Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Blogiversary Hiatus

I can hardly believe it, but Choice City Native turns three years old this week! I'm proud of my little blog baby and have a lot of fun sharing it with you. But now feels like the right time for me to take a break and work on other important projects--including Walter the puppy, my mother's garage full of antique furniture, my neglected manuscripts... Life, right? You know how it is.

Until we meet again, I wish you all the best. And happy blogging!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Breckenridge Getaway

Last week, we spent a few days up in Breckenridge, Colorado (aka Breck), a ski community less than three hours away from my house. The town got its start when prospectors came for the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in 1859 and discovered placer gold deposits along the Blue River. These days, Breck has a population of about 4,500 at an elevation of 9,600 feet. In my humble opinion, the Colorado ski towns are more fun and more beautiful in the summer--not to mention less crowded and with better weather. And, in Breck's case, free gondola and parking.

Some of the many things we enjoyed:

The picturesque town

Friendly dogs

Historic cemetery
Summer sled dog ride

Alpine coaster

Renting a boat on Lake Dillon

Lots of good food

The wildlife

And of course the spectacular views

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Meet Walter

Walter is a 12(?) week old terrier mutt-puppy who was found running loose in Kansas and was rescued by an organization here in Colorado, surviving parvo along the way. He is adorable and crazy and on Friday will be the newest member of our family. Wish us luck! I think we're gonna need it :-)

Enjoy this last day of July, before the back-to-school season gets into full swing. Tomorrow is Colorado Day, and I'd like to wish my native state a happy 137th birthday! Admission to the History Colorado Center in Denver will be free from 10-5, and Monday, August 5, is a free day at all 42 state parks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paddler's Pub

Prepare to be super-mucho impressed everyone, because I know someone who plays in a non-school band. He's a not-too-geeky computer guy by day and a funky trumpet player in the band Futaba by...well, in this case it was early evening. (They play at night, too, if I ever want to stay up later than the 9:00 news.) 

Hearing the band perform at a reasonable hour was a great reason to get us out to Paddler's Pub for the first time. The pub is part of the Mountain Whitewater Descents rafting company and is described as "the first true outdoor pub in Fort Collins." 

The atmosphere is genuine Colorado casual. There's no kitchen, the floor is gravel, and the bar serves only local beers and wines. The eats come from pizza delivery or one of the food trucks that frequent the parking lot. If you remember the B-52's song "Love Shack," this is indeed a funky little shack.

Even though we hadn't spent the day paddling down the Poudre, we didn't feel at all out of place at Paddler's Pub. The place is all about friendly and fun, with a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, a nature trail, stuff for kids to climb on, and great views of the foothills. And the music, of course, which wraps up by 9:00--just right for semi-geezers like me. (Click here for the Paddler's Pub music schedule)

And If you ever get the chance to hear Futaba play, please do, unless you are allergic to great music that makes you want to shake your booty and/or groove-thing.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Photo of the Week

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
W. Somerset Maugham

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

McMurry and Salyer Natural Areas

The boys and I were overdue for a natural areas visit, and when the weather is hot like it was last week, the cool waters of the Cache la Poudre River are pretty inviting. The McMurry and Salyer Natural Areas lie adjacent to one another alongside the river and are two of the 17 natural areas included in the city's river management plan.

McMurry's two ponds make it a popular spot for fishers and canoers. We weren't outfitted for either, so we walked around them and looked for interesting critters--which, during the heat of the day, weren't out and about in abundance. (Smarter than we were, I guess.) Swimming is not allowed in the ponds, but it's just a short detour to the river, where my boys waded in and cooled off.

Salyer is an easy-access area with a short stretch of trail perfect for watching the birds. The meadow at Salyer is under restoration, which includes the removal of the native iris for future reintroduction. I would like to come back and see it when that is completed.

We also found a shady stream and a great tree for climbing. All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours of a summer day.