Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Monet, and More

Turned out to be a very special, and very artsy, 2-day trip to Denver for Nana and Papa. We got a special deal at the Downtown Sheraton that included a VIP pass to the Monet exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Craig joined us for the Monet day.

Here's part of their description: "More than 100 paintings created throughout Monet’s life will go on display at the Denver Art Museum next fall. “The Truth of Nature” traces Monet’s work from early landscapes and then to his fascination with single subjects, such as water lilies and haystacks, in different light and times of day. The show includes the first painting Monet, age 18, ever exhibited, in 1858 (“View from Rouelles”) and one of his last works (“The House Seen Through the Roses”) done a few months before he died in 1926. The museum partnered with an impressive list of museums and private collectors to create the show that will only be seen in the U.S. in Denver." #MonetatDAM

I was the last one of our threesome to finish the exhibit. That never happens at an art thing. We were all taken by the story told and the fact that the paintings had been pulled from so many collections far and wide to tell Monet's story.

The trip started the day before with another wonderful art discovery, the American Museum of Western Art - The Anschutz Collection. The location is a little hard to spot as the signage is only readable close up; look for Navares on the building. It's right across the street from the Brown Palace (where we'll stay on our next Denver adventure). This museum houses three floors of a great western art collection. You'd recognize Wyeth and Thomas Hart Benton, but maybe not the dozens of others. You may recognize Philip Anschutz as a very successful business man who, among other things, was heavily invested in railroads. And railroads invested heavily in western art to attract easterners to travel west. The Santa Fe Railroad is well know for having western art on the walls, on menus, everywhere. In September 1996, Anschutz became Vice-Chairman of Union Pacific Railroad.

On our walk to the Denver Art Museum, we walked between the State Capitol and Denver City Hall. We understand there is a step leading up to the entrance of the State Capitol that is marked 5,280 feet, the Mile High City.

All the photos are here, including a couple video clips (at the end) from the Monet exhibit.

Navares Building - American Museum of Western Art

In the Brown Palace

La Loma Mexican Restaurant

Just outside the Denver Art Museum with Lynn and Craig.

Leven Deli - great find!

First Monet, chronologically.

Last chronologically.

Great dinner at the Palace Arms in the Brown Palace

Friday, January 17, 2020

Basketball Court Initiated

Amazingly enough, no sooner had AJ and Matteo got outside to give the new sport court a try, two neighborhood boys showed up for a little 2-on-2. I'm pretty sure neither AJ nor Matteo knew exactly what that meant, but everyone looked like they were having fun! We're in the final-touches phase of the backyard (and some frontyard) redo by Jake's Designs. See photos of the project.

It (pine needle basket) Is Finished

The Ponderosa Pine Needle Baskets were finished up today at School in the Woods. AJ was pretty darn proud of his, and even Mr. W. got AJ on film talking about the basket experience. AJ said he learned to keep trying. During clean-up, Mr. W. came and asked AJ to help another student get her basket done. Big day.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

TECO Train Show

Papa, Matteo, and AJ went to the mall today for a train show put on by Train Expo Colorado (TECO). Great fun, of course. AJ and Matteo enjoyed the swap meet most. Papa liked the layouts. All three of us went to the talk about the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad from Denver to Kenosha Pass. Yes, that South Park! AJ even bought himself an N-gauge boxcar and some track. He loved chatting with the guys.

Jamie made connections with the Rocky Mountain Railroad Heritage Society and in particular the Calhan Depot project they are working. He may have found his next webmastering project(s). Calhan, CO is about 40 minutes east of us on the way to Limon, CO.

We concluded with lunch at Chick-fil-A and a stop at the fudge shop to take home a family treat.

Found a Big Boy! 4014 no less.

AJ road all the way up Elf-style.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Ponderosa Pine Needle Baskets

A School in the Woods activity. This is Day 3. Be sure to keep your gauge fed!

Pine needles around the school are like
grains of sand at the beach.

Cleaning the needles.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

10 Kids at the Pool

We were 10-kids strong at the pool today. I don't know if that headcount is the most amazing thing about this, or that we could even think about going to the pool in January. Sam was not there as he returned to basic training a few days ago, and Jonathan wasn't there either as he was home with Nana taking it easy. On the plus side, we had five add-ons.

Friday, January 3, 2020


Matteo got a new board game for Christmas, Wingspan. It's a pretty cool game Megan's new beau developed. Rob and Vickie were here after Christmas and spent a fair amount of time teaching us how to play. Seems to have paid off as we managed to play a game by ourselves after they went home.