Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Wrap Up

It's been a bit of a blur since coming back from Miami. Miami seems so very long ago. Sigh.

Our town tends to get very busy during the summer months. Every weekend is filled with multiple events and festivals.

 We had our annual Bohemian Nights New West Fest, which is basically a big party for the town. It's actually quite impressive. Hundreds of bands, mostly Colorado grown, with the exception of the National Headliners on Saturday and Sunday Nights, food booths galore, beer - well that's a no brainer - carnival and rides (better than our county fair), and all this in our downtown area. You can basically wander around to different stages all day listening to a multifarious, mostly great music from folk and country, alternative and rock, to latin and hip hop

 One of my favorites this year was Air Dubai. They had a Reggae hip-hop sound, and our normally quiet Old Town square was packed tight with people of all ages getting into the head boppin groove.
Take a listen. Air Dubai Fort Collins

We also went to the rodeo at our local county fair (I'll share the fair stories with you at some point - the total Chicken Coops part of my life here)
This is Cowboy Jack singing the National Anthem. That's what I named him. His name is Jack. We met him at our favorite establishment here - Ace Gilletts If you've browsed here before you know this place - cool, dark, underground, cocktails that can't be duplicated  - and you know I've been around ( Oh c'mon you know what I mean. Tune in Friday for a summer Happy Hour tour) So Jack and his cowboy friend Mark come in one night. TOTAL cowboys. In an underground speakeasy jazz kind of place right? And they order Coors Lights. Well you know that caught my attention. We bought them drinks because - how could we not?  So fast forward - Jack makes an appearance most Friday nights - orders a non alcoholic drink, checks out the young girls - uh huh...then comes and talks to us. And on those special occasions, I talk him in to dancing with me. Ok. This is a jazz bar, no? Not country music, not polka...jazz. So we dance. And he complains. And jazz numbers are really long. So we both complain. Then he says it's too loud. It's just a bunch of noise he says,  and then says he has to go home and put his horses to bed. Yup. That's our routine. I love this town.

  I like sitting by the shoots at the rodeo because I'm always fascinated by what's going on behind the scenes. Loading up the bulls and broncs, and watching the cowboys get prepared for their game. I just admire athletes in general who are focused and disciplined and doing what they love and are good at. (Well I did fall in love with a baseball player at the top of his game! ;) )

Getting ready

I'm surprised any of these guys can walk after this

Then there's the bull riding

 And the rodeo clowns. These guys are either very brave or very crazy. They're always right there to distract the bulls and protect the riders when they are thrown - which happens pretty much every time, but to tease a bull - on purpose? It wouldn't be my idea of fun.  I love the rodeo. It's just so...American pioneerish? Country? Cool? Sexy?

Speaking of Athletes, one of our weekends was completely taken over by the USA Pro Challenge. Fort Collins was the finish for the 115 mile, stage 6 part of the cycling race that wound it's way through Colorado this year in 7 stages in as many days. Covering 573 miles where many of the starting and finish  lines were higher in elevation than the tour de France, it was a rigorous, challenging, spectacularly beautiful state wide race. Now I don't normally follow cycling, but this was a really special, really amazing event. And again, watching anyone at the top of their game is impressive to me. 

 We ate at one of our steak and beer hangouts downtown and watched the majority of the race on the big screens. We knew the route and anticipated when they would be headed to the finish line just outside. Well we under- anticipated. Damn these guys fly! They were still out of town up by the local reservoir when I had to walk outside to get a front row view - where the tv camera was. Much of the crowd was by the finish line up the street where you couldn't actually see the finish line. I wanted to hang out - well behind the scenes again - where all the photographers were.

You could pretty much tell when the cyclists were approaching when all the photo journalists looked like this.
Of course the caravan showed up first - all the race and team directors, etc. then the motorcycle photo journalists...

This is what the finish line looked like, with Peter Sagan in the green from Slovakia winning, Luka Mezgec in the white from Slovenia coming in second, and Greg Van Avermaet in red from Belgium at third.

Peter Sagan winner of stage 6 from Slovakia. I know it's blurry but hey he's one of the fastest sprinters in the world - even after passing the finish line!

Here he is sitting still. Signing autographs. After riding a 115 mile bike race which included some pretty good climbs into the mountains. Well it's not just about the sport is it. Did I tell you how many booths there were with swag and jerseys and bikes and bike parts? Ka ching!

  2nd place Luka Mezgec  from Croatia  (Woot woot! Ok I'm -well American - of course - but my family and ancestors are from Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia - just call me Jovani like my Mom used to in certain situations)

3rd place Greg Van Avermaet Belgium

Bruno Pires Portugal  (and my favorite French cafe in the background)

Fabio Calabrio Aus.

 More riders
 Janier Acevedo Columbia - don't quote me on this one

Phil Gaimon from USA

Lawrence Warbasse from USA. What I find fascinating when observing sports now, such as football, baseball, soccer (International futbol), swimming, gymnastics, cycling, even the rodeo riders, is the similarity of body types in the specific sports. You know how all swimmers have the huge shoulders and chests and taper down from there, football player have a similar muscular makeup, etc. Seeing these bicyclists up close they seriously all looked alike in body type. Shockingly thin, all muscle, about 5 percent body fat, it's all about the power to weight ratio. It's amazing how you can shape bodies with targeted  exercise and what each sport's required strengths are. But I digress.

 The overall winner of the Pro Challenge Tejay Van Garderen from USA (Went to high school here in Fort Collins) yay! (He's the one in the yellow overall winner's jersey)

Now you're privy in case someone asks - you never know!

August was also filled with more trips, family, food, and reaquainting ourselves with the quieter side of our town.

Four days after decompressing from Miami, my daughter and I drove up to the mountains to stay for a week with my Mother and brother who were in Crested Butte for a month. From sea level  to 9,375 feet in altitude in a week - not conducive to energy driven tasks of any kind

I'm biased but of all the places in Colorado this is my favorite and I think, the most spectacular. I have history here though. A lot. I'll take you on a walk next time.

 Revisiting our Sunday morning French cafe for breakfast (and allowing ourselves a little self indulgence since we are post Miami Beach - had brioche french toast - oh my). The gentleman on the right has been serenading breakfasters with French music on the accordian on Sundays, and on this particular morning was sharing wisdom with a youtube self-taught youngster. Modern technology mixing nicely with hands on wisdom from the experienced. A beautiful moment.

 We have this ongoing summer treat in town called Streetmosphere. Every Friday thru Sunday in designated spots throughout downtown there are random performers. Music, dance, magic, acting...
We like to celebrate and promote arts and culture here - and beer - and bikes - don't forget the bikes. Although I did pass up our annual Tour de Fat bike race last week. By this time of the year I'm pretty much worn out on crowds and festivals, so I opted out of dressing in a wig and tutu and joining 25,000 others to ride bikes and drink beer. I have my limits.

 Every week or so my husband and I discuss selling our two and a half acres and all the work and animals involved and moving in to town. Where we can downsize, and walk to our favorite places. And hop on a bike instead of getting in a car. Did I just say that?? But then, ironically, I pass one of our little unmade up alleys in town and find this empty, vintage building and think of the old brick underneath and the hardwood floors and the potential!!  "And oh we could turn it into a little restaurant that's only opened on the weekends - or only on holidays like Holiday Inn! And we could serve homemade smoked sausage and all the traditional Ethnic foods of my ancestors - and have polka music! And local beer, because, duh! (And a full cocktail bar - for me, of course) and and and is there enough room for a bed and breakfast do you think??" Oh and wait it gets better...

I found the perfect truck to go with it. Because I've always wanted a vintage red truck

Isn't it perfect! It's so me.

Yeah 'cause that wouldn't be a lot of work.

So that's the August roundup. I'm glad to be done with travelling for awhile. I'm ready to stay put and find my rhythm again. And be productive. Speaking of - gotta go sew.

Love this song!!! Here's to home - whatever and wherever that is for you, and confusion, and demons, and conquering them. And to the end of Summer.

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