We had a great weekend full of fun, food and festivities yet again – it’s what holidays are made of.

To start our weekend off right, after I got done with work on Saturday we took Big Barks and Little Barks on a walk (have I ever mentioned our affinity for doggie nicknames?). Then we got ready for a night out with our friends Greg and Meghan, who we’d be spending Easter with the next day. After reviewing our coupon dining options, we selected an Italian dive in Wheat Ridge called, Vincenza’s Italian Bakery & Deli. And what a treat that was! Upon our entry into the lovely establishment, we were greeted by Mr. Frank Lechuga, who was crooning a Sinatra song and gesturing us in with a smile. He serenaded us throughout the night with various other Big Band songs, and Meghan became good friends with him when she decided to sing along to a Guys and Dolls song, Luck Be a Lady. It was quite an entertaining experience.

Introducing Mr. Frank Lechuga


We learned Meghan is a sucker for show tunes.

Not only that, but the bread with dipping oil & vinegar was delicious, as were our meals – Meghan and I got the Eggplant Florentine special and the boys stuck to the classic Chicken Parmagiano. Then we were off to The Market, a great little food market and coffee shop in Larimer Square in LoDo, downtown Denver. I always love me a Milky Way coffee confection, and this one did not disappoint. Yum!

After chatting into the late hours of the night, we headed back so we would be able to wake up in time for the Easter service at Red Rocks. To my disappointment, it wasn’t the traditional Easter message and it wasn’t any more elaborate than usual. So since my expectations were really high for a magnificent Easter service, I have to admit that I was a little let down. Don’t get me wrong, the message was great – it’s just that I really miss having the traditional celebrations that lead up to Easter, and then getting a powerful message about the resurrection on Sunday. But I suppose there’s something to be said about changing things up and getting out of the typical groove. And hopefully it was effective enough to keep visitors coming back for more, which was ultimately the goal of the message.

Anyway, after church we prepared Ryan’s favorite dessert, Scotcharoos, for our contribution to Easter lunch with the Mcdowells, Meghan’s side of the family. We met up at Meghan’s parents’ house and drove together to the farm country of Erie, CO. We basically entered my hometown of Beaverdam, MI – the only difference was that to the west we saw a giant mountain range. As soon as we pulled up to the house we were greeted with a few dogs (they have six) and I immediately saw that there were goats – yes! So after introductions were made, I made a beeline over to greet my long-lost farm friends. During our visit with these blessed creatures, Dallas showed us how to lasso a goat – yee haw!

In my country bumpkin element.

Watching the expert lasso lad.

We were a little nervous when Greg picked up the pitchfork since his last Easter involved a near-death experience with a harmless jelly bean.

But before we could get a chance to give lassoing a try ourselves, we got called for lunch. What a fantastic family – we were welcomed with open arms and got to enjoy the traditional Easter feast of ham, mashed potatoes, salad, deviled eggs and lots of chocolate desserts. Completely stuffed, it was time to work off our meal by hiding the eggs for the little nieces and nephews to find.

Ryan hiding the eggs out of reach.

Strategic placement.

We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t participate in the hunt, but we were able to enjoy the bounty when we “helped” the kids open their eggs. After lunch we toured the grounds to see more farm animal visits including a hilarious encounter with a dog who “smiled” when you called his name. We could not stop laughing at Petey. He smiled by crinkling his nose so it looked like he was snarling, but the funniest part was just that all it took to get him to pull that ridiculous face was to say his name. Hysterical! I wish I would have gotten a photo of that, but it really is one of those “you have to be there” experiences.

Ryan's new little puppy friend, Charlie, the pocket beagle.

After a bit of relaxing, eating more dessert, playing with their new puppy and chatting, it was time to leave. We extended our visit with the Fatticcis (Meghan and Greg) in our neck of the woods by getting a tour of Meghan’s old homestead and playing on her childhood treehouse/swingset. Then it was time to head home to our furry kids and relax with a movie.

So although we missed our own families during this holiday weekend, we did have a fun time getting to know another great family.

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and we love you all!