Garden of the Gods with Zeb and Soapy Duck

This Colorado Springs park boasts beautiful and unusual rock formations.

Natural rock formation

Natural rock formation

Zeb and Soapy Duck explored Garden of the Gods Saturday with our moms. It was great!

Stopping at the Visitors Center, we appreciated the view of some rock formations and a slightly snow covered Pikes Peak in the background. Some remodeling taking place at the Visitors Center, but everything is open and functional. The 15-minute movie, gift shop, restaurant and the most important park rangers and their vast knowledge were appreciated.

Kissing camels???

Kissing camels???

The rock formation at the right of the photo is called kissing camels.  Also, you can see a man ready for the Segway tour. So much to see and do here.

After driving to the rock formations, we wandered through many areas.

Stunning

Stunning

Each formation is equally breathtaking.

Uprooted tree on rock

Uprooted tree on rock

The children of Charles Elliott Perkins gave this park to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909. Mr. Perkins died before completing the transfer of land to the city, but his children honored his wishes.

Thanks to the Perkins family

Thanks to the Perkins family

The Garden of the Gods is to be forever free for all to enjoy.

Garden of the Gods is home to various animals. You may see these birds or different kinds.

He enjoys living at the Garden of the Gods

He enjoys living at the Garden of the Gods

Most of the rock formations are red,

Variety of rocks here

Variety of rocks here

so this white rock was very noticeable. As was the bird watching over the park.

Guardian of Garden of the Gods

Guardian of Garden of the Gods

This young deer was so close to us.

Our new friend

Our new friend

We think he liked us and he will like you, too. We watched deer at a few places among the rock formations.

He likes us!

He likes us!

This park is so beautiful and peaceful that wedding parties come here for pictures.

Congratulations to these happy newlyweds

Congratulations to these happy newlyweds

Several hiking trails cross through the park. You can hike as long as you wish. Many of the trails are paved, so strollers and wheelchairs are welcome. Horse and Segway tours can be arranged. Technical climbs are permitted with a permit.

Technical rock climbers

Technical rock climbers

You will marvel at balanced rock.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

The rock looks like it will fall any time, but it has been balancing there for millions of years. Opposite balanced rock this other formation fascinated our moms.

Massive rock

Massive rock

At the nearby Trading Post, enjoy a muffin and browse the art gallery. You will love both. For more information visit www.gardenofgods.com We will look for you next time we visit the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Visit Garden of the Gods

Visit Garden of the Gods

 

 

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Trader Joe’s in Denver

A new grocery store came to Denver.  On February 14, 2014, Trader Joe’s opened in Denver.

Finally in Colorado

Finally in Colorado

Thousands of shoppers waited hours to enter, explore and purchase items.  Mom and I, Zeb the Duck, went yesterday.  Over 2 months later and the parking lot is full.  This is some of what you will find when you go.

The floral section is near the entrance.

Spring plants

Spring plants

Different choices.  Lots of bananas in the produce department.

Price has not changed in many years.

Price has not changed in 13 years!

These bananas cost 19 cents per banana.  Mom says that is less than most stores charge.

You will appreciate different items in the beverage section.  How about this cold brew coffee concentrate.

New to this duck

New to this duck

And check out these cartons of coconut milk, rice drink and almond breeze.

Almond Breeze???

Almond Breeze???

Something new for us.

We visited Trader Joe’s at 8th and Colorado Boulevard in Denver.  This is currently the only Trader Joe’s in Colorado to have a 3700 square foot wine shop.  Such a big selection of wine.  Here is the famous $3 bottle of Chuck.

wine

Charles Shaw discount wine, or Chuck

There are wines from all over the world in this store.

The best selling item from Trader Joe’s is cookie butter.

Sounds interesting

Sounds interesting

We bought bananas and cookie butter.  The aisles are wide with items attractively displayed.  Mom said we will come back again.  And, Trader Joe’s say they like us also.

They love us!

They love us!

Hope to see you at Trader Joe’s soon.

Aruba Hyatt

Last day in Aruba and we checked out of our condo.  They will store luggage until we need to go to airport for late afternoon flight.  A cab driver suggested we enjoy the gardens at the Hyatt.  We did that.

Hyatt in Aruba

Hyatt in Aruba

 

One evening during dinner at a Hyatt beach bar and grill, Soapy’s mom got hiccups.  Without a word, the waiter presented her with a small dish of maraschino cherries.

Cherries from the bar to cure hiccups

Cherries from the bar to cure hiccups

He suggested that she eat all of them rather rapidly and hiccups should stop.  She likes the cherries anyway, so she ate them and hiccups were gone.  Something we will remember in the future if they return.

Today we admired the black swans.

Ducks with a swan

Ducks with a swan

They are wonderful.  Since this is a tropical garden, this iguana joined us.

We welcomed the iguana

We welcomed the iguana

Also, we found whiptail lizards.

Think we have a pair of whiptail lizards

Think we have a pair of whiptail lizards

Love the colors.

Zeb and Soapy were happy to pose in front of another distant relative.

A relative in Aruba

A relative in Aruba

Our moms really liked the black swans swimming with the goldfish (or are they carp).

Swans swimming with fish

Swans swimming with fish

Here is a glimpse of the garden and river.  Our moms could not get a good photo.  Gardens are very extensive and create a wonderful oasis in this tropical paradise.

Beautiful landscaping

Beautiful landscaping

We stayed on the beach for a while, enjoying the water, sun and sand and beverages.

We will miss Aruba, but hope to see you there next time we visit the island.

Quadirikiri Caves in Aruba

Caves!!!  We, Zeb the Duck and Soapy Duck were inside caves.  Our moms took us to Arikok National Park in Aruba.  This national park occupies about 18% of the island of Aruba.  Bouncing along dirt roads while viewing the wild donkeys

Going to Akikok National Park

Going to Arikok National Park

and glimpsing the Caribbean we enjoyed the drive.

Climbing the rocky stairs to enter the cave, things became much darker.

Steps to caves

Steps to caves

Moms had to watch the placement of their feet to keep us all upright and steady.  Carefully navigating the entry and dark passage, we soon entered a larger chamber and experienced more daylight.  From this larger chamber,

Heading to another chamber

Heading to another chamber

more smaller openings led to other parts of the cave complex.

Venturing through another entry, we soon discovered an even larger chamber with sunlight streaming through an opening, like a natural skylight.  Our Quadirikiri cave and sunlight produced some beautiful colors.

Colors in the cave

Colors in the cave

Quite stunning!

Stalactites and stalagmites were forming in our cave.  Stalactites grow from the ceiling and stalagmites appear to grow from the floor.  They are formed by dripping water and grow approximately one inch per hundred years.  Very slow.  After hundreds or thousands of years the stalactite and stalagmite reach each other and a column is formed.  Zeb and Soapy Duck are by a column.

Column formed by stalagmites and stalagmites

Column formed by stalactites and stalagmites

We were very careful so we did not touch or damage this column or anything else in the cave.

We were not alone in our cave traveling.  Hundreds of small bats also travel in these caves.  They flit around the 98-foot cave area to reach their nests deeper in the cave.  Our guide told us the bats are not dangerous.  They prefer berries (some from the cactus) and insects over our blood.  No vampires here.  That was good to know as we entered their home.  The bats especially do not bite or eat traveling ducks!

We liked exploring caves

We liked exploring caves

We ducks liked the cave, our first, and we think you would like it also.  This cave is on the southern Caribbean island of Aruba inside Arikok National Park.  Let us know if you like caves.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  This is a wonderful holiday.  The Lord Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, and today he has risen to Heaven.  Jesus died for our sins.

Easter is a religious holiday for Christians and also a celebration of spring and new beginnings.  Today is a day for church, eating, playing and being with friends and family.

Easter Decorations

Easter is a serious Christian holiday, but it is also a fun holiday.  My neighbors have good decorations.

The Easter Express

The Easter Express

Zeb the Duck with big chickens

Zeb the Duck with big chickens

I like the Easter Express.

Then mom and I went to the store to see more items for Easter.  Many people buy a new Easter outfit.  They like to wear new clothes to church on Easter Sunday.  These flowers are Easter Lilies.

Many Easter Lilies

Many Easter Lilies

Easter colors are pretty pastels.

Peeps are colored marshmallow chickens.  There are a lot of peeps here.

So many Peeps

So many Peeps

Mom says some people boil eggs and dye them pastel colors.  Then the Easter bunny comes to hide the eggs.  Children look for Easter eggs in the morning.   Several cities have Easter egg hunts for the children.

These chocolate bunnies look yummy.

We bought chocolate bunnies!

We bought chocolate bunnies!

And, look at these Easter cupcakes.

Yummy cupcakes

Yummy cupcakes

I like holidays that are serious, but are also fun.  I like Easter.

Zeb on the Easter Express

Zeb on the Easter Express

Today is Good Friday

Colorado Traveling Ducks and their humans pause to give thanks for the greatest sacrifice made for humans.  This is the day Jesus was crucified and died so our sins would be forgiven.

Today, we humans and Colorado Traveling Ducks remember, give thanks and strive to be worthy of this extreme sacrifice.  This is a very important day for Christians all over the world.