Zeb the Duck Visits Spicy Old Town Arvada

Penzeys is a must visit store in Olde Town Arvada.

Penzey’s Spice Shop

Oh  yes, it is a spice store.   There are so many spices here.   I, Zeb the Duck, never knew all of these existed.  Start here with Spices A to Z.

So many spices

Such a variety.   And did you know that this many types of pepper were available?

This is all pepper??

What is a duck to make using all these wonderful spices?   Penzey’s has the answer to that question also.

Let’s try new recipes.

Cookbooks to lead the duck or human into the wonders of cooking with new flavors.    Let’s get it straight.   Seasonings and spices are different here.   So many seasonings.

And seasonings

What kind?   Check out this seasoning to put on Chicago Steak.

For Chicago steaks

Another area features Taco Seasoning.

Taco seasoning

We have Chicken, hot and original.   And soups.   So many soup bases.

Let’s have soup.

Remember this store next time you are looking for that memorable gift for a cook or chef.

Gift box

Gift boxes offer the chance for the recipient, even if you are buying for yourself, to try more than one item.   In our house, we don’t experiment in the kitchen very often, but this is one of our favorite places to shop for a cold winter evening.

My favorite. Hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate is just perfect for us.   Rich chocolate, I prefer chocolate with mint, thick, great flavor and topped with those small marshmallows.   It sends my taste buds to duck heaven.   I better stop thinking about that now, or I won’t finish this, I’ll be savoring mint hot chocolate.   When leaving Penzey’s, with the feeling of a kid in a spice store, within a few steps, you can be like a kid in a toy store.   Have fun in Super Zoom.

Super Zoom

They have such a variety, and important for me, this toy store is not overcrowded.   You really can see things and have room to move around.   Great for adults, ducks and children.   Olde Arvada truly is a wonderful place.   We think it may be time for you to explore Olde Arvada, Colorado.

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Let’s Explore Olde Town Arvada with Zeb the Duck

Olde Town Arvada is fun to explore.   Only a few miles northwest of downtown Denver,  Olde Town Arvada is a great place to meet friends, wander, shop, and eat.   The plaza here has tables for us to sit and chat, or enjoy a treat from great restaurants and snack shops.

Don’t you love to sit outside on sunny spring days.

Looking down the street, you will see brick buildings from more than 100 years ago.

A quiet weekday morning in Olde Arvada, Colorado

I like these murals on the Army Navy Surplus store.

Murals of Colorado

We are proud of our Colorado history.   Let’s explore one of the small shops here.

A store devoted to socks.

This store is dedicated to socks.    Just so you remember that we are in Colorado, we have a buffalo head in our sock store.

The buffalo is watching you and the socks

I’m sitting on Toe Sox.   Almost gloves for feet.       And still more socks.

More socks

You really need to visit this store.  Socks of all lengths, colors, designs and more.   This really is a fun store and the employees are so nice. After the sock shop we continued wandering.   Silver Vines is our winery.

Silver Vines winery.

We didn’t stop here today, but maybe another day.  After all, shouldn’t we support all our local businesses?   Arvada even has an old water tower.

Water tower in Olde Arvada

It is just perfect to see a water tower in Olde Town.   We are going to visit this coffee shop.   It is Global Goods.

Global Goods coffee shop

This group serves coffee and great tea blends.    And the pastries…  What can I say.   I love the muffins.  Global helps people from war torn countries.   The profits from food and beverages help those in need.   The small gift shop features items made by the victims of war.

So many choices

Those necklaces next to me use beads that are made of paper, usually pages of a magazine.   Before ducks, mom spent 3 weeks in Uganda and we have some of these necklaces at home.   These pictures on the wall are made by people affected by war.

Intrigued by the pictures on the wall

Great baskets and purses.   Global Good also operates a thrift store further north, on 88th Avenue.   We like helping others and we love this store and the refreshments.   We will be back here soon.   Next time we will show you more of Olde Arvada.   It is a great place to explore and eat.   Maybe we will see you there soon.

Denver’s Chili Verde for lunch with Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

Let’s go to lunch.   I, Zeb the Duck, love to go out for lunch.   And even more so if my friend, Chanel the Bear, is with me.   We took our moms to an authentic Mexican restaurant, Chili Verde.

Chili Verde. Let’s go inside.

According to their website, two brothers normally vacationed in Denver with their parents.   They lived in Puebla, Mexico.   (Home of the Cinco de Mayo battle, resulting in that holiday).   The family could not find food from their native Puebla, so in later years the brothers started this restaurant.   The brothers now live in Colorado, but visit Puebla, Mexico frequently, refining recipes and techniques.   Today our moms both ordered flautas.   These are small taquitos, meat filled small tortillas, rolled and then fried.   One mom ordered chicken and another mom ordered beef.   Both were very tasty.    While waiting for our lunch, we enjoyed chips and salsa and also a warm bean dip.

Flautas, chips and salsa with warm bean dip.

We really like this restaurant.   Unfortunately, our moms liked their lunch too much and did not save room for dessert.   Here we can watch talented cooks preparing lunch, and the dessert menu is right there.

Did you read that dessert menu?

But did our moms save room for dessert?   No, they did not.   The main entree was so flavorful, they ate it all.   We have heard so much about the Tres Leches Cake, that we will be back soon. Chanel and I sat in front of the colorful tile wall for a short rest and a private chat.

Friends chatting without moms listening.

Sometimes we like to be on our own.   The well stocked bar featured some good handicrafts on the top shelf.

Bar features selection of Mexican liquor and great handicrafts.

We like to see new things.  On another wall, we admired various pictures.

Colorful pictures.

These are for sale for $350 each.   Looking closer, this is a different type of art.

Colorful and unusual

Everything seems to be made of bumps or bubbles.   Our waiter told us that one of the brothers often visits Bali in the country of Indonesia and knows the artist.

Andry Aila from Bali created this pictures.

Andry Aila is the Indonesian artist.   He creates these masterpieces with a medical syringe.   We believe the syringe injects air into the paint to create these bumps or bubbles.   We were not familiar with this technique, so we wanted to look closer.

Let’s look closer

These pictures are really bright and cleverly done.   Chili Verde has an outside patio.   What a great place to eat in warmer weather.

Cute outside patio, but not for today. Still a little fresh snow

As you can tell, we had some new snow during the night, but our Colorado sunshine is causing rapid melting.   So, eating inside for us today.   Maybe outside dining next trip.   Leaving Chili Verde, we had to stop to admire (and sit on) this piñata.

We love piñatas

Chili Verde is located at 2311 Federal Boulevard in Denver, Colorado.   Maybe we will see you there soon.   It is really good.

Colorado Mountains in Winter with Zeb and Eider Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to show my cousin, Eider Duck, our Colorado Mountains in the winter.   Eider lived in North Pole, Alaska, near Fairbanks, until recently, so Eider knows about winter snow.   But our Colorado winters are different.   We have so many days with bright sunshine, so our snow melts much faster.   We drove west on I-70 from Denver.   Our first stop was Dillon Reservoir.

Dillon Reservoir, frozen

We drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel, under the Continental Divide.   But, the tunnel is still more than 11,000 feet above sea level.   This reservoir has many sailboats in the summer.   This is also a source of water for Denver.   In the winter, this frozen reservoir is beautiful and serene.   Continuing west on I-70, we stopped to watch humans skiing on the groomed snow slopes of Copper Mountain.

Copper Mountain ski area

We went into Copper Mountain resort, but from I-70 you can see many trails with skiers.   Copper Mountain resort consists of three villages, each with hotels, restaurants, ski lifts and several trails.   This is looking through the entrance to Center Village.

Entrance to Center Village, Copper Mountain, Colorado

Thousands of skiers are here at any time, so many services are needed.   And this is just one of several ski areas in Colorado, along I-70.   Colorado, because of the Rocky Mountains, has many more ski areas further from the interstate highway.   A little further west on I-70 we stopped at this rest area on Vail Pass.   From inside a building at the rest area, the view through the window shows snow to the windows and ice on the top of the window.

Through window of rest area at Vail Pass

There is a designated recreation area here at the rest area also.   Humans enjoy exploring on snow machines.

Snow machines at Vail Pass

Looking back east toward the Continental Divide, from Vail Pass, we like this view.

Continental Divide from Vail Pass

We are still less than 100 miles from our home near Denver, Colorado.   But mom says we need to head back home.   About 20 miles from Denver there is a buffalo herd that lives near I-70, at Genesee Park.  A tunnel beneath the highway allows the herd to move from one side of the highway to the other.  Today they were in the area best for viewing.   We pulled off the highway and admired these buffalo.

Buffalo herd near Denver, Colorado

There is a fence since buffalo are huge and they are wild animals.   We just want to admire these magnificent animals.   They are fun to see, don’t you agree?  Near Rocky Mountain National Park, we often visit Estes Park.   In the summer Lake Estes is a great water recreation area.   In the fall, we often see elk herds in the adjoining picnic area and sometimes drinking from the lake.   But this winter day the lake is partly frozen, the boaters are gone and the elk have moved to their winter areas.

Lake Estes in the winter

Today, another serene scene for us to enjoy.  Today our Colorado sky is a vivid blue.   Peacefulness of winter.   Another favorite winter trip is 20-25 minutes from our house.   Coal Creek Canyon follows the South Boulder Creek.   We often follow this creek and road to the town of Pinecliffe.   Let’s travel into this canyon today.

Entering Coal Creek Canyon

Close to Denver there is not much snow today.   The intense Colorado sun has melted most of last week’s snow fall.  We ducks love sitting by the creek, listening to the water.   Further into the canyon, another stop is appreciated as we admire the snow capped mountains.

View snow capped mountains from Coal Creek Canyon

Our blue skies are beautiful and we like watching the white clouds moving in.   In Pinecliffe, Colorado, we view the frozen South Boulder Creek.

Frozen South Boulder Creek in Pinecliffe, Colorado

Again, we must head home.   One last view of the sun streaming through the trees as Zeb and Eider relax on a fallen pine tree.

Sun filtering through trees in Coal Creek Canyon

Hard to see in this photo, but our pine tree perch had many tiny pine cones.   We love pine trees, pine cones and the fresh smell of pine.   Winter in the mountains is beautiful and peaceful.   But at times falling snow, wind and avalanches are treacherous.   Please, when visiting mountains in the winter, be prepared (carry water and warm clothing) and be careful.   Check weather conditions before you go and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.   Precautions can keep you safe and let you enjoy the beauty, serenity and enjoyment of winter in the mountains.  Have fun!