Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Fun: A to Z Challenge

April's almost here, which means it's time for the annual A to Z Blog Challenge: one post a day, proceeding alphabetically from A to Z, with a few Sundays off for good behavior. I'm trying something different this year: more pictures, fewer words. That means less writing for me, and less reading for the blog hoppers who drop by. My focus will still be local--people, places, and things I like about Fort Collins.

See you on Sunday for letter A. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

51st Annual Gem and Mineral Show

Earth is one of the four rocky planets in our solar system. (Interesting note: in 2011, NASA reported finding the first rocky planet outside our solar system.) But other than landscaping and vocabulary (“You rock!” “Do you have rocks in your head?”) many people don’t routinely give rocks much attention.

But the Fort Collins Rockhounds do. Last weekend, this group presented the 51st Annual Gem and Mineral Show at the Larimer County Fairgrounds. We went last year, and my boys were hooked, so we decided to make it an annual event. The show isn’t huge, but for its size, it showcases some amazing gems, rocks, and minerals.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science had a beautiful turquoise display. The US Geological Survey was there with lots of geological information and the biggest sheet of mica I’ve ever seen. The Metro State College Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences gave kids of all ages a crash course in indentifying rocks and minerals. Additionally, fossils, quartz, wind-polished stones from Wyoming (surprise, that wind is good for something), shells, the Tent of Fluorescence (well, that’s what I call it), vendors, and the awesome $1 grab bags meant there was something for every rockhound.

Oh, and I learned the definition of a cabochon: a highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem. So there.

The Rockhounds meet once a month and welcome visitors at their meetings. Check their website for details.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Field Trip: The Alamo

Last week, my family headed to Texas for spring break, which included a couple of days in San Antonio. No visit to that city is complete without a stop at the Alamo. In case your history needs a refresher, as mine did, find the story of the Alamo (which, I learned, is Spanish for cottonwood) here.

If you traveled over spring break, I hope you had a fun adventure. Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lazy Week Off

I'm taking the week off to spend some quality time with the family. See you next Wednesday! And Happy St. Patty's Day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Fave: Noosa Yoghurt

I love all things yogurty, from fro-yo to Greek yogurt to kefir. And I've tried enough different brands to know that Morning Fresh Dairy's noosa yoghurt is in a class by itself. Here's the official blurb: "noosa yoghurt is crafted from a super-secret aussie recipe, with milk from happy cows raised on a family-owned Colorado farm."

The yoghurt is super-creamy, not overly sweetened, with a pleasant tang that doesn't have the sour cream taste of some thick yogurts. It is probiotic--as any self-respecting yogurt should be-- and gluten free. With 130 calories and 6 grams of fat in a 4-ounce serving, it's a splurge, but definitely worth it. As an added bonus, I can have it delivered with my milk.

For all you spring-breakers, be safe and have fun next week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CVB Comedy with Sam Adams

It was my pleasure last week to join some of the staff and volunteers from our local CVB for a night of food and comedy at Coopersmith’s Poolside. Just to clear up any confusion, a CVB is not a pharmacy or cable shopping network. It’s a Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau, and Fort Collins has a great one. (If you’re not familiar with the FCCVB, take a few minutes to check out the recently updated website. It’s a great resource for visitors and residents alike.)

Some of you may remember that Coop’s Poolside used to house Fort Collins’s very own satellite of Denver’s famed Comedy Works. So I eagerly anticipated getting back there for some laughs…and any evening that includes Coop’s artichoke dip is a go in my book.

I didn’t know anyone when I arrived, so I jumped right into my favorite networking activity: Standing Awkwardly to the Side. Then I mixed things up by Standing Awkwardly to the Side with Ice Water. (Yeah, I’m spontaneous like that.) But then I ran into fellow northern Colorado blogger Heidi, aka the Mayor of HeidiTown, and we caught up while enjoying food and beverages. Heidi is a lot of fun, and she always knows what’s happening around the area, so be sure to visit her blog.

Many of the volunteers in attendance fit nicely into the post-retirement demographic, and I imagine that finding a comedian for a multi-generational crowd might be a bit tricky. But the CVB nailed it by bringing in Denver-based Sam (“He don’t look like the guy on the beer bottle”) Adams. Sam has been performing comedy since 2001, after more than twenty years as a sports journalist. In 2009, he was a winner at the Great American Comedy Festival.

Without a stage, the space doesn’t lend itself as well to a stand-up performance as it did back in the day, but Sam was a good sport about performing amid the pool tables. His humor is clean and clever and very funny. Everyone had some good laughs, and I hope to catch his show again, even if it means driving to Denver and missing my usual pre-11-o’clock-even-on-weekends bedtime. Visit Sam’s website for his bio and show dates.

Oh, and I really hate to give away a comedian’s jokes, so I’ll just say that I visited the paint store and think my true color might be Wistful Beige.

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Like a Lion

It's officialy March, which is no big surprise considering our unsettled weather as of late. (Please, no more wind!) If you're staying around for spring break and need an amazing half-day activity, head on over to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg. It's home to nearly 300 rescued carnivores, including lions, tigers, bears, and wolves.

Last week's mystery man with the fine facial hair was Frederick Sherwood.