Packing A Picnic – Nature Walks – Part 3 – On The Trails

These are some of the shots I took while we were hiking. I was lagging behind everyone else because I had the camera, and I love to stop and take pictures of everything I see. We hiked about a mile or so up the trail. By the time we started the hike, it was getting warmer, and none of us were really prepared for a long hike. It’s a good thing we quit when we did too, though because just as we got back into the car, it started to rain. Perfect timing on our part.

And of course I was stopping to not only smell all the mountain flowers, but to take pictures of them as well. You all know I love my flowers. 🙂

We made one more stop before heading home and calling it a day. But more on that later. We all had a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Once again, we had great food, shared with great friends and beautiful mountain scenery to to boot. Life is most definitely good. 🙂

Packing A Picnic – Part 2 – The Poudre Canyon

I am so glad we took a beautiful drive up through the mountains and packed a picnic lunch for the trip. Packing A Picnic It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We decided to take a drive up through Poudre Canyon, outside of Fort Collins.

We liked this spot right on the river bend. So this was our first stop. This is where we dined on the fabulous picnic food that both Lauren and I had prepared for the day’s feast. We enjoyed what we could before packing it all up and moving on.

Mike and Larry enjoying a dip at the water’s edge while Lauren and I started unloading all our goodies.

It seemed like we had an endless supply of food, which is kind of typical for both Lauren and I, especially when we cook together. 🙂

As we were dining al fresco, we were entertained by all the rafters coming in from their day out on the water. They were packing it up for the day. The river was really flowing, so I am sure they all had a great time.

After we had finished eating, we packed up all the food, and hit the trails again. We drove through this tunnel to get to our next destination. We drove a bit further into the canyon, still by the water, and then found another spot to set up “camp” again. This time, we were just chilling and enjoying the beauty all around us.

We saw some more rafters and some kayakers too.

We stayed here, just chilling, for about an hour, and then we continued with our journey. We found a little off-the-beaten-path trail, and hiked for about a mile or so before turning back. We turned back just in time too. Once we got back into the car, almost immediately, it started to rain. Good timing on our part. We enjoyed our hike and thoroughly enjoyed our day.

Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial. There is plenty more to come.

Nature Walks – A Pair of American Kestrels

We saw so much on our walk yesterday. My camera was clicking 100 clicks a minute. I can only share so much at a time, but fortunately, I have a lot to share for quite some time to come. I will keep sharing all my nature photos as long as you are interested in seeing them. Beauty is all around us, everywhere. We all need more beauty in our lives. We all need to connect with Mother Nature more too. She offers us so much.

We don’t see that many American Kestrels around, but this time, not only did we see one, we saw two, and a mating pair at that. The female is not as brightly colored as the male. They were both perched up high on a pole, but I was still able to get some very good shots of them.

This is the male.

He was up there first, then his partner came along too.

American Kestrels are part of the falcon family. They are pretty popular here in Colorado, though you can find them throughout most of the united States. They like to breed anywhere there are dead trees with nest holes. This pole looks like a perfect spot for them based on where they typically like to hang out.

Have a great day. Beauty is everywhere. You just have to look for it to find it.

Packing A Picnic

We are going on a drive up through the mountains with Mike and Lauren today and we all thought it would be fun to bring along a picnic lunch. Lauren and I both LOVE to cook, so I know we will have a ton of food, and it will only be for the four of us. Lauren and I are both feeders. 🙂

We bought some croissants and chips, plus I am bringing a little corn and tomato salad. I made a pesto chicken salad for the croissants. I was going to bring fruit as well, but Lauren said she has the fruit covered. I know for a fact, between the two of us, no one will ever go hungry, and today will be no exception. 🙂

My pesto chicken salad was made from little bits of this and that, you know, one of my favorite ways to cook. It is loaded with diced chicken, and then I added some diced red bell pepper, diced celery and some diced red onion. I also added some fresh basil as well. I mixed it all together with a pesto mayonnaise. It will go perfectly on my croissants. It’s all just perfect for a picnic.

It’s going to be a beautiful day, and it should be much cooler up in the mountains. We will be sharing the day with good friends and good food. Life is definitely good. 🙂

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. Enjoy all your days for tomorrow is never promised. ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – Proud Momma Mallard

I keep thinking our baby ducklings are long gone, and then I keep seeing more; tiny babies too. But this season has been full of surprises, and I love every one of them too. Today, we saw not one, but two sets of duck families. One had just one duckling, who who was more like a teenager really (I think I saw this one when it was a baby too, just a couple of weeks ago). The another proud momma had three little ducklings following her all around, and these were just tiny babies. I will take as many ducklings as we get, and I will never complain about seeing all of them. They are just so darn cute. 🙂

I am only going to share the tiny babies with you all today. Larry had the day off, so we took a long walk today and we saw Momma Mallard and her crew on two of our lakes. First, they were all out for a swim on the the 4th lake.

The family made the trek from the 4th lake over to the 3rd lake where we saw them again on our way back. They decided to walk along the shore for a bit on the 3rd lake.

Hope you all have ducky day. 🙂

A Golden Day

I am sure many of you know our very own Goldie. Goldie was one of my first blogger friends and has been a loyal friend ever since my humble beginnings as a blogger. But like so many of our blogger friends, we had never actually met in person …. until now. We just knew we were going to be good friends in real life as mush as we were in the world of blogging. And YES! This is true. We hit it off instantly. 🙂

Goldie is now my third blogging buddy whom I have actually met in person, and all have been huge successes. I just know we will all be good friends for a very long time. 🙂 First I met Julia from Julia and I have since become very good friends and we see each other as often as we can. Then earlier this month, I met Carol Ann from Carol Ann Meeting Up With Carol Anne – Part 1 – Lunch; Meeting Up With Carol Anne – Part 2 – Anheuser-Busch And most recently, I met Goldie too. Goldie has a few websites that you might be familiar with, but one of my favorites is

Goldie allowed me to take pictures, but only on the promise that I would NOT reveal any secrets. Goldie wants to maintain as much anonymity as possible, and I respect that. Goldie was in town only for a quick trip, but we met up at a little Greek restaurant in Congress Park in Denver, called Chef Zorba’s. Chef Zorba’s or Zorba’s is located at 2626 East 12th Avenue, Denver, CO. They do not take reservations, but you can call them at (303) 321-0091.

The main draw of Chef Zorba’s is the incredible menu featuring traditional American & Greek fare—burgers, salads, sandwiches—and classic breakfast dishes served all day. Zorba’s is a family owned and operated restaurant and like[s] to think of [the] staff and guests as family, so once you dine with [them], you’ll feel like a part of that family too. 

It was a beautiful day and sitting outside, dining al fresco just couldn’t be passed up.

We ordered our delicious meals and talked, and talked, and talked and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Goldie ordered a Greek gyro salad, thinking it was going to be small, but WRONG! It was HUGE! Needless to say it wasn’t finished.

I ordered a gyro that was very good. I LOVE gyros. They are hard for me to resist.

Our waiter took very good care of us and also took a picture of the two of us, but you will have to use your imagination for Goldie. We creatively hid Goldie’s identity. Yes, there really is a Goldie hiding behind the purple veil. You’ll just have to trust us. 🙂

After a delicious lunch, we went to the Denver Art Museum, a new experience for both of us.

We both really liked these cool looking rockers. I would love some of these at my house, for my deck.

Some of the art and exhibits we liked, and some, well, …. let’s just say art is most definitely in the eye of the beholder.

This picture of empty frames on the wall really cracked us both up.

After exploring the art, we strolled around downtown a bit, and I pointed out points of interest as we came across them. There was just as much fun and interesting art outside, on our walk as there was at the museum. In fact, I liked a lot of the street art much better.

And something new for most of you. I bet most of you don’t know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the guitar, especially Classical Spanish guitar and Flamenco. I took lessons for a few years, but I am not nearly as talented as I had hoped I would be. I probably should get back into it again though.

We ended up at Union Street Station, where we parted ways for this trip, and Goldie caught the train back to the hotel. We both had such a great time together, and know there will be plenty more opportunities for getting together in the future. 🙂

Outside, the kids and dogs were having so much fun playing in the dancing waters. It was a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

I just love all the art deco decor inside Union Station.

We had a very Golden day indeed, and had a great time together. As Goldie would say, “Stay Golden”. ‘Til next time.

Denver Shows Its Love For The Avalanche

Sunday night, we watched our beloved Avalanche Hockey team win the coveted Stanley Cup We Want The Cup! It has been 21 long years since Lord Stanley last resided here in Colorado. But he is home once again.

Today, there was a huge outpouring of love for the Avalanche from the City of Denver. Today, all of Denver was celebrating the team with Avalanche Day. It started off with a big parade, and ended up at Civic Center Park with speeches and Big Head Todd And The Monsters, a local Colorado band, playing a few songs for them, as well as a massive celebration for our beloved team. The Av’s winning the Cup is the biggest thing we have had since we last won the Super Bowl about 8 years ago, which was actually on my birthday too, but I digress. Denver and Colorado in general, loves its sports. Our professional athletes are our local heroes. 🙂 There were 100’s of 1000’s of people in attendance. And of course, we were there too. I say it was close to 1 million people. Larry doesn’t think it was that many. You decide. This was a screen shot on the big Jumbotron, and this was just at Civic Center Park, where we were.

All the police and fire trucks were out, helping the celebration too. The team AND the Cup came in on top of fire trucks. The adoring fans are cheering on the team as the drive by.

The Capital Building

We got there about 8:30 AM. It was already very hot and very crowded at that point, but we camped out under the shade of a beautiful, large tree, so it wasn’t to bad. The crowd just kept growing throughout the day, and we kept getting tighter and tighter, but we actually had a little bit of much appreciated rain and some cooler temperatures as they day progressed, which helped out tremendously. After waiting and standing for hours, at last, our beloved Avalanche arrived. The crowd erupted in cheer!

Unfortunately, we were still pretty far back, and people just kept crowding in all day, so our pictures are grainy and are from quite a distance from the stage. But I cleaned them up as best as I could. For the most part, I think they came out pretty good. We took a ton of pictures, so needless to say, I am not going to show you all of them. But I will give you a good sampling.

Here the team is showing off the Con Smythe award, which one of our star players, Cale Makar, won as well.

Coach Jared Bednar, in the gray, with Captain Gabe Landeskog, with the Swedish flag draped over his shoulders, and Erik Johnson or EJ at his side, with his champagne bottle in hand, proudly admiring the beloved and coveted Stanley Cup. We learned today this is the hardest trophy to win in sports, and this year, our Boys did it! They brought it home after a very long drought.

The team and both awards.

Ladies, this is the Viking God himself, looking mighty fine indeed, Captain Gabriel Landeskog. This picture right here, was worth all the waiting and standing around in the heat and the crowds. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Once the speeches were finished, the confetti and fireworks began. I can only say I hope we did our Boys in burgundy and blue as proud as they did Denver. Yes, We ARE the Champions!

Let’s Go Avalanche! They found a way! They brought home the Cup!

Nature Walks – So Many Pretty Flowers

As you all know, I just love my flowers and there are so many pretty flowers in bloom right now. I just can’t pass them up. We have all kinds of flowers in all colors. Some are potted and some are in the ground. Some are even in the trees.

Color your world beautiful and always take time to smell the flowers.

Hickory House BBQ

We worked up an appetite after our wine bottling adventure Making Wine- Part 2 – The Bottling Process and we all decided to go out for a little BBQ as a celebration. Janet had recommended the Hickory House in Parker. None of us had ever been there before and it sounded very good to all of us. It was a very good and tasty ending to an already very good and fun day.

I felt like we had all stepped back to the days of the Western migration in our covered wagons. We had all been transported back to the days of the Wild, Wild West. We were all up for the adventure too.

The Hickory House has been serving up good homestyle BBQ with all the fixin’s for 19 years. There are two locations, the one in Parker that we went to, which is the original, and then one in Aspen. Both locations are known for their ribs and have won 43 Awards of Excellence from the National Rib Tour. If ribs aren’t your thing, Hickory House offers lots of other options as well. We all ordered something different, and a couple of people did order the ribs. The portions are HUGE, so bring a big appetite, or least bring a friend or two to help with the portions.

We started off with some delicious crispy onion rings for everyone. They were great with the different BBQ sauce options too, though they came with a spicy dipping sauce that was also very good.

After we devoured our onion rings, we ordered the entrees. As I said, the portions are HUGE. Sharing meals is definitely a very good idea. Everyone had the right idea except for Larry and I. Janet and Bob split an order of mixed sliders.

Mike and Lauren also shared a meal of fried catfish and ribs. Mike said they were both excellent.

Larry and I definitely should have split a meal, but no. We were both stubborn. Neither of us were able to finish our meal, but Larry, out of all of us, did the best on his plate. He came close to finishing his, but in the end, just couldn’t do it. He ordered a combo plate with ribs as well and I ordered the brisket. Everything was delicious. There was just LOTS of it.

We were all very happy campers with very full and satisfied tummies after. We had a fun day of bottling our wines and then a delicious BBQ dinner after. But the best part was we had a great day with great friends. It was a very good day indeed.

We went to the Hickory House in Parker. They are located at 10335 South Parker Road. You can order online at or call ahead at (303) 805-9742, or better yet, just pop in and be seated. All are great options and are great ways to enjoy the Hickory House BBQ experience. No matter which way you prefer, it is all finger lickin’ good.

Nature Walks – Cormorants On The Lake

I know I have mentioned it many, many times, but I just love our lakes. You never know who you are going to see. Everyday is different. Sometimes you see so many different birds and wildlife, and sometimes, the lakes are quiet and no one is there. Everyday is unique.

This time, it is the cormorants on the lake. Usually they are pretty solitary, but this time, I got two together.

They look like they are deep in conversation.

Maybe it was too deep. Now there is only one.

I will hold my head up high and just keep swimming on.

Have a great day Everyone.

%d bloggers like this: