Thursday, December 30, 2010
When it comes to my adventure list, camping and fishing are towards the end…and hunting didn’t quite make the cut. So when I headed into the Bass Bro Shop just to check it out, I revamped my adventure list. Fishing and Camping, number one and two, and hunting number three! Who woulda thought?! But if that means I could have these hobbies and shop at this store, I would do it.
I felt like I was on vacation. The scenery does enough. Waterfall spouting after you enter, an aquarium, high wooded ceiling that gives off a relaxing cabin feel. Cozy combined with entertaining. There is a rock climbing wall, a shotgun museum and a game where you can practice your target shooting. Shopping would never be the same!
I thought I would pop in, walk for a few minutes, and pop out. And that is exactly what happened, except the few minutes turned to a wee bit more! And I didn’t even have any specifics on my list, like a new Shimano Calcutta TE 700 Round Baitcast Fishing Reel. But this store really reels you in for the good stuff. Everything you need, and things you didn’t even think you needed!
Friday, December 24, 2010
What do you get when you mix salad and pizza? A pizza salad? Close! But I was going for something more along the lines of Sazza, a restaurant in Greenwood Village that is serving up both, separately. Well, unless you order the enchilada pizza, you will have some lettuce on top! And they offer a gluten free crust, and you don’t have to order at least a medium pizza to qualify.
Sazza’s secret is offering innovative and creative recipes that are unconventional, and the specials change with the seasons. Let’s take the fall special, roasted pumpkin pizza! The pumpkin comes from a local farm, and the crust is topped with mozzarella, garlic oil, caramelized onions, bacon, and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds. Yes, I know, who would have dared, and yet made it so successful? Or you could go for something that is agreeable with most everyone's taste buds, a plain cheese pizza. Or really go for it, and get the cheeseburger pizza! Either way, it’s made right in front of you, and the salads too!
It is no longer out of the norm for restaurants to be sustainable, so to stand out they really need their niche. Sazza does everything right, the silverware and staff t-shirts were donated, the glasses are made from recycled wine bottles, they serve certified organic ingredients and everything recyclable is recycled.
And Sazza keeps the good tally’s coming by keeping their menu simple and the portions spot on. This is one restaurant that doesn’t encourage you to buy the large; they want you to leave feeling good. And you feel good being there, with friendly service and the owner, Jeff Rogoff, will stop and make sure you are all good. I asked him a few questions about the restaurant, and through his energy and continuous smile, you know how much passion he and his wife have for the restaurant. He will even turn the questions back on you. It’s an experience that is about so much more than the downright delicious food; it’s about feeling like you are home.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Whoever said the North Pole is not somewhere you can head to on a whim, was wrong, in a wonderful kind of way. I found it at the Winter WonderLights, at the Wildlife Experience in Parker, Colorado.
The holiday experience starts by following a winding path, lit up with wildlife themed lights and decked with Christmas tunes. I would have almost been completely satisfied just with the cheer the lights brought…but there is even more cheer to pass around.
You betch your holiday spirit that I waited in line to see Santa, and hand delievered the note I jotted at the station inside. There is a small Christmas village, real life reindeers and you can sneak a peak at the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in the theater.
Outside of Christmas fun, make sure to see the new exhibit “Globeology.” Taking notes, tests and filling out worksheets on the different biomes of the world never really did it for me. But this exhibit did because it accurately depicts eight different biomes. The most diverse night of my life started at the North Pole, and soon I was walking through the Arctic, Rainforest and Desert, where things really started to heat up! I thought about loosing the neck warmer and gloves because it is so real life.
And in case you were wondering what I wrote in my letter to Santa…I asked for a dozen tickets to next years exhibit… so make sure you stay in touch, I just might get that twelve pack.
Friday, December 17, 2010
A Tyrannosaurus Rex sized step back to one million years ago, and it’s only a Velociraptor-sized step away, just north of the town of Morrison, Colorado. This town, 20 miles west of Denver, was once covered with dinosaurs during the Jurassic Era but is populated now with 450 residents.
In 1877, Arthur Lakes discovered first set of fossils in Colorado. The prints were from an Apatosaurus weighing thirty tons and were the size of three school busses. Not only can the actual fossilized footprints be touched on nearby Dinosaur Ridge, but the museum, Morrison Natural History Museum, allows visitors to learn about other dinosaurs prints discovered later and the geologic area surrounding them.
The Morrison Natural History Museum opened in 1995 and is operated by the town of Morrison. On display, visitors will find surprising information on these fossils.
This is the only museum in the world where you will find footprints of a baby stegosaurus, which were also found on Dinosaur Ridge. Find out how Arthur Lakes and others along the way discovered these fascinating links to a geologic past.
The museum is filled with lively displays, plenty to read, and also leaves options for the hands on. Touch live reptiles, prep fossils with an air scribe, or dig for fossils in the sand pit.
Opening at 10 a.m., 45 minute guided tours are available to everyone starting at 10:15, and the last tour leaves at 4:30. Ticket prices for adults and teens (13-17) are $5.00, seniors and children 12 and under pay $4.00 and all children three and under are free. If you have a party of ten or more be sure to make a reservation.
The Jurassic Rocks, traded out for Red Rocks and The Rocky Mountains in the background prove that the Morrison Natural History Museum is a great place for anyone to discover, explore and later share their findings over lunch on the super quaint Main Street of Morrison, Colorado.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Who said a birthday party has to stick to cake, ice cream, some pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs? Need a way to spice up your birthday party, or party in general? Here’s an idea. Costume theme. Take a theme like “Deep Sea Diver’s.” You can have fun and it’s not even Halloween. I busted out the duck whistle, and sailor outfit. Other sightings of the night, goggles of all shapes and sizes, and a scuba diver that brought on the oxygen all night.
Costumes unleash the fun, and give an excuse to restock the Halloween candy! Trick-or Treat! The main treat of this night, was the PaRtY Bus! And we headed downtown on a Tuesday night, all Deep Sea Diver’d out! It was a ghost town, most people were at home gearing up for the Wednesday Work Day.
I would suggest swimming down the streets of Denver any night you need a little extra pizzazz to steer away from the so overdone pizza party.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The Thanksgiving excitement was running wild in me the Monday before. Still a week out, but that’s when my little bro came home for the holidays! Even running an errand with him to a car shop to fix up his car (four wheeling incident) meant more to me than finding a BCBG dress 70 % off at Nordstrom Rack. We jammed to new music, caught up on his school and even caught up on my latest working gig to gig.
I know this sounds crazy, but I had a blast cleaning the house, I mean we are talking deep cleaning. Cleaning is not one of my strong points. I even tried a spray that supposedly took dust away…just a quick splish splash and the dust would be gone! Except it wasn’t. So that day while we manually wiped the dust down, scrub a dub dubbed the floors, and vacuumed away, we turned on the old record player to some Marshall Tucker Band. The walls were rocking and the cleaning was progressing.
And Thanksgiving Day! To see my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. We laughed about the old times, but better yet, made new memories to laugh about. Like my sister mistaking a sign that said, “Shingles vaccine,” for “Singles vaccine.” And if that’s not a big enough mix up, asking the clerk, why you need to be vaccinated if you’re single. Hurry up quick, everyone grab a boyfriend, girlfriend stat!
It’s amazing to see my cousin, Dalton, reach his reach dream of becoming a police officer. And to see my cousin, Travis roll with life with an insane spirit, following his music passion. My cousin, Briana, was available only via phone, but spreading the good word being a teacher and coach in Texas.
Everyone is coming into their own. And what better way to see it than eating homemade cherry tarts from an experienced “Uncle Chef.” Even the whip cream, made from scratch. A great Turkey Day, scratch that, one of the best.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I can’t remember the last time a restaurant had me on my first step inside. Actually, I don’t think my cowgirl boots even hit the floor of the Dunraven Inn before I felt as if I struck it rich. We are talking $16,000 dollars rich. Bright, unique designed dollar bills line every two inches by five inches of the bar and entrance of the restaurant. George Washington’s stacked on top of each other saying things like the name and date the patron was there. Crazier things are said too; “Holla Holla for a Dolla.” It’s estimated that there is around 16,000 of these bills in the restaurant.
The dollar bills were enough to make the night. But there was more ahead. A chilly night in a log cabin, another tally mark. The service, tally that up as well. I asked our waitress what she thought of the ziti. When she told me the chef prepares it so there is a crispy layer on top, I was sold. And then she told me the seafood was flown in fresh that day. Now I was in a pickle! But they were famous for Italian first, so ziti it was.
The food…tally tally tally! And sure, why not one more? The Tomatoes Luciano went a little something like this. Sliced tomatoes, parmesan and mozzarella, paired with vinaigrette dressing and olives on the side. Ohh and the basil leaves on top! This presentation inspired me and I tried to recreate it the next night in my home…looks like I won’t be opening a restaurant.
I was so relaxed in the cozy atmosphere I felt like I was the star of Eat Pray Love, twirling the cheese of the ziti around my fork. I could hear classical music in my head. And Mona Lisa was giving me a small smile. No joke. The owner of the restaurant always picks up a Mona Lisa piece when he travels, and displays it in the restaurant. She is everywhere. Ya, we will tally that too.
Deep history and original, tally deserving. The name was once the Holland Inn in the 1930’s, and changed to the Dunraven Inn in 1970. Still here today, I really wish the dollar bills on the walls could talk.
And now there are at least 16,002 dollar bills stapled to these historic walls…of course we decorated one each! They even trusted us with the staple gun. I am glad I could leave a little something behind, and am sure next time I make my way North I will head back to see my dollar, and leave another.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Fierce fashion forward thinking. The models, designers and stylists owned the catwalk at the 2nd annual Red Ball Fashion Show. And I got to see the day start to finish to produce a video trailer for the website. Makeup and hair of the day started at 10 a.m. Over 90 models, each in a specially crafted fashion.
The event left no doubt in my mind that anyone will ever have to worry about fashion and design reaching a plateau. This show let anything go.
Things were done with hair that I never thought would be possible. It is possible for someone with hair reaching passed their shoulders to be formed into a Mohawk. Hot pink, royal blue, feathers pinned, jewelry infused, all explain the hairstyles of the night.
Make up of all styles. Glamorous to classic, all the way to neon shaded eyes, cheeks and lips. And designs for all occasions. Something that speaks to the Victorian Era, a daring night look, and even clothes to kick around in on the casual days. Every area covered.
Models with no experience, or even years of experience. And they all rocked it. Told to walk like two glasses of champagne were balanced on their shoulders, one foot in front of the other and to lead with their hips. All this in your mind and they still looked graceful. Round of applause.
I motion to take the glasses of champagne off their shoulders and cheers to cultivating the creativity in all aspects of fashion.
First-Take-Features filmed a promotional video for Elite DJ’s! A three-camera shoot allowed us to get this spectacular crowd on tape and keep the energy and memories of this night preserved forever. How could you not capture the four-year-old boy who thrives in the center of the dance circle? He undoubtedly was born with a beat! Or the groomsmen jumping up and getting down to any song the D.J. of the night, Matt Kenfield threw on. It was a vibrant crowd, and I never wanted to hit pause.
Elite DJ’s doesn’t want to be the spotlight of the night, but they will provide you with entertainment and constant beats to get the dance floor jamming. It is rare to see the entire crowd on the dance floor, but that was no rare for this reception! We are talking even the Gramps and Grams out there, throwing out there way to dance to the hip-hop. And the line to the open bar was empty at times, because the entertainment was that great.
Receptions are meant to be a celebration and good cheer. Elite DJ’s and Matt Kenfield definitely made this happen. If the party is lacking, he will pull out of the D.J. booth to teach the Cupid Shuffle or any other dances or songs the crowd would go for, to keep the beets bumpin! So Jump up and get down!
Monday, December 6, 2010
If it were up to me, I would wine and dine at the Four Season’s every season. You see, the wind was in full force, brushing my hair was a waste, because by the time I reached the inside it was in a tizzy! I was on Edge, walking into the Four Seasons restaurant, “Edge.” And even before I sat down I was off edge and on cloud nine. The friendly host had a warm smile, started a friendly conversation and walked me to the group of girls I was meeting. Thank you sir
Wilhelmina Denver hooked it up. The focus on fresh, local and seasonal foods brought out a fancy shrimp cocktail, a fresh bottle of merlot opened so elegantly, and a Maine Lobster. The plates are decorated so fancily, and yet are so simple. I soon learned that to work here you must be an artist along with a chef! Very considerate artists, you see I didn’t even have to crack open the lobster, it was laid on top of the shell for me. How convenient.
After all of us girls took a bite of the chocolate mousse. While I was melting I was trying search for the willpower. Despite a huge effort I just couldn’t find it! Ok, another bite, and another… I thought I was done until the waiter came back around and offered us all chocolate cow suckers! MOO, I mean BOO! More chocolate! How can you say no to such a cute little cow on a stick?
It didn’t matter that from looking out the large glass windows I could tell I was going to face the wind again, hair in a tizzy, winter coming. I just had one of the most enjoyable nights, and it didn’t require anything crazy as usual! Sometimes it’s nice to slow it down, just a little.