Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lovely Times In Denver

Angela flew in from Chicago (she was supposed to fly in from Dubuque but mechanical problems meant she was BUSSED to Shy-town...yikes. So glad she made it. I jetted south from Spokane. We both joined our friend Jonny in Denver.
He's got a lovely 1950s home that has not suffered the ravages of a sad 1980s make over and thusly has retained all the charm of a lovely 1950s home. I think Mrs. Cunningham does our laundry while we sleep.

Anywhoo. We're just here for a nice little new years vacation. So far it's been amazing.
We started at CASA BONITA!!!

As featured in South Park:

(it won't embed...just follow the link).

I got here a bit before Angela so Jonny and I went and got groceries. Then back to the airport to get Angela and STRAIGHT to the Casa Bonita where we sat in the BACK ROOM! and saw the worst magician EVER which was awesome in its own way. Not the mainstage cliff diver area. We had our borderline inedible meal (as it should be). Just a hint: do NOT get the Shirley Temple. It is sweetened maraschino cherry juice with bubbles, I think they rendered high-fructose corn syrup down to its sicky sweet essence. It added a heady after-shock to the barely edible taco salad I had. The sopapillas with honey were lovely. Next we headed out to the main "restaurant" area Then through Bart's Cave, saw mariachi playing, saw a cliff diver who first juggled flaming something or others, and browsed the gift shop. We all put 50cents and a penny into the souvenir penny-smasher machine and got the cliff diver smashed into the pennies.

After that it was home to the 1950s with Jonny. His house is lovely! It's one of those that is somehow bigger on the inside.

Our next big outing was the Denver Zoo. We were hoping for locales further afield but the weather and time conspired against us. The zoo was DESERTED! There were maybe a dozen cars in the parking lot when we got there and we saw about 20 people the whole time we were there! It was my best day at the zoo ever. No screaming kids. No one jamming into my ankles with strollers, no would-be-gangsta teens, no seniors creeping along in jammed aisles. Just us and a VERY few others. Perhaps the blizzard raging outside had something to do with it. Not all animals were available. The giraffes were not having it. I thought we would miss the water buffalo but Angela called out "you-whoo, Nature!" and they turned around to face us.

Here are a few highlight photos:

First, a lovely starfish! We spent maybe a half an hour just checking out the fish in the sealife area.

The elephants weren't too excited about being indoors and frankly this one looked pretty ancient. Still, we were in their building alone with them, a snoozing rhinoceros and a swimming hippopotamus for ages without interruption and with peace and quiet. It was lovely.

Check out the monkeys! I think they are howler monkeys. We were in a building with mostly lizards and things, but these were there as well. Angela settled herself on the floor to rest her aching feet and these monkeys came up to the screen type fence on the front of their enclosure and checked her out. She called Jonny and I over and the monkeys stuck around! I stayed about 20minutes before the monkeys moved away. They looked at us, at the aquariums (aquaria?) across the way and seemed to enjoy the peace and quiet as much as we did. They literally just hung around about 3 feet from us for that long. No, I did not try to touch the monkey.

I wish I had photographed each meal! Jonny is the best chef I know. We've had sizzling korean rice dishes in stone bowls, homemade and artisan breads. french toast that was beyond belief (mine is always heavy soggy crap), and much much more. I think the worst meal has been my potato soup. I love it a home but it was a bit "off" here and I just can't compete with things like the sun-dried tomato, artichoke, pepper, and chicken white pizza on HOMEMADE dough crusts made on a pizza stone. It was divine. Below is a photo of Jonny's Flaming Ice CCream. Just the sugar cube was actually on fire but still. I did not indulge in this dairy-licious treat but it was tempting.

Other events: We saw 6 new one act plays by colorado playwrights and with local actors at a small theater. Each had its ups and downs but we've been quoting lines from either the plays or the interesting young gentleman seated 2 seats down from me who was enthusiastically enjoying each joke, poignant moment, plot twist and good line. Unfortunately, he was enjoying them about 10 seconds after everyone else in the audience "got it." It was like he was on a delay.

Ange must leave us tomorrow and I go the next day.

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