Serenity Springs, Penrose Apples, Motel Dun Rovin’

I forgot to post this one last week. I thought it was cute. It was really cold so we had a fire. More on the cold later.

A junky motel near our old house in junkytown. They tore down the motel and we’re hoping they don’t destroy the sign. Got some shots of it just in case.

We went apple picking in Penrose again this year. We went to this farm- Third Street Apples– two years ago so it may look familiar. The people who run it are super nice. The lady was afraid that the crazy freeze we had last week had ruined the apples that were still on the trees so she was selling them for .50 a pound- pick them yourself. She said we could taste them first, which we did and determined they were still delish- not ruined at all. So we bought like 5 pounds of them. I made apple crisp out of some of them and I might make a pie later this week if I have time. If you live nearby you should for sure go down there. Check their website for hours.

They also had chickens and this rooster who wouldn’t shut up. He’s cool looking, tho!

They also have a great pumpkin patch but we don’t need any pumpkins.

Couldn’t resist taking DMs picture with this crazy shaped one, tho.

We passed by an alpaca farm with the cuuuutest alpacas! I got out of the car to take their picture and they ran right over to me. They are super tame and totally adorable! As it turns out, the lady who owns it is the sister of the apple lady.

“You are one weird alpaca”

All my apples. I shined them up- there’s no wax or anything on them. I don’t think they’re organic but they’re about as fresh and local as you can get. Picked them myself!

That day we went to Coyote Coffee. DM wrote a post about that below. It was good. He had an Italian panini and I had a bowl of tortilla soup. We went there a couple weeks ago on our way to Phantom Canyon Road so I could get a coffee and it was so good and cute I wanted to go back.

We also went to Cy’s Drive In again. DM’s throat was sore cuz he has swine flu, so he wanted a milkshake. He has a review about it below, too.

Fall is definitely here (haha well, sorta). Everything is dead and full of leaves.

There was a nasty frost last week. It was actually an ice storm. We haven’t had an ice storm here since I’ve been here (we’re coming up on my fourth winter here) so I wasn’t really sure what it was all about or what was going on till it was too late. I brought my tomato plants under the covered porch and covered them with two layers of plastic which probably would have worked in normal cold conditions, but there was a freeze so they didn’t make it. Which bummed me out cuz they were doing so well!

The catnip made it, tho!

Not that I had a huge bounty of tomatoes or anything, but it would have been nice to actually be able to taste these.

I brought one of the plants in the house cuz it was small and fit on top of the fridge, so maybe I can get a few from it.

DM hung my shelves for me- the shelves are from a salvage place in Denver and the brackets are from the place we went to in Fort Worth last month. We hung one over the sink. This is lettuce, so we’ll see how it goes.

The rosemary isn’t doing so well.

The basil is dead and I have no idea why. The cat grass is doing great, of course. I even have a couple of cilantro sprouts.

This is a columbine plant that never flowered outside., In fact, none of them ever flowered but they’re still alive despite the frost. Interesting. We’ll see.

We hung the other shelf in front of the other window. This is basil, thyme, mint, dill, and oregano (volunteer oregano!).

This morning we worked on cleaning up some of the leaves, getting rid of the dead plants, and putting the pots away. Not very pretty but it’s not planting season. There are some plants that will live thru the winter but I’m going to LA for all of November and December. DM is coming with me for most of that time, too so there won’t be anyone to take care of them. I’ll just start my summer plants eariler next year!

Our apartment is decent sized- about 900 sq feet. But this room (the largest room in the house) is pretty much useless. The pool table is fun, but we hardly ever play it. I use it for laying out my samples, and outfits and stuff for my photo shoots, and as you can see, all the photo shoot stuff fits great underneath it. I just keep thinking there’s a better use for this space. I mostly posted this so I could think about it some more. Or maybe other people might have ideas. I don’t want to have to by a bunch of furniture for it and I don’t want to have to find a place for all the photo shoot stuff, tho!

Just a couple of random kitchen shots. I sure have managed to clutter it up!

It was 80 degrees yesterday so we went to see the Big Cats Of Serenity Springs aka The Serenity Springs Wildlife Center. You’re not allowed to post pictures or use them for commercial purposes, which I don’t think I’m doing here. I guess if I am they’ll let me know! Some of these were taken by DM and some by me. His came out way better than mine did.

Anyone who has a house cat will recognize this pose.

Cute huh?

El Taco Rey – C

Flow is important. Without any kind of flow, everything else suffers. At El Taco Rey downtown, there is no flow.

First of all, it’s too cramped. There’s not enough tables for this inexplicably popular restaurant. And if you’re lucky enough to get a table, you have to endure all the people standing around who didn’t get one.

Second, you need to put straws, silverware, napkins, etc., as far away from the ordering counter as possible. Otherwise, you have people bumping into each other getting what they need, and you end up with a bottleneck in the middle of the restaurant.

Now, I hear they’re expanding.  Good for them. I hope that solves their flow problem.

So what about the food? Good question. Thanks for asking. The food is OK. That’s it. It’s OK. There’s nothing amazing about El Taco Rey, in my opinion. It’s solid Mexican food served in a Styrofoam clamshell. Most of the meals look the same, flooded in their green sauce, which is tasty, but not exceptional.

The No. 1.

The No. 4.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat at El Taco Rey again, and I don’t have any major complaints (except for the flow thing). But coming from Phoenix, where these little Mexican taco shops are on every corner, I’m pleased, but not impressed. El Taco Rey gets a C.

Coyote’s Coffee Den in Penrose

I’ve never understood the panini. Some people seem to enjoy them a great deal, and stores sell home panini-making grills (which look suspiciously like George Foreman grills). And every restaurant and cafe offers them. So apparently, the panini is a popular thing. The panini is like a regular sandwich, but pressed hard and flat. Because hard and flat is somehow attractive for food.

Anyway, I ordered one at Coyote’s Coffee Den in Penrose, where my girlfriend dragged me even though I was still suffering from The Plague. If I don’t understand the panini, you might wonder why I ordered one. Good question. Thanks for asking. I ordered the panini because I was confused by the many options. There were items in a glass case for sale, a menu behind the counter, and a menu on a specials board by the counter. There were at least four menus. I was confused and dizzy. I ordered in haste. But that’s OK because I like to give things a chance.

Turns out the panini was tasty. Not my favorite, because like I said earlier, hard and flat isn’t my idea of gourmet dining. But if hard and flat is your thing, this panini was delish. I ordered the Classic Italian. The ladyfriend had the tortilla soup, with cornbread, which she said was tasty as well.

The dining room.

Tortilla soup, with cornbread muffins.

The hard and flat Classic Italian panini. The potato salad was amazing, by the way.

So overall, I give the place a B+. Good food, good atmosphere. Decent prices. The two of us dined for about $12, not including tip.

Cold and flu season

It all started with a painful and terrifying swollen uvula. Seriously. I didn’t even think men had these. But they do. And they get swollen from time to time, indicating that there is probably some kind of infection. Like the flu.

I won’t bore you with all the details of my flu, like how many hours I slept or how many boxes of tissues I used. Point is, after five days of misery, I deserved a treat.

So we toodled on over to Cy’s Drive In for a cheeseburger and shake. It was an excellent decision.

The No. 1, which is a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. Nothing fancy.

A raspberry shake. Delicious.

The dining room. You can also park outside and take advantage of their carhop service, but that seems strange to me for some reason, and I didn’t want to bother them with coming outside.

Of course it wasn’t all good. I have a couple of complaints:

  • Ketchup. The ketchup is junky. Some gross, off-brand ketchup that has sat out far too long.

I guess that’s it. One complaint, not a couple.

Phantom Canyon Road, Phantom Canyon Brewery, Home Cookin’, and Lots of Drinks

As you probably know, the weather in Colorado is crazy. It’s been in the 70’s for awhile and today it’s 27 degrees. Supposed to be in the low 70s again next week for a day or two, so we’ll see. Having a hard time getting my summer list done with this flakey weather! Anyhow, lots of pics behind the cut, including one that is not work safe.

The trees are changing color so we went up some elevation a couple weeks ago to Phantom Canyon Road. They’re changing down here now and are really pretty. I’ll get some shots if they’re still doing their thing when the weather gets nicer.

A mama cow on the side of the road (random!)

And her baby on the other side. Cuuuuuuute. I love baby cows.

Victor, Colorado is an old mining town that’s all decrepit and falling down, I think this building is for sale for like $40,000.

This one is also for sale but it’s like $200,000.

My old elementary school pal lives in Castle Rock now, which is about 30 minutes north of here so she came down and we went for drinks at Metropolitain the other night.

Homemade pasta fritatta. I made it up myself, too and it was tasty!

Wednesday night we went to see Lyle Lovett here in town. It was pretty warm so we walked. I had to take the jacket off when walking there and back cuz I was actually too warm!
We went to Phantom Canyon for dinner first, then to MacKenzies for drinks, then on to the show, which was really entertaining.

I was in LA last weekend and we went to a really good Italian place- Amici in The Americana At Brand in Glendale-  and I’ve been wanting to try and copy their spaghetti with red sauce, so I did last night. I think it was pretty darn close.

DM’s mom came over cuz she was in the neighborhood and wasn’t going to stay long. But we got her drunk so she hung out awhile and we LOLed at a bunch of stupid drunk person things. Then I paid for it with a splitting headache all night that I thought I was going to have to go to the ER for. I’ve been getting really horrible horrible headaches lately for all kinds of reasons: drinking, weather, flying, restaurant food. Sheesh. It’s super annoying.