Tag Archives: denver

36th Annual Park Hill Home Tour

September 28, 2014

website: http://greaterparkhill.org/
Ticket Price: $15/adults in advance, $20/adult on the day, lower pricing for seniors and children

Well, you will have to wait a year, but going on the annual Park Hill Home Tour is worth $20! The event is held annually and is the biggest fundraiser for the Park Hill Community. I volunteered to work the event for three hours (2-5). As such, I earned a free ticket and three hours to use it (11-2).

I started out 2334 Grape Street. From the sketch of the home, I wasn’t sure I’d like it as the low point of the roof is in the center of the house. But in the end, I think it was my favorite. It was simple, sleek, modern, and zen all at the same time. I’m not exactly sure how all those adjectives can be used in the same sentence, but they can. Personally, if it were my home, I wouldn’t need a meditation room or sauna, but I had to admire the thought and planning that went into the home. It was obvious that the owners knew exactly what they wanted from the placement of the windows to the rain chains to the finish out, and I had to appreciate their thoughtfulness.

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From 2334 Grape, I crossed the street to visit 2351 which is a very modern home. The white kitchen cabinets with the stainless steel appliance were quite nice, but the coolest part of the house was the staircase. The maple steps are suspended by thin steel cables which creates a very airy appearance. The stairs looked like they were floating!

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I continued south down Grape to 2050. This home was built in the late 1800’s so that alone earns some kudos. While I could mention indoor features, these have been written up on all the houses in several papers like this one http://www.parkhillhometour.org/home-tour/, so I’m focusing on a few things I like from each house. I think it is cool to have a carriage house, but would I loved the most about this house was the yard. The double lot included a large grassy area, a garden, a small little bridge, a large chess board with pieces and a large Scrabble Board! Who knew you could play Scrabble outside on the ground with letters so big grandma can see them!!

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By now, it was lunch time, so meandered over to Forest and Montview to check out the street fair which included two long blocks of vendors, a block of food tents, a block of old cars, and a band. The grassy median included tables and seating and there was even an alcohol tent requesting a suggested donation. I grabbed half a gyro from Nicky’s Quickies and enjoyed the sunny day before I strolled by the furniture, jewelry, clothes, and other vendors.

1932 Hudson Street was pretty close to the street fair, so I stopped at that home next. These owners did some significant renovations on this 1925 home. Before pictures were hung near the doorways of many rooms, just the paint, furniture, and window dressings made a big difference in most rooms. But they added on to the back of the home enlarging the upstairs master bedroom which added a gas fireplace and lovely patio. This expansion also changed a tiny kitchen into a large one. The old one almost looks like a hallway as it functions like a bar area.

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When I began the tour, I wasn’t certain if I would be able to make enough time for the Monaco house given I was walking and it was a bit out of the way relative to the rest of the houses on the tour. Had I chosen to drive or ride my bike, I certainly would not have faced an issue, and I fortunately did not run into a time issue walking either. What a nice way to get in some exercise and enjoy this beautiful fall day!

2315 Monaco Parkway was interesting. It was a more traditional home like the last two. The kitchen and the powder bath off the kitchen appeared recently updated and were very nice. I liked the paint colors as well and found the wide band of paint by the molding worked well. The tile window sills were cool and the rooftop patio was fantastic. Some of the other bathrooms still had the old time which I loved though they could have used new sinks! The home owner is an avid gardener, and I loved how the vegetables were intermingled with the flower garden so that the vegetables were almost camouflaged.

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The final stop was Smiley Campus which opened in 1928. Now it is the new home for McAuliffe International School and Venture Prep. It was just on my way home, which was perfect as I took a quick break before I returned to 2334 Grape St. to sell tickets for the afternoon.

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I really enjoyed the tour and street fair. Next year I’m torn. I’m not sure if I will volunteer and do the tour, or get a booth and sell my cards, key chains, and photos as I have a good walk up business at fairs. Regardless, if the weather is good, and it was perfect until 4:45, the Park Hill Home Tour is a nice event for a fall day, especially when the Broncos aren’t playing. The only thing that could have made it better is if photos were allowed indoors. ETB

For notecards, key chains, and photos on canvas, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards
maple leaf website

The Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

September 16, 2014

Denver Botanic Gardens
10007 York Street
Denver, CO 80207
720-865-3500, press 0
email: see contact us on website

Hours: 9am-8pm

Fees: Members/Free, Adults/$15, Students and Seniors/$12, Kids (3-15)/$9, Kids under 3/Free

The Chihuly Exhibit has been at Denver Botanic Gardens’ York Street location since June 14th and remains in the heart of Denver until November 30, 2014.

I attended the exhibit opening night for garden members in the rain a few months ago and then again last night with a few of my girlfriends. I thought it would be interesting to see the glass in all different light…overcast, sunset, and night.

Being a member, the exhibit is free until October 3rd when Chihuly Nights begins. At such time, there is a $10 admission fee for members and $15 for non-members as the gardens are not usually open at night in the winter-time, though it appears members are afforded two complimentary tickets, so reserve them now!

Chihuly is from Washington, studied interior design and continued his education in glass in the late 1960s. In 1971, he co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State and is credited in revolutionizing the glass blowing industry. His pieces can be found all over the world. For as famous as he is, I thought maybe there would be more information on each piece of art. Perhaps it is just the statistician in me that made me wonder how much glass he used for each piece, how long it took to make each one, how much each one weighed, and his inspirations for each creation.

I didn’t find much of that information online (a little on inspiration) or at the Botanic Gardens, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the art work. Some of the pieces looked like snakes, others birds, feathers, icicles, fire, spouts of water and rocks, just to name a few. The pieces dotting the landscape of the gardens added to the majesty. I particularly liked the boat of balls. The colorful reflection in the tranquil pond equals “Serenity Now”.

We wandered along the sidewalks, trails, and the wending river rock path twice through the variety of gardens to not only get different view of the glass, but to also enjoy the waterfalls, ponds, flowers, cacti and fragrances. Along with the Chihuly Exhibition, the Denver Botanic Gardens offers a variety of programs and events from summer concerts, classes and plant and bulb sales. It’s important to check its website for special events and closures.

The York Street location is a gem. I have yet to visit the Chatfield location or Mt. Goliath but will have to soon! ETB

For notecards, key chains, and photos on canvas, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards
Sunflowers website

The Butterfly Pavilion

August 28, 2014

The Butterfly Pavilion
6252 West 104th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80020

hours: 9am-5pm, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

prices: adults=$9.50, Westminster residents and seniors=$7.50, children(2-12)=$6.50, children<2=FREE

The forecast called for showers throughout the day, so Tanya and I chose to visit The Butterfly Pavillion for an indoor activity. The Butterfly Pavillion calls itself "a zoo of small wonders and BIG experience" and boasts over 5,ooo animals. While the majority of animals are butterflies that fly free in a humid dome, the small facility also includes a variety of other creatures to admire.

The entry hall led us to the first room which featured bugs, spiders, and bees. We looked beetles, cockroaches, scorpions, stickbugs and trantulas from around the world with the highlight being Rosie. Rosie was a tarantula that crawled on a zoo keeper's hands. Tanya and I had pepper the young lady with multiple questions before we allowed Rosie to crawl on our hands. First, we wanted to know what it would feel like. "Q-tips," she responded. Just looking at the hairy spider sent chills through my spine. I expressed my fear that I might fling her across the room when she touched me. The young zoo keeper assured us that she would hold our hands. After much convincing, we faced our fear. Despite Rosie being the size of our hand, she hardly weighed a thing! It was so cool, and we even earned a sticker for holding her.


We moved from the bug room, to the room of sea creatures. Though the room was small and featured approximately eight aquariums and two touching pools, I could have stayed in this area for an hour, probably due to my fascination with underwater sea life. As much as I have been SCUBA diving, I was surprised to see such a unique collection of sea life, some species of which I have never seen.

I loved the Fiddler Crab which lives in mangroves on land and not in the water. The male is identified by its large pincer that it waves to court females. Each crab had a tiny pincer it ate with and another large one to attract the females! The aquariums also featured upside down jellyfish, colorful Halloween crabs, amazing sea anemones and corals (many of which were new to me), as well as sea stars and horse shoe crabs to touch.

We moved from the cool, rectangular rooms to the butterfly pavilion which was humid like a rainforest. Orchids and hibiscus along with a selection of blooming flowers attracted countless butterflies. Many flitted one flower to the next. Others perched quietly on trees, vines, and even plates of fruit from which they fed. At first, we walked along the curving sidewalk, spun around, and pointed at the colorful insects as they glided around us. Then we simply stood still and stared into an area. It was amazing how many we could find camouflaged on a tree. Two of them even landed on Tanya.

Signs posted in the gardens reminded us of the life cycle of the butterfly. A butterfly’s egg, generally the size of a period punctuating a sentence lasts for two weeks before it enters the larval stage. The larva, also known as a caterpillar, lasts two to eight weeks before it enters into the pupal stage. The pupal stage is two to four weeks long before the butterfly emerges. A sign describing a few species of butterflies was also posted, though a more descriptive pamphlet to help identify these delicate creatures was available at check in for a $1.

From the gardens, we visited an interactive maze for kids which tested their knowledge on the rainforests and butterfly farms. Every week, the butterfly pavilion buys 600 to 1,000 pupa from butterfly farms located around the world! We learned all sorts of facts about butterflies, including their eating habits and reasons why butterflies lay their eggs on certain plants.

I found the exhibits to be well done and informative and the gift shop was extensive. We spent approximately 2 hours at the facility, from 10:30-12:30 on a week day and shared it with many toddlers. It would be a good place for a kid’s birthday. The Butterfly Pavilion also hosts events such as yoga and “Hoppy Hour” and has a ballroom for any type of corporate meeting space. For more information including membership, visit https://www.butterflies.org/. ETB

For notecards, key chains, or photos on canvas, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards
great spangled fritillary website copy