hopped one and started towards the capitol. Most of the cities homeless like to make their presence known so they stay around the capitol area of civic center park. Unfortunately for them the protestors have civic center as their main headquarters.
We started on one end of the park and walked all the way around.
We bumped into the street medics on the other side; they had big containers of cooked food that they were handing out. They took some of the sandwiches though just in case they needed them. The street medics are kind of cool, they have first aid training and duct tape crosses on their shirts to identify them. It’s really a help to the local paramedics I would assume, because the street medics are right there. We had just missed a group of protestors marching up to the mall, so we kept going around the park handing out sandwiches and cookies until we got all the way around.
A reporter from Fox 31 came up and asked if she could tape us and ask a few questions, sure I said.
She asked us our names and then asked the kids why they were doing this. Replies were, “Because our pastor asked us to go help people”, “Because we wanted to”, “Because I like the way it makes me feel.” Then she asked them who the 1st president was (this was after I said we HS’ed, guess she was checking us.) Bethany and Grace both said, ‘George Washington” really fast. Then I asked them, ‘Who’s your favorite president?” Bethany and Joel said, “George Washington” and Grace opened her mouth and said, ‘George Bush.” I cracked up; luckily most of the protestors were too far away to hear. Then she asked Joel who was running for president and he replied, “John McCain and Barack Obama” Like anyone in Denver right now couldn’t tell you that! She said it would be on their website in a few days.
We headed back to the mall with about 8 sandwiches left. It was harder to give them out on the mall because most of the people were convention goers and could afford better than a PB&J, but eventually we found 8 more people who were grateful for the food. We ate at our Hot dog man’s stand and then rode the bus up to MSNBC.
There was a lady on interviewing a lady senator, but they had the area more roped off than yesterday so we couldn’t get very close. We pulled out our Colbert Nation signs and went to work: chanting Colbert, getting on camera and waving our signs and holding up Hannah so she could say, ‘Colberry Nation!’
Joel bought this hat and on the way out we got it signed by Will Pope, an artist who has some art in a gallery off Wazee st. (Yes, Joel’s sign says John Stewart with an X on top of his name.) Mr. Pope signed a few posters for us too, thank you! We rode the shuttle back down until we were interrupted by police and people clashing. Oh, and the suspicious package at the other end. People please, I know you want to disrupt the DNC, but come on! Some of us are just locals and we’d like to ride the shuttle rather than walk a mile.
We went to the DAM where Target was handing out free bags with red, white and blue pins on them. We splashed around in the bubble room where Grace had a RAD episode. I pulled out her meds only to realize that the full albuterol was in the car, I had the empty one. I tried to get one puff out of it though but it wasn’t working. I really thought for a few minutes that we’d have to go see the street medics, but I managed to calm her down and slow her breathing. We sat in the bubble room for 20 minutes until Grace was breathing better. Sometimes when she starts to panic that she’s not getting enough oxygen it makes her breathe faster and that only makes it worse, she was still very wheezy as we left, but we just had to walk a block to wait on the bus. Walking to the other side of the museum Bethany thought this was pretty.
We passed through the Native American section in the museum and then went to play. Ah…the only place in the whole museum that you can touch art and get on it.
We made button blankets, the blanket part is on the back.
Some of us made airplanes instead.
We picked up our Target bags and headed to the bus stop.
The police had groups on every corner at the park.
I think there was supposed to be some big protestor thing today, but it never materialized. There are far more cops than protestors, even the tent state people were supposed to have thousands and they probably have hundreds. (You never saw more disappointed reporters than today, they keep saying ‘they have a few more days, maybe something will happen.’ Almost sounds like they want something to happen so they can report it.)
We got on the bus and headed for home, a little tired, but happy that we helped out a few people today.
24 Aug 2008 4 Comments
First – James got to fly over the hot-air balloons yesterday for his flying lesson. Also he won’t have one this week because of the DNC. Centennial airport is locked up tight and VFR pilot’s don’t have to file a flight plan (but they want everyone flying out or in this week to file a flight plan) so he’ll have to wait till next week to get another lesson. Joel got to help put up and take down 4 balloons this morning, including the energizer bunny. We got there too late to see that, but we did see the balloons coming down. He was also security on 2 balloons, so he got to say ‘M’am you’re too close to the balloon, please step away.’
After church we decided to head downtown for the pre-convention and just see what was up.
A green festival and peace protests (aren’t the words peace/protest incongruous?) were at Civic center park. We passed that up and headed for the 16th street mall. Here are the new Denver daisies that are around town for the convention.
We saw bands of protestors on the other side of the street, here’s a bunch about to start off from our favorite hot dog man’s spot.
There were cops from everywhere, Brighton, Aurora, Douglas cty., Arvada. They were on bikes, hummers, horses, foot, cars, wow! We waved ‘hi’ at all of them and told them they were doing a great job.
We even asked one police officer about the assault rifles, we’re probably the only people who think they are cool (that’s because we know they won’t use them on us, we aren’t doing anything wrong!)
Even the horses have riot shields, which is nice, that way they won’t get hit in the eyes.
We saw signs like this one, a brave guy (we only saw 2 people with these signs.)
The t-shirt shop was decidedly against Republicans, wonder why? Union station is closed down for the event so they could park historic Union Pacific trains out front. (It’s free to see.)
We walked up to this one and look at this one! It’s not that old, 1944, but there is so much train in front of the conductor.
I’ll bet if he hit something he wouldn’t know it for miles.
Look at the cab, all those levers and buttons, and wheels, cool.
At the end of the mall we saw a platform with MSNBC on it; they were doing a live show of Chris Matthews’s hardball.
So we joined in.
We were right behind these guys as they were fighting each other, and Hannah wasn’t too freaked out.
Then we stood in the back and watched the show. Then, oh my gosh, Pat Buchanan who had just been on the show walked over to us, shook hands and signed our fan!
James was just on cloud nine! We went back and watched the show and if you heard girly chants of “Colbert Nation” that was Grace (and Hannah, but she was saying “Colberry Nation!”) Our kids love Colbert, it’s truth in news that’s funny. We felt like turning on the water faucet that was hooked up to the hydrants and running off yelling “Whoooa! Whoooo!” (If you saw the episode you get it.) Although, we like Colbert more when he says that Obama is a secret muslim than when he says McCain is older than Adam and Eve. Our kids now refer to the eagle as the ‘Colbert bird’, maybe that’s not a good thing, but it IS funny!
Anyway, I digress, we watched the show and continued to yell “Colbert Nation” everytime they wanted us to applaud and then we met….Jim VandeHei. He’s from politico.com and gave each of the kids a 2008 convention politico button to wear.
He was very nice, thanks Jim; you made their day (they don’t really know who Chris Matthews or Pat Buchanan are.) Hannah even mistook Jim for Colbert (from the back.) So, after meeting 2 famous people and seeing Chris Matthews we headed back down the mall.
We just made it through a police blockade by California street before they closed it off. A group of protestors was coming the other way; I don’t think anything happened though. But, the shuttle buses were stopped so we had to walk all the way back down the mall to get to the car. We probably walked 3 miles total!
People of Denver, if you are afraid to get out, don’t be. The whirring of the helicopters and the amount of police made me feel safe. You can see so many interesting things and come on…it’s been 100 years since the democrats came to town (hopefully it will be another 100) and how many times is the convention in YOUR city.
So, get out and walk the mall, see the train exhibit, see the protestors and go see MSNBC by union station. Give the musicians some change and if you’re down there tomorrow you can help me give out free PB&J sandwiches.
20 Aug 2008 Leave a Comment
The guys all went to Buffalo Bills grave and Look out mountain while the girls went to Celestial seasonings and Longmont. Janice is into geo-caching so I found 3 sites along the way to look for.
The first one was the easiest (and the only one we found.) We went out in the park and had to decipher the hint to find the micro-cache under the table.
We opened up the film canister and everyone wrote their names in the logbook (even Hannah, to bad her name has no O’s in it.)
Then we went over to Celestial and ate at the café.
Of course they wanted to do the tour, so Hannah and I sat out (she’s too young) and drank tea. They have honey-lemon-ginseng that was really good.
After shopping in the gift shop and tasting some more tea we headed over to Longmont.
We went through the Front Range exhibit and then looked at the new exhibit about life on a farm. Here is a really poorly lighted picture of the different Queen cells that were found in a hive, I thought they looked really cool.
They had a tractor and some garden items, but mostly pictures of beets and peaches, dirt, bees, flowers and the hands of a gardener. We went upstairs to the observation room and read.
Dressed up and got read to.
Then we went to find the last 2 caches.
Wow, that was hard. We had the right coordinates, but they must have buried the can in the bank, we couldn’t find it. We did get to see the Tower of compassion though.
The next cache was at a bus stop, but again it kicked our butt. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find it. So we stomped home and rested a bit before going out to Texas roadhouse (in Colorado.) Our server was very nice and Hannah was so happy she got a hot dog she hugged Tim (she normally eats off everyone else’s plate, but I guessed she’d be hungry enough to eat her own food, you’d think she never gets her own food the way she acted!) We got to bed a bit earlier this night because we were whipped from the previous stay-up-late-and-chat session.
13 Aug 2008 Leave a Comment
OR – Lakeside amusement park turns 100! Now, 100 is pretty old, Denver turns 100 this year, the capitol building in Denver was finished in 1908 and a little amusement park called Lakeside was born 100 years ago in Lakeside (of course), Colorado. It used to have a covered bathing pool (because people back then didn’t swim, they bathed, I guess.) It had a dancing pavilion, a train, a roller coaster named the Cyclone, a carousel and more. Some people would ride the trolley from downtown to get to Lakeside. I talked to a guy last year who fondly remembered getting on the trolley and arriving here and what a thrill it was. If you want to visit their website, go here, but turn your computer’s sound down (they have an old video of Lakeside from what looks like the 1920′s and it’s pretty loud.) *My pics are all from crappy camera because new camera is getting repaired after getting, ahem, damp in Florida.
Well, now 100 years later some things are gone.
No more speed racers on the lake, no more bathing pool, no more dancing pavilion and some of the really neat rides that I’ve never seen before.
Gone is the giant Ferris wheel, all that’s left is the center and arms of the wheel, but at least they left it for us to look at. But, some things stay (and therefore are 100 years old.) Like the train, the carousel and the Cyclone. The kiddie rides at the front are mostly circa 1970’s (i.e. I rode them.)
They added a new ride this year, the skateboard, which Hannah and Grace thought was fun.
I just love seeing them on the little rides because I remember going on them. Ever been on the canoe ride? Sometimes it gets stuck and you have to give it a shove to get going again.
There is a mini-whip, roller coasters, airplanes (although Joel is right these look more like bombs than airplanes) and more nostalgic rides.
Hannah was big enough this year to ride the big rides, so we all rode the whip, the Matterhorn, Ferris wheel, heart, tilt-a-whirl and scrambler together.
I told the kids we wouldn’t spin if we were all in the tilt-a-whirl together, but they didn’t believe me. Please, I have enough experience to know you need at least 2 people leaning on one side of the ride to make it spin well. Hannah and I rode the Hurricane, it’s a plane that swings around and you control the pitch with a front rudder, she didn’t like that one so much. We rode the carousel, look at these horses (and they have real horse hair for tails, which if that is 100 years old, is a little gross!)
This is the way a carousel should be, with the pipe organ where you can see it and with animals other than horses to ride.
We rode the train around the lake and somebody must have recently fallen off because the driver was adamant that if you fall off, he won’t stop the train to get you. It’s a really nice, slow ride around the lake with the mountains in the background.
Then on the other side of the lake you see the whole park.
The highlight of my trip to the park is the Wild Chipmunk.
I don’t care about 100 year old wood in the Cyclone, I want a ride that’s made of metal and only 60 years old. Imagine the scariest roller coaster ride you’ve ever been on……..now make the car small and shaped like a bullet…..now add springs onto the front and back……..now take away any safety equipment like belts/straps/bars and you have the Wild Chipmunk. It’s a crazy ride. We also rode the starship 2000; you know that one that spins you around while you stand up until you’re glued to the side of the ride? Yeah, I didn’t like that one so much.
It was a great night, no lines, not a lot of people, no waits, nice and cool, perfect. And having the library foot the bill for all the kids – priceless (what it would have cost: $47)
*Old photos of Lakeside and old post card from Lakeside from files at: http://www.lakesideamusementpark.com/