Category Archives: Traveling Fools

A look at 2 Traveling Fools and their vacation follies

Writer’s Block

There is always something going on in my head, but every now and again, I simply can’t find a way to express it.

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Has this ever happened to you? What is your method for overcoming this block?

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I don’t find it a bad thing, this loss of train of thought. I sit back and wait for the train to come full circle. It always does!

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Often, once it pulls back into the station of my mind, I am thinking about it differently, making it easier to put thoughts into words.

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So, here I sit here patiently waiting for the train to arrive.

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On another note, we will be embarking on a  road trip to California shortly, we will be hauling a trailer full of household goods back, and there lies the adventure. Neither of us has pulled a u-haul before! We will be sure to let you know all the fun (read funny) details of our 1000+ miles trip.

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Sherry and I thank you for reading, liking and commenting on our blog.

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Here’s to a Happy Life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry 📝

 

 

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Olde Town

We found the perfect fall day to visit one of our old haunts.

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Olde Town Arvada is about to experience a big changes due to the light rail station.  The increase in foot traffic will be great for the businesses. Parking has always been an issue in Olde Town, so the city has opened a new lot near the movie theaters and offers a shuttle to bring you downtown.

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We stopped first at a newer pub, Homegrown. They have a nice patio right on main street, it’s a bit noisy with traffic in the afternoon, so we were seated inside near a window.  The decor is somewhat industrial with a touch of antlers.  It was quite comfortable, the servers were friendly and efficient.

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If you want to try a truly delicious appetizer, have the brussel sprouts. They were amazing. We ate every bite, down to the last crumb. Then it was time for a stroll to see what had changed in Olde Town, turns out, quite a bit.

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There were a few of the long-time businesses, such as the Arvada Tavern. We’ve eaten here a few times, it’s always good. They did have a Rockabilly group upstairs once in a while, not sure if they still do.  As always the Rheinlander Bakery smelled delicious, they are celebrating their 53rd year. We hurried on by as our taste buds were yearning to go inside, but our waistlines said no!

We strolled on down to  Arvada Bead Connection, a local favorite where the proprietor is very friendly. Sadly, he is having a going out of business sale. With the changing demographic, the rents are being raised and parking removed which doesn’t appeal to his clientele. MB made sure to scoop up several seed bead tubes for future crafting. We wished him the best and moved on.

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Fuzzy’s Tacos across the street is said to be good, we haven’t tried it yet.

There are a growing number of new coffee shops, which we are sure will appeal to early morning commuters. If you want to make your commute really good, drop into the Rheinlander. Hey, you’ll be walking to the light rail, so it’s all good!

Our next stop was Third Eye Gifts, upon entering you feel the warmth of positive energy. The proprietor has several Himalayan Salt Lamps lit and producing negative ions. The negative ones are positive! The smell of incense was not overwhelming, just an added touch.

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We asked about the singing bowls and the owner took quite a bit of time to demonstrate them and teach us how they work.  We were definitely rookies when he had us try them. I think we’ll be back to purchase one soon. This may be a new favorite shop.

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For as chilly as it was, there were still kids in the water park! Located in the center of Old Town, they offer movies here in the summer. During the day, it’s a spot for kids to play while the adults relax on the nearby benches and visit. Near the holidays, a Christmas Tree and other decorations are added. You can also take an old-fashion carriage ride through downtown. We have to admit, this is an improvement on the parking lot that used to sit here.

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Schoolhouse Kitchen & Libations is aptly named as it is in the old Arvada School.  We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this place. We happy to see them re-purposing the old buildings rather than tear them down. It helps to maintain the ambiance.

A local favorite with children of all ages is Scrumptious Ice Cream and their cement pig mascot.

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He’s a Superhero today, just a few months ago, he was a hippie, but he’s always good for a kids photo-op. The shop itself offers some unusual and delicious home-made ice cream flavors, dark cherry and bourbon flavors are favorites. Everyday they have something different. On one side of the shop is the ice cream parlor, on the other is an old-fashioned candy store with bottled soda. On a hot evening, this place is packed. Right across the street from the light rail station, they’ll be busy all year-round.

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We ran out of time to further explore, and there are so many new shops and restaurants to visit.

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Penzeys Spices and Silver Vines Winery are first on the list for our next downtown stroll. Can you imagine how wonderful Penzeys Spices must smell?

If you are in our neck of the woods, be sure to stop by Olde Town Arvada.

 

Here’s to a Happy Life!

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🍁MaryBeth & Sherry 🍂

 

 

 

 

 

Of Flutterbys and Flower Blooms

Finally! A cool summer day after weeks of 90+ degrees.  We decided to head to Chatfield Farms, division of the Denver Botanic Gardens. This is part of our plan to get out in nature at least once a week.

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Our recent heat wave made that goal difficult to follow through with, combining hot flashes with heat waves is a dangerous thing. We try find paths that are not only interesting but shaded too.  Personal misters and water are a must.

Chatfield Farms is a consolidation of several farms that the Army Corp of Engineers took when they built Chatfield Dam, making the area a flood plain. The old farmhouses are still there and kept in good repair for events such as weddings. We were saddened by the stories of families displaced from their homesteads, many had been there for several generations.

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Chatfield Farms offers multiple pathways lined with wildflowers, water features and wildlife.

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These ducks were more than happy to respond in kind when Sherry quacked at them.

The pathway lead us to a children’s playground and workmen removing what was left of the previous night’s entertainment, Chris Isaak. WAIT! We missed Chris Isaak! We both are huge fans of his. We need to pay a lot more attention to the summer concert schedule.

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We neglected to pick up a park map at the Visitor’s Center, so we simply went in the direction that looked most interesting upon reaching a fork in the road.  We did get a bit disoriented, but eventually found our way back to the car.

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There were beautiful gardens everywhere we roamed.

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Many of the flowers we couldn’t identify, so we took pictures to show our horticultural expert, Julie.

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We tried not to get too close, the bees and bumblebees were out and about.

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Bridges were lined with flowers in full bloom. A great spot for photos.

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The water features often had nearby benches, creating a very serene area for quiet reflection.

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The true highlight of the gardens was the explosion of color, in our semi-arid state, bright colors in nature can lift your mood.

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After touring the gardens we stopped in at the Butterfly Center.

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I’ve always called butterflies, flutterbys. It seems more appropriate, doesn’t it? Their wings flutter gently as they go from bloom to bloom.

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They try to keep a minimum of 10 varieties in the house at any given time but this can vary due to season and lifespan. We were told that most butterflies live up to two weeks. There are a few that can survive even through winter. So we learned something new!

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Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

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Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

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Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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Monarch ( Danaus plexippus)

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As they come to the end of their lifespan, their wings start to look like stained glass

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The Mourning Cloaks and Buckeyes were abundant.

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This gorgeous lady is a Swallowtail.

I picked up a couple of hitchhikers during our stroll.

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This park is worth a visit, an oasis of nature in the heart of the city.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for hikes & nature trails in and around Colorado.

Here’s to a happy life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry hikers

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Wine Country

Road Trip – Part 3

Leaving Parachute we headed to Palisade, CO aka Colorado Wine Country.  We had booked our stay at the Wine Country Inn.

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Surrounded by wineries and not far off the highway, the inn is lovely, the staff friendly and helpful. While checking in, we solicited their advice about wineries they would recommend we visit. The woman at the desk asked us a few questions to get a feel for our taste in wine. Sherry answered as I rarely drink alcohol. 🍷Based on Sherry’s replies, she gave us a map and suggested a few wineries. As we had arrived in mid-afternoon and the temperature was 102° , she kept the list short. Most of the tasting rooms close at 5 p.m. Off we went.

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There are bikes to rent at the hotel and around town that allow you to bike from winery to winery. For us, it was simply too hot. There are also luxury wine tours, horse-drawn carriage tours, etc. to personalize your visit.

Palisade’s motto is Life tastes good here all year long, and is known for its peaches, simply delicious.  Be sure to try some.  If you have time to visit the art galleries and lavender farms, do.

Our first stop was Canyon Wind/Anemoi Cellars. Surrounded by the vineyards, the tasting room has a few tables out on the lawn under beautiful shade trees. We said hello to a group of women enjoying their wine and entered the tasting room. There is a small storefront with a warehouse in the back. The owner gave Sherry a couple of samples, and discussed wine-making with us. Sherry bought a Chardonnay and we continued on our way.

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Our next stop was High Country Orchards and Colterris Wines.

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In addition to wine, there are lots of fresh fruit for to enjoy.

After tasting, Sherry preferred their 2014 Cabernet Franc and  2015 CORAL White Cabernet Sauvignon.

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As this was our second stop, it was hot and we were hungry, we decided to sit on their patio for a bit. We ordered a glass of the White Cabernet Sauvignon. What’s a glass without some brie, crackers and of course, chocolate! As a non-wine drinker, I can tell you that this white Cabernet Sauvignon is wonderfully delicious.

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After an enjoying our light lunch, we moved on. A short drive up the road, we stopped at Colorado Cellars, they offer fruit wines and mead, in addition to their reds and whites.

I apologize to Colorado Cellars for not taking pictures, I’ll blame it on the glass of wine I had at lunch.  I did purchase the blackberry wine and Golden Nektar Mead for tasting at my next family game night.

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Just around the corner, we pulled into Carlson Vineyards. They are Colorado’s original winery.

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Carlson Vineyards has a nice gift shop in addition to a tasting room. They offer a shaded outdoor area too. Here we sampled several fruit wines and browsed their gift shop.  Although we did not buy wine here, they were quite good.

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Our next stop was Hermosa Vineyards. Here we had the pleasure of the meeting the owner, he told us that he crafted the wines to his personal taste. He talked about his process and different grapes. He provided buckets for us to dump any leftover wine, which was probably a good idea as we’d been “tasting” for a couple of hours at this point. Sherry enjoyed all the wine she tasted here. I bought a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the Dessert Wine, which he had us taste with a piece of Dove chocolate. Heaven! Sherry purchased the Cabernet Franc.

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We had a lovely visit at the Hermosa Vineyards tasting room but it was now time to head back to our hotel for a swim and a meal.

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The view from the pool is breath-taking, the water cool and quite welcoming after a hot day.  We dined al fresco, seated among  blooming flower gardens and baskets. The meal was tasty, we recommend the macaroni and cheese. Yum!

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We’ll be back in Colorado Wine Country soon we hope. It’s perfect for a Mother/Daughter, Girlfriends or Couples trip.

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Here’s to a Happy Life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry

 

 

 

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Hiking the Falls

Road Trip – part 2

After leaving Mr. BareButt in Silt, we headed towards Rifle, CO and Rifle Falls. Rifle Falls State Park is a beautiful area to hike and never crowded due to the strict parking policies. Once the lot is full, no more entries. Hence the reason we left so early in the morning.

The appeal of Rifle Falls is not only its beauty and small crowds, it’s also the negative ions from the waterfalls. Negative ions are the positive ones for you.

Pictures of the Falls are really all you need to describe them.

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Sherry at the Falls for the first time.

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Hiking up to the top of the Falls

 

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We sat here in quiet meditation. So peaceful.

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Following different access trails

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These are all taken on the lower trail. The park was lush with greenery.

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The lower edge of the Falls is an easy stroll from the parking lot. To hike up, around and behind them you will need a shoe with a sturdy sole. Sherry was not thrilled with the caves on the upper trail, but the kids popping out of the darkness to scare her loved them!

There’s nothing like ice cream after a hot hike, so off to Rifle for a sweet treat.

Moo’s Place was just what we had hoped for. The sorbet was very refreshing. Sherry thought their  horchata ice cream was the best. Lo, and behold, right next to Moo’s was a Lift Up thrift shop, you know we had to go in. Sherry bought 2 small candle cups, I bought a piece of turquoise glassware.

Leaving Rifle, we headed to Parachute, Co. We wanted to check out the solar flowers at the Parachute rest area. I wouldn’t mind have these flowers in my yard.

 

We also found this story about the Wild West at the rest area.

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Across the street from the rest area is not only a beautiful view but a very impressive teepee.

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Part 3 – Colorado Wine Country

Here’s to a Happy Life! 🌳

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MaryBeth & Sherry

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Road Trip!

Part 1:

In our  effort to get moving and experience more, we ventured out on a 2 day road trip.We had decided to visit Palisade, Colorado also known as Colorado Wine Country.

Our itinerary was rather open with only 1 requirement, laughter.

In keeping with the rule, we used  Rand McNally Tripmaker 

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Tripmaker has a category under Things to Do called Quirky & Oddball. We chose 3 for our photo ops. Unfortunately, just because it’s quirky & oddball, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find or photograph.

MB shocked Sherry by suggesting an early morning start, 5:30 a.m. to be exact, making it easy to avoid early morning congestion, enjoy breakfast along the way and still get in a hike before the temperature reached 90+.

Our first quirky stop was Frisco. We were unable to find the little oddball but did enjoy a chilly early morning walk through a silent town and breakfast at the Log Cabin Cafe.

The food was great, quite filling, good size portions and the staff was very welcoming. Try them if you ever have an opportunity to be in Frisco.

On to our second quirk,  Bare-Butt Rock Climber in Silt. What a photo-op! If ever there was an opportunity for a humorous selfie, this was it! Alas, it was not to be, Mr. Bare-Butt is located in the town’s roundabout surrounded by a lovely garden and moving traffic. We suspect that this is because everyone who hears of Mr. Bare-Butt has a humorous photo in mind. We did drive around Silt, it’s in a beautiful area and has a lovely small town appeal.

Not to be discouraged by our lack of quirky photo ops, we moved on to our chosen hiking trail….

Part 2 – Hiking the Falls – stay tuned!

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The Importance of Girlfriends

Taking a short vacation with your girlfriends should be a mandatory once a year excursion, although who would argue with taking several a year?

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We recently returned from a 3-day trip to La Jolla, CA. Eight women in a 3-bedroom house with ocean views within walking distance of beaches, shops and restaurants. It was heavenly.
Each of us is on a different life journey right now, which makes the camaraderie of girlfriends even more uplifting. Being with your girlfriends gives you the freedom to express feelings you may not otherwise be able to.

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Advice, laughter, good food and a few drinks helps to create great experiences and a lifetime of memories.

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Friends give you the courage to try things you wouldn’t ordinarily try. For MaryBeth, that was ocean kayaking. A singularly terrifying proposition, I was buoyed by the fact that there were 2 life guards and a very experienced kayaker in the group. With their promises to keep me safe, out we went. I am so happy that I tried it and guarantee you it will never happen again.

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We had two items to take care of before arriving, 1) bring a small inexpensive gift for each member of the group; 2) bring a picture of yourself at age 18-20. The pictures brought laughter, compliments and a lot of “look at my hair!”

Gifts

The gifts were fun way to break the ice and well thought out. Satin eye masks with witty sayings, linen spray, a RFID wallet, a travel journal, a small jar for sand and shells, and a tiny metal starfish reminding us to be grateful for our journeys. Each gift received was embraced and the giver complimented for the thought they had put into it.

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Friends who rejoice in your accomplishments, boost your ego and refrain from the negative create a rejuvenating experience. They remind us there is a time for every season whether it be silly or serious and above all, a time to boost each other up with an understanding that is often missing in our every day lives.

Thank you ladies, it was a blast!

Here’s to a Happy Life! ☀️

MaryBeth & Sherry

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