Microadventures #84-85: Fun with Reneya

Microadventure #84: Reneya as “Jojo” in Seussical Jr. – The Musical at Arvada Center for the Arts

A couple of weeks ago, Reneya played a LEAD role in the musical, Seussical, Jr, at the Arvada Center for the Arts! She was JoJo, the littlest Who, who was on a clover found by “Horton” of “Horton Hears a Who.” And she was AMAZING! She sang several songs, including a couple that she sang solo!

Not only does Reneya have acting and singing talent, she has such a wonderful stage presence! She’s a natural-born performer. Her smile just lights up the room. From the time she was an infant, she easily giggled and loved to be around everyone – even strangers! And, they, of course, love to be around her.

Such extraversion is a rarity in my family tree. I was extremely shy as a child, as was my daughter (her mother). I would have loved to have had the confidence to perform when I was young, and I’m still working at overcoming stage fright.

Reneya with some of the cast from Seussical, Jr. at The Arvada Center for the Arts.

I’m so excited that Reneya not only has talent, but is becoming passionate about something that I love, too – musical theater! If she’s already performing with a theater group at age 10, think of all the performances she has in her future! I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

Microadventure #85: Reneya’s 11’th Birthday Celebration at Flatirons Mall

Yesterday, we shared another Microadventure: Our traditional birthday lunch and shopping spree at Flatirons Mall in Broomfield.

This is our 3rd year with this tradition. Thanks to Covid, I adapted to 1:1 birthday celebrations with my grandkids. I learned that we all like the individual attention that comes with these 1:1 celebrations.

Lunch at Cafe Crêpe. Can you guess what we ate?

At the mall, we have a variety of food places we can choose from, thanks to the Food Court, but my favorite is Cafe Crêpe! Reneya, enamored with all things French, decided to join me in getting crêpes for lunch and we shared both a savory (The Benedict) and a sweet (Strawberry Shortcake.)

It was the first time Reneya had ever had a Strawberry Shortcake crêpe and she raved about how good it tasted, declaring it a new item on her “favorite food list” (which also included, Donuts, Cinnabons, another sweet dessert (which I can’t remember now) and… beans! Beans? That prompted my “one of these things is not like the other” Sesame Street game play. (Reneya didn’t seem at all amused at this juvenile reference when she was well beyond Sesame Street games.)

Shopping at Old Navy

Reneya was anxious to get going with the shopping. As she declared (in her very excited way) she LOOOOVES shopping!

We went to a few clothes stores as well as Claires (accessories) and Sephora (skin care and makeup). Reneya is a very careful shopper, wanting to be sure and spend her birthday money wisely. She always noted the prices, and though she had been interested in jeans, they were almost all more than she wanted to spend.

When we looked at backpacks, most of them had Disney or StarWars scenes. Reneya explained the dilemma of the tween… finding a style that doesn’t look too young or too old. I explained that the style I most preferred probably matched the typical 5-year-old. She chuckled in agreement.

I was very proud at how Reneya made her choices with a careful eye on prices and sales. She even ended up with over $30 left in her birthday cash to save or spend at a later time.

Just like I wrote a couple of weeks ago, when I took out her brother, Diego, hanging out with my grandchildren keeps getting better and better!

Happy Birthday, Lovely Reneya!

Microadventure #83: Improv Games with Broomshticks

Mary explains the Improv game, Sales Pitch 3000

Have you ever watched “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” I am amazed at how funny and quick-witted improv comedians can be!

Performances or comedy of any sort can be intimidating for a natural introvert like me, but I’ve been making a habit of getting out of my comfort zone. I’m at the wonderful “Who Cares?” stage of life!

I’ve played Improv games a couple of times before and have wanted to try again, so when I saw this local opportunity, I jumped on it:

Broomshticks Theater Improvisation (Improv) Fun: COME PLAY TONIGHT!

Broomschticks Improv , I learned “is a comedy improv troupe that is part of the Broomfield Council on the Arts and Humanities (BCAH), a 501-c-3 organization.”

The group emphasized fun with no experience necessary. Though I got a little nervous when it was suggested we meet by the “stage” (did I mention I have massive stage fright?) it turns out, I was perfectly fine. Maybe I’ve finally gotten over that dreadful piano recital. (It also helps that there was no audience.)

When I told my friends I went to an Improv group, they said stuff like, “I’d never do that. I’d worry too much about not being funny.” (At least they didn’t say: “You know you’re not funny, right?” even if they were thinking that.)

Surprisingly, I really didn’t feel any pressure, insecurities, or performance anxiety at all. The improv games were like party games and I’ve played plenty of those.

There were about 6 of us who attended (plus 2 kids who joined at the end) and most of the others were experienced (and very funny!) but there was at least one other newbie besides me. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. There were no ‘wrong answers’ and silliness, of course, was encouraged.

It wasn’t like stand-up comedy where you’re on your own. For most of the games, everyone’s participating, so it’s not like anyone’s really noticing who’s laughing or not laughing or who’s “funny” or who’s “not funny.”

Strike that. We’re probably all self-critiquing. But, as the very inexperienced, least funny participant, even I did not feel embarrassed. If I can do this, anyone can.

The people who were really good could quickly and easily imitate accents, emotions, and personas. So talented!

I could not do that (yet!) However, I have a huge ‘inner child’ that loves to play. I even had fun getting up on stage with the others!

One of the biggest lessons I’m learning about trying new things is this: People care a lot more about you enjoying yourself than they care about your talent.

Perhaps if the end goal is fame or fortune, there would be a little more pressure. But for me, there was only one goal: Have Fun! Mission Accomplished!

(P.S. For those who would like to order the Bald-Man’s Brush, please place your orders at 1-800-TOO-BALD. Additional taxes may apply.)

Microadventure #82: Denver Hostel Hangout at The Ember with Tina and Margi

Tina, Margi, and I at the Ember Hostel

One of the many newsletters I subscribe to is one from Nomadic Matt, a travel writer who I’ve followed for years. When I saw there was going to be a Denver Hostel Hangout event in Denver for people who liked to travel, I thought it would be a great opportunity for a Microadventure with my friend, Tina.

I also sent the information to Margi, a woman I’d met a couple of weeks ago at a Coffee Klatch Meetup. I’d found out that Margi lives in Cuenca, Ecuador for half the year, so I knew she liked to travel, too.

The event was held at the Ember Hostel, a very beautiful and upscale hostel! To be honest, I hadn’t even known there were hostels in the U.S. I always associated them with students backpacking in Europe, and imagined a dorm-like atmosphere.

When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was this elegant purple chaise lounge.

I don’t know if there would be anywhere in my house where this would fit in decor-wise, but I do love the look of an old-fashioned chaise lounge and purple is my favorite color! This did look very royal, fit for a queen.

Thea Delamater, the General Manager at the Ember Hostel gave us a tour of the boutique hostel which was filled with unique decor and helped earn its reputation as one of the best hostels in the nation.

Thea Delamater, G. Manager at the Ember Hostel in Denver

Thea told us that the Ember was not a “typical” hostel. The upscale accommodations and prime Denver location, not to mention a new 12-person hot tub, all provide opportunities for travelers to meet one another, share stories, and possibly see some of the area sights together.

This is a “loaner” hot-tub while waiting for the bigger 12-person hot-tub.

Most of the sleeping rooms were dorm-style, though there was a single-room option available. Apparently, a single-room option is true with most hostels – something I didn’t know. I’m such a light sleeper that I hadn’t really considered hostels much of an option when traveling, but these little bunks with a privacy curtain might be fun. And their bathrooms looked newly remodeled with pretty tile – quite posh!

Of course, again, the Ember Hostel, was considered the best hostel in the nation, so I couldn’t expect this elsewhere. What was most appealing about the hostel experience for me was the “community” feel. Thea said the vast majority of travelers who stay at the hostel are single and like meeting one another.

I asked whether most of those travelers were young and Thea said that while most were younger, that there were travelers of all ages including many that were in their 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s.

In fact, at this event, I think it was 6 women around my age and only 1 guy who was in his 30’s (and even he mentioned being “old” (at which the rest of us scoffed.)

It was interesting sharing stories of the nomadic or “slowmadic” (semi-nomadic?) life-style. I mentioned the GoWithLess Facebook group which has such a friendly community of travelers. One of the other women said she was familiar with the group and agreed that it’s another awesome way to connect with travelers.

After the event (which even included free wine!), Tina and I found a place around the corner for dinner.

Sitting out on an outdoor patio with yummy food and good conversation with Tina was the perfect ending to this Microadventure!

Note: As a person who loves words, I’m a bit bothered that “hostel” is pronounced the same as “hostile!” I think the English language needs to morph the word into something that conjures up welcoming feelings! Maybe pronounce the first part like “host” with a long o? And for this “boutique” hostel, how about “hostelique”?

Microadventure #81: Virtual Reality and Birthday Fun with Diego

Illegal Burger with Diego

For the past few years, I have been having a lot more 1:1 parties than big parties to celebrate birthdays. I started this with my 60-until-60 project and, like virtual parties, they became even more trendy during Covid.

I’ve especially enjoyed having individual birthday celebrations with my grandchildren who both have summer birthdays. The other day, we celebrated Diego’s 13th birthday! He’s officially a teenager!

My tradition for the past few years has been to take them to lunch and shopping at the Flatirons Mall where we go on a little shopping spree for their birthday presents.

This year Diego picked Illegal Burger for the lunch portion of our celebration. This was a burger joint I’d never been to before… always an advantage for a Microadventure!

Yummy Burger!

Another tradition is to pig out and have the silly pig-out picture!

Speaking of traditional pictures, we also have to get the silly photo booth pictures in the mall.

Photo Booth pictures from last year and this year

I have my “Carpe Diem” journal where I record the birthday boy’s “favorites” (foods, songs, hobbies, etc.) and when I opened up my book, I found our photo booth pictures from last year!

In previous years, Diego would head right to Game Stop for his shopping, but this year, we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods first where he checked out the Avs T-Shirts and caps. The Colorado Avs won the Stanley Cup this year and Diego is both an Av’s fan and a hockey player himself!

Diego picks out a Stanley Cup T-Shirt

Diego still had enough money for a video game, but instead he wanted some skateboarding shoes.

“Shoes?” I asked. “Don’t your parents buy your shoes? Are you sure you want to spend your birthday money on shoes?” I remember Scotty, even as an adult, adamantly being against getting clothes or shoes as gifts. But then, it shows in Scotty’s ragged wardrobe and shoes full of holes that clothes and shoes have never been a priority for him. It’s good to see that Diego is pickier about his appearance.

Diego picks out some cool new checkered shoes.

The next portion of our adventure is the most unique.. something neither of us had done before: A Virtual Reality Roller Coaster!

I actually had only experienced Virtual Reality one other time — with Scotty at an Escape Room convention. It really is extremely cool how realistic everything looks after you put on the special headset.

About to experience a VR Roller Coaster

Once we put on the headset, you could pick from a variety of experiences, and Diego, being the birthday boy, picked an Alien Roller Coaster. It was amazing! It really felt like we were going up and down and from side-to-side while all these aliens were jumping out.

I highly recommend experiencing Virtual Reality, but beware of this: Motion Sickness! I’m prone to motion sickness anyway and rarely go on amusement park rides – especially those that spin. I didn’t think I could be so affected by a simple 10-minute VR ride, but I was sick for about 4 hours after the ride. I still am amazed by the VR technology, but just like real-life amusement rides, I’m going to stay away from those that can cause motion sickness.

Diego and I tried a little pickle ball after the mall, and getting out in the fresh air helped a little, but we soon called it an afternoon, with the promise of playing more some other time.

I’d been worried that 13 would be the start of the “It’s not cool to hang out with Grandma”years. But Diego kept telling me that he was having so much fun and he seemed to truly enjoy the afternoon. And for me, celebrating Diego’s birthday – just the two of us – is a tradition that I treasure!

Happy Birthday, Diego!

Microadventures #79 and #80: Celebrating National Ice Cream Month

I’m not usually tempted by ice cream since my internal temperature seems to run lower than everyone else’s. I gotta say, though, even I have been hot lately! Not hot enough to complain about it, but hot enough to want ice cream! Mmmm. Nothing like that soothing, creamy, sweet cool comfort on a hot day.

During these hot summer days, I’d been looking forward to July 17, National Ice Cream Day! I invited my friend, JJ, to join me since he often humors me in celebrating these wacky holidays. I suggested Reis & Irvy’s, this very futuristic looking place in Superior where a robot prepares your frozen yogurt.

Out of Order 🙁

It was quite disappointing that the robots were out of commission.

Luckily, the place next door did have ice cream (the old fashioned type) so we were able to celebrate after all!

Microadventure #79: Celebrating National Ice Cream Day with JJ

But that’s not the end of the celebration!

Darcy, a leader from the Boulder Ramblers, planned a whole ice cream extravaganza Meetup event for July 23! She led a group of walkers all through Boulder to 11 different ice cream shops!

Check out this itinerary:

  • Start – ice cream shop 1: 10:00 am, right when Sweet Cow South Boulder opens. We’ll be the first customers! Stop by and say hi, and maybe even join me for the 3.5-mile hike to Chautauqua Park.
  • Ice cream (or coffee!) stop 2: 11:45 am, Chautauqua General Store. We’ll leave a little after noon for the short (0.8 mile) walk to Sherry’s.
  • Ice cream stop 3: 12:30 pm, Sherry’s Soda Shoppe on The Hill. Join in for the 1-mile walk to Gelato Boy, leaving at 12:50 pm.
  • Ice cream stop 4: 1:15 pm, Gelato Boy on West Pearl St. Take a leisurely stroll with us down Pearl Street to Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs – just 5 minutes away. We’ll leave Gelato Boy at 1:35 or so.
  • Ice cream stops 5 & 6: 1:40 pm, Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs on Pearl St. (I’ll check in at both – choose your favorite!). We’ll leave Ben & Jerry’s at about 2:05 pm for the 15-minute walk to Sweet Cow.
  • Ice cream stop 7: 2:20 pm, Sweet Cow North Broadway in the Community Plaza Shopping Center. Join in for the half-mile walk to our second Gelato Boy stop, leaving at 2:45 pm.
  • Ice cream stop 8: 3:00 pm, Gelato Boy at 14th and Pearl St. This will be a quick tasting stop only – we’ll leave at 3:15 pm for the 1.4-mile walk to 29th St.
  • Ice cream/food stop 9: 3:45 pm, Shake Shack at the 29th St. Mall. We can hang out here for a little break – maybe even a burger and fries! – and some social time. We’ll leave Shake Shack at about 4:15 pm for the quick, 6-minute jaunt over to Ripple.
  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt stop 10: 4:25 pm, Ripple Frozen Yogurt in the King Soopers plaza at 30th & Arapahoe. This would be a great place to come celebrate with us, as we’ll stay as long as people want to socialize! Come ask questions about the Boulder Ramblers, meet and greet, and give high fives to the long-distance walkers!
  • And finally, we’ll walk the last 3.5 miles back to Sweet Cow South Broadway, arriving by about 6:00 pm – but who’s timing at that point? We’ll be so sugar-infused, we might just want to keep going! 😉

Darcy invited people to meet up at any of the stops along the way, so Scotty and I met them at stop 10: Ripple Frozen Yogurt.

Scotty picking out his Frozen Yogurt at Ripple

It was a fun frozen yogurt place that had plenty of flavors and lots of toppings! Yum!

Soon Darcy arrived with her big group of walkers! They’d had a full day of walking and tasting.

Darcy at Stop #10 of the Boulder Rambler Ice Cream Extravaganza Tour
Microadventure #80: Frozen Yogurt at Ripple with the Boulder Ramblers

Even though we didn’t walk with the Boulder Ramblers, Scotty and I had logged about 5 miles of walking on our Randonauting adventure that day, so our frozen yogurt was enjoyed without guilt.

Darcy hadn’t even been aware that July was National Ice Cream Month when she set up such a fun themed event! What a very cool idea for a hot summer day!

Microadventure #78: Randonauting with Scotty

I subscribe to a lot of interesting newsletters and eZines including one called “Experience Magazine.” Last week, I read an article which described an activity that had come about during the pandemic: “Randonauting.”

Harness the power of quantum computing to bring adventure and meaning to your life! That’s the experience hawked by Randonautica, the app-slash-trend that has enjoyed success amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Randonauting promises a weird and novel method to explore your neighborhood by way of that venerable American tradition: quasi-scientific mystical mumbo-jumbo.

I downloaded the free app with the intention of trying it out with Scotty while he was in town. Scotty has always been my best “Sure, I’ll play along!” buddy since he was a little kid!

So we both thought of our “intentions” (mine was “love”) and generated points in the neighborhood. This was kind of like geocaching.. another activity Scotty and I had done together several times over the years. Rather than a looking for a hidden cache (as we’d do for geocaching), we’d go to the designated point and see if we could find something representing our “intention.”

Purple “diamond” found at my “love” point through Randonautica

I was quite impressed with what I found at my waypoint: A purple diamond! I had seen similar diamonds and the artwork that was part of the Superior ARTery project that had been going on over the past few years, but I’d never found this particular diamond. And purple is my favorite color!

The Rainbow Road leading to the purple diamond.

I do love these art installations that help make my community so colorful and unique!

We went on to Scotty’s waypoint which ended up being a pond behind our local Safeway.

I don’t know what Scotty’s “intention” was, but this was a peaceful spot and we decided to keep walking through Superior.

Scotty felt nostalgic as we walked through the streets and parks that he’d biked through and played at as a kid. We moved to Superior when he was 4 years old and a couple of weeks ago, he turned 28.

Swinging at Purple Park in Superior

The neighborhood went through terrible fires last December and many houses were burnt to the ground. But rebuilding efforts are happening and it was heart-warming to see that there was new growth and restoration underway.

Geese Gathering at Purple Park

I have often felt very grateful that I live in such a beautiful place. When we moved here in 1999 there was no landscaping. Our house was being newly built and the neighborhoods were full of porta-potties and construction.

Everyone got their skinny little new trees and planted their fledgling gardens. And now.. 23 years later, the trees and gardens are mature and gorgeous. The fires were tragic, but the town survived.

Yes, the randonauting exploration was successful. My heart felt full of gratitude and love as we took this microadventure through these sweet spots of Superior.

Side note #1: The article from Experience Magazine that turned me on to randonauting was written by Glenn McDonald, a writer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Matt & Stella just moved to Chapel Hill, and I’ll be visiting them in the Fall. Wouldn’t it be cool to meet Glenn McDonald? (If that happens, there will be a future Microadventure blog post about that!)

Side note #2: During Scotty’s visit, we saw the movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once, went to Meow Wolf – Convergence Station, and now went radonauting. Coincidentally (or is it?) all of these had to do with quantum-sci-fi-multiverse exploration! Is that woo-woo or what?

Microadventure #77: Meow Wolf with Scotty

Meow Wolf - Denver
Meow Wolf with Scotty in the “game room.”

It’s been the month of visitors and this week I had a visit from my youngest kid, Scotty, here from Washington D.C.!

Scotty’s birthday was July 8th, and I’d suggested going to Meow Wolf as the “birthday experience.” I’d been to the Santa Fe Meow Wolf with Matt & Stella a few years ago, but this was the first Meow Wolf experience for Scotty. The one here in Denver is called “Convergence Station.”

If you’ve never been before, it’s really quite different from a typical “tourist attraction.” It’s artsy, bizarre, surreal, creative and kind of a cross between a fun house and a Disney attraction.

There are a lot of “hidden rooms” as well as big alleyways filled with lights, music, and colorful structures. It really can put you on sensory overload as you maneuver through the various pathways and rooms.

There’s no ‘map’ (and if you ask for one, the attendants dutifully stay in character, letting you know that maps aren’t available in an alternative dimension.)

There’s some kind of “back story” and for an extra few bucks, apparently, you can get a QPASS that gives you some extra clues to help you figure out exactly what’s going on. I was kind of surprised that Scotty (escape room enthusiast that he is) didn’t seem too interested in unraveling any back story. Admittedly, I didn’t want to spend too much time myself with back story and was satisfied just observing the weird, wacky, sparkly, and colorful oddities.

I took lots of pictures, so this is just a small sampling.

This colorful glass castle was probably my favorite structure. I always prefer “fairy-tale” like atmosphere to “darker” art, like these barbie dolls with alien heads.

I was so enamored with Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf, partly because of the novelty. It’s hard to replicate that feeling. A lot of the art here was just more “messy” (or perhaps more “contemporary” for my taste) and left me feeling a little more disturbed than joyful.

We were about to leave when we discovered another big auditorium that had organ music playing and where people were walking around in the dark, seemingly dancing.

It seemed that we could “make art” with are feet on the floor and with our arms on the walls. This room was different from anything I’d seen before, even at the other Meow Wolf, and I was glad we didn’t leave without seeing it.

Overall, it was a little bit of a let-down compared to Santa Fe, but still creative and worth seeing. I wish we’d prepared a little more ahead of time – I’m not even sure we saw everything. Scotty also was not too excited by it and the crowds and noise were a little much, so.. not exactly the best birthday experience. In hindsight, maybe Kaleidoscape would have been better. But still, it was unique and will be a fun memory for both of us.

Microadventure #76: Pearl Street and Gilded Goat with Steve & Lisa

Lisa, Steve, and me on the Pearl Street Mall

Similar to my last microadventure, this one involved visitors! My friends Steve and Lisa from Minnesota were in Colorado to attend Steve’s daughter’s wedding in Ft. Collins, and they combined it with a visit to my house!

The day they arrived, we relaxed with some ice tea and talked on my patio and went out for a delicious sushi dinner. I broke out my special “Yvette” liquor and Lisa and I toasted to our friendship!


The next day was a big family day for Steve! His four sisters and several of their family members were all arriving for the wedding in Ft. Collins. Steve told me all about everyone in the family and even invited me to come down to Ft. Collins for the get-together at the Brewery that was being planned.

I love big families (The Waltons, The Partridge Family, and The Brady Bunch were 3 of my favorite TV shows as a kid) and I was very interested in hearing all about everyone!

Lisa, Steve, and I hung out on Pearl Street in Boulder for a couple of hours where an art show was happening. When we sat down for a bit, Steve found a 2022 Maya Angelou quarter in the grass! I had been wanting one of those for my 2022 Time Capsule and he said I could have it! So thoughtful!

Steve found a 2022 Maya Angelou quarter in the grass and gave it to me!

We soon headed up to Ft. Collins where Steve’s family were all starting to come in for the wedding. The plan was to meet up at the Gilded Goat Brewery.

Meeting at the Gilded Goat Brewery

Even though I’m not a beer drinker, I loved being able to meet all these family members that Steve had been telling me about.

Steve’s family was very welcoming and friendly. Everyone was excited and in a celebratory mood. I enjoyed hearing about all of their adventures, especially from the sister who was actively working on her bucket list, finishing up the last of traveling to all 50 states.

I had met Steve’s sister, Patty, once before, and this time I got to meet her husband, Paul (I think) too. They’re also Florida snowbirds, so maybe we’ll see each other next year in Florida. They have a place in Naples, and that’s where Becky’s friend Georgette lives, too, so I can definitely envision a Naples Microadventure!

Steve & Patty at Gilded Goat
Steve (modeling the coordinated colors), Lisa, and Paul at the Gilded Goat

It was a real treat for me to get to be a little part of this family celebration. Weddings are such happy occasions and it’s so nice that all of Steve’s siblings were able to make it. I could see how much they enjoyed one another.

What a fun weekend with Lisa and Steve! And next month, I’ll get to see them again, when I take my annual trip to Minnesota!

Microadventure #75: Backyard Busaba with Neal

This microadventure was an unexpected surprise! My brother, Neal, sent me an email saying he was in town for business and asked if anyone was up for dinner on him!

Oh! Oh! Me! Me! (I responded immediately.) In fact, I said, I was happy to host at my house. I told him I could cook or we could get take out. He opted for Thai take-out (Busaba), which was perfect!

It turns out I was the only one who responded to his email which almost caused Neal to want to rethink the whole plan since he only had gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before. Wait. What? You mean.. not coming? Unacceptable!

I laid on the “But you haven’t been to my house in 14 years!” guilt trip and it worked, because despite his exhaustion, Neal drove up and we enjoyed a lovely dinner out on my patio – one of my favorite places to eat!

Even though it would have been nice for others to have been available, I preferred getting a one-on-one dinner with my brother… something that’s a rarity.

We enjoyed the evening breeze and catching up.. Neal remembered that last time he was at my house (for Megan’s wedding) he fixed the fountain pump and did other handyman chores for me. He’s very handy, that’s for sure!

But this time, he just relaxed a little and noticed how much the yard and neighborhood had matured over the past 14 years. I really am so grateful that my house survived the fires and that my back yard is so pretty, thanks to John, my housemate who does all the yard work.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be living in my big, beautiful house, but while I’m here, it sure is nice to have visitors, so I’m very glad Neal made the effort!

Even though we didn’t go anywhere too exciting, having a no-fuss take-out dinner with my brother on my backyard patio is an experience to be savored, for sure!

Microadventure #71-#74: Embrace Your Geekness Day in Boulder with Seth

When I saw that Seth (who I’d met in Mexico City) was in Boulder, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for another Microadventure!

Being the Boulder-area expert that I am, I suggested about 43 different activities ranging from hiking, to tubing, to karaoke. (I won’t include the full summer schedule spreadsheet, but believe me, I was impressive.)

Seth was appropriately awed by my vast knowledge of Boulder events and places.

I also informed Seth that it was Embrace Your Geekness Day since it’s always a bonus to stick with a theme when planning a Microadventure.

Seth downplayed his geekiness: “The extent of my geekiness would be talking about agile!” he humbly claimed. (Actually, anyone who can talk about Agile at all scores major geek-points in my book. I know, I know… not everyone (including Seth) is looking to score geek-points.)

He said he was curious about The Rye Society, a Jewish Deli in the Avanti building on Pearl Street.

We agreed to meet up for lunch there, hang out on Pearl Street, and see what the day would bring. Since I fancy myself an event-planner and ultimate geek, I felt confident we’d find just the right microadventures for the day.

Microadventure #71: The Rye Society

Microadventure #71: Eating at The Rye Society
The “18+1” and Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry and Cel-Ray Sodas

Seth ordered an 18+1. (I have no idea why it’s called that “18+1” but that’s a mystery to investigate.) Here’s how it’s described:


Steamed pastrami OR turkey pastrami, slaw, Russian dressing, swiss, griddled rye bread

I normally skip lunch, but, of course, wanted to sample some of the Rye Society’s fare. I had a bit of the sandwich and it was OK. (Not worth the $16 price in my opinion, but what do I know about Jewish Deli?)

However, the highlight of the meal for me was trying Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda. I’d never heard of this soda, made with celery! I was expecting something odd-tasting, but it tasted very sweet like ginger-ale or cream soda. I’m even less of a soda-drinker than a Jewish-Deli-eater, and my taste-buds thoroughly enjoyed the novel opportunity of sampling this unusual soda.

I asked Seth to dribble some food to play along with geek day, but he didn’t want to be so stereotypical. I mean, what next? Toilet paper out the back of the pants?

Then he said he knew a very geeky place we could go: The Media Archaeology Lab!

Dubbed “The Computer Lab of your Dreams” this was the Mama of all Geek Museums! Epic! And it was less than a mile away and open!


I can’t believe Seth found the most perfect Microadventure and the absolute geekiest museum when he doesn’t even live here and didn’t even know it was Embrace Your Geekness Day! It’s like he has some sort of Microadventure Superpowers!

Microadventure #72 Media Archaeology Lab

Even though Seth and I share a common lack of sense of direction, we navigated to MAL using Google maps. It almost looked like a residential property as we approached it from behind, so we weren’t sure we were in the right place, but as we rounded the building, we were pleased to see we’d found the right place.

Microadventure #72 Media Archaeology Lab

It was not a typical museum, but more like a basement filled with old computers, working software (dating back to floppy disks) and devices (Remember Palm Pilots?), phonographs, typewriters, adding-machines, cameras, printing presses, gaming systems… all kinds of gadgets!

Some of the old (working!) computers and software housed at MAL
Old Gaming Systems
Seth giving Zork, an old text-based-adventure game, a try
Seth with a MAL sticker on his laptop.

There were so many games and devices that brought back memories of my computer-obsessed life. I have always LOVED computers and technology! (Playing a little Zork makes me appreciate how far the gaming technology has progressed!)

Microadventure #73: Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

The work of Sofie Ramos

Stopping at BMoCA was a bonus microadventure and a bit anticlimactic after the Wow factor of being in computer-heaven. (We actually just stopped here while we were waiting for our table at the Dushanbe Teahouse.)

Though the pieces were thought-provoking, contemporary art is something I’ve never quite understood.

For example, the art piece pictured just looks like a weirdly-colored, huge mess to me. This looks way messier than Scotty’s room ever was at its worst! At least Scotty didn’t have pool noodles haphazardly sticking out helter-skelter! And this was my favorite piece in the museum! At least it was whimsical!

There were other art pieces that looked like body parts..primarily intestines. Kind of freaky. Stuff of nightmares.

But it’s good to be exposed to everything. I think it’s fairly typical for geeks not to fully appreciate art, and the museum was free today, so Yay for new experiences. (Please, God, no body part nightmares tonight.)

Microadventure #74: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Trying the Swiss Raclette Fondue at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Our final stop on this fun-filled day was the iconic Dushanbe Teahouse. I have to admit, since I’ve been here quite often, I didn’t take photos of the impressive decor, but I absolutely recommend it as a must-see stop for Boulder visitors.

Once again, Seth, despite being the out-of-towner, rattled off his knowledge of the history of the teahouse. (It’s like Seth’s brain is wikipedia! I don’t care if he does think he’s cool, he’s a geek of major proportions!) I, on the other hand, can’t even seem to remember how to pronounce “Dushanbe.” But, for those who don’t have access to Seth’s encyclopedia-like brain, here’s a blurb about the history from their Website:

In 1987, during his first visit to Boulder, Mayor Maksud Ikramov announced that Dushanbe planned to present our city with a Teahouse to celebrate the establishment of sister city ties. From 1987 -1990, more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan created the decorative elements our Teahouse, including its hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. Often these skills are handed down from generation to generation within families. Lado Shanidze served as chief architect.

I tried a dish I’d never had before, the Swiss Raclette Fondue – very delicious! I like the name (Raclette rhymes with Yvette, after all) filled with ham, apples, and cucumber pickles.

So there you have it! A whirlwind Boulder-Area Geek-Filled set of Microadventures on this Wednesday afternoon in July! Despite my “Boulder expertise,” Seth introduced me to MAL – a place that I didn’t even know existed! I tried a new drink, new cheese, and viewed new weird art! And, as always, the real treat was being able to experience it all with someone else. Seth is definitely a unique character and was the perfect companion for Embrace Your Geekness Day!