Posts Tagged ‘ Denver ’

Things to do in Denver When your DEAD (from the August heat)

It’s been pretty warm lately, which has us at z diving for air conditioned pastures. But just because it’s hot, doesn’t mean there aren’t some COOL things to check out before summer is officially over in a month or so. Her’s what we’ve been up to at z…

Starlite, starbright, a true overnight stay delight!

Earlier this summer, the z|staff took a long vintage weekend in Canon City, to visit the famed Starlite Campground and RV park. Sounds pretty trailer trashy, huh? Well, if those trailers are restored and original vintage specimens, and themed to boot, then we love to be trailer trash! The Starlite is owned by a husband and wife team who eat, drink, and breathe vintage, and in their copious amounts of free time the renovate vintage trailers on the side. The park has a campy charm (ha ha) and is very family friendly, and once you’ve spent a day or so, you feel like family! They go over the top to make your stay super pleasant, and make sure that their visitors have peace and privacy in the park. Each of the vintage trailers has a picnic bench, chairs, a fire pit, and a charcoaler in addition to stoves, fridges, etc in the trailers (options vary per trailer based on year). The Starlite is perfectly set for a group stay for a family vacation, where you can still stay together but get some much needed alone time. And if you need a wedding plan, they do that too! Larry the owner is an ORdained Minister, so your wedding party can stay at the campground, then you can tie the knot on the Royal Gorge Bridge (talk about taking a leap!) The bridge is closed right now due to the fire, but things are looking good for a 2014 reopening. Oh, and they have regular RV hookups and parking as well, so if the grandparents want to come out in the motor home, everyone is a winner!

So if you are sick of the same old vacation, take a trip to the Starlite and indulge in a great past-time! visit them at

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CATALYST: Colorado sculpture at the Denver Botanic Gardens

In the spring, we got tickets to hear art experts Michael Paglia and Mary Chandler discuss the sculpture works at CATALYST at the Botanic Gardens. Michael’s event we attended, Mary’s was rained out in those crazy July storms we had. But even if you don’t have the opportunity to hear what the experts say, you should DEFINITELY head over to the Gardens and check out this installation! Most works are “larger than life”, and many incorporate water elements, multiple viewing angles or multiple pieces (think triptychs), and works you can “get into” to experience the world from the inside out. The pieces span the entirety of the gardens, so it’s like getting two shows in one. Perfect for a romantic date or a way to get the kids out of the house.

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Zoppe Family Circus

Lastly but by far not the least, be sure to check out the Zoppé Italian Family Circus for the last few days they are here in Denver. Zoppé (pronounced Zoh Pay) comes to Denver each year for the Carnation Festival in Wheat Ridge, and is the BEST circus performance you will ever see. It’s not big, it’s not glamorous, it’s not Cirque de Sole (they are proud of that, by the way!) What it IS… very much audience inclusive especially with kids, intimate, loving toward animals (no exotic stuff here, just some rescue dogs doing great tricks, Belgian horses and a Shetland pony), bonded by family, and truly talented performers. When you come to the Zoppé tent, you are welcomed into their home, and you feel it. They truly care about giving a fantastic performance and love what they do…smiles all around. The performers care for the animals, set up and tear down the tent, and travel in mobile homes which they stay in on site to make sure the animals are safe. You will laugh until your ribs hurt at the antics of Niño the clown, who shows you what a REAL clown should be like (not a bumbling baffoon in stupid makeup).

The show is only in town through this Sunday, so be sure to get over and experience what a family circus is, and you’ll never go back to those cold, commercial lightshows again.

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Veni, Vidi, Da Vinci

For those of you a little bit lax on your Latin…that would be “I came, I saw, Da Vinci”. And as far as cheap cool things to do in Denver are concerned, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to get your brainmatter going and be entertained.

As we’ve mentioned before (and preached, and chanted off rooftops, and considered painting on the side of our showroom) great design comes in many forms, and merges seamlessly with other forms of great design no matter the topic or era. If great design had a Godfather, it would be Leonardo Da Vinci. A true unmatched genius of his time (and perhaps of all time), Da Vinci sought out the mysteries of design and function like no other. He lived, breathed, and produced design in every aspect of his life, and made it possible for the world to learn it and apply it through his innovations and drawings.
Many know of Da Vinci for his incredible art, and some may even have studied his contributions to machinery and application of physics principles, but few realize his great contribution to medicine and the study of the human body. Everyone knows the following image for Grey’s Anatomy, but you should know it as “Opus of the Godfather of Design”.

This is Design, not a TV Series

The Da Vinci Machines Exhibit runs through September of 2012 at the Pavilions off the 16th street mall, and costs $15 for adults, $9 for kids, or save a couple bucks and get the family pack (up to 5 people) for $40. This educational, interactive exhibit has something for everyone, and with many hands-on displays to illustrate the functionality of Da Vinci’s designs, it’s great for kids young and old. Double thanks to my buddy Adam for scoring us cheap tix through Living Social, and maiking sure I didn’t miss this awesome display.
Visit today to plan your visit, or stop by on the fly. You need to leave about two hours of time to truly take in the full exhibit, and make sure to watch the video on Da Vinci’s life playing at the back of the display. It is both entertaining and educational. We did not follow the tour guides, but catching a bit of their spiel you may want to take the tour!
Great design comes in many forms, and if you truly love design, Vado, Visum, Da Vinci! (Go, view, Da Vinci!)

PS. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a street performer who weasels his way out of straight jackets! Watch the slideshow for a glimpse of some silly street entertainment after the Da Vinci pics!
If you have really sharp eyes, see if you can spot the typo in one of the exhibit texts! It’s a doozy!

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TAG, you’re IT!!!


I admit it, I am a sucker for a good deal. I get notifications from Groupon, Living Social, Google, etc, and more often than not, I don’t snag the offers. Most of the coupons are for places way far away, for activities I am not interested in (please please PLEASE stop sending me yoga coupons!) or for items I don’t need. Since Rando is quite the cook, eating out isn’t high on my agenda either, though after reading the menu for TAG RAW BAR in Larimer Square, I broke down and got not just one Living Social coupon, but a second one as a birthday gift for a friend.

Due to timing, schedules, and the like, I just couldn’t get the schedule right for a few of us to meet up at TAG. Once we did all agree we could go, unfortunately, it was a Monday and TAG was closed, so we had to find another option (gee darn, we ended up at Sushi Den, the horror, the horror *Note: insert massive sarcasm here*). With only a few days left to use my coupon, I snagged my sister and we decided to go on a Saturday afternoon. But again, I blew the timing and they were closed. So we tried once more that Saturday night, but with nearly an hour wait for a table, that wasn’t going to work either.

This was now a serious game of TAG, and I was it, and getting nowhere.

Extremely frustrated at this point, but now determined to use my coupon and find out if this place is worth 4 attempts, my sis and I rescheduled and met up last night at TAG. Though it was much more subdued than our Saturday night visit, the place was still quite busy, and a good portion of the customers were regulars. We picked out a couple of stools at the bar, which is pretty much their full kitchen. If there was one word to describe their outfit, it would be EFFICIENT!! These guys have it DOWN. Everything is within reach, with a good amount of working space for such a small kitchen, and very neat and tidy. It was an extra treat to be able to watch them prepare the meals not just for us, but the other customers as well.

My sister developed an allergy to soy in the past few years, which has made it more difficult to go places and enjoy sushi, Asian, and the like. While perusing the menu, we were again having a hard time finding her something to enjoy that didn’t have soy in it. Shaun (one of the main chefs at TAG) overheard us discussing what to do, and immediately offered to substitute ingredients for the soy, or just leave the soy out so she could enjoy much of the menu. Being an oyster nut myself, I had to try a couple of their oysters on the half shell, which were delectable with a light islandy salsa as a garnish. Sis and I ended up splitting a SAKE 2ME roll and a CALFORNIA-CATION roll, both of which were refreshingly unique. The Cali roll was probably the best I have ever had, and that means it even trumped the amazing sushi Randy & I shared in SF. It wasn’t loaded down with tons of mayo, sauce, etc, the crab was über fresh, and the rice was perfect. There was a hint of some citrus and fruityness to the roll which made it seem more summery than heavy. The Sake roll was also full of flavor and surprises, layered with salmon over shiso, cucumber, and avocado. (They left out the miso so sis wouldn’t have an allergic reaction) As an appetizer, we were served thick pieces of seaweed, fried in a sesame oil with garnish until they were crispy like crackers, and a variation of caramelized popcorn…which wasn’t popcorn and only resembled carmel in color, for it had just a hint of sweet without being overpowering. I could have eaten that by the basket!

Gerard, their cocktail magician, was terribly disappointed that he couldn’t perform his libation magic show for us, because we both needed to drive home. But man o man, were the cocktails beautiful! An, I am sure, VERY VERY TASTY!! The Seasonal Mojito with lychee juice, pomegranate, lime and rhubarb dry soda was AMAZING to look at, and fun to watch him make!

During the course of our meal, the guys were a treat to interact with. You can tell they are serious about their food, but they were also very entertaining and full of wit and banter, making it difficult to choose between laughing and eating! We were so impressed with our selections, we also tried the cucumber salad, which again was so full of flavor for such a simple dish, I am not sure how they did it!

I didn’t get any pictures to show you, which was a travesty on my part, because the presentation of all the items was impressive as well. We felt as though we were being served edible art, it was almost a shame to eat it, but IT IS OH SO GOOD!!!!

So, if you are looking to get filled up without filling out, and you want to have a great meal without breaking the bank, TAG is the place! There are oodles of options in the 16th Street Mall and by Writer’s & Larimer Square, but this one will leave you smiling all around! Coupon or not, I’ll be back!

I almost forgot…they are expanding, so soon they’ll have 34 more seats to offer, too!


1423 Larimer Street | Suite 010 | 303.996.2685