Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Visit Family & Friends in Denver, CO

"That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time." ~John Stuart Mill

October 6-9: Part of the fun of staying at my sister's house is the opportunity to do things that are not part of our usual life, such as sleeping on an inflatable bed, helping a six- and an eight-year old with their homework and in Jon's case, supervising the meticulous deconstruction of a stereo and cassette player that no longer worked. (Daddy Jan had started the deconstruction project, but retired to his study where he is working on his PhD in Global Information Systems.)

In the photo above, Jake keeps things tidy while Max channels his inner Luke Skywalker with a radio antenna light saber, and Jon pretends to be a robot with a tape-player mouth. In the photo at right, Jon channels his inner Dr. Strangelove with CD laser magnifiers.

My sister is a fabulous cook, so the diet will have to wait until I get home from the trip in eleven days (on October 20th). We babysat on Sunday night so Heidi and her husband Jan could go out to dinner, a rare treat. We taught the boys a new card game, Coloretto. (Cameleon would be a better name for it.)

On Monday we went to visit an old buddy from Eugene, Oregon. Scott Kelly and his girlfriend, Krystyna live in a brand new subdivision called Highlands Ranch. Part of the old working ranch is still working, and Scott showed us their Buffalo herd and some horses.

Krystyna is originally from Poland and is working toward her Registered Nurse degree. Scott is retired from the Navy and works in the pro shop at the local golf course. Krystyna is also a great cook and she had a feast prepared for lunch, including stuffed chicken breasts, mushroom gravy, boiled red potatoes and salad.

The photo at left was taken on their patio. Scott and Krystyna did a good job of getting their very active miniature greyhound, Nova, to behave and pose for the camera.

We didn't have enough time for a hike, so Scott took us on a scenic drive. We stopped on top of the hill that gives Highlands Ranch its name.

A large picnic area occupied the flat top of the hill, and Scott said very few people know it's there. Off the backside of the picnic area are some lovely rock outcroppings overlooking a huge private golf course. The photo below is of Jon & me and you can see the private golf course behind us. Scott hopes to meet the owner someday. He'd love to be invited to one of the private fund-raiser golf tournaments that are held there.
From the other side of the hilltop we had a great view of downtown Denver, about 20 miles away, and the new Denver Tech Center, which is about 12 miles away.

Then back to Heidi's house for dinner, homework, more games with the boys, and more blogging for me.

On Tuesday afternoon we left Heidi's house and moved to the Denver Mariott - City Center, the official hotel of the GABF (Great American Beer Festival), where Jon and I will be judging America's finest beers for the next three days.

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