Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 28: Des Moines to Walsenburg via Denver and Observations

Day 28: Des Moines to Walsenburg via Denver

My boyfriend keeps telling me I've got to own things. So, first I bought this car. And then he told me I oughta get a house. 'Why a house?' 'Well, you gotta have a place to park the car.'
Julia Roberts

Pics: Works on paper from first collection: Hodgkins (LB has one), Johns, Thiebaud that we used to have, Kentridge, Bosman (without falling bodies), fall colors, utility box with two sidekicks, works from second collection: Johns, unknown photographer, Akio Takimori (we own ceramics by Akio), distressed utility box (or is it a utility box that is under distress?), some sort of weird religious thing where you have to buy bread only after visiting the temple (closed on weekends), leftover lunch desserts

Breakfast of mini-wheats again, this time no spilled cream. We visit two private collections; the first is pretty much all works on paper, and excellent, full of good work by great artists. The owner has done an add-on to a small cottage and clearly has more work than wall space, so is forced to rotate pieces, which is a good thing since many of the pieces are light sensitive. The second collection is a mix of works on paper, photography, sculpture, oils, and they also are straining their wall space even in a 4800 sq foot house. Both worth a detour, they had been set up for us by Jeff from DMAC.

Lunch at Centro, a pre-set menu and DB gets very excited because one of the choices is a burger….oops, because of the size of our group they are only offering them medium-well, which THB thinks forcers everyone to order either the chicken Panini (DB, lousy) or the pasta (THB) of small “knots” with Italian sausage in tomato based sauce (pretty decent). Dessert choice of chocolate torte or panna cotta, both pretty good and wayyyyyyy too large for this age group.

The bus driver joined us at lunch and when he asked for his check they brought him the check for the entire group. For a moment he wasn’t quite sure how that level of mistake could be made; Pat, one of our co-leaders, rescued him (and hopefully paid for his lunch).

On to Denver, and then a drive three hours south to Walsenburg to line us up for the western-heading portion of the NP trip. We arrive at 8pm, CO time, after a brief stop at Chipotle for a burrito bowl and a salad, total $13. Oh, and United decided to upgrade us to first class (this has happened more than once, though we’re not sure why), so we moved up from premium economy row 7 to row 4.

Week Four Observations

I don't know what I did in this life to deserve all of this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.
Hilary Swank

Observations: Week 4
1. We are still getting, only 1+ more weeks to go
2. It is very nice to have a week where everything is already paid for (except for the art we bought, which is a rather larger exception) including gratuities – shades of Japan!
3. It is very nice to have someone else do all the driving, all the adjustments to the plan, all the “head’s up” announcements; in other words it is really nice to have someone else (in this case, the various bus drivers, and Pat and Evans, who did a great job leading the tour) take care of us.
4. Still no clouds since leaving CA, and plenty of warm weather again in Des Moines (there’s nothing like getting smoked at 10am in a downtown sculpture park in mid-October)
5. We are still adjusting our itinerary; we may actually be back in E-ville in time for Halloween (not that there are trick-or-treaters in the back of our building)
6. Omaha seems to have more of a downtown life than Des Moines, in and around the old market area. In Des Moines, there are more real big businesses (mostly insurance company types) downtown and they use skyways to get around rather than street level. This impression can easily be wrong, it’s just that we did more walking in Omaha to/from the hotel than in Des Moines. Both cities have grown west, and you head that way to find most of the population and suburbs and nicer residential areas.
7. Costs of hotels/motels: (Denver) Monaco - $200 (including steep downtown parking fee), rest pre-paid as part of the tour
8. Pastry: La Mie in Des Moines
9. Foreigners here are people from Minneapolis
10. As always, the Oakland Museum art trips provide great value and experiences that are in effect priceless since the reason they are so good is that people volunteer their time, energy, and appreciation of art in order to give us tour members a feel for their local art scene. During the trip, we commit to the next trip (for us): Chicago, Racine and Milwaukee in April/May 2011.

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