On Ultimate Dinosaurs at DMNS

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has an exhibit on Ultimate Dinosaurs (that is, newer dinosaurs unearthed in recent years) that’s actually ending in a few days – Monday is the final day – and we had been delaying forever on going. So, on January 4, we finally went.

dmns
Entrance.

We all know the usual suspects – Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, our personal favorite T. rex – but this exhibit had other, lesser-known dinosaurs (as mentioned above, because they’re fairly new discoveries). Pretty cool to learn about.

dmns3
Three smaller new ones. They also had the fossils/casts of the fossils.

dmns6
Husband and dinosaur.

dmns8
Nigersaurus head. It has a funny mouth.

dmns9
Love the fin-type spines on this one.

dmns10
This leg bone is a lot taller than I.

dmns12
Our three dinosaurs got in on the diorama action.

dmns13
Gigantosaurus, a theropod relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

dmns14
SO COOL.

If you’re in Denver and like dinosaurs (and need something to do this weekend), check it out!

Advertisements

Fall Activities 2017

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before, but fall is probably my favorite season. Sweaters and baking and the weather and THE SMELL (seriously, fall smells awesome). I love it.

I also love all of the harvest festivals and autumnal activities that are included … and particularly in October. I was a bit busy this month – I did some of the following with B, but a lot by myself, too.

Littleton Harvest Festival

Every year, the town of Littleton puts on a free harvest festival at the Littleton Museum (which also has an old-timey farm). In past years, we’ve enjoyed pie and fresh pressed apple cider and delicious roast pig. Lately, though … it’s gotten more and more disappointing. I honestly don’t think I’ll even bother with it next year.

lhf
Turkey on the farm.

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Pumpkin Festival

While the Pumpkin Festival is only one weekend, DBG Chatfield Farms has other fall-related events throughout most of September and October – corn maze, haunted corn maze, a pumpkin hauling race. We were only interested in the straight up festival. We didn’t buy a pumpkin, but we enjoyed wandering around.

dbg_chat_pf
The story behind the “haunted” maze.

dbg_chat_pf3
Us.

dbg_chat_pf5
Photo op hay bales.

Dinos at the Denver Zoo

Okay, so this isn’t a yearly thing, but the Denver Zoo has had a dinosaur exhibit all summer that ends today, actually. In October, however, they made it into a “Dinos after Dark” thing that we didn’t go to, but all the decor was still up when we went in the morning a few weeks ago. For the purposes of this post, I’m mostly sharing the fall/Halloween-related stuff, but the actual animatronic dinosaurs were pretty dang awesome.

zoo4
Baby T. rex egg. True story – they sell this at Home Depot. We bought one for the house.

zoo7
It’s the Headless Horseman … oh … wait …

zoo10
Pumpkin triceratops.

zoo13
T. rex. Our buddy.

zoo15
Photo op dinosaur.

zoo25
Pumpkin T. rex.

Rock Creek Farm

We’ve gone to Rock Creek Farm in the past as it’s one of the best u-pick-pumpkin patches around … but three of the four pumpkins we bought (on the 20th that have been sitting in our garage) have started rotting. Not helpful if we want to carve all of them! Usually I would recommend this place, and maybe I still would, but maybe not for pumpkins.

rcf2
But aren’t the kidlets cute with their baby pumpkin?

Denver Botanic Gardens Glow at the Gardens

I was lucky with weather for pretty much all of these events, so I’m not terribly surprised that I ran into snow on the final one (it is Colorado, after all). The Denver Botanic Gardens did a Halloween-themed event this year and I really wanted to go … so I went on my own. Chunks of it are staying up for another few days as there is some Dia de los Muertos stuff as well. This, despite the snow and cold, was actually really enjoyable.

gatg4
I did the earlier of the two entry times … mostly for parking and traffic, but also for more crowd-avoidance. Problem was, sun hadn’t gone down yet.

gatg7
Pumpkin horse.

gatg11
The Chihuly got photobombed.

gatg13
Entrance display.

gatg16
Part of the Dia de los Muertos altar.

gatg20
My favorite of the many Dia de los Muertos sculptures.

gatg21
This would have been better if it hadn’t been so damn cold.

Boston 2016, Day One

Okay, technically Day Two as we got in super late on the first day, but we’ll call it Day One as it was our first full day in Beantown.

April 14th, we woke up at our Holiday Inn Express down by TD Banknorth Garden, ate pancakes from the awesome pancake machine, grabbed coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, ensured we had a late checkout, and headed over to the Museum of Science. Not your typical tourist destination, I get it, but it was FREE with our DMNS membership. We’ve talked about this reciprocity. It’s awesome.

Outside was our first taste of the Marathon, and a dinosaur.
4-14mos

4-14mos4
The evolution on how people have thought T. rexes to have stood/walked.

4-14mos6
We built our own fish.

4-14mos8
Because who doesn’t remember/like playing with these?

4-14mos10
In a space capsule!

4-14mos14
Second T. rex with a bib.

4-14mos15
Our own baby T. rexes in a T. rex footprint.

4-14city
Street art just outside the MoS.

After the Museum, we headed off to our actual hotel, the Holiday Inn Brookline, to check in. We dumped our stuff and headed back downtown to meet our friend Lindsey for lunch. Lindsey works for adidas and was in town to work the Marathon expo. Lunch, as you might remember from my food series, was at Union Oyster House.

4-14union2
Brandon trying oysters.

4-14union3
Hey, trick lobster! It can hold stuff!

4-14union4
Me: Presenting, lobster.
Lobster: Presenting, human.
(The guys were very impressed with how much the lobster liked me. I am the lobster whisperer. It’s a thing.)

4-14union6
Trying oysters.

4-14union7
Lindsey getting on the oyster bandwagon.

After lunch, we dropped Lindsey back off at her hotel in Copley, randomly ran into our friend Nic (who, to be more accurate, literally almost ran into us; she also works for adidas), and checked out the Boston Public Library.

4-14bpl2
The lights outside the BPL are the best.

4-14bpl3
I am a sucker for spiral staircases.

4-14bpl4
The main hall.

After the library, we headed back toward Brookline and Boston University (campus! home!) for our hotel and dinner.

4-14city3
Oh Brown Sugar Cafe, I miss you.

4-14city6
Ivan with the Oreo Angora and Gustave with the coffee Angora.

Day one, in the books …

Creativity Corner: Dino Pillow

A good friend of mine had a baby back in December and I had wanted to give her something dinosaur-related for the kid, since that’s what we do. I was out of the typical dino stuffed animals we keep on hand and I didn’t have time to try and make one (she had to move back to Canada), so I made a cute applique dinosaur pillow.

I would have done a T-Rex, but they’re not so easy to do in silhouette. Dinosaur outline found online and hand-sketched on to fabric; cut out and sewn on before making pillow. All hand-sewn.

jenna_dino_pillow

I forgot how quick and easy it is to make pillows … and how much I enjoy doing it.

November Vegas Trip: Part Two

Friday morning dawned and we were ready for another day of adventures – most of which I’ll put here, except for the Neon Museum, which deserves its own post.

The day, in photos.

friday
Blueberry Hill, a local diner chain we hit up for breakfast. Very good.

friday3
Brandon looking down at his breakfast. You get a sense of the decor here, too.

friday4
Nelson hates “Pawn Stars,” and therefore is cranky we’re driving past the pawn shop.

lvnhm
Dinosaurs in a dinosaur footprint outside the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

lvnhm2
Dinosaur sculpture.

lvnhm3
Buffalo. Pretty sure all the animals in this museum were real and taxidermied …

lvnhm5
Sting ray. We are the ray whisperers, it’s kind of awesome.

lvnhm9
“Carrying” “water” like an Egyptian. It’s heavy.

lvnhm12
Brandon made a design. He’s proud.

lvnhm13
Tribal hut.

lvnhm15
Picture taken for the Englestad name (also associated with Fighting Sioux hockey).

lvnhm16
T-Rexes and a sign about themselves.

lvnhm17
Nelson and the T-Rex.

lvnhm18
On a shell seat, in a submarine.

lvnhm19
Brandon in the sub.

From the LVNHM, we checked in to the Bellagio where we’d be staying most of our visit.

friday14
Room at the Bellagio.

friday15
View.

friday17
Oh yeah, race expo.

After the expo, we took our realtor and local TV/radio personality Susie Wargin around to grab a bite and then help her get to a studio so she could do her radio show from Vegas (she was out running the full marathon). From there, it was off to the Neon Museum (next blog!) and after that, dinner at the Peppermill.

friday20
Just like I remembered …

friday21
Me at the Peppermill.
friday23
Fountain view with the fountains going.

friday25
Ceiling between Bally’s and Paris. Never knew this was there …

friday26
Hey thanks, Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shops!

friday27
Bellagio conservatory.

We also went to Tao Nightclub that night, but no pictures. Honestly, it was kind of a disappointing experience …

Morrison Natural History Museum

On one of our mutual off days in June, we went hiking in the morning and then, since we were in the area, decided to do a nerdy dinosaur day at the Morrison Natural History Museum. We had heard about it, but had never gone, so we decided “screw it,” and went.

mdm2

It’s certainly small, but explores paleontology in the region – Dinosaur Ridge is essentially a stone’s throw away, after all. They also have an active paleontology lab on the top floor to work on specimens. Below is a smattering of the stuff we found the coolest there.

mdm5

Cast of a T-Rex head that was found in Golden, Colo.

mdm10

Our own baby dinosaur, Gustave, next to a life-size replica of a Stegosaurus hatchling.

mdm12

Herkimer, a monitor lizard who lives upstairs. They also have a few live snakes.

mdm13

Baby T-Rexes in the back of a Triceratops skull.

If you (or your kids, if you have them) like dinosaurs, I would recommend this place for sure. Small, quick and easy to do – especially if small attention spans are involved. You could easily make a day out of it by seeing Red Rocks and the aforementioned Dinosaur Ridge as well.

Utah and Dinosaur National Monument

Earlier this month, we drove to Utah to race a half-marathon (which, if you want to read about, you can do so here).

The drive to Vernal, Utah, took us through parts of Colorado that I’d never seen before, which was exciting.

5-1drive
Meeker, Colo.

We passed by a lot of livestock – we estimate we saw close to 10,000 head of cattle over the weekend – and got paused on some county road due to a sheep drive.

5-1drive2

Right before the border, we hit the best town ever for Team Baby Dinosaur:
5-1drive5
Dinosaur, Colo.!

About 20 miles after that was Utah.

5-1drive7

The next day, we took a quick trip into Dinosaur National Monument – Utah side. We definitely plan on going back and camping – the area is huge and definitely deserves way more than the few hours we gave it – but we didn’t want to walk around a whole lot due to our race the next day and we didn’t have all that much time.

We ended up taking a short hike and seeing the Fossil Bone Quarry, which was one of the coolest things ever and TOTALLY worth it.

dnm2
Entrance.

dnm4
Stegosaurus.

dnm7
Brandon and petroglyphs.

dnm10
In front of some cool rocks.

dnm12
Kidlets on the path.

dnm22
Sign in the bone quarry.

dnm23
Brandon and Nelson next to a thigh bone.

dnm26
Dinosaurs and dinosaurs. So the quarry wall was left behind because paleontologists had gotten enough bones out of the site (well, of the dinosaurs that were found there) so they decided to leave the site and all the bones.

dnm27
Brandon looking out at the vast.

Afterward, we went to the Utah Field House museum (more dinosaurs!) and packet pick-up.

Saturday, we raced and then left town.

5-3drive3
Dinosaur in Vernal they dress up for the holidays.

We went a slightly different way back home – through Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs. We stopped in Kremmling for a bite and so Brandon could catch the Kentucky Derby. Then continuing on US-40 to I-70 and back home.

5-3drive5
US-40 sometime before Craig.