Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Joy in Denver

December always has been special for the Hanson family. I have fond Christmas memories with traditions lasting since I was a baby. While Andy and I have gone back to the Midwest for the actual Christmas holiday each year, we've enjoyed the Denver season by taking in what our city has to offer during the season. Each year since moving in 2011 we've explored new events and built our Hanson-Pekoll holiday traditions. This year we did a few favorites and explored new ones.

Parade of Lights

Denver holds the Parade of Lights downtown Denver for two days only each year. This year we attended for the first time ever (we've just plain forgotten every other year). We met our friends Heather and Noah there a half an hour before it started, and even so, barely had spots to see the parade with all the spectators! I love the festivities of a holiday parade and the lights, and the unique to Denver floats. And there were some unique ones!

Here we have one of the floats from the Denver LOWRIDER Alliance!


And, of course, we grabbed beers before, at the Denver Christkindl Market with one another, and downtown after with friends.

Noah, Heather, Andy, me, Shelly, Kevin. Drinking some Pliney.

Denver Festivus Beer Festival

I wrote about Festivus a couple weeks ago, but can't leave one of our favorite Christmas events off the list!

Read more about Festivus here.

Zoo Lights

The Denver Zoo outdoes itself each year with it's holiday lights. They have most trees and bushes covered with string lights plus have lights of popular zoo animals. Andy and I fill up our Thermoses with some boozy hot chocolate and wander each year. Sometimes, some of the animals are out which is a bonus!

SO many penguins were out. (This pic is for you, Bree B.!)

Sculptor creating an ice art piece.
A beautiful final product.


Tuba Christmas

I wrote about Tuba Christmas this week, and I hope to attend again next year!

Read more about Tuba Christmas here.

Andy and I put up a Christmas tree in our bay window each year full of purple and white lights that lights up our dining room, and shines out to our front yard. And we do a special Christmas celebration the two of us with a special bomber of beer, nice home-cooked meal, and presents a few days before heading home. Both events I failed to photograph this year but are annual traditions.

And now, as a New Years Eve bonus, here's a video of the Denver Lowrider Alliance in the Parade of Lights:

I hope your winter holiday is transitioning to New Years and the excitement of what's to come in 2015!


Monday, December 29, 2014

That's a lot of Motherf**king Tubas!

Andy, Shelly, Kevin, and I spent the Sunday afternoon before Christmas in downtown Denver getting into a festive mood listening to tubas play Christmas music.

Yup, tubas playing Christmas music. Tubas, just tubas. How many tubas, you ask? About 250 tubas. It's called Tuba Christmas, and it's an event that happens all over the country and internationally during the holidays. The tuba players in Denver were anywhere from seven years old to 90 years old, and players had a variety of style of tubas and decorations on their tubas. It's a beautiful, fun event we were excited to witness, along with hundreds of other people in Denver.

The tuba player for DeVotchKa.
The conductor.

For Tuba Christmas, tuba players in the city, and some who travel from across the county, bring their tubas and, after one practice as a group, perform in the city! They played all the Christmas holiday favorites like "Jingle Bells", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Silent Night". When talking about the event, Andy, a former tuba player, acknowledged that tubas aren't often the soloists for a reason. But watching all the tubas perform live, you wouldn't have known it! They sounded beautiful.

As our group was leaving the Tuba Christmas performance, we overheard three women walking towards it ask the family in front of us what was going on with the crowd of people up ahead. After hearing about Tuba Christmas, one of the women commented "...that's a lot of motherf**cking tubas!"

Indeed, ma'am, it is.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Friday Photos [12.26.14]

Here are some photos from Andy & my week:

Hanging in Minneapolis with my dear friend, Kara, and her brand new little itty bitty baby!

Me and my mama at family Christmas dinner with a Grasshopper - yum!

If you lay a bottle of wine on it's side, you will get more wine out of the bottle. This is true even if you're at a fancy restaurant.

Bro and sis at Jax's in Minneapolis. Family time <3

Watching a big battle at our annual Christmas Eve Anderson cousin Risk game. What? Do you not have a blue dinosaur in your Risk box?

One of the 100 times I looked up to see cousin Jason looking at me like this. Part of his game strategy, maybe.

Christmas morning snowfall in my parents' backyard.

The Hansons have to take a break from Christmas morning gift opening to bust out the mimosas.

Andy and I took the Amtrak from Minneapolis to Milwaukee after Christmas. 

 My friends Steve and Megan have the most adorable babies and dog. Andy and I spent Friday evening playing with the cuties.

As I uploaded these photos, I realized the deficit I have for Christmas photos in Minneapolis! Andy and I had a wonderful time catching-up with a bunch of high school friends, a Madison friend, seeing both my sides of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and more. Too much fun to remember to document it, I guess!

I hope you had a very happy holiday celebration!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday Photos [12.19.14]

Here are some photos from Andy & my week:

Rhett keeping watch on all the squirrels in the neighborhood.

Kremmling, CO. View from the Family Dollar parking lot.

Kremmling, CO. View from the high school parking lot. You can't find a bad view here.

I stayed at a beautiful, old hotel in downtown Steamboat Springs Monday night.

Wallpaper at the Thai place I had dinner at in Steamboat Springs, CO Monday night.

I came home to Christmas vinyl from my dear friend, Alli, in London! Been enjoying the music all week.

This is basically what my Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday looked like. I was sick and watching "The Office" with my ice cream.

Andy and Shelly went to the POS show Thursday night and said it was one of the best shows ever.

My little sick days buddy. Check out her new Packers collar! An early Christmas gift.

Taken Friday 12/19/14 in Denver. Check out that temperature!

This week was super lame-o, other than the quick trip to the mountains early in the week. My cold knocked me out and I literally did not leave the house from Tuesday evening until Friday afternoon, and even then it was only because I had to. You might think the quiet, relaxing, non-working time leading up to Christmas would be a god-send, but that's only true if you have any ambition to do anything other than lay on the couch and watch re-runs of "The Office" ALL DAY. "Surely, you must have gotten up to get something you eat?", you ask. No, that is what Andys are for.