Another little adventure

I, like many other nerds in the world, have been spending a good bit of whatever spare time I have knee-deep in George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons. (I’m not quite finished with it yet, so no spoilers. On pain of maiming.) I’ve also had some visiting family, and the family visit included a trip to Denver. This post is about that trip, and I’ll be back with something a little more focused in the not-so-distant future.

We’ve been and will be in Denver a whole lot this summer, at least compared to our first year in Wyoming. That is, though, never a bad thing–Denver’s a great city, full of a lot of beautiful spaces and good food. And Pacific Mercantile Company, which is where I have to go if I want to get any Asian comestibles that haven’t been on the shelf for two years already. (That makes me sound a lot more sophisticated than I am–I bought udon and some black vinegar, sure, but mostly I bought three kinds of gummy candy, including a delicious mango/tamarind sweet, strawberry daifuku, Ramune to drink on the walk back to our hotel, and panda cookies. Japanese candy makes me so happy.)

We also made return visits to the Denver Botanic Gardens and The Denver Museum of Nature and Science for their Real Pirates exhibit so that we could share two brilliant places with the visiting family members.

I don’t know much (or what kind of
plant you are, but I know I love you.

No photos from the pirates exhibit, alas, but it is the most excellent thing and only there until August 22, so if you’re in the area, you really need to get yourself to the DMNS.

I took a number of photos at the Botanic Gardens, though (with my phone, sadly, because I managed to leave home with a camera with a dead battery and no charging apparatus, but the phone did okay, all things considered). This image to the left is some plant that was housed in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. It was potted beside a resting bench, and there was no marker of what it was called, but I thought it was striking because of its center. The purple inner leaves that shade out to regular green are very cool, too, of course, but look: at its heart, there’s a small tuft of what looks like  moss, and it’s sprouting its own flowers, tiny violet blooms with pointed petals. I was reminded of very, very small mountain harebell–it’s just that color. The plant was also cupping a bit of water around the moss, making a wee island. I could have sat in front of it for hours, but I was already planning to spend an inordinate amount of time in the pirates exhibit, so one has to pick one’s battles.

The visit also included a visit to Coors Field to see the Rockies play the Brewers. Coors Field is a lovely ballpark, and I have to admit a real fondness for the Rockies. My blood is Philadelphia red, but the Rockies (and their Casper affiliate, the Casper Ghosts) are great favorites of mine. (In August, when the Phillies play the Rockies in Colorado, it’s going to be hard to not cheer for the Rocks, too. I might be that idiot at the stadium just clapping and hooting after every play, no matter what happens.)

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched for the Rockies, and I had a chance to watch him warm up in the bullpen, Coors Field being one of those places where fans can actually look down from the concourse into the bullpens. This is possible because Rockies fans are rather kind. You’ll notice that, at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies play, the Phillies bullpen is not in open view to the public. That’s because Phillies fans will harass their own relievers just as much as the away team’s.

Ubaldo!

And then, because it was a bit rainy before the game, we were treated to a very lovely bit of rainbow above the Qwest building at Coors Field. The Brewers are on the field there. The Brewers got beat pretty badly at this game, but we did get to see Corey Hart hit a home run late in the game. The Rockies’ Ryan Spilborghs also went yard. The only disappointments that I had at the game were that Carlos Gonzalez was still out following a collision with an outfield wall just before the All-Star break, and I didn’t get a photo of our section’s beer guy. Captain Earthman is apparently an installation at Coors Field, and I absolutely see why. I’ve seldom seen anyone who enjoys the job as much as he appears to enjoy his. If you’re going to Coors Field, try sitting in the vicinity of Section 155 or nearby to get the most of the experience.

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