Monthly Archive for July, 2011

Colorado Renaissance Festival

‘Twas a grand day to jaunt about the realm, rubbing elbows with other lords and ladies this weekend at the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

The skies were blue.

Huzzah!

In years past, I’ve been to the Renaissance Festivals near Minneapolis, MN and Kansas City, MO. They were a BLAST, and so much fun.

I knew that Colorado was rumored to have a great one, too, but we’d never had a chance to go! The summer schedules have never aligned properly, and I’ve wanted to go for so long…and then, we had Claire. The thought of lugging a baby around the Renaissance Festival was not something on the top of my priority list. The thought of chasing a toddler around the Renaissance Festival, even less so.

Well, fast-forward 5.5 years, and she’s finally old enough that we thought we’d give it a try.

It was a HUGE success.

She wanted to wear a princess costume, so we obliged. Gone are the days when Momma dressed like a wench and chased Highwaymen, but after seeing what a success this was, I can see us investing in costumes in the future. No, I’m not kidding.

We had such a fantastic time!

Claire got to ride a llama. Yee Huzzah!

She met a really big knight.

Our hobbies intertwined when Daddy bought me a new journal for our Letterboxing adventures.

With over 100 images collected now, the one I have is almost full!

Claire is also the proud owner of a “real” wand. She is beside herself with joy, but trying really hard to contain herself so that the Ministry of Magic doesn’t send us any owls regarding the Unauthorized Usage of Magic by Underage Wizards. 😉

Today, by comparison, has been rather boring. Claire has been forced to deal with commoners AND muggles, much to her dismay.

Such is life after the Renaissance Festival.

My Very First Red Rocks Concert: Sarah McLachlan with the Colorado Symphony

I can scratch it off the list. I’ve finally gone to my very first Red Rocks Concert! We’ve been in Colorado since 1999, so I’ve *been* to Red Rocks. We’ve taken guests hiking there and to see the venue and the views from there when it hasn’t been filled with concert goers.

I’ve always wanted to go to a concert there. My husband has gone a few times, but they were never artists that I particularly enjoyed…so I couldn’t justify the cost of childcare and a ticket just to “go to a Red Rocks Concert.”

Now, I’m going to tell you a little story about a blog reader. Way back when we were doing the flagstone patio, I’d tweeted with a local about this project and she popped over and commented here on the site. She then became part of the Mile High Mamas crew, and we became friends on Facebook and other online realms.

Fast forward a couple years…

She posted on her Facebook wall a while ago that Sarah McLachlan was going to be playing Red Rocks this year with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. She made the offhanded comment that she’d like to go if someone wanted to go too. I jumped at the chance.

Little did my friend know that Sarah McLachlan is one of my all-time favorite musicians. I not only have all of her CDs (except the most recent…that’s still on my To Do List), I have them all memorized. I can sign along with them, and technically they’re part of me, interwoven into my psyche. Sometimes, at random times, they pop into my head. Back in 1994, I used part of “Possession” in my “signature” in cyberspace, at that time a relatively new frontier.

Those were the days…

Anyway, one thing led to another, and I went to the concert on Sunday with my friend and her husband.  We had General Admission tickets and got there early.  We got rock-star parking and were first in line to get led up the side of the mountain.  (Seriously!  You have to work to see a concert there.  Good thing I’m in relatively good shape, or I’d still be huffing and puffing up the side!)  Our seats were incredible.  I’m not sure there’s a bad seat in the house.  We opted to go one row up from where General Admission started, and you can see the stage, AND the view of Denver and practically the entire Front Range is breathtaking.

Here are some photos that do not do the concert or venue justice at all, but they make me smile.

Hello, Denver! We can see you from Red Rocks.

The smile on Sarah's face matches the smile in my heart as she was singing.

We had SUCH great seats. Then again, they're all great seats!

It rained on us a few times, but even the moon came out to see Sarah!

She ended one of her sets with Possession. The night was perfection for me.

It was the most incredible show I’ve ever been to. Maybe all Red Rocks Concerts are? The music surrounds you. It plays through you. It all happens in a way that is overwhelming and magical and I couldn’t think of a better pairing than Sarah McLachlan with the Colorado Symphony.

I had tears in my eyes. My soul was filled. I was alone in the dark in my college dorm with Sarah in my head all over again…

…only better.

The Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe

We were in Santa Fe for the long weekend! It’s no secret that we love Santa Fe. It’s always held a special place in our hearts. It’s hard to explain. It’s relaxing. It’s invigorating. It’s magical. The energy there is very renewing, yet very old.

When I say “old,” I mean old.  They just celebrated FOUR HUNDRED YEARS, and I’m just mesmerized.  Yes…400 years.  Amazing!

A sign at The Royal Palace, aka The Palace of the Governors. No, we didn't stay here. We stayed at their Inn. 😉

Luckily, Claire likes Santa Fe as much as we do, and she wanted to know if it would be possible to move our house down there and attach it to the hotel. Soon-to-be Kindergarteners have an interesting perspective on how things should work.

I mean, if we moved the house there, we wouldn’t need to be next to the hotel, right? She reminded us that we don’t have a pool. Duh. 😉

This year, we tried out a new lodging place. In years past, we’ve stayed at Garrett’s Desert Inn. It’s two blocks from the famed Plaza and not a million dollars. Well, the last time we stayed there, it was really showing the wear and tear, and this time, we opted for something that was a just as close to the Plaza, and in a little better shape. It wasn’t right ON the Plaza, so it wasn’t a million dollars a night.

This year’s choice was The Inn of the Governors. We loved it!   (No, this isn’t a paid review…it’s not even a formal one!)  If you ever stay in Santa Fe, one thing to figure into the price of your room is parking. Parking in Santa Fe near the Plaza is at a premium. The spaces are tiny and expensive. The Inn of the Governors worked the price of parking into their daily rate, threw in a complete hot breakfast buffet AND a $25 daily credit at the restaurant on site.

We thought for sure that meant the food would be 1) expensive or 2) mediocre. It was neither of those two things!! It was fantastic food and VERY reasonably priced! Sweet!

Parking, pool, breakfast, daily credit, AND it’s two blocks from the Plaza? Perfect!

Now, the parking spots at the Inn of the Governors were TINY. We folded the mirrors in on my car, even thought it’s not a huge car! I acted as a spotter when we parked and departed, and it worked. This being said, parking anywhere downtown is going to be a challenge.

The pool was great. It was heated and lovely. The hotel provides cookies, tea, and sherry (for free) at 4pm every day, so it was nice to take advantage of that while relaxing at the pool!

The room we had was furnished with two beds and included a Kiva Fireplace.

No, we didn’t need to fire that up, but the firewood is provided for those nights when you’d want to.

We really wanted a balcony, but opted not to spring for the cost of that. Maybe next time? Maybe not.

We loved being so close to the Plaza, and an evening stroll was just what we needed to unwind from our adventures of the day.

Whirlygig at dusk

Whirlygigs near the Plaza

Stay tuned for more about those adventures!

A Linden by any other name would be Nebulona Roku

I’ve written a post over at Mile High Mamas today about baby names and super powers!  Go check it out!

Colorado Dragonfly

I have lots to share about our adventures in Santa Fe! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is the newest addition to our carving collection:

Colorado Dragonfly: She's TINY, as you can see by the quarter in the photo.

This is a Hitchhiker I carved and we released at a Hitchhiker Hostel (yes, such a thing exists!) in New Mexico!

Here is Colorado Dragonfly’s official AtasQuest listing.