Last Thursday morning we headed back to Colorado after dropping Rudy and Emily off with a dogsitter named Addie who lives in the nearby town of Adel. We listened to music and podcasts on the 10 hour drive, drank coffee, talked and ate a Subway sandwich on the road. I was lookingforward to seeing the kids again – especially as this would be my first time seeing Conor since I left the trailer 9 months ago. Once again we were renting a house. Last experience doing this in April was not so great – we stayed in Golden, in a cramped townhome with a threadbare couch, ancient bedding, a coffee maker that didn’t work properly and the owner didn’t provide toilet paper, so one of the first things we had to do after we arrived was run out and get loo roll. This time we were staying in an older area of Denver and had no idea what to expect. Arrived on schedule in a really pretty, historic part of Denver called Sunnyside. Our little house was a 1950’s ranch with a bright yellow front door and pampas grass growing in the front garden.
Inside was a spacious living room with a really comfy couch, modern kitchen, beer in the fridge plus food, 2 bedrooms and a back garden that was quite private considering the location. We loved this house right from the start. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Denver – I was stuck in the dreary suburbs – but Sunnyside is a cute little pocket in the capital with a nice vibe, close to parks and cafes. We’d decided to check out Cafe Cubano and set off the next morning to sample Cuban coffee for the first time. We both love coffee, but I was a bit cautious because I like mine with milk. We found the cafe after a pleasant walk through the neighborhood, admiring gardens and old houses – it all felt a bit like Portland.
the Cuban coffee shop in Sunnyside
inside the cafe
The waitress was a bit snooty, but brought us small shots of coffee in little glasses, topped with a foamy substance. Sipped cautiously; it was absolute heaven! They were playing Motown music and I was drinking this gorgeous coffee and with this gorgeous man and due to see kids, just felt so happy.
structure in the park we visited
We found a shop called Mid-Mod selling 1950’s furniture and knick-knacks and bought a few keepsakes for the house and strolled to the park. Then we drove to Littleton to see William, and he’s doing well after his difficult summer, which featured a broken pinkie and a rather spectacular seizure. He seemed unsure when he first saw me (probably completely amazed) then smiled and sat with me as we chatted to Tonya – it was a really good visit. Hard to say goodbye though.
Then the next day Conor came over and it was back to the Cafe Cubano again, then in the afternoon it was off to see Ivy and her girlfriend Page with Conor in tow – visited Ivy’s house and helped round up escaped chickens and was introduced to the bees and admired all the veggies. It was so good to be with the kids again.
We left early on Saturday morning. I hadn’t slept well and felt sad and really tired, but at the same time was looking forward to seeing Rudy and Emily again and getting back into a routine. We found Iowa very rainy when we got back and it has stayed the same way. Looks like we’re saying goodbye to summer. Bees and butterflies are still visiting, although less plentiful now, but every time I think the butterflies are gone I’m proved wrong. Two enormous monarchs fluttered in this morning. I stood under one of the pear trees and looked up to watch THREE hummingbirds weaving in and out of the branches! Every evening over supper we’ve been watching a little hummingbird (Freddie, we call him) fiercely guarding the feeder by the kitchen window from another hummingbird, whom Freddie will attack if he dares to come near. Freddie perches on the tomato cage. If rain falls on him, he just fluffs his feathers.
The garden is still colorful – plenty of buds opening, although it might get too cold for them soon. I’ve started harvesting 4 o’clock seeds. I wanted to do the same with sunflower seeds but reckon the birds beat me to it. I’m waiting for the zinnias to completely dry out before I harvest their seeds. We still have tomatoes every day. I’ve made ketchup with fresh tomatoes (not our own unfortunately, we didn’t get enough big ones) and at the weekend, after returning from Denver, we strained our blackberry cordial into bottles. This was the stuff we made a few months ago with blackberries picked in the park and at the bottom of the garden. The fruit has been steeping in vodka and sugar. We strained it and decanted into bottles. It is really lovely, sweet and fruity more than boozy.
yummy blackberry cordial we drank last night
a monarch braving the cloudy weather, probably my last butterfly picture of 2018
So summer (my happiest ever) has ended on a great note and we’re full of plans for next year (bees? Veggies on the space across the street? Definitely more flowers and herbs).