Saturday, December 4, 2010

Colorado Chronicles: Blossoms of Light

Blossoms of Light @ Denver Botanic Gardens
I have spent many Christmases in Colorado over the years, but there are many Christmas-related festivals and such that I have never attended. One such to-do is the Blossoms of Light festival at the Denver Botanical Gardens, and as much as I like to garden, I am, frankly, a little surprised at myself.

When go to Blossoms of Light , you'll see over one million lights draped in "elegant designs" that highlight the winter beauty of the Gardens. Now, here's something I think we could all agree on - the return of "romantic and kissing spots'. Hell, if I would have known that they had "romantic and kissing spots", I would have gone every year to the Blossoms of Light. Day late, dollar short and all that.

Also making a much-anticipated return to BoL are HoloSpex Glasses. As best as I can understand about these glasses is that they somehow bend light thus making a holographic optical illusion.  There is a good "weed" joke in there, but I figure it's better left to your imagination. 

Some other cool stuff at Blossoms of Light include intricate ice sculptures lining the paths of the Gardens as you walk through. Sculptures by Henry Moore will also be lighted for BoL. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available to Gardens visitors.

Now, here's something for the lovebirds reading today, an Engagement Package at the Blossoms of Light! Engagement Package includes:

  Secluded engagement area off the beaten path  
o  Draped red linen cafĂ© table with two chairs in our Romantic Gardens gazebo
  Sparkling cider with two glasses 
  Two large cupcakes donated from Lovely Confections 
  Denver Botanic Gardens-grown potted plant 
  Two tickets to our Fall Wedding Showcase (Value of $30.00) 
  15% off booking a wedding/reception package at Denver Botanic Gardens (cannot be
combined with other discounts) 
  Customizable vinyl sign, measuring 30 inches wide x 10 inches tall 
o  Up to 40 characters, including spaces
o  Example: “Angela, will you marry me?”

Engagement Package pricing:

 Non-member: $68 a couple
 Member: $58 a couple
We offer only two Engagement Packages per evening and reservations will be made on a first-
come, first-served basis*. Each proposal will be allotted one hour. Payment is due at the time of
reservation and is nonrefundable. 

There you are. This sounds like a great way to not only celebrate Christmas, but to pop the question as well!

Here's the contact info for the Denver Botanic Gardens -
Phone: 720-865-3684
Fax: 720-865-3725

Maine Minutiae: A Sea Gull's Eye View of the Pine Tree State

A SeaGull's Eye View
For Maine Minutiae today I figured I might as well do a post of a different kind. Every day I write about something that I think is interesting in hopes that you'll think the same. When I post something, I do my best to paint a picture in your head so that you can "see" what I am writing about. sometimes I succeed, other times not so much. That's one of the hazards of writing, a welcomed hazard, but a hazard nonetheless. So today I want give to you a real snapshot of where I live, but this time with real pictures from web cams located around the state. They give you an up to the minute visual tour of Maine, from the moutains of the west to the shoes of the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Grab a cup of coffee, settle into your computer chair and explore Maine through the "eyes" of these web cams. I hope you enjoy the ride.  :)

I selected a few web cams from a long list of them and I'll link to the list later in the post. My choices are:
  • Augusta - This is a view of the Kennebec River as it passes the east side of downtown, looking north. As the crow flies, this is about a mile from my house. Look closely and you'll see the asphalt walking/jogging path running parallel to the river.
  • Bar Harbor - One of the neatest towns in Maine. This "Harbor Cam" is looking out over the edge of town directly into the harbor. You can't miss the island in the background. There literally thousands of islands just like that one along the entirety of the coast of Maine.
  • Presque Isle - Presque Isle is waaaaaayyy up north on the Crown of Maine. If you burp loud enough, they'll hear you in Canada. This cam is trained on downtown PI.
  • Rockport - This a fantastic shot of Glen Cove in Rockport. 
Those web cams should whet your appetite and pique your interest enough to peruse this long list of web cams showing the faces of Maine at See what you've only read about. It's a nice virtual tour of the Pine Tree State.

Texas Tidbits: Santa Robs Bank, MeetsTexas Justice

"Santa" spent Christmas, 1927 Here***
This is one of the most unusual Christmas-time stories you have ever heard or will hear in your entire life. It's not a feelgood, family type of story, far from it. This is the story about the hanging of Santa Claus! I ain't typin' with a stutter and your ears ain't flappin'. You read that right. The hanging of Santa Claus. Of course, we're not referring to the real St. Nick, but we are referring to a rotten, no good, egg suckin' old polecat impersonating the jolly old elf. The article I'll be quoting from is a bit long, so for brevity's sake, I'll excerpt parts of it and then insert a final link so when you have a few minutes you can scoot on over to the article's source and read it there.

The year was 1927. It was the day before Christmas Eve in Cisco, Texas.The most joyful time of the year was about to explode into a hail of gunfire, shattering the quiet of the Yuletide season. Santa Claus would be the focus of attention, but not for the reasons you'd expect. On this day, Santa was being sought as a bank robber and killer. Santa's actions resulted in one of the most bizzare and intense manhunts in Texas Hisory.

You see, on December 23, 1927, Santa was dressed in his Christmas finest, walking down the main street in Cisco, greeting and patting children on the head as he ambled down the street, until he got to the First National Bank. Santa entered the bank, soon to be followed by three armed men. "Once inside, Santa received a pleasant greeting of "Hello, Santa," from the cashier. Santa did not respond, but walked to a desk in the middle of the lobby, the one where bank customers wrote out their deposit slips. A few customers were already at the teller's window making their deposits. The cashier again called out, "Hello, Santa." Again, no response.

Right about at this point, a young man entered the Bank, pointed a pistol at the cashier, and snarled, "Hands up!!"

A second bandit entered. He was also brandishing a gun. A third armed man entered. Santa Claus pushed through the swinging door, past the cashier's desk, went into the cashier's cage, opened a drawer under the counter, and removed a pistol from that location, stuffing it under his red Santa suit. Now there were four armed men, including Santa Claus." Thanks to

What the heck? Santa Claus a bank robber? I'm afraid it's true. There's a lot more to this story, which has been described by Boyce House as "the most spectacular crime in the history of the Southwest ... surpassing any in which Billy the Kid or the James boys had ever figured." Now that's saying something.

Read the entire version of this most unlikely of Christmas tales at Texas Escapes. It's certainly worth your time, because it's the kind of story with the kind of ending that could only happen in Texas in 1927.

(image from

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