Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Denver Trip (May 2-7)

Thanks to having my PCA Learning Team Face-to-Face meeting in downtown Denver, I was able to combine work with a family visit over the weekend with A, R, F and also J, B, and CJ, who all flew in from Austin to join the fun (Mr. E was in Chicago with his own family).

My meeting was May 3-4 at The Curtis Hotel, right next to the Performing Arts Center and just two blocks from the 16th Street Mall. I got to take the train from the airport to Union Station, where I dodged the [unexpected] rain and hopped aboard the free Mall Shuttle to stay as dry as I could since I didn't have appropriate rain-gear.

A and I met up for dinner at Wynkoop Brewing on Thursday evening after my meeting wrapped up. I recently finished John Hickenlooper's memoir "The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer & Politics," which traces his unusual path from Wesleyan University (my alma mater) to opening the first brewpub in Denver to running successfully for Mayor of Denver to getting elected as Colorado's Governor, so I figured I had to make a pilgrimage to where so much of the journey began. On my way to LoDo to meet A, I passed some cool public art in the form of benches that look like giant chess pieces:

On Friday morning, I met my CiviCore buddy at Novo Coffee to chat about GrantTracker+ plans and strategies and then A picked me up at the hotel for our day of culture (Denver Art Museum) and nature (Red Rocks hiking). After exploring the exhibits for Mi Tierra and Japanese Fashion Design at the Museum, I purchased a small Blue Bear statue to add to our collection of unique animal critters associated with our travels. At Red Rocks, A and I slathered on the sunscreen and opted for the Trading Post Trail, which was quite toasty given the lack of shade along the path.

We finished up the day by picking up F at his school and then having family dinner with R back at their house, followed by a film screening of "Zootopia." Fun!

On Saturday, we met up with the Austin crew at Vanover Park in nearby Golden and walked along the river path about 3/4 of a mile to the great playground near the Community Center. Eventually, the three ladies returned to the Park to fetch the cars so that we could change into swimming gear to enjoy the kid-friendly area of the pool in the Community Center (which I remembered and recommended from my previous Learning Team meeting in Golden a few years ago). We then found a spot for lunch followed by some candy, coffee, and frozen yogurt as we parted ways so that the Austin folks could meet up with B's sister for the evening while A, R, F, and I went to the Rockies vs. Diamondbacks game at Coors Field.

We hadn't expected to see the Austin posse again but ended up gathering at the Children's Museum on Sunday morning, where we all enjoyed the fun interactive exhibits and watching F and CJ playing with each other. R wasn't able to join us, since he was doing some more work on transporting items to their new house, but we did get some extra adult company with the addition of B's sister, C, and brother-in-law, D.

I particularly appreciated the inclusive and inspired art work at the Museum entrance as well as all of the interior offerings.

We all managed to find sufficient sustenance at the small Museum cafe area so that we could enjoy lunch together on the outside terrace before A and F took me to the airport for my flight home to Sac.

A great family visit, and so fun to see the two boys getting to know each other a bit better!


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