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Fun in COS

24/07/2008

No, you don’t have to go to Denver to “chill out”. There is plenty of fun to be had in this city.

On Sunday, I was downtown with Summer, David, and Sim, when we got to talking about spending vs. being thrifty about hair, clothes, etc. We went to Idoru downtown, where I shopped for expensive jeans. Alas, no jeans there were perfect, but this only prepared me for an amazing experience at Gloss, a denim bar up north at Briargate. I went Monday with Ford and Angela, who could bear to spend less than half an hour in this wondrous store, for unknown reasons (probably relating to money?). You know it’s a denim *bar* as opposed to just a *store* when there is a mirrored stage, and they offer you a beverage (like salons do) while shopping. A dozen plus pairs of jeans later, the girl working there and I, using mad teamwork, had narrowed it down to two pairs too good to turn down. What a great inaugural designer jeans experience.

Last night, between the point at which I came home, realized Ford was asleep, and followed suit shortly after (i.e. at midnight), I had some sort of craving for bubble tea and translating. Unfortunately, 11pm was not the time to indulge this craving, so I waited patiently for tonight. I did my research and ended up downtown at the Coffee & Tea Zone (new favorite place). I couldn’t help drinking a large portion of my green tea bubble tea before taking this picture… so good…

Hung out there for a while and translated manga. It was glorious. A group of teenagers came in ~9pm, and were very loud and obnoxious. One of the kids in the group kept saying, “I’ve never had tea!!” Ummm….how can you never have had tea?!? He didn’t mean he’d never had *bubble* tea, just ANY KIND OF TEA. ?????? Weeeeird.

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know, if you thought you were stuck mountain biking, rock climbing, or hiking in this town, there is still hope. You can spend ridiculous amounts of money on pants and consume delicious beverages as a healthy alternative!

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dunes by moonlight

19/07/2008

For the past day (5pm Friday – 5pm Saturday), I was able to explore some awesome Colorado things, thanks to the suggestion of David and the cooperation of Dale (I had to be picky about no difficult hikes, etc.) Anyway, Angela, Casey, Dale and I departed, dropped off a raft in the happening metropolis of Fort Garland, ate dinner at a place that seemed to be flustered that there were more than 2 tables full… and caught this sunset:

By nightfall we made it to the sand dunes, and found an unoccupied campsite. After setting up camp, we went out to the dunes — miles and miles of sand. Pretend you are looking at mountains. Except no, they’re now made of sand. That’s what it was like and it was AWESOME. We saw the moon rise, and by moonlight we hiked the sand, the four of us literally the only people out.

We didn’t make it quite to the summit dune, but got to the top of a fairly tall one (certainly 500+ feet) by walking on ridges mostly, and Casey+Dale doing a lot of waiting for me to catch up. Everything was all lit up by the moon, great shadows, but unfortunately no pictures — please just add this to your to-do list: sand dunes, full moon, midnight. We didn’t have any sleds or cardboard to sled down the sand either, so once we topped out, we just ran down the steep slope, essentially tumbling down. Dale and Casey had run down to Angela and from where I was standing, they were tiny specks. Then, I ran down to them, and they ran down again until they were tiny specks. This repeated again, at which point we were finally down to the dune foothills. I couldn’t even believe how far we had climbed up, based on how long running down took. Crazy. Definitely the coolest thing I have seen in Colorado so far.

This morning, we went out again to the dunes, but not to hike them (way too hot+sunny+crowded). Instead we played in the river that is created by melting snow off the nearby mountains:

Sand dunes, you can see the people hiking up:

Diverting the course of the river. Curiously, this also diverted the course of the tourists, who wanted to be in the water.

Dam[n] maintenance!

Next we saw the nearby Zapata falls. Seeing the actual falls would have required more climbing on wet rock than I was prepared for, so my photos are a little insufficient. Sorry.

Shoes of my companions, walking through to see the falls.

The last place we visited was Bishop Castle, which is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. So basically this dude decided to build a castle all by himself, and all he does is build it and have tons of tourists showing up.

View from one of the towers:

The signs say “enter at your own risk” for a reason… don’t fall down.

Also, since it’s all unfinished, you get random ladders hanging off stuff, bridges that drop off:

It was crowded:

Seriously dude, wtf.

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feisty

17/07/2008

Tuesday night, Panida and I ventured north to Denver in order to see what turned out to be quite an excellent Feist concert.

The venue — mid-sized, not too crowded. Ate a very salty pretzel here… yum.

Leslie Feist has a great voice. The set list was mainly from her most recent album, The Reminder. The concert t-shirt I bought matches the opening of the show, which looked like this:

Most songs live were done in a fairly similar way to the album versions, with the exception of a rather extended and excellent rendition of 1234.

It was interesting to hear her talk about her music, which she did almost as much as make jokes about being Canadian… I feel like most songs are about love changing as you grow up. However, based on her comments, her life (and all of ours) are movies, and she is writing the soundtrack. For example, she told a story: you are tearing it up on the dance floor as My Moon My Man is playing. Following that, the guy you’re dancing with takes you up on the roof. As you’re walking up, “The Limit to Your Love” is playing. There was a third song for when, six months later, you still haven’t told the guy how you feel about him, *really*.

Anyway, total sweetness. Ben Folds style forced-audience-harmonization was also involved. Here’s some of My Moon My Man:

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