Friday, July 29, 2011

Denver 2011, Friday

When we first arrived in Denver - 5 days ago! - Holly asked what we would like to do while here. I wanted to go up in the mountains, Randy wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, and the rest of the list was from Andru. We have had a non-stop week.  Andru has had quite an introduction to Colorado!! The Smith family has made our trip  very fun!! I think they will need a vacation from our visit!! (so will the adults of our family.)

Let me explain this picture: at the risk of embarrassing some boys! Andru spent the night at Jack's a couple of nights and Jack spent the night here at the hotel a few nights - that way they enjoyed the pool here. I told them to turn off the computer, etc at midnight. So they rigged up a blanket and tried having the computer under the blanket. #1 I could see what they were up too. - After all we were all in the same room! #2 it was way too hot for them to be hiding! So anyway, this didn't last long! - and #3 the fact that I took their picture didn't help the subterfuge. Yes, that's Andru's head peeking up in the back!

This morning we went to the Denver Aquarium.

Caitlin (Jack's girlfriend) Andru and Jack

Feeding the stingray

When we left the aquarium we met Holly at Sunrise Cafe and had the best lunch ever!
I had French toast that was to die for!! 
Then we  headed to Elitch Gardens.
Which wasn't a garden at all, but an amusement park and water park.

I must admit, I felt every bit of my 58 years today.
I was tired, hot and not at all "amused" by the amusement park!

I wasn't sure what this name meant until I picked up a brochure to find out.
It was founded in 1890 by John and Mary Elitch. 
Early in it's history, the phrase "Not to see Elitch's is Not to See Denver"
was used to advertise the park.

We started at the water park to cool off!
From there we went to:

I had no desire to ride anything today!
Neither did Randy so we drank lots of water
and as often as possible found buildings with air conditioning!
Here, however, are pictures of the brave ones coming out of this ride!

I am so thankful for David today! He went on rides with the kids and generally was a GREAT entertainer!!

After all the "fun" :) - we went back to their house and had Chinese food. It was really good. Andru kept rubbing his eyes from being tired, if Jack was tired he didn't show it - mainly because he was entertaining Caitlin! 

We enjoyed meeting Caitlin and hope to see her again sometime.

Then it was time to say good byes. We leave for home (and rain - we hear) early tomorrow morning. I hated to say good bye. It seemed like we stayed so busy, I didn't have time to talk to Holly much - other than our non-stop chatter while traveling from place to place this week. I hated to say bye to Jack - for no reason other than he's my grandson!! :)  And, well, I hate to say bye to the best  babysitter Andru has had since he - well, since he actually had a baby sitter!!

Thank you so much Holly, David and Jack for a great week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Denver 2011, Thursday

Today we headed to Colorado Springs and went to the Air force Academy.
The core values of the Air Force Academy are :
  • Integrity first
  • Service before self
  • Excellence in all we do
The Academy is a four year university, offering a bachelor's degree in one of 32 majors and a commission as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force.
The have four pillars:
  • Character development
  • Military training
  • Academics
  • Athletics
We reached the Academy too late in the day for a guided tour. They end at 1:00 but we did take a self tour of the chapel.

It is a very impressive building. It has 2 levels. This top level is the Protestant Chapel.

These 2 pictures are at the front of the chapel.

The pipe organ at the back of the chapel.

This pew is roped off with a candle in the center.
You can read the plaque better in this next picture:

When you go outside and around to the lower level,
you enter the Catholic Chapel.

The front of the Catholic Chapel

This is the only Air Force Chapel in the world with 
dedicated space for the 12 stations of the cross.
(All other chapels have stations that turn so chapel is shared with protestant and catholic)

Also on this lower level is a Jewish Chapel.

This plaque says: "The scroll is opened to Deuteronomy chapters five and six,
which contain the second account of the Ten Commandments
and the watch-word of Judaism:
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."

Then to the side of the Jewish Chapel is the Buddhist Chapel

We didn't have a guide for these Chapels, but there was a Chaplain telling
 some of the interesting points about them which was very interesting.

It's hard to believe this is my grandson Jack!
How quickly time has flown!

David, Holly and Andru reached the Chapel before we did because they rode the golf cart!

Here I am with the love of my life!!

The Air Force Cadet Code of Honor:

We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Denver 2011, Wednesday

Today we started slow. Had some time to rest up then picked up Holly, David, Jack and Andru and went to downtown Denver for lunch. We ate at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Then all but Holly headed to the Denver Zoo. What a wonderful zoo they have here. I got too hot in the reptile building (who likes reptiles anyway???)  but other than that it was a very nice day.

I thought this tiger was so funny on top of the fence that protects the tree.

I'm not sure, but I think Randy is saying,
"Woman, would you hurry up."  

Andru took this picture and I love it!!

After seeing "Mr. Popper's Penguins" last month, 
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the penguins! 
Even more than usual!

 They didn't keep these four in a cage!
They were just running free! 
Scarey, huh!

Then we met Holly and two of their friends, Rick and Linda for dinner. They always have the most interesting friends. We met at "Big Game". Then after dinner everyone but Randy and I went to the new Harry Potter movie.

Anyway, I was sitting across from Rick, with Jack and Andru to my right and Rick's left. Rick is a writer and I had such a good time listening to the conversation - and sometimes joining in - between these three guys. Andru and Jack peppered him with questions about journalism and how to make a career out of it. Randy and I both thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. We say a BIG thank you to Rick for being so patient and interested in guiding inquiring minds!!

One of the things I enjoyed most about raising my children was watching as they pursued an interest and learned what they could about it. It was so fun to watch these two young men asking questions and learning from a very kind and interesting man! I listened and learned as much as the boys did!!

Rick's business website:  
Rick's personal website:

"Always desire to learn something useful." Sophocles


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstien

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Denver 2011, Tuesday

Any time I start the morning with Andru saying, "Brenda, can I be honest with you?" I've got to wonder what the day will bring. But actually, we have had a great day!

First of all, let me show you Holly, David and Jack's house. I mentioned it yesterday, but hadn't taken a picture yet. It was built in the 1920's.

We started the morning with a great breakfast at the hotel and then went over to their house. From there, we headed to Mt. Evans. Andru has never been in the mountains so this was all new to him. It was a wonderful "ooh" and "ahh" trip. 

I was amazed all over again at the glory of God's creation. Just breathtakingly beautiful. I had the opportunity to sit in the "way back" with Jack. We had such a good conversation. My little Jack is growing up! I was very pleased with the talk we had. In this conversation, I was able to say, "Jack, you are only 15 and I doubt if you realize this, but you are so fortunate to live in this beautiful area and enjoy all it has to offer." He agreed that he probably does take this for granted. 

We went as high on the mountain as a car could go and had plans to hike up to the top, but by the time we reached this far it was raining (almost sleeting) and was COLD, so we didn't make the hike. Although we had beautiful views driving up and coming down, on the top it was cloudy and we couldn't enjoy it as much as we would have liked.

Andru and David
 Jack and Randy

I miss Jack and really enjoyed this time with him. He has gotten so tall and needs a haircut  :)  When we came down from the top, we stopped and ate lunch. This was about 1:30 and I will admit, I was ready to eat! Best hamburger I've ever had!! Outside the window of the restaurant:

Great view of the hummingbirds

 And more Colorado wildflowers.

In the 1970's and early '80's, Randy used to go to Breckenridge to ski with his family. He was interested in going there and seeing how much it's changed over the years so we drove to Breckenridge. I loved the shopping area, so quaint, so colorful. He told us about many of the changes he could see. He and I may come back and spend a weekend there sometime.

By the time we reached Denver, it was raining here and was after 6:00. Holly invited Andru to spend the night with them because they are watching the first Harry Potter movie then tomorrow night they are going to the new HP movie. Randy and I weren't hungry - still stuffed from the best hamburgers ever! - but we did want to walk some of those good burgers off and we wanted to look for some place mats. So we left those four at the house, we went to a huge - FABULOUS mall then came back to the hotel.

So, can I be honest with you?

I've had a wonderful day and
I LOVE my family!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Denver 2011, Monday

I feel like a "world" traveler. Well, a tri-state traveler anyway. This week I am spending with my oldest grandson, Jack, and his parents Holly and David in Denver. I am so excited that I've had the wonderful opportunity of spending time with each of my grandchildren this summer. So, today was a day of driving. We left Wichita at 9:00 this morning and got to the hotel around 4:00 mountain time. Then to David and Holly's house by 5:00.

Randy and I enjoy looking at older houses and the house they live in is a bungalow built in the '20's. Lot's of beautiful wood and built in's. I meant to get a picture of it but forgot.

They took us to a quaint Italian Restaurant for Dinner. Patsy's Inn. I highly recommend it if you are in the Denver area. The food was very good. It is Patsy's Inn, 3651 Navajo St, Denver.

Then since our day had been long, we took Holly and David home and Jack came back to the hotel with us to swim and sleep.

They had a good time and are slowly getting acquainted! Now, Randy and I are just hoping the swim will help them sleep well. - and soon.  :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mamm's leaving Omaha

Well, today I left Omaha. This is bittersweet for me. I hate leaving - but I'm also ready to see Randy. We took time for "pictures" before I left and after Gerry and Heather took me to Jimmy's Egg for breakfast.

 It's been a relaxing week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

and now I'm home!