Many times over the almost 25 years that we hosted international adults in our home, it was the visitors who introduced us to places in our own city and state. Though we had visited this restaurant over 30 years ago, we had little memory of it. We knew that in 1993, when the G-8 was held in Denver, the dignitaries including Bill and Hillary Clinton had had a private party there. When Jorge and Carmen invited us to this restaurant it was as if we were experiencing iit for the first time. We arrived in late afternoon to really absorb the ambiance and take a few photos.
The four of us before we ate our various meals of bison, elk and quail.
Raclette dinner at Paula and Dave's in honor of our mutual Chilean friends.
This was the first time the six of us had been together since we and our friends had visited Carmen and Jorge in Chile in 2004. Though we stay in touch by email and messenger, there is nothing like personal contact.
Aaron, Suzanne and Bob with their re-mounted ostrich
For the last 19 months my husband Bob has been working behind the scenes at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, remounting 1100 birds in the collection, some collected as long ago as the late 1800s. Some, like the Carolina parakeet, are now extinct. The original storage was not well organized and some birds were damaged in the current shelving. New storage is being built so new mountings for hundreds of birds were needed. This ostrich was the most difficult and time-consuming of all.
A collared stork
Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to mount a bird whose center of gravity was not quite plumb when the taxidermist prepared it as in the bird above. This one kept falling over until Bob added the collar and the carved-in foam support in the rear and now it is ready for archival storage in the new climate-controlled facility to be built as soon as funds allow.
The museum has more than 1500 volunteers who work in various capacities, many in places never seen by the general public.
Today I made my first trip to the zoo since last autumn, also my first since my surgery 2 1/2 months ago. I walked slow and watched each animal longer. I was able to catch some animals in poses I hadn't seen before. It felt good to be outside and walking without pain.
Snow leopard resting on rocks.
I was able to take a photo through the glass as the window had recently been washed on the inside and the lighting was such that there was no reflection. This young cub almost appears to be smiling.
Just goose-stepping or a forced march?
Though not officially residents of the Denver zoo, many geese now either stay over the winter or return before mating season. The green collar indicates that this goose is part of a migration study to see whether it stayed or returned.
Peacock in a tail wind.
This was one frustrated peacock. This day we had a very strong wind. The pea hen he was posturing for was over in my direction as I took the photo and everytime he turned to strut for her, the wind turned him around. Finally the pea hen walked away and he folded his feathers and did the same.
On February 23, I had total knee replacement surgery. This meal came after they got me out of bed and made me walk a bit and put me in a chair to eat. Now two weeks later I am walking without crutches or cane and going up and down stairs.
A large part of the delay in blogging has been due to the process of seeing doctors, getting x-rays and attending informational classes prior to surgery. Today I am off pain pills and can drive myself to PT and doctors' check-ups.
I was also able to hold my 2 and 1/2 month old grandson.
Matteo in his grandpa's arms on December 5 at 6 hours old.
Once again I am blogging retrospectively but I wanted the photo to appear under the correct timing. Much has happened since Matteo arrived but I will try to put it all in the right context. This little guy makes our 4th grandson and 7th grandchild.
This bank building atrium always provides interesting reflections.
This just happens to be across from the bus stop where we catch our bus home. I just happened to have my camera on a recent trip downtown and couldn't resist the juxtoposition of lines, curves and reflections.
We were, however, treated to a demonstration of stone carving by Josh Meier, a local sculptor of note, seen in the photo below.
Josh Meier, demonstrating stone carving at D.A.M.
We walked through Civic Center Park and of course, since I had my camera, I took photos of favorite architecture along the way. One was our Denver Public Library just adjacent to the art museum and another was our State Capitol.
The Denver library building designed by architect Robert Graves
The Colorado State Capitol with Vietnam monument in the front
Two Asheville NC artists at their opening reception in Denver
Heidi Zeknik (left) is the daughter of a dear college friend of mine. I last saw Heidi when she was about 5 or 6 years old. I last saw her mother in Austria in 1984, I think. Yesterday we went to the opening reception for three artists who often show together and enjoyed a nice visit before prospective clients began pouring in. Heidi and Donna Price share a studio in Asheville. You can visit their websites here and here respectively.
The photo below is for Heidi's Mom in Austria. Sorry about my cheesy grin, Magi.
This family feels so much like our extended family from Catalonia in Spain. We have a history since the late 90's through their daughter Marta who arranged for Paula and I to visit her parents and sister in Barcelona and La Seu D'Urgell. With my intermediate Spanish and a lot of pantomime we all became close friends. Xell who had some English acted as translator with her parents. Later Angeles would come to stay at our home when Marta lived with us for a year. We have known this family for 9 years.
Today we met at a restaurant in honor of the small guest hidden behind the stroller hood in the photo: their first grandchild, Joan (pronounced JoAhn which is John in Catalan)Bernat. We anticipate that we will see the proud grands more often now.
The Guest of honor, four weeks old, slept through our lunch.
Angel's trumpet tree inside the tropical atrium at DBG
After the campaigning, after the countless nights in front of the TV, after election eve with friends agonizing over each new set of state returns, and after the jubilant champagne toast as the winner was declared, we were mentally and physically exhausted! We slept a lot the first few days and then on Saturday we needed to get outdoors. We chose one of our favorite places for relaxing the body and clearing the mind, the Denver Botanic Gardens. We arrived just in time to catch the weekly Saturday morning guided tour. This week it was a tour of the tropical atrium and the cloud forest room. I've always loved the atrium but now I know names of a few more plants.
The main path to Monet Pond flanked by berry-filled trees
We walked for almost two hours inhaling autumn crispness, mourning the increasing bareness of the trees and enjoying the seasonal appearance of the muted colors of dry grasses, all with their own kind of beauty. My DBG membership provides me endless hours of tranquility in the midst of a most chaotic world.
Gisela and friends celebrate the impending birth of Matteo
On October 26 we joined Gisela and friends for a baby shower for the new grandson, expected December 5. My job was to be photographer and to double team with Bob watching Hana and Ethan.
Hana and Ethan inside the toy box
Two days later the family assembled to celebrate Bob's 70th birthday. We again got some good grandchild photos.
Clio and Tian were given flowers by the restaurant staff.
Unfortunately we didn't think of photos until both meal and birthday cake were devoured. Just a small piece and some crumbs remain. Tian doesn't much like photos so a smile was not forthcoming in either of the two photos
Gusto y Marla from Brazil join Bob to Campaign for Obama
Our friends from Rio arrived yesterday evening. This morning when Bob grabbed his signs and stepped outside to do his daily walking for Obama, Marla grabbed a sign and said, "I want to do it too." Augusto soon joined in. Both of them reacted joyfully to the many honks and waves. This is just one example of how excited our many foreign friends are about Obama's candidacy.
One of the most interesting of the five on-site interest centers was the orchid nursery. I had no idea how orchids were propigated. I knew it wasn't from seed but I never would have thought of starting them on slices of tree trunks. The hotel produces its own flowers for dinner tables and decorations by growing them in flower gardens and in the orchid nursery.
More flowers from the Gamboa flower gardens
One of many beautiful fresh floral arrangements in the hotel
This is the last photo and blog post about Panama. I will put some other photos in the Panama 2008 album on the left side of this blog. Gleaning from the over 400 photos I took during the 5 days in Panama will not be easy.