Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Lists of Likes July 6, 2011

I constantly find myself going places, discovering new things, and thinking about how I want to add adventures to my lists of ‘to-dos’.  So this first week in Denver, when I’ve been thinking about wanting to revisit something, I decided to write it down.  Before I left Chicago, one of my coworkers gave me a purse-size notebook entitled “Great Ideas.”  I figured what better things to record in the notebook than great ideas of things I want to do or come back to?!

Here’s what my “great ideas” consist of so far…

Page 1: Restaurants…The Market: a converted grocery store turned into a deli and sweet shop, with everything from a full homemade dinner to a chocolate croissant and tea for breakfast.  Osteria Marco: an amazing restaurant that will be loved (I’m sure) by friends and family, with a wide array of menu items and a huge variety of wines, with great locally restored furniture items arranged in a dark and romantic atmosphere.

Page 2: Places to Visit…includes a few randoms that I was afraid I might forget, but thought would be fun, nonetheless…Colorado Railroad Museum: mainly because I love hearing stories about how Jonathan used to love trains (like my own brother, Sam) and think it will bring him a bit back to childhood.  Continental Divide: because it’s just a really cool thing that Mother Nature has created all on her own, and I’d love to see it in person.  Denver Art Museum: somewhere I envision taking my little brother in a few weeks when he visits, especially for the MudArt exhibit!

Page 3: Books to Read/Buy…funny enough, this list includes mostly children’s books right now, after a visit to Tattered Cover Bookstore today and spending some quality time in the children’s section…Otis by Lauren Long: an adorable story about a little construction vehicle that does something wonderful.  Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld: a tale of a small cloud who does great things.  Pigs Over Denver by Kerry MacLean: they were out of this one today, but based on the description of it teaching kids something fun about Denver geography while being a fun souvenir makes me want to read it for sure!  The Help by Katheryn Stockett: need to read this book before I see the movie version that comes out soon…looks like an adventurous yet interestingly historical read.  Murder at the Brown Palace by Dick Kreck: sort of strikes me as a Denver-esque Devil in the White City, which really excites me as a reader!

So stay tuned for updates on any of the above adventures and explorations, and keep checking up for more additions to the lists 🙂  For those of you back at home, miss you like whoa, but can’t wait to share fun new things with you out here when you come to visit!

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Digging Denver April 1, 2011

Spring break isn’t what it used to be.  Now, before you all start getting huffy with me, saying that I shouldn’t complain that I still get a spring break at all, just calm down.  I’m not complaining.  And yes, I do deserve it.  Unless you’re a teacher, you have no idea what I go through every day, how difficult my job can be and how hard I work to help ‘my 24 kids.’

On to what’s important.  I took an opportunity to visit Jonathan and the city I hope to soon call home over my spring break.  What I meant by spring break not being what it used to be is that it’s not all about getting hammered on a warm-weather cruise with my sorority sisters anymore.  This year it was more about adventuring in slightly chiller climates and doing some learning.  Sounds totally dorky, I know, but maybe that’s what happens as I grow up…the dorkiness level increases.

On one of the days I spent with Jonathan, we decided to take a trek up to Rocky Mountain National Park.  First of all, before we even got there, we spotted a Bald Eagle over a lake.  Initially, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but then when I realized as it swooped down above the car that I was incredibly lucky to have seen a Bald Eagle in real life.  It was incredible, they are so majestic and powerful!

Once we entered park boundaries, we ventured up to what was supposed to be a serene lake,  but came to find that at the end of March in the mountains, it can still be well below freezing with several feet of snow on the ground.  So, after seeing it, we went back to where it was warmer and sunny 🙂  It’s very romantic being in the mountains with someone you love.  I’m sure it sounds super corny, but something about the silence and beauty around you really makes you want to be close to your honey.  And the little things in nature can make really interesting views from certain angles!

I also was lucky enough to realize that the Real Life Pirates exhibit that I had never been able to visit at the Field Museum in Chicago had traveled its way to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. So I did some solo adventuring to see the exhibit amongst the masses of kids and their parents also on spring break.  I learned: buried treasure, walking the plank, and treasure maps are all pirate myths, that an 8 year old boy was the youngest pirate in documented history, and that most pirates were caught once they reached land because they didn’t make it more than a few miles without getting drunk at the local pub or gambling away all of their stolen ‘booty.’

I can’t wait to go back next weekend.  Especially because Jonathan and I already have a little trip planned with our friends Jeff and Krista to do some more exploring and learning at the Denver Zoo.

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A Fun Find December 30, 2010

This week, my dear friend Karla and I had arranged a day date to spend some time together over our holiday breaks.  My friends and I are all about free finds and good bargains, so we thought we’d see if there were any good free days at the Chicago museums on Tuesday.  Sadly, there was nothing available so we thought we’d just do lunch instead.  As a last ditch effort, I thought I’d do a quick Google search about “free Chicago” on that particular date.  What I found was pretty sweet!

I immediately texted Karla and said I had found something good, but I think she was kind of sketched out my crypticness because I wasn’t giving her much detail over text.  When she got to my place, I excitedly told her about my find.  Apparently Kraft foods distributed a grant in conjunction with the Chicago Public Library to get Chicago area families to use their library resources more frequently, and have the opportunity to visit more museums throughout the year.

How it works is, if you are an adult Chicago Public Library card holder, you can go to any branch and check out a Kraft Kids Museum Passport for any of 14 sweet locations in the city.  Passes available include, but are not limited to: the Field Museum, the Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and our choice for Tuesday, the Art Institute of Chicago.  Now I know you’re probably thinking “what the heck is this almost 26 year old woman doing getting a KIDS museum passport for her and her other 26 year old friend…what a nut!”  But don’t worry, I called the museum and checked to make sure it doesn’t look like I’m trying to rip the library off by checking out the passport for 2 grownups, and the guy said grownups check them out for themselves all the time 😛

So Karla and I embarked upon our journey on the El down to the Loop.  We were, as usual when we find something free in combination with a cultural experience, quite excited.  We waited in line with all the other fools who were going to pay $18 apiece for their admission tickets, and proudly showed our pass to get in and save ourselves $36.  We had a lovely day exploring and learning new things on our day date.  I particularly enjoyed teasing Karla in the ornate furniture exhibit, assigning her new designs to try to recreate during her new furniture rehabilitation proejct.  It was also fun visiting the contemporary art exhibits and commenting on how it’s so interesting how some things come to be considered art.  We had an amazing time, and I already took my pass back to exchange it to the one for the Field Museum.  I might even take my family there for the day tomorrow!  Gosh, I love a good free find.

This is what I think Karla's next project should be...don't you think she could handle it?

 

Myself in the Chicago model area of the museum

 

 
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