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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Florence, Colorado: My Summer Vacation At Bass Pro Shops

Occasionally I like to go on a vacation and leave the quaint burg of Florence, Colorado. This year, time, so far, hasn't allowed a lengthy trip. So I decided on another fun Colorado day trip.

Too far to drive to the Natural History Museum in Denver? Haven't budgeted for the price of admission? No worries. Here's a cheapo and fun way to get a few hour vacation by trolling Bass Pro Shop in Colorado Springs. It's ALMOST like the Natural History Museum. And I'm pretty sure the security at Bass Pro Shops isn't quite as strict as the security at the Natural History Museum.

Join with me as I take a few hour retail vacation. Or if you're really smart, you'll leave this blog page as fast as humanly possible and get yourself to a real vacation.

Who needs to go on an expensive roller coaster to scream one's kiester off. Cheap thrills are free on my vacation. Unfortunately as I was posing for this picture, one bystander starting laughing so loudly that it almost broke my concentration. But we got the picture right before alarmed parents covered their children's eyeballs and whisked them away.

Now don't try this at home (or in the wild children) but I enjoy comparing my manicure to the bear's. I won.

Since I blew my vacation budget of $33.96 that I pulled out of my couch cushions on gas and some alligator bites at the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops, I decided to give myself a free pedicure in the alligator head at the fishy-themed bowling alley. I tried not to alarm any schoolchildren or nuns with my size nines, but someone passing by did suggest that I wouldn't need a paddle board to get across any water since my feet were paddle board-sized. OK, no one actually said that. Must have been the voices in my head or that snippy alligator.

I wasn't the only one having a good time at Bass Pro Shops. That's Uncle Buck. He has a restaurant at Bass Pro Shops. Quite lovely food there, I must say. I did tell him to put the mermaid down, that it was not his. But he didn't listen. I think he mumbled something about enjoying fresh sea food. But I could have misunderstood.

And that is how you have a fun and cheap day trip vacation in Colorado.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Hailacious Storm

Just had a hailacious hail storm here in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

Bye, bye sunflowers.

Hello, pre-snow. But I cannot complain. It is mostly true that the weather in Colorado changes very quickly.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Florence, Colorado: The American Pickers TV Show Coming To Florence

Ah, dreams do come true! I was hoping the American Pickers TV show, with plans to film in Colorado, would make a stop in Florence.

According the Facebook page of the Florence Consignment Center, the pickers will be at their store filming.

Danielle Colby, American Pickers. Mike and Frank from American Pickersare coming to Florence, Colorado and to Florence Consignment Corner in July. They will be shooting an episode of Frank Fritz from American Pickersand Mike Wolfe American Picker. We will be ready and we will have some special things for them to take home when they shop at FCC.

Hats off to the folks at Florence Consignment Center! I'm a semi-regular shopper at FCC, so I know they will do Florence proud--as would any of the other stores in the antiques capital of Colorado.

I don''t think it's too late to send leads on to the American Pickers.

Florence,Colorado: Where The F*** Is Florence?

I often search all over for what people are writing about Florence, Colorado.

Local people. People around Colorado. And people around the world.

Why? I'm just curious to know what people think about a small town in the middle of somewhere. And in the middle of nowhere. And come to find out that many people don't even know Florence exists.

One of the problems is that Florence isn't exactly on the way to any major destinations. It's certainly an easy drive from Colorado Springs and Pueblo. It's not that far from Royal Gorge and Canon City. But it's not on a major highway.

I've noticed when I go to the Springs (where I lived for over 20 years and knew about Florence) that when store clerks ask me where I am from--I often get a blank look. I can tell by their eyeballs they are too polite to ask where it is. And some people would say,"Well, Florissant sure is a nice area!"

Florence, not Florissant!

I thought I was the only one who ran into this phenomenon. The Florence vortex.

When I lived in Denver for a short time, it was even more strange. I'd tell a new friend, a hair dresser or store clerk, who asked about my background, that I was from the Springs, but missed Manitou Springs, since I missed small FUNky towns like crazy. I'd get those same blank looks. Manitou? Never heard of it.

So, when I told a few friends and acquaintances in Denver we were moving to Florence, most would say: "Now exactly where is this place? In Colorado?"

I came across this great blog post over at the Florence Brewery Company. Yes, in Florence!

Excellent post that sums up the frustration about finding out most people in our great state don't know we exist.

But I think that is going to change fairly soon. We have a lot of people determined to put Florence on the map. Florence, NOT Florissant!

Just think about it. If people don't know where Florence is they won't be able to get a cold, artisan beer from the Florence Brewing Company easily--or experience all the other great things our fair burg offers in a friendly, small-town environment.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: THE PLACE TO BE FOR THE 4TH OF JULY!

Florence, Colorado is the place to be for the 4th of July. It's all about red, white and YOU!

Actually Florence is a fun place to be any day of the year, but the town pulls out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day with the Florence 4th of July Festival.

Instead of listing all the fun things to experience, celebrate, see, eat and enjoy--it would be quicker to say there pretty much will be EVERYTHING there to make sure the whole family and friends have a great time.

Florence isn't celebrating on just the 4th. Oh, no! This celebration is so big it has to be packed into four days.

It's worth the drive. If you haven't ever visited Florence, you've been missing a friendly welcome, walkable streets, free parking and the best of small town living.

I know you want to know more, so go to Facebook:

Florence, Colorado: #IFoundYouInFlorenceColorado Artisian Marsha Bell of Canon City

Who did I find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, this time? Florence has a campaign, #FindItInFlorence, designed to showcase all the things one can find in Florence. On this blog, I also highlight who I  find in Florence and what they are doing with the things they find in Florence. I think you'll agree, many people who come to Florence have interesting dreams, goals, hobbies and memories they seek to celebrate with objects found in Florence.

                                                         Marsha Bell Of Canon City

This time I found Marsha Bell of Canon City in Florence. She's holding a miniature cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots.

Of course, we couldn't resist asking her what she planned on doing with her purchase.

Marsha said she's been fascinated with miniatures since childhood. But this Canon City artisan isn't just content with arranging and collecting miniatures in an ordinary fashion.

"I arrange antique miniatures in unique antique containers," she said.

She uses antique radios, televisions, refrigerators and other vintage items as the showcase or framework for works of art.

                                                         Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

Marsha gave a vintage TV (pictured above) new life by creating a magical scene of a North Pole bakery.

"I purchase many of the items I use, in Florence," Marsha said.

Also a registered nurse at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, and an instructor at CNA classes in Florence, Marsha estimates she puts at least 50 plus hours into each creation.

Her nostalgic vignettes aren't for sale, but Marsha has been entering her work at the Pueblo State Fair for about five years. She's won several Best Of Show ribbons and earned three first place ribbons.

                                                        Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

The scene of a Victorian Christmas, framed by part of an antique icebox, won Marsha a Best of Show award at the fair.

Marsha is inspired by a variety of themes for her art work, but primarily concentrates on Christmas scenes. "This all started from a memory of me as a child looking down a banister at Christmas..."she recalled.

The magical memories of her childhood Christmases are celebrated and honored every time she goes on a search for new miniatures and antique backdrops.

I'm just glad, even though Marsha doesn't sell her work, that she chooses to share her love of good memories, antiques and miniatures with everyone by displaying at the fair, and readily sharing her story with us in Florence.

What is Marsha's newest project that she was in Florence hunting for miniatures last week?

She'll be working on a barn scene (complete with that cute hat and cowboy boots) set in an antique school desk.

I'm hoping when the antique school desk is completed we'll get a picture to share on the blog. We always love seeing all the fascinating things fascinating people do with the treasures they find in Florence!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Who The Heck Is Beatrice Bloggaire And Scruffy?

Who the heck is Beatrice Bloggaire and Scruffy?

Beatrice Bloggaire And Her Dog, Scruffy

Beatrice Bloggaire, as the cartoon shows, has grabbed her notebook and pen and is ready to see what she can find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado. Beatrice is my alter ego. But the name of her/my dog is really, Scruffy. They do say dogs and their owners look alike. Yes, we are both a bit plump and scruffy.

                                                               A Picture Of The Real Scruffy

Someone came up with the brilliant idea of creating alter ego cartoons for this blog. It makes it easier to go about Florence and Fremont County and other parts of southern Colorado and see what is happening in semi-anonymity. 

Now, some people do know who I am. I'm not that good at keeping secrets! But when a blog goes worldwide, one likes to protect one's identity. 

Awhile back I was having a conversation with an artist and business owner in Florence. We were talking about how I could assist the town, free of charge, in promoting all the exciting people and events and things in our fair burg.

I asked the artist, if television or media people came to Florence, who would be the best on-camera spokesperson for the town. I readily admitted it would never be me. I don't do well in front of cameras or on the radio.

The person said they would never do it. My estimation of the person was they would be well-spoken and suited to the task. They explained why they never would. It turned out that the person was chosen as the artist of the month on a well-known worldwide online selling venue--complete with a picture and story.

The artist was in another town and just browsing in a store when a stranger screamed and rushed the artist and said they recognized them from the online site. Just that minor brush with celebrity was enough for that Florence artist to keep a low profile.

Plus, when people know who you are--the focus often moves from the art, antiques, culture or town you are attempting to focus on.

Some of us thrive on being known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having only our work known. And that's fine. And some of us thrive on having the work of others or of a town known. And that's fine. I'm in the latter category. I want to stories of the people and things in Florence, and the stories of people who visit Florence, in the spotlight--not me.

So, Beatrice Bloggaire, happily stepped up to the task and will do it. Nice thing about Beatrice, no one will ever recognize her in a store and rush her! And Scruffy is often wearing his Halloween devil outfit and is incognito anyway.