Magic afternoons

After weeks of Indian summer, with only one brief, shining snow, yesterday dawned grey and chill with winter, our cars and decks and windows glazed with ice.
It was M's second day of a long awaited vacation from school (if not from work), and we were feeling footloose. The three of us bundled up warm and piled into the car to do a little zen wandering.
Our first stop: a vast and musty antique mall, seemingly endless corridors of old magazines, found photos, pulp westerns, vintage toys, and fusty clothing. Some days, there is simply nothing as enchanting as an antique mall...its emptiness, its ghosts, its surprises from one's own fabled childhood.
Bet you're jealous of these lamps, no? Goodness gracious.
Wooden crates and vintage spice tins are two of my favorite things.
This little display, all of it out of our price range, was nearly irresistible to me. Crates! Suitcases! Drawers! All whispering of mystery, secrets, long-forgotten voyages. If I could pick just one? It would be the map cabinet or blueprint cabinet (I can't tell which from this distance, and it hardly matters) that you see against the back wall. Maps and blueprints both hold a seductive power over me.
After about an hour, QQ got very bored.
And we had to make our getaway...with only a few small trinkets to show for our excursion. No chairs this time ;) though I can't say I wasn't tempted.
Winter light. I love this picture.
A windmill drew us into a vast parking lot, where we were instantly seduced by a sign reading Das Meyer Pastry Chalet.
I mean...who could resist?
I'd like to tell you where this place is located, I really would, but we found it after an hour of winding aimlessly North through mazelike hives of suburbia interspersed with beautiful farm country. I couldn't even begin to direct you to where we found ourselves.
But it certainly was something out of a fairytale.
I love this one.
Family run since before suburbia encroached on the high plains outside of Denver, this bakery embodies old-school craftsmanship. Three generations chased their toddlers around the pastry cases and conversed in the vast and pristine open kitchens while we drooled over the confections.
We did not, I'll admit, escape unscathed.
We topped our day off with our monthly trip to C@stco where....
...I'm embarrassed to say we had a bit of a relapse. I know that just last week I was talking about how the things that bring true happiness in life don't require a bull market or a full wallet. But if there's one thing that we do overindulge in in this family, it's fine food. I don't know if it was the news on the radio about pirate attacks and the economy crumbling around our ears that set us off in some perverse backlash, or whether we were just feeling giddy with the new freedom of M's brief vacation, but we went overboard...and I mean ALL the way overboard.
We bought pate and Camembert, seafood bisque and truffle cheese. Returning home to our warm kitchen, all of us a little chilled and wilted from our long day of exploring, M whipped us up a feast of Maine lobster over a salade tiede of warm spinach and Asian pears, with a side of braised fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts. If this sounds a bit like fiddling while the titanic goes down...those were my exact thoughts.
Lets hope there are enough lifeboats for all of us.


Andrea said...

What a lovely day, you're really making me miss Colorado. Luckily I get a trip back home for x-mas! Those green cakes were so beautiful, what an amazing find. And you know, I'm a firm believer in the power of food so if you have to splurge...

Snowflowers Mum said...

let them eat....lobster?

oh well, at least we can all go down knowing someone is eating more than Ramen noodles!

I say 'eat up'

Vivian M said...

What a great antique shop, and that pastry store was wonderful- almost too pretty to eat anything in there! I love the ending though, even if I am allergic to the big red bugs. Yum!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

To what sounded like a gorgeous day... how I do loved Colorado and the little stores tucked around the place... how I really loved the antique stores there... I think you need to train Flynn the joys of Antique shopping... hehe

Yoli said...

Love everything except the lobster. Can't look at the little face and dig in.

The cake shop sent my heart racing.

Mamacita said...

You're goin' down in a blaz of glory.....surely you got a card from that bakery. You could slip me the address, which I will promptly google and then find on my own!

Fantastic pictures, as always.

Tami said...

Those cakes are incredible. They look like something out of a fairy tale.

I know what you mean about being addicted to fine food. Here we are, living in an expensive city, on one income and with a baby to feed, and we couldn't resist picking up some fine Seattle-made chocolate and artisan cheeses to pair with a Beaujolais Nouveau.

Food and the joy in sharing it has given me far richer memories than most anything I've ever purchased.

Heather said...

Fiddle away! That looks delicious!

Cavatica said...

The Brussels sprouts will keep you afloat. Oh, what a delightful day!

Ty's Parents said...

You continue to make me miss my time in Colorado! By the way, we REALLY like the Costco diapers for our little guy. We don't have one close by, but my parents gave us a case while visiting from Austin!

rubyiscoming said...

A perfect and indeed magical day which culminated a feast for kings! Love it! I too am cutting back on all things monetary - this economy scares the bejezzesus outta me. And yet, I can't resist a fine meal...ever.

Aran said...

wow... i am so impressed with the bakery! i lived in denver for 3 years and i never knew of this place. where is it?