Linda K Murdock, author of A Busy Cook’s Guide to Spices and All Things Colorado blogs about things to do in Colorado, networks with crafty Coloradans, gives spice advice and writes gentle rants. See Categories or use search to find what interests you most.
Back in March my husband and I stopped in at what used to be a tea shop at 5610 S Curtice Street in Littleton. We were seeking something to do close to home and there is a lot to do in Littleton Colorado.
The renovated tea shop is has had a few walls removed with updated lighting and less fru-fru tables and chairs. Gracefull Community Cafe serves affordable meals. There you can have a healthy $5 breakfast or $8 lunch. If you think you are getting a deal, you can pay it forward and give a little extra for the next person, who may be on a fixed income. Don’t be shy, the food is good and there are many other good things to explore in the area. They close at 2 pm. Littleton is a happening place with lots of fun shops and eateries. I recommend the chai-flavored chocolate at the Chocolate Therapist. Better yet, join up for one of their taste testings and see which flavor you like best.
Elsewhere, you can check out Littleton’s City Events & Meetings on their website calendar. Drive through Main Street downtown and read the overhead banners to see what is happening each weekend. If you have time or find yourself waiting for a table, check out the General Store. It has lots of unique gift ideas that could take you a while to look through. Luckily they are open late, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Bemis Library, the Littleton History Museum, Hudson Botanical Gardens (that you can bike to), and the Depot Gallery add a little something for everyone, whether indoors or out. The 6 plays per year held at the Town Hall Arts Center are quite good and reasonably priced. Look for the book sales at Bemis throughout the year and musical summer guests at Hudson Gardens. The latter also does Christmas lights that are fun if you’re suffering from cabin fever or the blues associated with holiday shopping There is even putt-putt golf and across the busy street of Belleview enter another jurisdiction/town to cool off at Englewood’s Pirate’s Cove and Belleview Park’s train ride and petting zoo.
Since neither my husband nor I have ever been, we went hiking and exploring the Las Vegas area. As if we need an excuse to do some hiking, we were able to visit both Red Rock Canyon (not to be confused with Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater) and in the Valley of Fire State Park. The most fun part of the trip was hiking in Red Rock Canyon and the superb cactus garden at the Ethel Mars Chocolate factory in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. Henderson was already on my list, because one of my spice book customers Sheffield Spice Shop has a spice shop there. I found some new blends (the fajita seasoning really enhances turkey burgers, Cheryl) and found the perfect light-weight, metal water bottle.
We got up early one morning to beat the heat and the crowds and scrabbled along the rocky trail to Ice Box Canyon in Red Rock Canyon Park. It was an out and back hike totaling 2.5 miles, but climbing around the boulders was plenty of exercise and like a playground for adult kids. Although there is no longer a waterfall in the canyon, we were able to admire the smooth rock formations that had been carved into the cool ending point of our trail. Just the shadows themselves hint at a waterfall.
My husband later tried his hand at the atlatl, an ancient hand-catapult for throwing spears further. The local park service folks were giving a demonstration.
As far as the city of Las Vegas and its accompanying gambling, we loved the Bellagio fountain performance on the strip and, of course, the people watching. Putting on a mask and costume gives one a little more courage to let the alter-ego escape for a moment of unfettered freedom. Those not wearing masks can freely play the voyeur.
Fremont Street was much seedier, a bit creepy and from a safety aspect not to be seen solo. We did enjoy the two-decker Container Stores in actual truck-like trailers there and the overhead zipline. People watching reminded me of going to a strip show at Halloween. You couldn’t escape the smoke in either gambling location, though. The airport was about the only place to gamble smoke-free.
Like Phoenix, Las Vegas is in the dessert with few trees other than palms planted there over the years. Denver’s semi-arid climate is much more lush, but the cactus garden in Henderson was worth the visit for any nature lover and a quiet oasis from the gambling fever. Say hi to Cheryl Sheffield if you go there and check out my spice book.
I went back to Blair-Caldwell Public Library to another of their Harmony Street Concert Series. This time on April 8th Mary Louise Lee sang accompanied by her keyboard player. Most people know her through her mayor/husband, but her voice is noteable enough for her to stand on her own. Both the current governor and ex-governor Lamm attended. Mary Louise sang standards and I found the slower tunes accentuated her vocals more. She was going to do a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald for Ella’s birthday in late April, but I wasn’t able to make that.
I found a fun book at the library that, if you crochet or knit, you just might enjoy. It is called The Yarn Whisperer, My Unexpected Life in Knitting by Clara Parkes. In it she talks about knitting and uses the craft to explain life’s happenings. I found myself relating to quite a bit of it, even though I am a crocheter. It is an easy read and something yarn lovers will enjoy.
I went to a spring craft show in Mid-April. There I bought a couple of luggage identifiers–a great way to help distinguish your luggage amongst others. Not only are these handle holders colorful, but they pad the handle for an easier grip. There are a lot of travelers, who use red ribbons, but I like how secure and unique these baggage markers were during our mini-vacation to Las Vegas. I also bought a little travel holder for teabags and a pair of earrings designed by Kelly Anne Munro. They were like the old-fashioned cloth-covered buttons and very pretty.