Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

19Jul/160

La Famosa Casa Bonita!

 

As if we hadn't crammed enough adventure into our Colorado trip this year, we crowned the whole shebang with a trip to Denver's legendary Casa Bonita.

For those of you unfamiliar with La Casa, it is an enormous Mexican restaurant-cum-amusement park. Not only do you get heaping plates of food, and a potentially endless supply of hot, fresh sopapillas (courtesy of the signal flag on your table), there is cliff diving, an arcade, a cave room, a mine room, magic shows, strolling musicians, and skits featuring pirates and gorillas!

Since it was Henry's actual birthday, we decided to hit the Casa after a fun afternoon at Elitch Gardens Water Park - a perfect way to wind up our day. We were seated in the magic show room, and our man Henry got up and planted himself smack dab in the middle of the first row so that he would be picked to get up and assist the magician - and boy did he have a good time doing it! He hammed it up like crazy and proclaimed the magic show the BEST part of his birthday. Here's a video (below) and a gallery of highlights from our evening.

MagicHen

18Jul/160

Pure Diving Grace

There are times you say, "Yep, that is definitely my kid"—then look for a stiff drink. 😉 (Click image to play)

(funnier with sound) Finn's inherited his old man's gracious diving #MotionStills

A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) on

[No Finnsters were harmed in the making of this vid]

17Jul/160

Boots on the Ground: Quicksilver Edition

Yesterday the guys gamely braved the heat & elevation to traverse the slopes of San Jose's Almaden Quicksilver County Park, home of the country's first working mercury mine. Being kind of nuts, they & their pals insisted on periodically trying to piggyback one another up the hills. Here's a 30-second taste of the day:

Tuckered

13Jul/160

Minor Miners

This year, at Henry's request, we finally toured one of the old mines that Leadville, CO is famous for. Much to our delight, it was fascinating, and far exceeded our expectations!

We were led by Bob the Miner, who owns the Hopemore mine a few miles out of town. The Hopemore was established over 100 years ago, and produced gold, copper, silver, and iron, in addition to lead. Bob told us the Leadville area is one of the most richly mineralized areas in the world—a literal goldmine for prospectors!

We got to watch Bob demonstrate all sorts of mining equipment and machinery, including drills, a tunnel mucker, the cage that took us down the mineshaft, pulleys, and ore chutes. The boys were absolutely rapt. He pointed out the vein of ore slicing through the granite on either side, and showed us pictures of a huge ore pocket when it was being mined out - it was dozens of feet high and a hundred feet deep!

We all had a great (and very cold - 42 degrees!) time 600 feet below ground. Henry and Finn even got to push around an old ore car on the narrow tracks. On our way back to the shaft, Bob shone his flashlight on the ceiling of the tunnel, where we could see a bright vein of gold gleaming in the light. ("I never show dentists until the end," Bob chuckled.)

Check out our photo gallery from the adventure.

We could really tell the boys soaked it all in, because once we got back home to San Jose, the boys immediately went downstairs to the basement and built their own Lego mine, including tools for blasting through veins, an entry chute, and a mine car riding on tracks!

12Jul/160

All aboard: Visiting the Colorado Railroad Museum

BigFanTrain

Part of Henry's birthday present from his Colorado family was a visit to the Colorado Train Museum in Golden, CO. If ever a kid loved trains, it's Henry Seamus Nack, so it was a perfect gift.

We spent the entire afternoon (gallery) looking at, wandering around, and venturing inside various types of rail car, locomotives, cabooses, and even a push-me-pull-you! We also got to take a ride around the property on a coal-powered steam train. Oh - and there was a spectacular model railroad (featuring Legos!) in the basement of the museum that the boys really enjoyed checking out.

Thanks to the Lingles for the tickets! Our newly-minted seven year-old was beside himself!

Snowplow

11Jul/160

The Persistence of Finn

Well, if you can’t sleep at 10,200 feet—as I surely can’t for the first couple of days—you can at least have fun passing the time with Photoshop & a photo of your sprawled-out son. 😉

Persistence of Finn

11Jul/160

Raftstravaganza!

Raftstravaganza

After about 10 years of waiting for all the cousins to be old enough, John and I finally got to take Finn, Henry, and cousins Patrick and Charlie rafting down the Brown's Canyon section of the Arkansas River! All of us had a total blast - although, not surprisingly, it took Henry about 3/4 of the trip to finally start enjoying himself. (He tends to warm up to things far more slowly than the average bear.)

John and I sat in the front/main splash zone, followed by Charlie (11) and Patrick (13), with Finn behind Patrick, and Henry hunkered down in the middle of the raft for fear of getting launched out! In the gallery of photos, you'll notice his little blue helmet way down low, right in between my and John's knees. I started calling Henry "the turtle" because he was very effective at ducking down so low that the bill of his hat was sitting right on top of his life vest's shoulders. He stayed that way most of the trip, as we shot through the Zoom Flume, The Widowmaker, and the Devil's Toiletbowl. At some point I did hear him laughing, and looked over and saw his face plastered with a wide grin. He admitted at the end that he really had fun and would definitely do it again (as would all the other boys!).

Brown's Canyon is the newest National Monument, and boy was it scenic. We had an epic adventure, and we were thrilled to chaperone all the kids on their first rafting trip. The Arkansas river will definitely see more of us in the future!

[Finn got very excited by "The Widowmaker" and kept yelling, "Adios, Dad!!" :-p —J.]