Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear Enjoy Lunch at the Ship Tavern

I, Zeb the Duck, and Chanel the Bear, took our moms to lunch.   We went to the Ship Tavern at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel.

Denver's Brown Palace Hotel

Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel

The statue in front is dedicated to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, held in Denver every January.   During the Christmas Season the Brown Palace has elegant decorations.

Elegant and festive

Elegant and festive

High tea is being held now.   The Brown Palace has several dining options.

Ellyngton's looks good, but not for us today.

Ellyngton’s looks good, but not for us today.

Ellyngton’s was tempting, but it was not our main reason for coming today.   The Brown Palace, built in 1892, is Denver’s second oldest hotel.   The Oxford Hotel, completed a year earlier, is the oldest.   The Brown Palace was one of America’s first fireproof structures.   That is impressive, but we were not here because of fires either.    We wanted to eat at Ship Tavern.

Here it is!

Here it is!

We, a duck and a bear, did not know humans made reservations for lunch.   We did not make reservations.   The lady said we could make a reservation for less than an hour from now.   The extra time allowed us to explore.   Outside we saw this sky bridge.

A sky bridge

A sky bridge

The bridge connects the Brown Palace to what was built in 1959, as the Brown Palace West.   It is now the Holiday Inn Express.   Chanel and I wanted to walk through the sky bridge.   We entered from the Holiday Inn Express side.

Walking in sky bridge

Walking in sky bridge

This is a pretty walk.   There is a service tunnel under the street, but we could not go there.  Entering the Brown Palace, we liked overlooking the high tea.

Overlooking high tea

Overlooking high tea

The stairway has many red poinsettias.   These flowers, from Mexico, are very festive.   Why did Chanel and I want to go to the Ship Tavern?   In 1935 when prohibition ended in the United States, Charles Boettcher, the hotel owner at that time, decided to celebrate and had the Ship Tavern built.   Mr. Boettcher had a large collection of model ships.   His wife said he had too many.   So, many of the ships are now on display in Ship Tavern.   It is time and we are ready to enter Ship Tavern.

Let's go inside Ship Tavern

Let’s go inside Ship Tavern

We must stop to admire this ship at the entrance.

Ship at entrance

Ship at entrance

The restaurant is not large, but it is famous for the best prime rib in Denver.   But, we just want sandwiches for lunch.   Ships are displayed on the walls.

Ships displayed on walls

Ships displayed on walls

We love these ships.   Our moms liked their lunch and we all liked Ship Tavern.   So many ships.

We like ships

We like ships

Each is perfect and we enjoyed Charles’ ship collection.   If you are in Denver and want to have a great meal, remember Ship Tavern at the Brown Palace Hotel.   We might see you there.

Zeb the Duck Visits Colorado’s State Capitol Building

Walking on 16th Street Mall, I see our destination.

I see the Capitol Building

I see the Capitol Building

We are going into the state capitol building in Denver, Colorado.   Mom says we will be on that observation area just below the dome.  Outside?  Way up there?  We walk around to the east side and see this statue of an Indian and a buffalo.

East entrance. Native American with buffalo

East entrance. Native American with buffalo

Buffalos used to roam through the American west.   You can see that restoration of the capitol building is in progress.   I see our outside observation ledge again, just below the dome.   Back to the west entrance, there is a memorial for the American Civil War, complete with canons on each side.

West entrance with Civil War monument

West entrance with Civil War monument

And more renovation work being done here.   The stairs to the capitol building are a little different than most stairways.   I am sitting on the step that was dedicated to being exactly One Mile Above Sea Level.

Capitol steps. Exactly one mile above sea level

Capitol steps. Exactly one mile above sea level

It is even engraved on the step.   But, recent findings say the step with the gold circular plaque may really be exactly one mile above sea level.   That is one of the reasons that Denver is the Mile High City.  Inside the capitol building, in the rotunda, we find many paintings, emphasizing the importance of water to Colorado.

Remembering the importance of water to Colorado

Remembering the importance of water to Colorado

We have much agriculture and many cattle ranches; yet Colorado is a semi arid climate.   Water conservation is very important.   Most of our water is from snowmelt in our Rocky Mountains. The Colorado legislature is not in session now.  The desks in the Senate chambers are covered, waiting for the return of our state senators.

State Senate not in session in December

State Senate not in session in December

Continuing through the capitol, we see a ceremony taking place here.

Ceremony honoring Sergeant Godsey and Corporal Lopez

Ceremony honoring Sergeant Godsey and Corporal Lopez

This is a presentation ceremony awarding the French Legion of Honor Medal to two US Army veterans.   During World War II, while stationed in France, Sergeant Dallas I. Godsey, US Army and Corporal David E. Lopez, US Army aided the French military.   This ceremony, in Denver, Colorado, is for them to receive the French Legion of Honor Medal.  This was a private ceremony for the veterans, so we did not go into the room.   I, Zeb the Duck, was honored to be here to see these brave men.  During our free tour, we walked up stairs to the third level.

Three levels inside the capitol building

Three levels inside the capitol building

We think our capitol building is beautiful.   Many Colorado resources were used in the construction.   The granite is from Gunnison, Colorado.   The marble is from Marble, Colorado.   The pink stone is rose onyx.   This stone is rare and all known sources were used in the capitol’s construction.   The rose onyx was quarried in Beulah, Colorado.   The gold on the dome has been reapplied 4 times.   The latest was 65 ounces of .999 pure gold, mined in Colorado, hammered into gold leaf in Florence, Italy, and applied to the capitol’s dome in 2013.  Humans can come this far without a tour, but we wanted more.   We want to get closer to the dome.

Three floors and 99 more steps to go

Three floors and 99 more steps to go

So, 99 more steps to climb.   Our guide leads the way.   Reaching the 99th step, we are now able to go outside.

Looking west from observation area just under the dome

Looking west from observation area just under the dome

We are looking west toward Denver’s City and County Building.   Civic Center Park is between the two government buildings.   We see some more monuments.   We will show you a couple of them when we are back on the ground.   After walking completely around the capitol dome, we go back inside, down the same 99 steps and once again admire the interior of the capitol building.   The stained glass window across from me honors Emily Griffith.

Three levels. Window across from Zeb honors Emily Griffith

Three levels. Window across from Zeb honors Emily Griffith

Emily Griffith moved to Denver in 1894.    She believed that everyone had the right to an education   She founded The Emily Griffith Opportunity School, which helped make this possible for many people in Denver.  The Denver capitol also honors various Colorado people. This honors Peter H. Dominick, 1915-1981.

Peter H. Dominick

Peter H. Dominick

Mr. Dominick was an aviator, lawyer, legislator, and statesman.  He served in the Colorado House of Representatives 1957-1961.   Then in the US House of Representatives 1961-1963.   He was a US Senator 1963-1975.   Mr. Dominick served as US Ambassador to Switzerland in 1975.   Leaving the capitol building, we went to Civic Center Park to show you two monuments. This one you saw from above and outside, while standing under the capitol dome, honors all US Veterans.

Monument to all those that served in the US Armed Forces

Monument to all those that served in the US Armed Forces

This monument looks so much taller from the ground.   Here is a statue dedicated to Private Joe Martinez, Colorado’s first Congressional Medal of Honor recipient of World War II.

A Colorado recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor

A Colorado recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor

I, Zeb the Duck, love walking around downtown Denver.   We just walked into the capitol and took a tour and then walked around Civic Center Park.  We hope you enjoy walking around Denver or any other city you visit.

Denver’s Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

I, Zeb the Duck, went inside the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.   This is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Denver of the Roman Catholic Church.   And it is beautiful!   Mom did not take this first photo.   It was a free download from the internet.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado

This is the only photo she did not take and later you will see why this is not hers.   This cathedral opened in 1911.   It is beautiful.   It is 195 feet by 116 feet with a 68 foot vaulted ceiling.

Beautiful inside

Beautiful inside

In the vestibule we admired the baptismal font, which has the original communion rail around it.

Baptismal Font

Baptismal Font

Entering the cathedral, there are confessionals on each side.

Confessional

Confessional

We loved this Christmas tree.

Christmas is coming soon.

Christmas is coming soon.

Along the side are the Stations of the Cross.

Station of the Cross

VIII Station of the Cross

The craftsmanship is wonderful.

IX Station of the Cross

IX Station of the Cross

The foundation is of Gunnison granite (from Gunnison, Colorado).   The finest Carrara marble from Italy was used for altars, pedestals, pulpit and other items.   However, much of the interior structural marble is from Marble, Colorado.   The pride of this building, however, must be the 75 windows.  According to the website for the Basilica, this is more windows than any other church of any denomination in the United States.   These are considered some of the finest windows in the world.   They were crafted in Munich, Germany at the Royal Bavarian Art Institute.   Just look at these windows.  p1020151

The Calming of a Storm at Sea

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The Visitation    Luke 1:39-45

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The Immaculate Conception, West Transept Window

The choir loft features a massive pipe organ, but the loft is only open to the performing musicians.

Choir loft with pipe organ and a beautiful window

Choir loft with pipe organ and a beautiful window

Outside in the garden area, these statues are also beautiful.

Statues in the garden. Through renovation fence

Statues in the garden. Through renovation fence

Statue in the garden. Through construction fence

Statue in the garden. Through construction fence

When Pope John Paul II visited the United States in August, 1993, he celebrated Mass at the Cathedral as part of the World Youth Day celebration in Denver.   We showed you the photo of the exterior of the Cathedral.   However, restoration is now taking place, so these are our photos.

This side still looks good

This side still looks good

I, Zeb the Duck, was inside, but often in churches mom keeps me in my travel bag.   People were arriving for the 12:15 Mass.   This is the other side of the Basilica, showing construction and restoration in progress.

Under renovation now

Under restoration now

You can see, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is just a couple blocks from Denver’s capitol building.   If you are in the area, we think you would love to see this beautiful building and the fabulous windows.

Christkindl Market in Denver 2016

One of my favorite places at Christmas is Denver’s German Christmas market.

Christkindl Market in Denver

Christkindl Market in Denver

This is the 16th annual Christkindl Market and it is right downtown, on the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall.   Gifts are available from Old German Christmas booth.

So much to see

So much to see

I, Zeb the Duck, love to see these things.   If you are cold, visit Serenity.

No reason to be cold today

No reason to be cold today

The lady working there was trying to find a hat for me.   None in my size, but I was not cold.   These warm items from baby alpaca wool are so soft.

Soft, warm alpaca wool

Soft, warm alpaca wool

The friendly lady said they are from Peru and Ecuador.   This is an international market, not just German.   Cinnamon Roasted Nuts smell so good.

Smells good. Tastes great

Smells good. Tastes great

And they taste even better!  Don’t these Danish style European pastries look tempting?

Tempting

Tempting

Yum!  There are several food booths and I wanted to try them all.   But the humans said, “not everything, Zeb.”   Look at these.

Beautiful paper stars

Beautiful paper stars

Paper stars are wonderful.  Christmas ornaments from this stand are beautiful.

Beautiful

Beautiful

The nesting dolls, or Matryoshka nesting dolls, from Russia and the Ukraine are wonderful.

Matryoshka nesting dolls

Matryoshka nesting dolls

We could buy an entire village here.

Add to your Christmas village

Add to your Christmas village

Stop here and you will be ready for Christmas.

Ready for Christmas

Ready for Christmas

Isn’t this nice.

Bear Mountain Metal Art

Bear Mountain Metal Art

Bear Mountain Metal Art has a great display.   If you get cold or want to sit for awhile, head here to the Beer Garden.

Let's go inside

Let’s go inside

We were there about 2:30 in the afternoon so the musicians had not arrived yet.   This tent is heated, large, and has many refreshment choices.

Plenty of room inside

Plenty of room inside

Christkindl Market is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. most days.   They are open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.   After visiting the Christmas Market, go across 16th street to visit Southwest Airlines skating rink.

Free ice skating

Free ice skating

Skating is free, if you have  your own ice skates.   No skates?  No problem.   You can rent skates for $2.00.   Some of the skaters know how to skate and some are getting a little help.

Ice skating in downtown Denver

Ice skating in downtown Denver

But everybody is having fun.   This is so great to ice skate in downtown Denver.   We hope you visit the Christkindl Market and then enjoy a little ice skating.   The market is open through December 23, so you still have time to experience more Christmas activities in Denver.

Zeb Goes to Women’s Bean Project Open House in Denver

I, Zeb the Duck, love to visit during an Open House.   Saturday we went to Women’s Bean Project in Denver.

Open House at Women's Bean Project

Open House at Women’s Bean Project

I like this already.   Humans, let’s go!

Let's go inside, humans

Let’s go inside, humans

We met some human friends here.   Now we are all going inside.   What is Women’s Bean Project?   According to their website, “the mission of Women’s Bean Project is to change women’s lives by providing stepping stones to self-sufficiency through social enterprise.”    Women in the program learn gourmet food and handmade jewelry manufacturing.   During this open house, we meet employees and program participants.   Also on display are items made in Denver and available to purchase.  Here is some of the jewelry made here and offered for purchase today.

Jewelry

Jewelry

The women also provide and package ingredients for making cookies at home.

Yum! Cookie mixes.

Yum! Cookie mixes.

I, Zeb the Duck, love cookies, so we purchased a couple bags of cookie mix.   The tree makes the room very festive.   Here are baskets, ready for you to give to friends this Christmas.

Gift baskets

Gift baskets

We did not purchase a basket, but the Malaysian spice rub caught our attention, so one of those did come home.   A rather large selection of spices for rubs and dips tempted everyone.

Individual packages for rubs and dips

Individual packages for rubs and dips

In addition to preparing the food mixes and making jewelry, the program participants have classes in interpersonal and life skills needed for employment.   In Denver, Women’s Bean Project is known for delicious soups.

So many kinds of soup mixes

So many kinds of soup mixes

This is a sample of what was available for us at the Open House.   And, even more choices, including dog biscuits.

More mixes, gifts, and dog biscuits

More mixes, gifts, and dog biscuits

You could complete most of your Christmas shopping today at Women’s Bean Project.   Even if you are not hungry, or not tempted by the food choices, perhaps a shirt or reusable, cloth shopping bag?

Not hungry? Shirts and shopping bags available

Not hungry? Shirts and shopping bags available

Christmas will be here in a few weeks, so I, Zeb the Duck, stopped to chat with Santa.

I like Santa

I like Santa

Perhaps he will answer this duck’s Christmas request?   The Women’s Bean Project started in 1989, when Jossy Eyre was working with women in a shelter.   Purchasing $500 worth of beans, she put homeless women to work making bean soup.   That was just the beginning of a successful program that has helped thousands of women.   During the open house, I was happy to see my friend, Marta.

My friend, Marta

My friend, Marta

She is a program participant.   The cookie mix we purchased was made by Marta.   The women put their name on the packages they made, so we know we have Marta’s cookie mix.   Every time we eat snickerdoodle cookies, or chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, we will think of Marta and how proud we are of her success.   For more information visit http://www.womensbeanproject.com   You may also purchase their products at this website.   At the open house, we sampled several food items, and they all were delicious.   Get some and give your taste buds a treat.

Scenic Hiking in the City

I, Zeb the Duck, hiked around the lake.   I saw migratory birds.   I enjoyed the mountain backdrop, and I was in the middle of the city.   Jefferson County, our home and just west of Denver, has an Open Space Program, which is similar to a park system.   Today we went to Crown Hill Park in Jefferson County Open Space.

Crown Hill Park. Jefferson County Open Space Program

Crown Hill Park. Jefferson County Open Space Program

Within minutes we found this protected picnic area.

Sheltered picnic area

Sheltered picnic area

I love the lake and the mountain views.   Humans come here for many reasons.   This human is walking a dog.

Dogs like this park also

Dogs like this park also

Dogs must be on a leash here and of course, humans clean up after their dog.   These humans are fishing and enjoying the lake.

Fishing and relaxing at Crown Hill Lake

Fishing and relaxing at Crown Hill Lake

The clouds coming over the mountain verifying the weather forecast.   A storm is moving in and we may receive snow tomorrow.   There is a 1.2 mile paved trail around the lake.

Paved trail around Crown Hill Lake

Paved trail around Crown Hill Lake

Paving makes it wheelchair accessible, so everyone can enjoy this space.  Some humans come here to skateboard.

Skateboarding around the lake

Skateboarding around the lake

Some humans come for exercise.

Running and jogging around the lake

Running and jogging around the lake

This man is jogging around the lake.   He passed me three times.  For those that want a little more wilderness feeling, these miles of dirt paths are available.

Unpaved through wilderness areas

Unpaved through wilderness areas

Some humans and ducks come to walk and view quiet scenes like this.

Secluded view

Secluded view

Here a human threw a stick in the lake and his dog is enjoying a swim to bring it back.

Fun for dogs also

Fun for dogs also

Humans are not allowed to swim or wade in Crown Hill Lake.   The northwest corner of this area is a Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wildlife Sanctuary with Crown Hill Park

Wildlife Sanctuary within Crown Hill Park

We eagerly go through the gate and watch many migrating birds on Kestrel Pond, the wetlands.

Kestrel Pond in wetlands area

Kestrel Pond in wetlands area

Following the many paths, we remember that this area is also certified as a National Urban Wildlife Refuge.   Kestrel Pond area earned that designation for its value to a variety of migrating waterfowl.   There are always so many birds here.   The Wildlife Sanctuary is only open to the pubic from July 1 through February 28.   It is closed during the mating season to protect the wildlife.   We liked all the birds, but the colors here grabbed our attention.

Feeding while feeling protected

Feeding while feeling protected

Dogs, skateboarders, and bikes are never allowed in this area.   These 242 acres contain 10.1 miles of trails and are located between two major streets.   But the feeling of peace and serenity is strong.    Directly east of Crown Hill Lake, is another huge area of peacefulness. Across the lake, we see the Tower of Memories from Crown Hill Cemetery.

Looking across lake to Tower of Memories in Crown Hill Cemetery

Looking across lake to Tower of Memories in Crown Hill Cemetery

Crown Hill Open Space is a short drive for us, yet it seems so far from the busy lives we all have.   We hope you visit Crown Hill Open Space, or enjoy some pretty parks near you, soon and often.

Touring Denver’s Hammond’s Candy Factory with Zeb the Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, took a tour of Hammond’s Candy factory with mom and her friend.

Hammond Candy of Denver, Colorado

Hammond Candy of Denver, Colorado

Carl Hammond, Sr. worked as an apprentice in a Denver candy factory.   When he was ready, in 1920, he founded Hammond’s Candy.   His motto was “Nothing is More Important than Quality.”  That may be why Hammond’s is still in business and was even profitable during The Great Depression.  When we arrived, Ginnie showed us to the first room where we watched a video about the beginning and growth of Hammond’s Candy.

After video, we watch candy being made.

After video, we watch candy being made.

Next, Nina led our tour.   First stop was watching the candy being cooked.

Cooking to 324 degrees F

Cooking to 324 degrees F

Candy is cooked to 324 degrees F in copper kettles.   One candy maker makes an entire batch of candy.   First cooking the candy, then pulling the candy.   The filling for candy canes is flavored.

Gray is filling for candy cane

Gray is filling for candy cane

The gray block is flavored filling for candy canes.   The colors on the table are the outside of candy canes.  Assistants help with cutting and filling candy canes, but the candy maker is the overseer of that batch of candy.

Cutting candy canes

Cutting candy canes

Scissors, not knives, are used to cut the candy canes.   The scissors finish the bottom of the candy cane better than a knife could.   As this sign reminds us, Hammond’s Candy makes a lot of candy canes.

10 Million!!!

10 Million!!!

Christmas candy is made many months of the year and kept in climate controlled rooms to keep everything tasting fresh.   Hammond’s Candy was owned by the Hammond family until 1999.   The company was sold again in 2007 and is now owned by the Andrew Schuman family. Hammond’s now makes peanut brittle.

Peanut brittle

Peanut brittle

This factory sure smells good!  Here are some Christmas tree lollipops being boxed for later distribution.

Christmas tree lollipops

Christmas tree lollipops

Hammond’s Candy also makes chocolate candy.

Chocolate waterfall? Yum

Chocolate waterfall? Yum

But, they were not making chocolate candy the day we visited.   This was a very nice and very informative tour.   Hammond’s Candy is the oldest and largest producer of handmade hard candy in the country.   All Hammond Candy is made at this factory, in Denver, Colorado.   The candy is shipped all over the United States and into several foreign countries.   At the end of the tour, we were offered a complimentary sample.

Pick one after tour

Pick one after tour

They all look so good, it is difficult to choose.   Then we went into the retail store.   We love caramel corn.

Love caramel corn

Love caramel corn

Look at all these candy canes.

Never have I seen so many candy canes

Never have I seen so many candy canes

There are so many flavors.   And the lollipops.

Lollipops

Lollipops

I love being a kid duck in a candy store.   There was a display case of handmade fudge.

We sampled delicious fudge

We sampled delicious fudge

We sampled chocolate mint swirl fudge.   Yum!   And the chocolate candy case.

So many choices

So many choices

We wanted to take some of everything home.   We did buy a lot, but we will share with the rest of the Colorado Traveling Duck family.   Here are chocolate bars.

Huge variety of chocolate bars

Huge variety of chocolate bars

There were crazy flavors.   One had bacon and chips in chocolate.   Probably tastes great, but we bought a couple different flavors.   You know there will be much candy eating at our house for awhile.   When you are in Denver, don’t forget to visit Hammond’s Candy and take the tour. You never know what they will be making when you visit, but it will be delicious.  For more information visit http://www.HammondsCandies.com

Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry Show with Colorado Traveling Ducks 2016

I, Zeb the Duck, eagerly entered the car.   Mom mentioned the mineral show.   I love these shows.

Mineral, Fossil, Gem, and Jewelry Show in Denver, Colorado

Mineral, Fossil, Gem, and Jewelry Show in Denver, Colorado

Exhibits and booths are in several places in Denver, but we headed to the Denver Coliseum today.   Outside I almost flew to this large Rose Quartz.

Rose Quartz with Zeb

Rose Quartz with Zeb

Oh, here is another place to sit and view the area.

Amethyst and Citrine Geodes

Amethyst and Citrine Geodes

Resting on large amethyst and citrine geodes is fun for me.  This is something new to us.   The sign says these are 7 color jade vases.

7 Color Jade Vases

7 Color Jade Vases

We learned that these vases consist of actinolite (jade) and serpentine, a multi-mineral stone with shades of red, green, yellow, blue, brown, black and white.   A block of the stone is cut, hand carved, polished, glazed and heated to make these items.  For more information visit http://www.consiliodecor.com   I enjoy sitting on this table with hematite.

Zeb with hematite

Zeb with hematite

Now we are going inside the Denver Coliseum, but we will look at more outside displays later.   Inside we admire these salt lamps.

Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps

The Himalayan salt products are fun and useful.   For more information visit http://www.fantasiamining.com   Mom, is this a good idea?

Zeb on alligator head

Zeb on alligator head

I seem to be sitting on an alligator skull.   There are snake skeletons and other things here also. This is a fossil of an ancient bison from Kansas.

Fossil of ancient bison from Kansas

Fossil of ancient bison from Kansas

This exhibit is provided by Hager’s Fossils.   They also brought this foot.

Foot of Mammoth--really big!

Foot of Mammoth–really big!

I am sitting next to a mammoth foot and this one foot is so much larger than me, a small rubber duck.   And more.

Tusks of Alaskan female mammoth

Tusks of Alaskan female mammoth

We are seeing a matched set of mammoth tusks.   These are from a female mammoth, found in our northern state of Alaska.  We talked to Lisa Hager at our Denver show, this year.   She told us so much about the fossils, and she liked me, Zeb the Duck.   For more information on these fossils, visit http://www.hagarsfossilsminerals.com  I love seeing all these fossils, but sometimes these ancient items make me a little nervous.  I don’t want to break anything, so mom takes me back outside.   These fossilized tables are so unusual.

Table with fossils

Table with fossils

I especially like this one with pink.  These nearby, huge rocks have been carved.

Carvings

Carvings

Love the dolphins.  The iguana makes me smile.   Yes, ducks can smile.  Blue is a pretty color, so we like this display of the stone, lapis.

Carved Lapiz

Carved Lapis

As we were leaving, I just had to sit among these carved items from Uruguay Amethyst.

Carvings from Uruguay Amethyst

Carvings from Uruguay Amethyst

We did purchase and bring home some small carvings, also.   I, Zeb the Duck, love purchasing souvenirs of our visits.  Ducks love day outings around Denver.   There are always exhibits of something and they are so interesting.   I hope you visit exhibits and small shows wherever you live.   They are fun to see.

Light Rail to Downtown Denver in 9 minutes

Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear took their moms and the Light Rail train to Denver’s Union Station.  The newest Light Rail station into Denver is in nearby Westminster.

New Light Rail station opened

New Light Rail station opened

Sitting inside, Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear admire this arch.

On the train admiring arch

On the train admiring arch

Arriving at Denver’s Union Station, safety is emphasized.   In many places we saw lists of Dumb Ways to Die, the list ending with safety reminders for the Light Rail.

Be careful. Don't be careless

Be careful. Don’t be careless

Let’s head for Union Station.

Denver's Union Station

Denver’s Union Station

Here is the Terminal Bar.

Terminal Bar in Union Station

Terminal Bar in Union Station

Even though it is called a bar, much food is also served here.   After exploring Union Station, we head outside, and see Octavia the Octopus.

Octavia the Octopus from WashedAshore.org

Octavia the Octopus from WashedAshore.org

She is made entirely from trash that washed up on beaches.     Visit  www.WashedAshore.org for more information about this program.  We learned that an octopus lives about 4 years, but grows to 20 feet in length.   They are also very intelligent animals.   Denver’s oldest hotel, Oxford Hotel, is located half a block from the train station.

The Oxford. Denver's oldest hotel

The Oxford. Denver’s oldest hotel

The Oxford opened for business in 1891 and an elegant room rented for $1 per night.   Or, $2 nightly for an elegant room with a bath.   It certainly costs more than that now.   Our human moms took us inside and then, inside the ladies room.

Oxford Hotel elegant ladies room

Oxford Hotel’s elegant ladies room

They said this is classic elegance.   The bar is cozy and intimate.   We appreciated the murals on the wall.

One of several murals in bar at Oxford Hotel

One of several murals in bar at Oxford Hotel

Next we went to the Ice House.

Historic Ice House

Historic Ice House

The Ice House had been built as a cold storage facility for Littleton Creamery, later to be sold to Beatrice Foods for cold storage.  Used for 80 years as cold storage warehouse, when the building was abandoned, windows soon were broken out.   Now the entire building was frozen. During restoration, the first step was thawing.   This took about one year.   Wow!  Great construction for cold storage.   Many offices, business and condos are located in this building now.   On the ground floor is the Brazilian steakhouse, Rodizio Grill.   We did not eat here today, but the humans have eaten here previously.   They say the food is good.  Walking in downtown Denver, we saw this plaque about the first robbery of the Denver Mint.

Mint Robbery

Mint Robbery

This is one time our humans feel bad for a thief.   It really is rather sad how this ended for him. Colorado became a state in 1876.   The first City Hall was at this location near Larimer Street and Speer Boulevard.

Bell from Denver's first City Hall

Bell from Denver’s first City Hall

This bell is the only existing relic of our first City Hall.  You remember Soapy Smith Duck, one of the Colorado Traveling Ducks.   He is named for a real rascal, Soapy Smith.   When the human Soapy Smith was in Denver, this was one of his favorite places.

Old Soapy Smith hang out

Old Soapy Smith hang out

Here, across from the first City Hall, a governor tried to fire corrupt commissioners, but a force led by Soapy Smith, changed the governor’s mind.   Along Larimer Street, we stopped in this courtyard.   There are restaurants here and it is a nice area for a meal.  This statue, from 1924, is in memory of Richard Pinhorn.

Cozy courtyard with restaurants

Cozy courtyard with restaurants

In 1894, Richard Pinhorn opened The Manhattan Restaurant.   His establishment soon became one of the favorite haunts of the Rich and Famous.   The Manhattan Restaurant was the first in Denver to serve onion rings.   Yum!   Zeb and Channel love onion rings!   We return to Union Station for something to eat.

Eating lunch outside

Eating lunch outside

Then back to the Light Rail train, and we will be delivered to our car in 9 minutes.   That is fast!

Denver’s Festival Italiano 2016 at Belmar with Colorado Traveling Ducks

We have great festivals in Colorado.   I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck felt Italian today.   We are at Festival Italiano.

Festival Italiano 2016

Festival Italiano 2016

We like the music at this stage.

He sings while they dance

He sings while they dance

And the dancers.   Everybody having fun today.   There are several stages at this festival.  And so many booths.   This one really highlights Italy, advertising “All Things Italian”

All Things Italian

All Things Italian

Tesori Italian Pottery has great stuff also.

Tesoro Italian Pottery

Tesoro Italian Pottery

One of the annual highlights of Festival Italiano is Little Feet Grape Stomping, sponsored by Denver’s own Balistreri Vineyards.

Balistreri Vineyards host a traditional event

Balistreri Vineyards host a traditional event

These bins, full of grapes, will soon have barefoot children, with clean, washed feet, stomping grapes.

Stomp these grapes!

Stomp these grapes!

Here are kids signing up for the stomping and fun.

Children eager to stomp grapes

Children eager to stomp grapes

Another popular event is the Italian flag throwers.

Flag Throwers ready

Flag Throwers ready

They are ready to begin.   You can see several, five I believe, flags in the air.

Flag throwers at work

Flag throwers at work

It is difficult to see everything as popular events draw many people and that is a problem for mom taking photos.   But we, Zeb and Soapy, love it all.  Here is another stage.

Story Telling

Story Telling

Music and an announcer telling family stories.  We were at Festival Italiano shortly after it opened on the first day, so these chalk artists are just beginning.

Beginning chalk art masterpiece

Beginning chalk art masterpiece

Festivals always smell so good and have delicious food.   Berry Kabobs look and taste yummy.

Berry Kabobs!

Berry Kabobs!

They are from Banane E Fragolae.   Still hungry?   This will soothe any growling stomach.

So much food

So much food

From Italian Flame Foods.  So much to see, to do and to eat.   But wait, now you can be more Italian.   They even have Italian language lessons here.

Let's learn Italian

Let’s learn Italian

This is a fun, and educational, festival.   Hope you were here and come again next year.