Friday, June 20, 2014

Denver / Colorado Springs Trip

Denver trip June 2014

My Grandson Parker graduated from a medical laboratory science program in Denver, Colorado.

When he called I said I thought you just graduated from college in Ft. Collins last May. Yes, I did. And you tested to get in to a Graduate program, yes, I thought it was two years, I didn't take that long.

Had a ball in Denver and Colorado, Springs and driving on I25.

My Grandson lives in Denver. His Mom and Dad live in Colorado Springs. So,..... I thought I would stay in the Springs so I could meet my Son's new friend at a brunch before we went out to dinner to celebrate the graduation. Also I wanted to do the same on a different day with his Mother and her new friend.

The Graduation was at 3pm Friday in Denver. 23 kids. Each one accompanied by a mom, dad, husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. The announcer read what the Mom etc. had written about the graduate. Parker received an award for excellence in grades and leadership.

At the reception after the ceremony, all the faculty and the director of the school had good things to say about Parker. They told us fun stories about him. There are almost as many teachers as students so they know their students well.. One lab teacher told how the students can leave when their work is finished. Parker would leave 20-30 minuets before the class was over. She said at first I would give him a weird look. He would always smile and nod. I went over his work carefully, it was always right. The Director told how when she interviewed him she understood his college classes and majors and his grades were good, but why did he think music was important. He explained it was an in exact science and trained the mind to concentrate and memorize and be part of a whole. He felt the practice and accomplishment were rewarding. He plays he clarinet.

Parker had a final exam the next morning so he went home to study and the rest of us went our separate ways.

My son Kalin, Parker's Dad, and his friend Diane had picked  me and my friend Royce up at our hotel in Colorado, Springs. So we all headed back, we stopped at Gunthertooties, a 50's style Diner not far from our hotel. Some day I will tell you about them, Royce is wild about them, I know not why. We had chicken fingers, a veggie burger, a cheese burger, and I had a chocolate malt. Diane took half of her veggie burger home, it looked good. the cheese burger was good too, my malt was great.

Saturday we drove to down town Denver. It was great driving in the older part of town. Saw some of the older business. were off Lincoln Avenue and Broadway near 8th avenue. We met Parker's Mom and her friend Tony at a fun CafĂ©. Had a bloody Mary and French toast. Royce asked for a Denver omelet and they didn't know how to make one, so we all tried to remember what went in to it. Went to the 16th street Mall and walked around a bit. The Comic Con kids were there in costumes, it started to rain and drove us in doors. We took the free bus back to our cars. Drove by the State Capitol Building, it looks great. That Gold Dome sure shines. The trees around it in the park are bigger than I remember ! Went  to 6th ave. and ??Colfax maybe, still down town to a wonderful restaurant Parker found online. I asked Parker to find us a good restaurant to celebrate his graduation. It has been in business a long time and had great reviews.  We all had a great meal. The appetizers were great. We ate deviled eggs, calamari, and salmon. For entrees  Parkers friend Dillon ordered a whole Trout, it came baked in a beautiful crust. Colorado Lamb was Tony and my choice. Royce ordered Halibut.  Kim's choice of  Salmon was good and Parker's Mexican style seafood stew was a real hit.  Parker took home lots of food. We were talking about desert when the waiter brought out a chocolate cake with Congratulations Parker and a diploma on top. Kim brought it..thanks Mom !!! We all had a piece and a glass of water. It was a good rich cake. Had a great time. Good food.

Sunday Royce and I drove over to Diane's home in Colorado Springs for brunch. I met her Mother and Daughter. She served Keish, spelled wrong, wonderful mixed  fruit and her Mom made a delicious  coffee cake. Then we drove back to the hotel and changed in to our "dress up clothes". I ask Kalin to arrange a nice sit down steak dinner at a restaurant like Ruth's Chris. He had a reservation at Del Frisco's in Greenwood Village. They have a dress code, no jeans and skirts for the ladies, please. They picked us up at the hotel in Diane's Pilot car and we drove to Kalin's Photography Gallery in Denver. He wanted to do a quick inventory. I did some shopping and found a great long white skirt and a black blouse. The shop was funky and the women running it was fun and we found earrings and a necklace that really set it off. I had forgotten how much fun Royce is to shop with. Imagine, a man who likes to shop !! I wore everything out of the shop. Can't remember the last time I did that ! Parker and Dillon arrived and we were off to the restaurant. Diane had a GPS that talked to her and told us how to get to the restaurant. Royce wants one.Once again we had a wonderful meal. I had a filet. 4 of us did, Kalin had a rib eye. Their salads and side dishes were wonderful. Parker didn't take any meat home but he did get some mushrooms, potatoes and spinach. The deserts were decadent. Royce ask about the Key Lime Pie. The waiter had been a lot of help all night, and a lot of fun," well.... we are far from the coast where they pick the limes off their porches.....I'd go with the chocolate". I ordered a chocolate razz berry yummy moose thing and their lemon cake is legendary. Great meal. Fun time.

Monday was slow down day. Parker Started his new job at a hospital. The younger adults had to work. Royce and I slept in. Breakfast at the Waffle House. This is the first trip where I have not eaten any of the breakfasts in the lobby of the hotels. Royce loves the Waffle House. This one is not the best one we have been to.

We set out to find a house his son owns in the springs that is being managed by a company. He just wanted to look at it, it is a rental, we found it, the yard and the outside looked well maintained. Nice neighborhood. All the houses are well maintained. Got gas in the car and went back to the hotel for a while.

Drove up to Kalin's house. Kalin lives in Divide. Up high way 24 west of Colorado, Springs, about 40-45 minutes. Stopped in the town of Woodland Park and bought jello, potato salad, Pepsi and some bread. Tried to take the road to Cripple Creek but ran out of time. Kalin made chicken on the grill, asparagus and garlic bread. With the two salads we had plenty to eat. Diane arrived after she got off work and we had a pleasant meal. Kalin helped me install three apps on my ipad, gave Royce a tour of the house and yard, well house etc.. They had fun going over the boat and the motorcycle, the new sport bike. This is like a 4X4 bike, very off road. We watched a promo video by a company that's business is selling trips, maps, gear, and reasons to buy these types of bikes. They go out and scout the trips, decide how many miles to go each day, where to camp etc. get the permits and every 4-5 days they stay in a motel....... Of course the first trip Kalin has planed with a friend and his father they are going to ignore the experts advice and try to make it further faster AND over the hill ! Yes, I have been there done that AND I have the tee shirt. I know this family well.

Tuesday checked out of the hotel and set out to have lunch in the Airplane Restaurant. It is kiddy corner from out hotel. Part of the restaurant is in a Boeing KC-9  airplane that sits on the ground surrounded by the restaurant and bar. Good food, fun atmosphere, all kinds of plane stuff, airport stuff, model planes, new and old.

We saw a sign for an aviation museum/world war two a few days before  so after we ate we set off to find it. It was not where we thought it was. But as we drove on we saw another sign and after a few more turns we found it. The National Museum Of WWII Aviation is absolutely fantastic !!!! Their displays are first rate. Their memorabilia are wonderful. The time line is accurate and well-done. The planes on display are wonderful and are of a broad spectrum of class and uses. The man who conducted our tour was very well informed and took his time and answered every question. We had a vet, a Captain who flew in France and Germany during the war who was visiting at the same time we were, he was part of the group of about 10 0f us in our group. He added small details to our guides story. How lucky we were to have him in our group.

Next our guide took us next door to a company that restores old planes and tanks, jeeps, half tracks, etc... They are digging planes up in New Ginny and bringing them back to life. Quite an undertaking. Someone must have money. Their shop was busy with plans in various stages of repair. Some were rusting hulks. One was being fitted with new sheet metal pieces. The restored engines were interesting. The jeep, half track, truck, trailer, and crane all in army green looked ready for a movie set. They were clean and the tires were shiny.

They do flight checks for personal air craft. If you have a plane it has to be checked every so often and they are able to do that up to 5 years, I think he said. There was a Corsair there that was in an air show and taxied in to soft soil and stuffed his nose in the ground. Came in on a truck. Was getting fixed. just outside the 4th hanger.

They have Challenge Coins, Tee Shirts, Polo Shirts and other things to buy. They have dreams of a bigger museum.

Filled up with gas and drove west on High way 24 out of Colorado Springs about 4:30 PM headed for home.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Back to the 70's life on a boat #1 finding a boat

My son ask me to find the paper work I saved from the time we spent on our boat  RACHA`KA.

She is a sailing boat. A stretch 38 footer, sea worthy and was our home.

We bought her in 1974 and sailed up and down the Southern California coast, along both coasts of Baja, Mexico, in to the Sea of Cortez and along the Channel Islands of California. Our home harbor was San Diego, Coronado Golf Course was our front door.

We left Denver, Colorado in 1974 after spending time looking for and finding a boat to buy.

I am finding bits and pieces so the memories will come back that way. I will try to tell this story in somewhat of a chronological order.

When we made the decision to buy a boat and go sailing full time, we jumped in whole hog. !!

We took Lessons from the U.S.Coast Guard. The boat had to be registered with them. Since we were in Denver, our nearest Port was St. Louis ! We took some ribbing over that, "How did you sail over the mountains ??" The teachers were glad to have some one who was going to sea. There was another couple in our class who was going to sea also. We learned the rules of the road, Port and Starboard, Red and Green. How to enter and leave a Port. How to read a Chart (map). How to navigate with out seeing land. How to use a sextant. How to use the stars and the sun to tell you where you are on the water. What tide charts and currant charts are and how to use them. We were on a sail boat so the wind was our power. We became very much in tune with the weather. We learned about sea anchors and how to sail on waves that are so high and so powerful that if they crash over you they will break your boat and you will sink.
We learned about keeping on course with a compass. It was a very complete course and we had to pass a test at the end. We all felt we gained knowledge we would use, and we did.

When we started talking about this my idea of a boat was a water ski boat on a reservoir. That is also all the children had been on. My husband Ray was a dependent in Japan and attended Keslerasu High School on an Air force Base. The Commander owned a Ship and the kids would take her out and learned to sail. So he had been on sailing ships.

We borrowed a motorhome and went to San Diego to go Yacht shopping. We were lucky and met Carlos the president of the wooden hull owners association who was a yacht sales man. He rode in the motorhome with us for days and showed us lots of boats. He became a good friend. He owned many flower shops. I learned what Frangipani was. We had a real adventure with him, helping to  move his boat, but that is another story.

Finally I had enough boat rides to know I was not going to live my life tilted over at ???degrees. Sail boats do not go any where when the weather is clear, the sun is shining, and there is no breeze ! and they are sitting upright ! they have to be heeled over and cutting thru the water. That is why their stoves are on gimbals so they can pivot- their cabinets have rails so the dishes do not fall out, and so on. No Thanks.

So Carlos was in a quandary. He had spent all this time with these nice people and may not sell them any thing, because this woman was really unreasonable !!! She didn't know any thing about boats or sailing.

He found a Brown Sea Runner Trimaran in San Diego Harbor. She was built by a man from Seattle. She had all the right paper work. Browns were known to be good designs. Being built in the north west she had seen cold weather and cold seas. A Tri has a deep main hull and two out rigger like hulls. She floats like a raft. Carlos knew about catamarans, they were the hot set up on the race boat scene. They have two hulls.

This was more like it. She would sail flat, well almost flat. And she was wide so we would have lots of room ..... Carlos, The builder, Ray, The kids and I set sail. It was a great day, sunny a good breeze about 8 knots so we sailed around San Diego Harbor. Nothing scary but fast enough to tack a few times and show us how she sailed. I liked the fact that the center cockpit gave you a sense of security, you sat down in the boat. I also liked that the children would each have there own space for their bunk and extra room to just be by them selves, not just in bed. Ray liked the sail set up and the high aspect mast. So we gave him some money and went back to Denver to sell our life, over 10 years of life !

More to come

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday 6-1-14

Today I worked in the yard and filled a garbage can and called it quits about 5:30pm. My weeds are way ahead. I bought a new lawn mower, it is charging its battery. It has a push button start so I can mow my patch of lawn. It was either that or buy a sheep !

Since I eat Lamb , maybe I should have looked in to raising one.

I cooked lamb chops tonight, new potatoes and Olatha, Colorado Sweet Corn. Yum. This is the kind of dinner you where have to wash your face and hands after and clean under your nails. I love chewing on the tiny bones. I found some raspberry balsamic  vinegar salad dressing, good stuff. Sunday is a good time to have this dinner, the bones and meat scrapes can go out in the garbage to be hauled away in the morning.

So far I am not missing TV. I am enjoying reading. Kalin and Royce gave me books to read for my birthday.

When Andrea and I went to Catalina Island We found a shop that sold sandals by Lindsay-Phillips. I bought a pair a few years ago and loved them and then the shop closed. They are flip flops that you can change the color of the straps and the embellishment's. I was so glad to find her again. I bought some new straps there and when I got home I got on line and ordered a new pair. Check her out. I find her wedge easy to walk in. It is just a great idea !!

Great looking shoes I always get complements when I wear them.