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Showing posts from July, 2015

Behr-y, Behr-y good paint

The home improvement continues at a frenetic pace in advance of a couples' shower hosted by my three darling sisters, coming up on Aug. 9th, here at Chez MOG (Mother of the Groom). I'm finally getting around to painting our little "gallery hall" adjacent to the powder room. This is where our guests can view pictures of us and our relatives, going back four generations, as they wait to use the john.  I am the designated interior painter of the family and, as such, I highly recommend Behr Ultra, paint AND primer in one can. (Would you believe this hallway used to be a deep cranberry red?!) The color is French Silver.

La Fresh Travel Wipes

I was so caught up in all the negative drama surrounding our overnight trip to California (see entry below for unsparingly nightmarish account), I forgot to express my enthusiasm for a new product line I tried out along the way.  I found a plastic bag full of samples from La Fresh (probably sent to me years ago) as I was packing a small carry-on bag for our flight. We wanted to be as nimble as possible (you know, just in case we got hung up somewhere....ugh) and these little packets came in very handy. My sample package contained an antiperspirant (which kept me remarkable cool during the San Diego fiasco), anti-bacterial (handy when a blister on my foot popped open), make-up remover, sunscreen and two more wipes I didn't use (see photo). So easy! So space-saving! So spill-proof! I highly recommend La Fresh for frequent fliers. Sadly, that won't be me for a while. I'm sticking to road trips for the foreseeable future.

38 Hours in Hell: A Travel Diary

This entry is intended primarily as therapy, but since it qualifies as a "review" (albeit a bad one), I have no problem posting it on my blog.
     We left the house at 11:30 am CDT on Saturday en route to Concord, California, for my husband's brother's celebration of life. The poor man had been valiantly battling brain cancer for over two years and did not want a funeral. His family eventually decided a celebration of life was in order for those he left behind, so we gladly paid the big bucks for a last-minute flight, booked a rental car and hotel room and off we went.
     The outbound Southwest flight that was to connect in San Diego for our flight to Oakland left Kansas City on time. All was going well until the pilot came on the loud speaker and said, in that distinctive wannabe-stand-up-comic Southwest tone, "Well, folks. You've probably noticed we've been circling San Diego for a while. (Actually, I didn't.) They've got a bit of bad w…

Devil's Thumb Wrap-up: Trail Ride & Gourmet S'Mores

The last morning of our work/play/wedding vacation was spent confronting one of my long-lasting anxieties: horseback riding. It's not that I fear horses (nor do they fear me.) It's just that I had never had a successful horseback riding experience in 59 years. The most notable fiasco was the hubs' and my second date in 1975 when he took me riding at the local stables. A romantic notion, no doubt, but I was unfortunate enough to draw a tired and cranky old horse named Big Dude who, unlike my future spouse, just wasn't into me. I mean, the guy took 20 steps out of the stable and just froze. Did. Not. Budge. As in, "Uh, sorry. You're not worth it." It's a great story to tell now, but the whole incident left me skeptical where the equine species is concerned. Thankfully, that ended with our fantastic trail ride at Devil's Thumb stables...
From the time we checked in to the end of the trail, the wranglers were friendly, helpful and covered the "Ri…

Fly fishing lessons @ Devil's Thumb Ranch

Of the myriad of activities available for the doing at Devil's Thumb, we chose fly fishing lessons today. The hubs and I have been in search of a hobby we might be able to enjoy together as we approach our golden years and, given our vast differences, interest-wise, it was either this or hiking....and my crazy big toe still isn't back to normal.        My dad was a fly-fishing enthusiast (albeit more in theory than reality) and I've always wondered if I might take to it like (gulp) a fish to water. The jury is still out, my friends. After an hour-and-a-half instruction, Kevin cut us loose and I promptly forgot 68% of everything I learned. In the above photo, I am smiling joyfully, even though my line had been stuck for 15 minutes in the knot of my hoodie tied around my waist. I didn't yet understand why I couldn't get any distance in my casting. What an idiot.

Scenes from Devil's Thumb Ranch

I highly recommend you read the history of this beautiful Rocky Mountain resort, because I won't be able to do it justice in the time I'm allotting myself.  Nor can my pictures convey the real-life loveliness of the surroundings here.  But, I'll give it my best shots...

Devil's Thumb Ranch - Tabernash, CO

Shoot me now, it can't get better than this.  We arrived two hours ago and won't be getting our official tour of Devil's Thumb Ranch until later. But from what I've seen, I'm fairly sure this is heaven. If not, you can touch it from here.
I'll have more from this dreamlike place later. Happy trails, friends!

The Stanley Hotel & Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

I will have more of a review later (mixed, as far as the hotel is concerned).  Now, we're off to bask in the mountain sun.

Lunch at St. Julien

I can't imagine a lovelier view from any restaurant in Boulder than the terrace at Jill inside the St. Julien Hotel. And the food was inspiring, too! Try The Blast sandwich: Salmon, pancetta, avocado, arugula, chipotle aioli, sour dough. Need I say more? Into the mountains we go!!








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Location:Boulder, CO

Denver Union Station and Happy Hour at the Renaissance

We did a lot of walking yesterday, taking advantage of the sunshine (Colorado has endured a wet summer, too) and landed at Union Station.
Small by Kansas City standards, the gorgeous station is still a happening with shops, bars, a restaurant and a hotel.
There's even a couple of shuffleboard tables to help while away the hours until your train departs. 
After our afternoon stroll, we spent another happy hour in the sexy lobby of the Renaissance Hotel where there was complimentary adult punch and an excellent singer on guitar playing everything from Tracy Chapman to Van Morrison. The punch of the day (they do this every weekday from 5-6 pm) was a refreshing blend of vodka, Prosecco, fresh raspberry juice and fruit, and lemonade, garnished with fresh mint.
The punch bowl was empty after only 15 minutes.

Vesta Dipping Grill, Denver CO

Last night, after a lovely happy hour in Tellers bar at our hotel, where I was almost done in by a cocktail called "Witch, Don't Kill My Vibe," we had dinner at Vesta Dipping Grill which serves grilled meats and an assortment of inventive sauces in which to dip said meat. This is how I love to cook at home (my husband calls me the Sauce Queen or "saucy," as the case may be), so I was thrilled to find a restaurant adapting this concept. The food did not disappoint. Sadly, I was too hungry from a long day on the road with too little to eat to take any pictures. You can find all the info you need here.  Highly recommended.

Renaissance Downtown Denver

Rain showers notwithstanding, it was a smooth trip to Denver where I begin my one-week work/play/wedding adventure. The Renaissance Downtown Denver hotel is fabulously housed in an old and swanky bank. (Don't you just love those two words together: Swanky bank?) Take a gander at that seductive lobby, will you? I can't wait for the 5 o'clock wine tasting to begin!
More later.  Cheers!