. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sister's Weekend in Colorado

I just got back from a most awesome weekend with my sister. We planned a while ago to get away together, just the two of us, to spend a weekend enjoying each other's company. We also planned to do things that we normally wouldn't be able to do with our families in tow.

I drove up on Friday, listening to an Audiobook called "Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte" by Kyra Davis. I downloaded it from iTunes with my 6 hour drive in mind, choosing something that sounded kind of fun, lighthearted, and frivolous. I was not disappointed. It was a murder mystery that takes place in San Francisco and was humorous as well as suspenseful. I listened to most of the book on the drive up and finished it by Pueblo on the way back home. At that point I started the second Audiobook that I chose and downloaded from iTunes based on the same reasons as the book above, but also because a friend recommended it as a good, fun summer read. I'm only a few hours into the book, am enjoying it, and look forward to listening to the rest of it as I do my miscellaneous chores this week. It is called "The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella and is about a workaholic lawyer who suddenly finds herself without a job.

Anyway, I got to my sister's house with about an hour to spare before we had to leave for our appointment at the salon for our pedicures. We spent some time visiting and then got totally pampered at the salon with a drink, foot and leg massage, exfoliation and buffing, paraffin wax, and of course, polish on our toes. All of the spa materials smelled so good and felt decadent. The massaging chair was quite a nice treat as well.

After our salon treatments, we went out to dinner at a restaurant called "3 Margaritas." We did enjoy a couple of their margaritas each as well as yummy red chicken enchiladas for me and spinach burritos for my sister. We got a lot of good conversation in and left just as it was getting dark out.

In the morning, we headed out toward Denver but made a stop at a local bead and jewelry shop where we found some really pretty necklaces and earrings. The great thing about this shop is that all of their pieces are made from people with developmental disabilities. The shopkeeper told me that the people come in to work and at the same time are able to express themselves by creating beautiful pieces of jewelry. They have a website: Carmel Community Living Corporation.

The ride to Denver was uneventful and it was nice to watch the changing landscapes and talk. We found our hotel with very little effort, thanks to my sister's directions printed out from Mapquest. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, a wonderful location for tourists such as ourselves. We checked in and after putting our bags away, we set off to find some lunch. We ate at this place called "Mad Greens," which was a sandwich/salad place, and watched people as they walked past.

We walked down 16th Street, to Broadway, and toward the Denver Art Museum and ended up in the middle of a street faire in between the state capital and the Civic Center Park. We weaved our way through the people and booths, stopping when something caught our eyes (such as the ankle bracelet booth), and finally ending up at the art museum. We lucked out since admission is free on the first Saturday of the month. We went through the museum and looked at everything we had time to see. 

Here are some works that especially caught my eye:
(A painting by Andy Warhol, pottery by Maria Martinez, a painting of two sisters, one of Monet's Water Lilies, an egyptian coffin, and an Indian Vishnu sandstone  carving)

After the art museum, we walked back along the route of the street faire, looking at all of the vendors. We couldn't help but think that it reminded us a lot of the Whole Earth Festival that was held in the spring at our alma mater, UC Davis. Lots of jewelry, music, tie dye, and art for sale.

We walked back down the pedestrian mall and scoped out dinner possibilities and finally settled on an Indian restaurant called "India House" in the Lo-Do district (Lower Downtown). If you're ever in the area (at 16th Street and Blythe), I recommend the food wholeheartedly. I ordered a delicious chicken and potato dish that came in a spicy red sauce. I have no idea what it was called, but it was great served with rice and flat bread (that I learned was called "nan"). I also tried some of my sister's cheese and garbanzo bean dishes, which were also delicious. Again, I don't know what they were called.

We spent the evening drinking wine and talking about the kinds of things that sisters talk about and finally went to bed after midnight. When we woke in the morning we decided that we really needed another day in downtown Denver. We found a bakery and had sweet baked goods and hot coffees while sitting out on the patio. The weather was perfect during our whole stay, two of those "300 days of sunshine a year" that Denver boasts having. I usually am wary of large downtown districts in cities, but downtown Denver where we were was clean and very pedestrian and tourist friendly. I can't wait to go back for another visit.

I'm glad my sister and I decided to get away for a couple of days. Too many years went by with her and me living too many states away. Now that we're within a 6 hour drive of each other, I've been spoiled with our visits together. We're already planning for Thanksgiving and hope that our parents can come also so that the whole gang is together again. It's been too many years since that has happened.

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life."
~Isadora James

P.S. 6/11/09:  I just found out that my receipt from the India House Restaurant had the name of my chicken dish on it.  It was called "Chicken Vindaloo."  Yum.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend away, too! We definitely have to make this a tradition.

Nice quote at the end.