Weekend Trip to Snowy Denver

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This is actually Vancouver, WA. View from my deck. 

A direct flight to #Denver was my latest get-away. I’ve spent time in the Mile High City before at conferences. As a matter of fact, the first time I learned about the opportunity that took me to the Middle East was at a conference in Denver. And I had an amazing time with friends from college skiing one weekend a few years ago. So, even though it was cold and I flew into snow, I was ready to hang out in Denver.

I stayed at the Hotel Monaco Denver@Kimpton Hotel. It was just as wonderful as I remembered it being. The family atmosphere, the great customer service, complimentary #winehour plus complimentary chair massages during wine hour – it was spectacular. I hung out at the bar the first night receiving an education on the fine art of making cocktails. Chad, the mixologist on duty, took excellent care of me and poured up a couple of cocktails that certainly hit the spot.

I walked down to the 16th Street Mall and did a little window shopping but found myself in Jazz @ Jack’s. Apparently this is the local place for jazz. Now, img_2845since I’ve come to know some of the finest jazz musicians in the US, I was quite disappointed in the talent. There was a local band playing the early set and it was just all weird. There was no jazz and sometimes, you just don’t need to do a different arrangement for some songs. I’ve never heard a more horrendous rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean. It was painful! The food, subpar. The venue, I loved. But hey, it was something to do!

Comedy Works Comedy Club was a cool venue too. The main act was terrible but the opening act was quite funny. I love the cave-like feel of comedy clubs. It’s a little cozy. I liked the drinks too but they made me put my cell phone in a pouch that I couldn’t open inside the venue. Weird but it cut down on distractions. @comedyworks

Of course I had good food in Denver. Panzano’s at the hotel was pretty good. While the dinner wasn’t as great as I remember, the breakfast was phenomenal. I had zucchini bread french toast. Yes, it was AMAZING! It was moist with a slightly crisp outside topped with fruit and I added whipped cream…cuz I love whipped cream! I went to Appaloosa Grill for a quick bite and ended up having one of the best glasses of wine I’ve ever had. It was a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina – Reunion 2014. I can also appreciate when a nice red wine is served in a proper glass. I did have a bowl of bison chilli. It was great too. img_2826Then I found a cute little breakfast and brunch place: The Egg Shell. Trendy little place with exposed ceilings, concrete floors, great food and a full bar. The service was great too.

The highlight of my trip was walking through the snow filled park on my way to the Denver Art Museum and coming upon a group of people feeding the homeless and providing warm clothes. I was so moved. The group: Impact Locally, is out weekly providing services. They alternate services: food, clothes, blankets, etc. They even take some of the homeless children hiking during the summers and tubing during the winters. They mentor too. To see people in action just really spoke to my heart. I’m always looking for an organization to support. @ImpactLocally received my support that day and I will continue to support them. I’m glad I stumbled upon such warmth and compassion.

Update on my discomfort in 2017:

Even though I tried to back out at the last minute, I went through with my first experience of getting uncomfortable. I spoke before a group of people at my organization for #MLK day. I was so incredibly anxious that I was not in a good place. However, I’m glad I went through with it. I told a story of how I rallied friends in 5th grade to hang banners and posters about MLK at a predominantly white school that I was bussed to. Oklahoma was one of the states that didn’t recognize the federal holiday as MLK day and I couldn’t quite understand that (FYI, it wasn’t until 2000 that all US states actually called MLK day, MLK day). Of course I was called into the principle’s office for causing a stir but I couldn’t understand why they didn’t call it MLK day. Well, the next school year, the district calendar had it marked as MLK day. I like to think that maybe I had something to do with that but who knows. The point of my story was that in today’s times, MLK’s dream has not  yet come to pass. I recognize that I must rekindle that fire I had as a young child in order to move forward and continue the work. I invited those I spoke to to rise up and find their fire so we can make change together. So…first test of discomfort…I think I passed.

Living life…and it’s so good.

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