Saturday, June 30, 2012

Breckenridge family vacation (day one)

For the sixth year in a row, we took an all-family summer vacation. The boys were all packed up and rarin' to go!
Leslie and Landon having fun in the Kansas City airport.
They can't wait.
We made it to Denver and sped through its airport subway system to meet up with everyone else.
But, c'mon — Jack and Landon are always excited to see their California cousins most of all.
On our way to Breckenridge, we stopped at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Preserve.
Landon and Skye hanging out in the "bird's nest."
We even saw a deer in the woods, from this deck.
Just a mile away, we also stopped at Buffalo Bill's gravesite.
Hello Rocky Mountains. From this point, you could look down and see the town of Golden (and the Coors brewery, of course).
You can tell we chose our footwear based on TSA security restrictions, not for hiking.
Aunt and niece.
Never ones to pass up a photo op.
A spitting image of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, I'm sure.
"Me too!"
Dominic giving Landon a lift up the hill.
Back on the road, Leslie took this out her passenger window.
Finally, we made it to the outskirts of Breckenridge and our rental house for the week.
The boys wasted no time going straight for the pool, clothes and all.
They're like two peas in a pod (or a pool).
Dominic's turn.
Ahhh... ready for a week of rest and relaxation.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

24 hours, 5280 feet up

A co-worker and I took a quick overnight trip to the Mile-High City on Tuesday. This was the view from my hotel room, shortly after we arrived.

Then I was dressed, packed up and ready to go at 6 a.m. the next morning so I could first walk around downtown a little bit and explore. That's what led me to tweet,"Which is it  the older I get the more I become like my dad, or the more I just realize it?"

The Colorado state capitol. I remember being in it when I was 9.

Yellow yarrow.

All of these geometric shapes caught my eye.
Denver's city/county building.
It turned out to be the annual "Ride Your Bike To Work Day," and I happened upon a special bike/fitness fair. The free magnets this vendor was giving away cracked me up. (The one I chose reads, "BBQ! Yay!")
I remember tourning the Denver mint as a kid, too.
The unusual design of this new federal courthouse was really unique.
That's the front of the building, above, and this is the back side, below. I wasn't thinking that taking lots of pictures of all sides of a federal courthouse at 6:30 in the morning is frowned upon. And the security guards didn't really care that I was nicely dressed or that I explained I was simply in from out of town and admired the architecture. So, in order to keep the camera, I quickly left the premises.
Church steeple No. 2.
I was really impressed with all of their creative buildings.
The Denver Art Museum, above and below, is just part of the Civic Center Cultural Campus.
"Big Sweep" by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, the same artists who created the giant Shuttlecocks at Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's said to be inspired by the way the wind meets the mountains, but without someone standing next to it for perspective, you can't tell that it's 35 feet tall.
"The Yearling" outside the public library.
Steeple No. 3.
How many discounts do you think they give?
Steeples No. 4 and 5. From the sidewalk just across the street, it wasn't easy trying to position myself to get the height of the entire building in the shot.
All of the great architecture (only some of which I've included here) is even more impressive after seeing such a boring and bland office building as this.
We'll leave the light on for ya.
The Wells Fargo Building in daylight, from the outside looking in...
...and from the inside looking out. The city/county building, the mint and the federal courthouse are in the foreground.
Finally, an aerial view of steeples No. 4 and 5, from the 47th floor. Suffice it to say, there wasn't any trouble getting the whole building in the shot this time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

4th annual float t(r)ip

For the fourth year in a row, my fraternity brothers and I took our annual float trip the weekend after Father's Day. Here's what south-central Missouri looks like on a gorgeous summer day at 60 miles per hour.
We finally arrived at our destination — Bennett Springs State Park near Lebanon, Mo.
After setting up camp...
...James, Craig and I set off to explore our surroundings (with some refreshments, of course).

The Bennett Spring fish hatchery has been part of the Missouri State Park system since the 1920s..
Here fishy, fishy, fishy.

The hatchery stocks the river on a daily basis with approximately 350,000 to 420,000 rainbow trout annually...
...attracting roughly 800,000 anglers per year.
Saturday morning, while we were still dry.
I didn't take my camera on the water but, suffice it to say, we had a blast.