Zeb and Chanel Love the Aquarium Restaurant

Clear water, fish, a mermaid and great food.   What more could Chanel the Bear and Zeb the Duck want?   Our moms took us to lunch at the Denver Downtown Aquarium.

The Denver Aquarium

There is a really good restaurant inside.   And the restaurant has its own aquarium.   Walking outside to the aquarium restaurant, we stopped to visit with Sharky, a new friend.

Chatting with our new friend, Sharky.

He is nice.   Let’s go inside the restaurant now.

Let’s go inside to the restaurant.

Before we even enter the restaurant, we see the aquarium.

We love fish

Beautiful.   Inside we admire this painted pillar.

Inside decorations

The glass spears are like seaweed in the ocean.   Our table is next to the aquarium.

We could watch fish all day.

Those fish are swimming very close to us.   We, Chanel and Zeb, love the active fish.   Our moms ordered our lunch, but we aren’t sure about this.

Delicious lunch. Slightly crispy. Perfectly flakey. We get hungry remembering.

Moms, should we really be eating fish in an aquarium?   Are we eating their relatives?  But our moms said it is OK.   No relatives being eaten.   We have shrimp and tilapia.   And they are delicious.   Did you notice the salt and pepper shakers on our table?   They are seahorses.   Isn’t that just perfect for an aquarium?   This is part of Landry’s Seafood Restaurants.   Yum!  Look!!   A mermaid.   She is swimming right by our table.

Our mermaid!

She comes up to the glass and waves and throws kisses to bear, duck and human children.

She likes us the best

We think she likes us the best.  There is a nice variety of fish inside the aquarium.

Love the fish

Here is another type of fish.

Fish of a different color

More colors.   Even the lights hanging from the ceiling are fish.

Love these lights

Notice the small light on the belly of each fish?   All these small lights really give a lot of light, but do not detract from the fish in the aquarium.   Very nice.   Lunch was delicious and the restaurant is fun to explore.   But moms said we must go.   Lucky for us, the exit is through the gift shop.

In the gift shop, but our moms are not selling us.

We love these stuffed animals, but Chanel and Zeb are the cutest on this display.   Chanel and Zeb will perform on this outdoor stage.

An outdoor stage. Featuring Chanel the Bear and Zeb the Duck

Well, maybe we will return during warmer weather for our performance.   Our aquarium has a theater also.

Theater at the Denver Aquarium

We did not go inside the main aquarium today, but we saw a lot fish while savoring our lunch.   Maybe another time we will visit the entire aquarium, but we really loved our time here.   We hope you visit the Denver Aquarium or an aquarium near you.   Fish and water are soothing and we love watching the beautiful fish swim and we think you will enjoy it also.

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Breckenridge, Colorado Snow Sculptures 2018

Zeb the Duck is back!   The International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, one of my favorite festivals, was last weekend.   Let’s go look.

Let’s go see the snow sculptures!

This one did not win an award, but I loved it.

Mindful from Team Turkey

Team Turkey says the mind is an amazing machine.   When a man and a woman develop a relationship, they become connected at the deepest level and their minds work as one even when they are apart.   The bumps on the top are a zipper to put the two minds together.

Team Turkey’s Mindful. Other side

Here is the other side of this sculpture.   Even the pupils of the eyes are carved in snow.   These sculptures, carved from 25 ton, 12 foot tall blocks of snow were finished and judged Friday evening.   We visited them Monday.   And look what happened over the weekend.

Team USA Wisconsin. 3rd Place but now fallen

This creation from Team USA Wisconsin, A Dance Devine, collapsed after being awarded 3rd place.   This was three leaf like figures dancing within a vine structure.   At 9,600 feet (2,926 meters) above sea level the intense Colorado sun can be brutal on snow sculptures, but the sun with 30 degree (F) temperatures are delightful for human and duck spectators.   The Thinker crafted by Team China earned 2nd place this year.

Thinker. Created by Team China

The Thinker also won Kid’s Choice award.   The apple represents wisdom in the Bible and it represents gravity in Newton’s law.   In modern times it represents technology.   The orangutans represent humans.   This design means thinking is a necessary part of human evolution.  To enter the competition each team submits their design and a brief explanation of their sculpture.   We appreciate the help understanding everything the artists are trying to express in their sculptures.   First place went to Team Mongolia-Erdene.

Team Mongolia Erdene. Secret. First place winner

This is titled Secret.  Women talk about a lot of things.   But they sometimes save their secrets.   They save secrets and mystery in their minds.   It’s like a locked chest.

Team Mongolia Erdene. Secret

A side view of this creation.   Secret also won People’s Choice Award.  Glad this do not melt and fall.

The Artists’Choice Award was bestowed on Time.

Time by Team Mongolia Tserendash. Artists’ Choice Award winner

This sculpture by Team Mongolia-Tserendash was a favorite for me, Zeb the Duck.   Time is the most powerful thing in the world.   It is honest because no one is given more than 24 hours a day.  It is immutable because no one changes the rhythm between minutes, seconds, and doles.   It is forceful because no one can survive from death; even the smartest one, the strongest one, and the most beautiful one eventually gives up along the time that goes gradually and endlessly.   But, the humans use time in their own rhythms, in relatively different way.   How they use time develops who they are.   This 28th Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships was presented by Toyota.

Toyota. Cosponsor of event

And by Breckenridge Brewery.

Breckenridge Brewery. Co sponsor of event

You may remember from prior years here, that no power tools are allowed in the creation of these snow sculptures.   All hand tools, sometimes as small as a potato peeler, are used on these snow blocks.   So interesting to see and notice so many little details.  There was one more sculpture I want you to see.   Catch & Release by Team USA Breckenridge, Colorado.

USA Breckenridge. Catch & Release

It is about the adventure, not just the prize.   Taking a journey down to the river in pursuit of catching a fish is less than the whole story.   This fisherman says after the fight, you finally reach down to collect your prize, unhook your lure, smile at your accomplishment and then just turn around and release this magnificent award back to nature.   At the end of it you take home nothing more than a sense of relaxation, a picture and a few fish stories.   Catching and releasing; a way to ensure that the fish will be there the next time to strike the fly and create the next memory.

Team USA Breckenridge, CO Catch & Release

The fisherman is done for the day, and so am I, Zeb the Duck.   We hope you are exploring and enjoying your home town and our incredible world.

Diwali 2017

According to National Geographic Kids, Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year.   The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that the people of India light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.   This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. This holiday is also celebrated in India’s non-Hindu communities.   Diwali is celebrated in October or November each year and lasts for 5 days.   This year, 2017, Diwali begins today, Thursday, October 19, 2017.  Diwali is sometimes called the Festival of Lights.

Diwali

Diwali

There are certain variations of Diwali in different parts of India, but in all interpretations, one common thread rings true.   The festival marks the victory of good over evil.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, and their humans, wish you all a very Happy Diwali.

The Greyhound Hall of Fame with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

You must see this.   Abilene, Kansas is home to the Greyhound Hall of Fame.

Greyhound Hall of Fame, Abilene, Kansas

Dedicated to the greyhound racing dogs, this complex has a theater, meeting rooms, a museum and the Greyhound Hall of Fame displays.    Outside we admired this statue of a greyhound.

Statue honoring greyhounds

Inside we will be met by retired racing greyhounds.   One of the former greyhound greeters, Jade, is buried here.

Jade the Greyhound rests here

But, let’s go inside.   Gary, one of the greyhound greeters, rushed to meet us.   He expects and receives much attention, much petting and much love.   We had so much fun playing with Gary and Ginger, the other greeter dog.

Gary and Ginger. Retired racers, now greeters

Now, Gary decides it is time for a rest.

Gary. Retired racer now greeter

When you visit here, you will be invited to watch a short movie in the theater.   We thought the movie was interesting and informative.   This is from the movie.

From movie of greyhound race

While racing the greyhounds chase a mechanical device, now based on a windsock.

Zeb and Soapy on mechanical windsock

One of the devices is in the Greyhound Hall of Fame.   It’s pretty comfortable for two small ducks.    We saw many photos of racing dogs.   And read much information about greyhound racing.   This was a nice museum and Hall of Fame.   Before leaving we wanted to see Gary and Ginger again.   They had been so nice and friendly when we came in.   But, wait.   Ginger???

Ginger? Please don’t taste

That was scary.   Especially for Soapy Smith Duck.

Ginger with Zeb and Soapy

But Ginger was just playing.   No harm, just an experience to add to Soapy’s many stories.   When in Abilene, Kansas, please visit Gary and Ginger and browse through the Greyhound Hall of Fame.   Also, across the street, is the Presidential Library and Museum of former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Presidential Library and Museum for President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Abilene, Kansas is a nice town with interesting things to see.   When driving on I-80, stop in Abilene, KS and enjoy the Greyhound Hall of Fame and the Eisenhower Presidential Library.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Visit Missouri

After leaving St. Louis, Missouri our first stop was St. Charles.   St. Charles is a pretty town located on the banks of the Missouri River.

On the bank of the Missouri River.

Visiting Frontier Park we explored the old train station.

Picnic area at old St. Charles train station

Isn’t this a nice place for a picnic or to sit while eating lunch.   We enjoyed beautiful warm, sunny weather–perfect late summer and early fall days.  We ducks love to be on old trains.

St. Charles train car

While looking at this train car, we found a painted rock.

Zeb and Soapy Smith with rock on train car

The back of the rock suggested that we rehide the rock and wait for someone new to find it.   We were to post all this on social media, but we did not.    We photographed it and returned it to the original location.   Maybe you will be the next to find it in Frontier Park in St. Charles, Missouri.  This train station looked inviting.   We, Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck, are between the letters U and M.

Train station, St. Charles, Missouri

St. Charles is also famous as the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In 1804, shortly after the United States completed the Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson asked Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to travel through the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. Congress authorized $2,500 ($48,867 in 2016 value) for the expedition.   The purposes were to establish US presence in the area to prevent other countries from establishing colonies here.   Also to study the area’s plant and animal life and the geography.   And to establish trade with the local Native American tribes.   After reaching the Pacific Ocean, they were to return to St. Louis.   The two explorers, and their dog, Seaman, left St. Charles on May 21, 1804.

Lewis and Clark with dog Seaman

They traveled about 8,000 miles (13,000 km) by boat, by foot and by horseback.   Lewis kept a detailed journal and collected samples of plants and animals he encountered.  Along the way they met and received help from a Native American woman, Sacagawea.   October 1805 they reached the Pacific Ocean in present day Oregon.   They returned to St. Louis September 23, 1806.   Their journey was a lot more difficult than ours.   We drove a car on I-70 and stopped whenever we needed gas, wanted food and beverages and stopped at some souvenir shops.   When Soapy’s mom was very young, she and my mom, also her mom, took many road trips.   They both have fond memories of Stuckey’s.   This was a perfect stop while traveling.   They bought gasoline, ate, did a little souvenir shopping, and savored delicious pecan logs.   Now, unfortunately, we do not see Stuckey’s along the highways.   But we were looking!  Then we saw a sign for Stuckey’s.   In we went.   It wasn’t exactly a Stuckey’s, but another company may have purchased the rights to Stuckey brands.  This was our treasure today.

Stuckey’s T-shirt and some of our snacks

Hey moms, we had more pecan logs.   Somebody ate them.   Yummy!

St. Louis, Missouri with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck had part of a day in St. Louis.   What should we do?   We drove downtown and parked across from Busch Stadium.

Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team plays here.

St. Louis Cardinal at bat

The Cardinals have won many World Series of Baseball and the fans are very loyal.   Then we heard fireworks.   A man on the street said that means someone hit a home run.   Well, what are ducks and moms to do?   We bought tickets, went into the stadium, found our seats and then bought hot dogs.   For a last minute idea, we had pretty good seats.

Watching the baseball game

This was an exciting game.   The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburg Pirates 7-0.   Lots of action in this game and the crowd was happy and cheering as their favorite hometown team continued to score.   The game ended and as we left our seats, we noticed the cardinal on the end of each row of seats.

A cardinal on each row of seats

Isn’t that great?  We like this stadium.   We did need to take a quick look at the Cardinals store inside the stadium.

Store inside Busch Stadium

Here we are perched on a can by the doors.   Outside more fans were celebrating.

Cardinals Nation. Across from Busch Stadium

Across the street from Busch Stadium, Cardinals Nation was feeding and refreshing many fans. The weather was warm with the sun shining through the beautiful blue sky.   What could we do next that would not seem like a let down after that great game?   The sidewalk had the answer.

St. Louis has an arch

St. Louis has The Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest arch, located on the banks of the Mississippi River.  The Gateway Arch opened June 1967.   This, the tallest monument in the United States, is dedicated to “the American people” and a tribute to the westward expansion of the United States.   Our moms have been here before and they loved this area.

The Arch

That is a big arch!  The Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall, compared to the Washington Monument at 555 feet.   The arch has a stainless steel skin and glimmers in the sunshine.   Before we ducks joined the family our moms went inside the arch to the observation area.   There is a tram in each leg of the arch to go to the top.   With 8 cylindrical 5 seat compartments with a small window in each compartment, 40 humans ascend at a time from each side.   The cars, or compartments, swing like Ferris wheel cars, half Ferris wheel and half elevator, it takes 4 minutes to arrive at the top.   At the top observation area each side has 16 windows, 7″ x 27″ (180 mm x 690 mm).  Through these small windows, you can see up to 30 miles (48 km) into Missouri and southern Illinois.   We did not go inside the arch this time.  Near the arch, we saw Harry.

Harry the horse and his carriage

Harry pulls this carriage.   We wanted to ride in Harry’s carriage.  We are riding with the Mississippi next to us.

Mississippi River and bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois.

That bridge over the Mississippi River goes to southern Illinois.  This is graffiti wall.

Graffiti wall. We love it!

We enjoyed the pictures painted here.   We must like artful graffiti.   After a ride along the river and through part of downtown St. Louis, Harry, who likes apples, carrots and peppermint candy, took us to our car.   We were asked not to feed Harry as he is not done working for the day.   If he gets fed, even a snack, he wants to go back to the barn.   So we petted Harry, paid and tipped our driver and left our carriage.   Our car was parked across from  White Castle hamburger restaurant.   Naturally we went to White Castle for a light dinner.

White Castle hamburgers. Arch in background

Looking through the window of White Castle, we liked seeing the Gateway Arch.   We enjoyed our time in St. Louis.

Soapy Smith Duck Visits Florida

We all love Florida.   Soapy and his mom visited Florida in July 2017.   Long before Hurricane Irma made landfall.   Soapy here to tell about our trip.   We visited friends from mom’s high school days.   We got a flight from Denver and flew to Tampa, Florida.

Soapy is in Tampa Florida

They knew I was coming, so the whole gang was there.

My new Florida friends

We had such a good time.   The first full day we went to the beach at Clearwater, Florida.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

I just love the beach.   When mom was really young (before kindergarten) she used to spend lots of time on the beaches of Florida.   She was in Clearwater, but doesn’t remember.   I’ll certainly remember this great beach.   Another day we went to St. Petersburg Beach and loved the area called Madeira Beach.

Madeira Beach. By St. Petersburg Beach

When we got back to Colorado we learned that mom used to stay on Madeira Beach.   We loved this beach so much that we came back here another day.

Madeira Beach

While in Madeira Beach, mom found many sand dollars.

Soapy and mom found this sand dollar.

This one was my favorite.   Too soon it was time for our vacation to end.

Sad to say goodby to Tampa

One last look at the aquarium in Tampa airport.

Aquarium in airport

We plan to return to Florida again.   But since Hurricane Irma hit, we will wait awhile.   But when Florida is ready for tourists again, we hope to be there.   We love Florida and I want to see mom’s friends again.   They are so nice to me.   Mom talked to them right after the hurricane.   They had to evacuate their apartment in Tampa, but they were safe.