Not that I need an excuse to go out for dinner, but GOSH do I love it when I have a reason! And that reason is the Visit Denver’s 2014 Denver Restaurant Week. Such a happy time. Such a happy, happy time.
Denver Restaurant Week, taking place February 22-28, was created nine years ago as a way to introduce our fair city’s fabulous eateries to those folks out there who may need a little nudge to leave the comforts of home or the familiarity of the chain restaurant down the street, boasts over 200 fantastic places to wine and dine. For $30 per person or $60 per couple (thank you, Visit Denver, for doing the math for us), restaurants provide a multi-course menu and all you have to do is show up and chew! How great is that?
Want chic in Cherry Creek? Elway’s is on the list. Mouth watering for a meatball? Try Carmine’s on Penn. Feeling French? Ja Ja Bistro off main street in Littleton is tres magnifique.
The list is impressive – everything from the kitschy (Devil’s Food on South Gaylord) to the trendy (True Food in Cherry Creek North) to the classic (Venice in Greenwood Village) is there. Some menus even include wine – and most include dessert – what a country!
Remember that tips and tax are not part of the deal, so while you’re saving a little dough on a pizza from The Saucy Noodle Ristorante on South University, your server is working just as hard (or harder) as ever. For more information, visit (link here) or log on to Open Table to make a reservation. Mangia!
Last year, the real estate market was, well, crazy. I mean crazy in a good way. Crazy can be good, unless it involves people behind the wheel of a car or B-list celebrities.
In 2013, homes were flying off the proverbial shelf, sometimes going under contract within three hours of being listed. The median price of homes rose and foreclosures dropped and mortgage rates were actually affordable – good, good, and more good.
So what does that mean for 2014? While 2013 was a fantastic year for real estate, it doesn’t mean 2014 won’t be great. Granted, 2013 is a tough act to follow; but predictions for this year are positive, with experts believing that home sales will remain at or near the current level and prices will hold steady or even rise a bit. There will likely be a better balance between buyers and sellers, alleviating the panic buyers, concerned with the reality of losing the house of their dreams, felt this past year.
What can you do if you are hoping to buy in 2014? Reach out to me or you personal Realtor now rather than later and provide me with your wish list. Be specific, but flexible. As Realtors, we are constantly touring homes, talking with sellers, and learning of properties that are not yet on the market but may be coming soon. By sharing your wants and needs with us now, you are one step ahead of other buyers in the marketplace.
Thinking of selling this year? Be cognizant of that fact and keep it in the forefront of your mind when making big and small decisions, including renovations, welcoming new pets into your world, and even buying non-essentials for your home. Remember that you are planning on showing your property at some point, and when that happens, you will have to de-clutter and clean to position your property in the best light.
Got a leaky faucet or a non-working fireplace? Tackle those projects now to avoid the mad dash later. And now is not the ideal time to housetrain a puppy (is there ever a good time for this job…I’ve done this more times than I can count and let me just say, wow?!) or paint your bathroom Bronco’s orange or start collecting bottle caps from around the globe. You can do all of those things in your next house – for now, keep it simple and save yourself some crazy.
As you know, I have made a career out of helping people buy and sell homes. Finding the perfect neighborhood for a growing family or a posh pad for a transplanted corporate couple offers me the chance to do what I like to do best – and it’s the perfect excuse for taking clients out for a delicious lunch to celebrate. All in all, not a bad way to make a living.
The thing is, there are so many individuals in Denver that may never have a home to call their own; and to say that is disheartening is an understatement. These frigid days only compound the fact that there are men, women, and – the worst – children, out on the street every single night. And while I can’t change the world like I thought I could in my youth (aahh, youth!); I realize that any small gesture can make a big difference. Everything counts.
Last year I started a new tradition and spent my Christmas morning in Civic Center Park handing out socks, hand warmers and food to Denver’s homeless. It was not like any other Christmas morning I’ve had in my 50-something years because…well…it was way better. Colder, but still better.
I realized, once again, that doing something good for someone else makes me feel good. I like that feeling. A lot.
So I plan to spend December 25th at Civic Center Park again, as I am officially addicted to this effort. Obviously, not all of you can pack up your families and head downtown, but if you’d like to support this cause, I will be collecting items for my “Christmas Care Kits.” Yes, I’ve given MY packages an official name (this is where being Type A really comes in handy). “Socks and Hand Warmers” were sooooo last year.
I’m going BIG this year! See the list below and if you’d like to participate by donating or volunteering, please email me at email@example.com or visit me on Facebook. I can pick up items from you or you are welcome to drop items at Coldwell Banker Devonshire (200 Fillmore Ste. Suite 300 in Cherry Creek).
In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all and to ALL a warm(er) night.
Items Needed for Christmas Care Kits*
- Reusable water bottles
- Fruit snacks or individual apple sauce with pull tabs
- Small cans of tuna or tuna kits with pull tabs and crackers
- Crackers with peanut butter and cheese
- Fast food gift certificates
- Pre-paid calling cards
- Socks and gloves
- Hand wipes
- Nail clippers
- Band aids
- Feminine products
- Small packages of facial tissue
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Mints, cough drops, gum
- Lip balm
- Small comb or brush
- Heat packs
- Winter hat
- Brief note of encouragement or well-wishing
*All items should fit inside a gallon size zip top bag; please refrain from items such as hand sanitizer or mouthwash as they often contain alcohol.
I’m a huge fan of Halloween – always have been, always will be. Halloween got me hooked on the idea of being a Realtor. Seeing all of those lovely houses combined with an obscene amount of chocolate and I was a goner.
Remember how you always knew the neighbors who were giving out full size candy bars!? I used to circle back for those houses and skip the houses handing out pennies. The worst!
Halloween, like everything else in America, has gotten bigger and – some would argue – even better over the years. But if shock-worthy haunted houses aren’t your speed, several family-friendly Halloween events are available should you prefer to keep your little (or big) ghosts and goblins off the streets.
If you’ve never been to a community event like the ones listed below, I, for one, am a fan. These outings offer something for all ages and a chance to step inside several of Denver’s favorite haunts without wearing a parka over your costume. And depending on where you go, you can have candy and bats and hay rides and tea…not in that order, but you get the picture.
HALLOWEEN IN DENVER
Halloween Kids Fest
Games, crafts and more make the Downtown Aquarium even more fun than usual. Guess the weight of a giant pumpkin, take a train ride, and meet up with Sharkey and the gang.
Bug A Boo
The Butterfly Pavilion
Come meet the Butterfly Pavilion’s creepiest crawliest friends while your kids scream around this safe, educational trick-or-treat street. This event, including games, costumes and candy, will have you bug out just in time for Halloween.
Colorado Railroad Museum
Ride the rails back in time through Railroad Halloween Town. Catch a ride behind the historic locomotive in vintage passenger cars hosted by conductors and engineers in full costume.
Children’s Museum of Denver
Kids parade from one Treat House to the next collecting goodies and creating crafts.
Boo At The Zoo
More than 25 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations and exciting family-friendly entertainment make this event a sweet treat for everyone.
Aspen Grove Trick-or-Treat Street
Aspen Grove Shopping Center
Costumed kids can trick-or-treat for free along the outdoor shopping center of Aspen Grove. Leashed dogs (in costume or not) are welcome as well.
Hilltop Halloween Parade
Cranmer Park (between E. 1st and E. 3rd Ave. on Cherry St.)
The free parade for children and adults in Halloween costumes starts at the sundial at Cranmer Park at 11 a.m. and travels to Robinson Park by 1 p.m. Fun for the whole family.
Old South Gaylord Halloween Safe Street
South Gaylord St. between Mississippi and Tennessee
From 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., kids in costume can trick-or-treat along one of Denver’s most beautiful streets, which will be closed to traffic during the festivities.
Mills Monster Mash
Colorado Mills Mall
The Kidgits Mills Monster Mash promises to be a blast for little ones. To add to the fun, Twentieth Century Fox is also celebrating the Blu-Ray and DVD release of The Croods, Monster vs Aliens: Cloning Around, Dragons Riders of Berk (Part 1 and Part 2) and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.
Halloween at the Museum
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Specifically for teens, Halloween at the Museum offers an evening full of fright and fun. Rob Mies, of the Organization for Bat Conservation, will introduce you to some of the rarest bats in the world, including a gigantic flying fox bat from Malaysia with a nearly six-foot wingspan. Costumes welcome!
Victorian Horrors & All Hallows Eve Full Tea
Molly Brown House Museum
Visitors enjoy tea and treats at this spooky Halloween activity. While this event is not terribly scary, it is not recommended for small children, but the candlelight ghost stories and prizes for best costume are perfect for the tween set.
Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decide to go this Halloween season, remember to be safe and enjoy because life is sweet – literally – at this time of year! If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, call me at 303-478-1201 or send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to help you!
Golf enthusiasts looking to play in Denver will have no problem finding top courses, according to a recent report from Golf Digest. It’s not surprising given the stunning scenery, not to mention the city being an all-around pleasant place to live year-round. So who takes top honors?
Just outside of Denver, The Country Club at Castle Pines makes the list. Highlights here include a Jack Nicklaus signature course surrounded by picturesque pine trees and panoramic views. The 18-hole championship course appeals to golfers of all levels thanks to features such as elevated greens, rolling contours and Pike’s Peak, Mt. Evans and Long’s Peak just in the background. Clinics and classes are available to those who want to improve their game.
Another contender for top course is the Cherry Hills Country Club, which will host the BMW Championship in 2014. Featuring a 7,000-plus-yard layout designed by great golf architect William Flynn, the course built back in 1922 has its fair share of historic moments including Arnold Palmer winning the US Open here back in 1960. Other greats such as Phil Mickelson and Ralph Guldahl have played here. Today, visitors enjoy playing along the tree-lined fairways, challenging holes and more.
Cherry Hills Country Club
Along with an array of attractions such as these distinguished golf courses, Denver offers residents an attractive destination to live and work. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Denver area, Ann Meadows is your trusted resource for real estate. Contact her at 303-478-1201 for additional details.