Sunday, December 23, 2012

Denver - Productive and leisurely

It's a good thing I went to church last Sunday and heard the Christmas message then -- because that sure didn't happen today.  Instead, I slept until 10am (nine hours of sleep! in a row!) and spent the rest of the day being moderately productive and 100% on holiday -- in both senses of the word:  I relished the feeling of being on vacation and was finally able to get into the spirit of the Christmas holiday.

The productive part came early, in the form of Christmas shopping.  Amanda needed to pick up one last gift from this quirky store full of ecclectic oddities and hipsters with facial hair.  While Amanda made her purchase, I perused the shelves and came away with a Peruvian butterfly and a cloisonne vase.  As the clerk wrapped the butterfly for me, he assured me that it came from a no-kill butterfly ranch in Peru that was run by a father and son team -- the butterfly had therefor lived a full and happy life and wasn't pinned to the glass until after it had died in its bed surrounded by loved ones.  He also threw a handful of shiny crystal fragments into the box ("for effect") before closing it.  I stifled a laugh and looked around to see if the Portlandia camera crew was hiding in the corner.

Morpho didius

And, before you start judging me for going Christmas shopping and buying things for myself, I will also say that I may or may not have gone to other stores and purchased other items for other people.  Either way, we ended up at the Tattered Cover book store, where we sat and read and soaked in the wonderful atmosphere of a good independent book store. 
Moi, reading How To Be a Woman
(which, lest you wonder, was a sort of feminist memoir/essay,
 as opposed to an actual "how to" guide)
Amanda opted for the new Lemony Snicket book
From the bookstore, we wandered over to Cholon, a nearby restaurant where we had dinner reservations.  The service was fantastic and the food, which seemed to belong in the Asian/Southwestern fusion style, was good -- and by "good" I mean perfectly adequate but not extraordinary.  My favorite part was the sauces; my least favorite part was how the menu didn't really give us a good sense of how big each plate would be -- we ended up over-ordering.
Giant rice cake with salsa
Pork-belly potstickers with ginger mustard
Duck spring rolls with cilantro yogurt

Celery root soup with miso butterscotch, Asian pear and green apples

Seared salmon with miso-buttered corn and shitake vinaigrette

Sauteed brussels sprouts with ground pork and mint

Yellow curry mussels with pork belly and French fries
With happy tummies full of food, we walked over to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to see the Nutcracker.  It has been years since the last time I'd seen the Nutcracker performed live, and I had forgotten just how much fun it was.  All the beauty of ballet, plus the fun and energy of the holidays -- there's nothing better than seeing all those little girls in the audience dressed up in their best dresses, clearly wishing that they could be Clara!

For normal people, the night would have ended after the ballet.  But no -- in true AJW/JJD style, we decided to make it a double-header tonight:  After the ballet, we went to a nearby cinema and saw The Hobbit in 3D.  Because Wizards and dwarves are kind of Christmasy, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely day! Would love to have been at the Nutcracker with you! We'll have to compare thoughts on the Hobbit. Lady