Sunday, May 6, 2012

On seeing red, the Great Divide, & the proper way to select a petty cab driver

I had two of my best friends visiting from Wisconsin this weekend. I love having people in from out of town, but I knew it was going to be a weekend of drinking, eating, and being merry, and I had a couple of commissioned pieces to work on and a piece for a juried exhibition that needed to be completed before the weekend. Nothing like a deadline to create a healthy panic, I always say.

 Laying down the foundation for this piece on our balcony, enjoying
a glass of wine and the Denver skyline at sunset.

I started this piece on Tuesday evening, and finished it up Wednesday morning at 7AM before I headed off to work. It's for the "Red" juried show at Tenn St. Art; all works must be 50% or more in shades of you guessed it-- red.

"Brick" - Sofia, Bulgaria; Acrylic on canvas 2012;
22" x 30"

Here it is, finished up. I worked from a photograph I took while in Sofia, Bulgaria, a couple of years ago. Piece submitted and I'll hear next week if it was accepted. Check that off of my "to do" list.

The ladies arrived on Thursday afternoon and were leaving Sunday, so we had only a few short days to fit in the ultimate Denver experience. My friend Jamie has visited me twice in Denver so far, but it was Jesse's first time in the mile-high city, and I wanted to make sure she had a fantastic time and would want to return in the near future. Therefore, it was necessary to set up a very strong foundation of fun for this first Denver trip. As the kind of person who likes to remain extremely organized, I felt that the first step in "fun" was creating a very detailed itinerary to maximize the most of our time. Some people may disagree on this approach, and that is also fine.

I work downtown on the 16th St. Mall, which affords me excellent people-watching on a daily basis, and also some of the best street dogs in the world. Biker Jim's is an excellent 'dog stand that parks its temporary shop a short jaunt from my office door, and I've had many pleasant experiences there thus far. Some days I just can't stand my sad little sack lunch of a turkey sandwich and string cheese. I've heard word on the street that Biker Jim's has an actual brick and mortar restaurant, as well, and I was barking to try it out. So we did.

Rattlesnake/pheasant dog, mac 'n cheese bites, and an Oscar
Blue's beer. Dammit, that's good.

 Biker Jim's is know for it's adventurous hot dog combinations. I usually go with the elk jalapeno, but this time I decided to really spice it up with the rattlesnake and pheasant dog. I also added a side of fried mac 'n cheese bites, and a Mama's Lil Yella Pills to top it off. Biker Jim's is at 2148 Larimer St., if you're wondering. I highly recommend it for fellow 'dog lovers.

We were disgustingly full, and I didn't even finish my entire meal, so I was pretty disappointed in myself. We then headed a few blocks down to the Great Divide brewery, to show the ladies a bit about the brewing process, and prove to them how amazing Colorado beer really is.

Oh, the possibilities!

I've tried my fair share of Great Divide beers, but had never been to the brewery before. I will say that the tour was a bit disappointing, as the brewery tours I've partaken in before have provided both a wealth of information, and generous portions of beer samples. This one was only about 10 minutes long, and there weren't any samples... but we were allowed to take our beers with us. The BEST thing is that G.D. does 3-beer flights for only 3 bucks, so you can try a taste of any (and every) beer available, if you've got the time and the tolerance. My new favorite Great Divide beer has to be "Collette" or "Hoss".

 Jamie enjoys a G.D. Wild Raspberry Ale on this fine 
Denver afternoon. 

 I will have six, please.

Somehow the afternoon and the evening got away from us, mostly to blame on the beer and the good company. Before we knew it, it was time to head home, and none of us wanted to take on the nearly 2-mile walk back to my apartment in Capitol Hill. Therefore, we decided that the best idea would be to hail a petty cab. I'm not sure how this came to fruition, as petty cab is neither the fastest nor most cost-effective method of transportation. The ride back to Cap Hill is completely uphill from downtown, so we knew we would require a petty cab driver with strong thighs and a steel heart valve. We set about the task of selecting the best cabby for the job, and eventually settled on one that we deemed to have what Jamie called "grade A loins".

We were very pleased with our choice of Declan as our petty cab driver. 
He was worth every penny.

Here he is, in all of his glory. His name was Declan, and he was a fine choice. I give him total props for biking two miles uphill, while pulling a cart with three girls that had just gorged themselves on Mellow Mushroom 'za. We were certainly not at our lightest after a day of drinking beers and stuffing our faces.

We cruised down 16th St. Mall with the wind in our hair.

The rest of the weekend was filled with hiking, more eating, more drinking, and two rattlesnake experiences, but I won't bore you with the gory details.

 Hiking up South Table Mountain to the mesa above Golden, CO, is the best way to work off a hangover.

It was an amazing weekend with two of my best friends, and I truly valued our q-time together, and also want to thank them for opening my eyes to new methods of transportation. I've been rather depressed all afternoon that the weekend is already over and I have to return to real life tomorrow.

 Horse butt! Rooster butt! Pig butt! 
Bull butt! Cow butt! Sheep butt!

I also thank them for the best gift any girl could ask for-- farm animal butt magnets. Nothing like a bull butt to hold up the wedding announcements, grocery lists and coupons on your refrigerator.

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