Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend Getaway: Colorado Garden & Home Show

A few weeks ago, Dan the Man's sister, Carla, asked me if Dan the Man and I wanted to spend a weekend in Ft. Collins, Colorado with her and Geologist Jim, her husband. We always have a great time together so of course I was game for a weekend away. We planned it for this weekend with nothing really in mind to do except to stay a couple of nights in Ft. Collins and just enjoy each others company and do a little shopping.

Geologist Jim and Carla live in Casper, WY. We usually get to spend holidays with them, or at least some time during the summer months at the cabin with them, but this last year was so crazy for all of us that we didn't get to spend much time together at all. We always laugh until our stomachs hurt when we get together, so I was really looking forward to a fun weekend. It didn't matter what was in store, we always enjoy each other's company.

Carla was in charge of getting the hotel and as we often do, used to get it. She bid $50 and we got the Fort Collins Marriott on Horsetooth Road. It was really nice and a great bargain for $50/night.


Fort Collins Marriott


Fireplace in Lobby


Room with suite (we didn't have a suite, so we didn't have a table like
that but our desk and TV area looked like this.)

Restaurant at the hotel, but we didn't eat there. Looked nice though!

After our chores on Friday, Dan the Man and I left for Ft. Collins which is about 130 miles from our place. I think it's around 220 miles from Casper to Ft. Collins. Skyler and Chris would be in charge of the ranch while we were gone.

We met up at the hotel after lunch and decided to hit "Old Town" Ft. Collins which is downtown. I love "Old Town"! It is full of unique shops and great restaurants. The older I get the more I like shopping unique shops verses shopping in malls. Here are some of my favorite in Old Town:

The Cupboard
is a WONDERFUL kitchen store, two stories full of everything you could possibly need for your kitchen. When you walk in you are hit with the most delicious aroma of freshly ground coffee. The top floor is all cookbooks!

The Perennial Gardener is a fantastic garden decor store who has a court yard out the back door of the store. Love gardens? Then this store is for you!

EsScentuals is a bath and body kind of store that has a fantastic basement that you have to go see just because it is decorated so cool! They also do spa treatments down there.

White Balcony
is a cool boutique that carries "a huge mix of accessories, gifts and greeting cards, specializing in unique and edgy merchandise. The store has to be experienced first hand to truly understand how much inventory there is.. everything from chandeliers and lamps to hats, candles, handbags, jewelry, and other great whimsical gift ideas." I love, love, love this store! Even Dan the Man and Geologist Jim found it entertaining!

And last but not least we stopped at Nepal Tibet Imports. Carla was on a mission to find a Turkish coffee pot thing so she could start making Turkish coffee. I was surprised The Cupboard didn't have anything, so we saw this place across the street and decided to give it a try. We didn't find anything that dealt with coffee, but we did find some wild belly dancing outfits that we kept trying to get Dan the Man and Geologist Jim to buy us for Valentines Day. Lots of laughs were had at this store! We finally had to leave before we got kicked out. Also the smell of all the incense was about to kill us all. Just so you know, this store is not on my list of stores that I adore, I only added it to the story because of the belly dancing stuff. Too bad I don't have a video of Carla and me trying to get the boys to buy us those belly dancing things. Dan the Man was turning red every time I held an outfit up and tried to simulate belly dancing. As his father would have said, "knock off the nonsense!"

After all this shopping, we were getting hungry and it was supper time. We found a quaint little Irish Pub called Lucky Joe's to eat at. Good food! Dan the Man and I had Fish & Chips, Carla had Irish Stew and Geologist Jim had Chicken Strips.

On Saturday we went to the Fort Collins Winter Farmer's Market. Very cool! It is held every other Saturday from 10am to 3pm at the Opera Galleria 123 N College Ave. They had everything from late season produce, confections and baked goods, wine and cider, eggs, local and artisanal cheese, mushrooms and meat, and handcrafted products. There were several vendors and several shoppers!

For the rest of the day we decided to go to Denver, which is 65 miles from Ft. Collins, to go to the Colorado Garden & Home Show. I heard about this show several years ago, but just never made the time to go. When Carla said it was in Denver this weekend we decided that we HAD to go. It would be something that both the boys and the girls would like. I knew it would be BIG, but I wasn't prepared for how BIG it actually was!

You've got to read the Fun Facts about the show. It will give you an idea of how BIG and cool the show is! There are 14 created gardens displayed, many with water features. There were something like 650 vendors! Oh my aching feet and back from all that walking! We spent at least 5 hours there. Thank God that Dan the Man and Geologist Jim are such great sports to do all the walking and looking with us girls. We love you guys!

Here are a few (actually quite a few!) pictures from the show.

My favorite picture of the show!
Love the shadows on the sculpture!

Weird animated prehistoric animals to delight the children!

Who doesn't love a gerber daisy?

Dan the Man and Geologist Jim

More gerber daisies!

Geologist Jim and his lovey wife, Carla.

Wouldn't be the COLORADO Garden & Home Show without the columbines!

Adorable little crocheted hats.
Someday I'll have grandchild to buy cute little things like these for!

Ohhh, la, la!

A little photoshop effect.

I'll take one of these for my back yard!

Weird twisted plant.

Adorable petite daffodils!

Ohhhh, la, la!

Egads... who is that with Dan the Man.
I look horrible, but I didn't want Geologist Jim to think
that his picture taking skills weren't good enough for the blog!

It's a chair, can you see?

Hey, it's the Bread Man's Bakery!
Those of you who shop at the Scottsbluff Farmer's Market know this vendor!
I wanted to get some bread, but resisted the temptation.

Carla, is that the bus to the Drunken Monkey?
Sorry, inside joke...

Cathedral downtown Denver.
Just a parting shot.

For Dinner that night we ate at Austins American Grill in Ft. Collins. Yummy, delishous, highly recommended! Carla had a Smoked Salmon Burger. I had the Short Smoked Pork Tenderloin. We both had a cup of the Fat Tire Beer Cheese Soup. Geologist Jim had Prime Rib Au-Jus with Chipolte Shrimp and Dan the Man had Rotisserie Sirloin Roast. It was all scrumptious! We would definitely eat there again. Two thumbs up for food, service and ambiance!

Well, that was our weekend, what fun! Thanks Carla and Geologist Jim for a memorable weekend we won't soon forget! Looking forward to the Thermopolis weekend getaway to come hopefully in the near future!


  1. PS In case you didn't notice, there are links listed above to many of the things I talked about. Also click on the pictures for a full screen view of them if you want. Just remember to hit your browsers back button to return to the blog.

  2. Wow Kathi, this Blog of yours is very good. It was a very fun trip with you and Dan the Man. Now for my photo skills, yes I need practice! Thanks for a great write up on our fun weekend. We love you guys.
    "Geologist Jim"

  3. We did have a great weekend. Just what I needed to rejuvinate the soul. I love your photos they really did come out well. I think I missed that bus to the Drunken Monkey!

    Thermop won't be the same after we hit it. LOL


  4. Sounds like a good time was had by all! Sorry I missed the Garden show! Bob even has gone to it but I never have:(

  5. OK so the weird twisted plant looks like curly willow to me. I know this because I have a friend that has one in her yard that is always shedding its curly arms. Apparently it is in pretty big demand for decorating. I have been to several ladies fellowship events where it was used liberally in the centerpieces (looked really cool too!).

    Your church picture in Denver reminded me that you can get a really good shot of it reflected in the glass office building across the street from it. I remember that from when I was in school in Denver. It was a popular picture.

    I am jealous of you all.

    When are any of you going to come out here and visit?


  6. After seeing these pictures of geol Jim I think that I am going to start excercising and eating right instead of just thinking about it. Thanks for the wake up call Kathi.

    g. Jim