Wednesday, July 17, 2013

11th Annual Central City Opera Weekend

This year marked the 11th year we have made the trek to that magical mountain dreamland that appears every summer, Brigadoon-like, from late June to early August, known as the Central City Opera Association's Summer Festival. This year we enjoyed two separate weekends with two groups of friends. 

This Chase Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast, where we make our home for a wonderful weekend every July.

Our room. Breezy and full of light.

Lobster Buffet at the Riviera.
Walking into Central City.

Waiting for the curtain to rise on "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" for our first weekend's entertainment. 

View down Eureka Street at intermission.

Apr├Ęs Opera has become one of our favorite activities of the weekend. After the evening opera on Saturday, members of the Summer Festival troupe and sometimes cast members from the evening's opera come to the Teller House's "Little Kingdom Room" to perform arias and show tunes, many comedic in nature. It is loads of fun and lasts until nearly midnight.

A view of the historic opera house.

The playbill for this year's performances.

 Web announcement of the festival's performances.  (Showboat was performed at the Buell Theater in Denver this year, and it was excellent.)
 Second weekend. Our traditional first night's feast at the Ameristar's Centennial Buffet.
 Karen's breakfasts at Chase Creek Inn cannot be beat.
These rocking chairs provided great relaxation for all of us throughout the weekend. It's fun to sit and watch the numerous hummingbirds and chipmunks that make their presence known. 
This year, we discovered a delightful place for a sandwich lunch, just down the street from the B&B. Check out the Blackhawk Mountain Mocha Cafe.  
Delicious dinner before the opera at Kevin Taylor's at The Face Bar

Best seats in the house. Down front in the balcony. Awaiting the start of "Our Town."

We always brag about the amazing stagecraft of the Central City Opera, their ability to produce appropriate props. This year's performance of "Our Town" featured austere staging.

Daytime view from the balcony.

Saddest part of the weekend, saying goodbye (until next year).
Stopping by Dostal Alley before heading home. Their pizza and sandwiches are good, but the service is rather slow.
Annie Oakley's, the only convenience store/grocery/liquor store in the city of Central, at the corner of Main Street, as you enter or leave the city.
Saying goodbye to Central City. A view back up Main Street. See you next year.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day 2013

This year's theme:
America is an idea.
This piece of parchment encapsulates that idea/those ideas.
 It has become fashionable nowadays to eschew the Founding Fathers and their ideas. I have no such compunction. Their ideas have withstood the test of time. Would that this current generation realized it.
Arising from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, a rewriting and perfecting of the Articles of Confederation, provides the philosophical and practical basis for the formation of "a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."  
An image often missing from Independence Day celebrations.
USS Albany  (CG-10), a symbol of our military, a guarantor of our freedoms, and my shipboard home for three years. 
 Parades, one would hope, remind us of our shared heritage and what it means to be an American.
 Fireworks bring fond memories and remind us of that Star-Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry, in a war to safeguard our independence.
 Our flag is a symbol of the ideas that make us who we are. We must never forget. 
Our eldest daughter put together this 15-second tribute to our nation. She loves the land of her birth—Spain, her homes for many years—Italy, Canada, and Japan, and her current home—Australia, but she understands that "America is portable, We carry it around in our hearts and minds," and "We don't live in America. America lives in us," or to paraphrase a friend—to be an American is "to believe as an American."