Ms Ducky Visits Ireland

I, Zeb the Duck, was so excited to hear about Ms. Ducky’s trip to Ireland.   This is Ms. Ducky’s second trip to Europe this year.   I asked her to tell you about it and show you what she did.   I, Ms. Ducky, flew to London and then flew to Ireland.

Ready to fly from London to Ireland

Ready to fly from London to Ireland

When I arrived in Ireland, I took my humans to see this ancient church.

Ancient church in Ireland

Ancient church in Ireland

Later we toured Guiness.

Going on a tour of Guiness with mom

Going on a tour of Guiness with mom

Guinness produces alcohol, and of course, the Guiness Book of World Records.   Today we were more interested in alcohol than books.   Let’s go inside.   This is a nice place.

Guiness. I like it here.

Guiness. I like it here.

Next we visited Belfast, Ireland.   Ireland has a troubled past.   The city of Belfast has 17 peace walls.

Peace Wall in Belfast, Ireland

Peace Wall in Belfast, Ireland

They were built to protect neighborhoods during times of trouble.   These walls are painted by the citizens.

Peace Wall

Peace Wall

My humans and I visited the Shankill side where we were encouraged to sign the wall.   As a peaceful duck, I eagerly added my signature.

Signing the Peace Wall

Signing the Peace Wall

Next I take my humans to Northern Ireland’s northeast coast.   This is Giant’s Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.   The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.

Basalt columns make steps at Giant's Causeway

Basalt columns make steps at Giant’s Causeway

The tallest columns are about 12 meters (39 feet) high.   The solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 meters (92 feet) thick in places.

Tall columns at Giant's Causeway

Tall columns at Giant’s Causeway

Legend says that the columns are remains of a causeway build by a giant.   All this exploring makes a duck hungry and thirsty.   We enjoyed lunch at The Nook, here at the Giant’s Causeway.

The Nook refreshes after exploring

The Nook refreshes after exploring

Soon we returned to Dublin.   I, Ms. Ducky, am very smart, so I head for the Book of Kells at Trinity College Library.

Book of Kells Trinity College Library Dublin

Book of Kells Trinity College Library Dublin

Now I am inside the Long Hall in Trinity College.

Long Hall Trinity College Dublin

Long Hall Trinity College Dublin

What a great place.

Long Hall Trinity College

Long Hall Trinity College.   I like Harry Potter.

I sit at the feet of George Salmon, Provost 1888-1904.

George Salmon, Provost. Trinity College Dublin

George Salmon, Provost. Trinity College Dublin

George Salmon graduated from Trinity College Dublin.   He was a highly regarded mathematician, and also an Anglican Theologian.   He spent his entire career at Trinity College Dublin.   This is my new friend, Molly Malone.

Molly Malone, Dublin

Molly Malone, Dublin

The song “Molly Malone” was based on fictional tale of Molly, a fishmonger by day, and part time prostitute by night.   This statue of Molly was unveiled in 1988 on Grafton Street.   June 13 is Molly Malone Day.   The statue was relocated to Suffolk Street in front of he Tourist Information Office.   According to Wikipedia, Molly Malone is also portrayed as one of the few chaste female street hawkers of her day.   I certainly find very interesting friends when I travel, don’t I?   We visited and supported the Temple Bar Dublin.   It was really fun.   Of course, I made another new friend.

New friend from Temple Bar Dublin

New friend from Temple Bar Dublin

I really like Ireland.    Everyone was so nice, and a new friend came home with me.

Ms. Ducky and her Irish friend. They both live in Colorado now.

Ms. Ducky and her Irish friend.   They both live in Colorado now.

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Sculpting Snow with Zeb the Duck

Let’s sculpt a 20 ton block of snow.   January in Breckenridge, Colorado brings the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships.

26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

We usually go to Breckenridge to see the finished sculptures.   However, this year mom is not working as a tax preparer, so we can go more often.   We watched the artists carve the 20 ton snow blocks.

20 ton block of snow. 12' x 10' x 10'

20 ton block of snow.   12′ x 10′ x 10′

When a team wants to compete here, they must submit a drawing of their sculpture and a description.   These are displayed during the competition.   Team Germany’s entry, Metanoia, represents the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way life.

Team Germany: Metanoia

Team Germany: Metanoia

Mongolia shows The Happiness of Family.

Team Mongolia: The Happiness of Family

Team Mongolia: The Happiness of Family

Motherhood is the most invaluable intervention for the personal developments and skills of any animal/person in the world.   The sculpture reveals the moment in which a mother teaches her babies how to swim.   Estonia sculpts Human Space.

Team Estonia: Human Space

Team Estonia: Human Space

This sculpture from Budweiser is not entered in the competition.   There was no drawing or explanation, but maybe…  This Bud’s for You.

This Bud's for You

This Bud’s for You

Mongolia won the position of two sculptures.

Team Mongolia: Lion and Butterfly

Team Mongolia: Lion and Butterfly

The Lion and Butterfly was being created here.   Team USA Wisconsin presents Dia de Muertos.

Team USA Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

Team USA Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

The sculpture represents the holiday of Mexican origin from October 31 through November 2, honoring and remembering those who have left this life.   Team USA Vermont presents Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus.

Team USA Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

Team USA Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

We loved all of these sculptures.   There are many more on display.   The judging Saturday, January 30.   The sculptures will be on display through Sunday, February 7, weather permitting.   We hope  you can go to Breckenridge to see these elaborate snow sculptures.   While we were in Breckenridge, we saw the horse cart.

Horse team

Horse team

Also, near the Visitor’s Center, I sat on this wagon.

Historical wagon

Historical wagon

Humans cannot climb or sit on the wagon, but I, Zeb the Duck, am small enough that I was allowed to sit here.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, love Breckenridge and hope to see you there to view the completed snow sculptures of the 26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Channel the Bear in Trinidad, Cuba

Today, I Zeb the Duck, want to show you where my friend, Channel the Bear, has been.   You may remember that Channel and her mom go to Cuba frequently.   Channel’s mom is a tour guide for Friendly Planet trips to Cuba.   Channel sent this photo from Trinidad, Cuba.   Often animals from towels are left on the beds, but look at this.   Channel also received a rose and more rose petals on her towel.

Trinidad Cuba highlights rose and rose petals for Channel the Bear

Trinidad, Cuba highlights a rose and rose petals for Channel the Bear

This is beautiful, Channel.   Thanks for sharing this photo with us.   We love to hear and see what you experience in Cuba.

Rocky Mountain National Park is 101 Years Old Today

The most visited of Colorado’s four National Parks is 101 years old today.   Rocky Mountain National Park came to exist January 26, 1915 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill creating our National Park.

We love Rocky Mountain National Park

We love Rocky Mountain National Park

This park has many attractions; the most notable is Trail Ridge Road.   This road, connecting the towns of Grand Lake on the west and Estes Park on the east, reaches 12,183 feet and crosses the Continental Divide.   The road, US 34 is the highest continuous highway in the United States.   Trail Ridge Road closes in the winter, due to snow.    Rocky Mountain National Park has much wildlife, including large elk herds, prompting Estes Park to hold Elk Fest every fall.   Hiking, mountain climbing and camping are just a few activities enjoyed by park visitors.

When in Colorado we hope you visit all of our National Parks:   Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park.

Lake Granby in Arapaho National Recreation Area with Zeb, Soapy Smith and JB Duck

After stopping at the Visitor Information Center in Granby, Colorado we follow suggestions and take US 34 to County Road 6 to Arapaho National Recreation Area.   We pass this tractor, on a sign post.

Great sign

Great sign

Soon we arrive at Arapaho National Recreation Area.   Lake Granby is frozen and there are some snowmobiles on the snow covered frozen lake.

Lake Granby

Lake Granby with snowmobile

Many people love to ice fish and this is a great place.   These humans are setting up to ice fish.

Getting ready to ice fish

Getting ready to ice fish

Often humans set up shelters while ice fishing.   Here we have three shelters.

Ice fishing shelters

Ice fishing shelters

There are several on the lake today.   Some people do not use a shelter.

Ice fishing

Ice fishing

It is easier for us to see the fishing process without shelters.   This weekend there will be 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest.   Many humans will fish and compete for cash prizes.   For information about this contest visit http://www.Colorado.com   Scroll down a little to the Calendar of Events and click on 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest in Granby.   There is a lot of snow here.   We three ducks are on a snow bank by Lake Granby.

Zeb, Soapy Smith, and JB Duck on cold snow

Zeb, Soapy Smith, and JB Duck on cold snow

It was about 10 degrees here when we visited Friday.   We did not sit on this snow very long.   Near the end of Lake Granby is Arapaho Bay Campground.   The section with cabins is closed for the winter.

This camping area closed for winter

This camping area closed for winter

There are other campgrounds and picnic areas along the lake also.   We want to come back here in the summer.   We are on the bridge over the waterway connecting Lake Granby with Lake Monarch.

Bridge over waterway between Lake Granby and Lake Monarch

Bridge over waterway between Lake Granby and Lake Monarch

We hope you visit this very pretty area some time this year.   Maybe even this weekend for the 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest.

Broncos Host Patriots January 24 2016

Our Denver Broncos will welcome and hopefully defeat the New England Patriots today.   The Patriots, from the Boston area, arrived in Denver Friday.   Colorado is “United in Orange” to support our Denver Broncos.   This Colorado Elk is on the lawn of Winter Park, Colorado Chamber of Commerce building.

Winter Park, Colorado supports the Denver Broncos

Winter Park, Colorado supports the Denver Broncos

The winner of this game will go to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California in two weeks.   Go Broncos!

The Colorado Traveling Ducks and Friends Love the Denver Broncos

The Colorado Traveling Ducks and Friends Love the Denver Broncos

Granby, Colorado with Zeb, Soapy Smith and JB Duck

We love Colorado.   From federal buildings to top ski resorts; from prairies to small frontier towns, the variety is wonderful.   Granby, Colorado is an old feeling small town located in the mountains of northern Colorado.   This sign welcomes us to Granby, a city in Grand County.

Welcome to Granby, Colorado

Welcome to Granby, Colorado

The tourist office recommended we browse here, but the store was not open yet.

Corner Mall in Granby. This store has a little of everything

Corner Mall in Granby. This store has a little of everything

Main street in Granby highlights the mountainous geography and the wooden buildings.

Granby's main street

Granby’s main street.   New snow in mountains and Colorado blue sky.

Los Amigos restaurant was highly recommended, but we arrived here too early in the day.

Zeb, Soapy Smith, and JB Duck on bench waiting at Los Amigos restaurant

Zeb, Soapy Smith, and JB Duck on bench waiting at Los Amigos restaurant

A few miles from downtown Granby we visited Granby Ranch.

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch

This newer development provides homeowners and visitors with outdoor activities, including skiing,  fishing, and golfing or biking when weather permits.   Several ski lifts cross the terrain for all levels of ski ability.

Ski lifts and runs for all skill level

Ski lifts and runs for all skill level

You can practically ski to your condo.

Ski to condo

Ski to condo

The homes and amenities are great, but the natural beauty of Colorado makes Granby Ranch special.

Beautiful scenery at Granby Ranch

Beautiful scenery at Granby Ranch

Next time will we take you to another scenic area near Granby.   We hope you enjoy Colorado soon.