Denver – A Mile High Vacation to Remember

Denver is one of the few historic cities in America that is populated primarily by people who have moved there from someplace else. Shortly after gold was found at Cherry Creek in 1858 a handful of prospectors established at a crossroads on the eastern side of the Kansas Territory what would become the capitol of Colorado.

Named in honor of James W. Denver, the governor the Kansas Territory at that time, this fascinating city lies exactly one mile above sea level. Nicknamed the “Mile High City” Denver is geographically isolated by a high barren desert on the east and a stone plateau at the base of the Rocky Mountain to the west.

World class ski resorts welcome tourists from around the globe to test their skills on the powdery slopes. Combining big city sophistication with rugged outdoor activities Denver has something for everyone.

Home to the Coors Brewery, this city also produces specialty beer from many local microbreweries. The pure artesian wells provide the base for these tasty, one of a kind beers. As you stroll down the mile long street mall on 16th Avenue, sit back and relax in one of the brewpubs or beer café for a glass of locally brewed ale.

Transportation has never a problem in Denver. Forward thinking leadership brought the railroad to town. Within years Denver became the second most populated city west of the Mississippi. That tradition continues as the city recently added a light rail system to expedite commuting residents in outlying areas into the city. Denver International Airport provides shuttle transportation to many of the area’s most resort and motel destinations. Tour of the Capitol building with its many observations decks, provides a breathtaking view of the unique street layout. Half of the city’s streets run diagonally to assist in melting winter snow. Modern and traditional architecture make up a skyline that can be found nowhere else.

Glamorous and chic the many clubs and restaurants’ of the Larimer and LoDo, short for lower downtown, treat every visitor as a VIP. Sample unique cocktails at the Amuse or walk over to the 5 Degrees nightclub to sample one of 48 varieties of martinis. Corridor 44 welcomes you to the opulent décor while inviting you to sample a glass of one of 85 world renowned champagnes and sparkling wine. Music lovers will want to visit Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret where big bands play nightly. If your taste in music is more modern visit Vinyl with multilevel dance floors featuring reggae and hip hop. Shelter Mix provides industrial and new wave tunes where Ladies Night is every night!

Sporting enthusiasts will find eight professional athletic teams in Denver. Enjoy a baseball game featuring the Colorado Rockies; watch the Colorado Rapids soccer team at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and see the Denver Outlaws play lacrosse in the renowned Mile High Stadium.

The Denver Broncos, Nuggets and Avalanche teams make every season sports season. With 850 urban hiking and biking trails in Denver, the city contains the nation’s largest inner city park system. A 20 minute drive will take you to the base of the Rocky Mountains where hiking, rafting, horseback riding and many more outdoor activities await.

One of the largest collections of Native American artifacts may be seen at the Denver Art Museum. In operation since 1890 this non profit museum contains contemporary, modern and western art. The interactive exhibits have earned this facility the reputation for being one of the finest in the nation for encouraging art appreciation.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has so many exhibits you may want to spend an entire day! Stroll through the Hall of Life or visit with Egyptian Mummies as you steady yourself for a Prehistoric Journey with the dinosaurs. An IMAX theater will allow you to rest your feet during your visit. A Denver vacation is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime!

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A Closer Look at Angus Cattle

Cattle are one of the animals that define America for several reasons. Our country’s history wouldn’t be complete without the cattle ranches and cowboys of the American West. A good portion of the U.S. economy is fueled by the cattle industry. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, cattle and calf production in 2008 was valued at $34.9 billion dollars, while the consumption of beef that year was 27.3 billion pounds. Americans love their beef and as a result, the industry thrives.

The most common breed of beef for consumption is Angus. This breed is characterized by two types of naturally hornless (polled) cattle: Black and Red Angus, so named because of their coloration. In the United States, these are considered two separate breeds. Black Angus is the most popular breed in the U.S. The cattle are considered better beef cattle for several reasons. Angus cattle are hardy and adaptable with a high carcass yield of higher marbled meat. They have a lower fat content than some cattle. These cattle are used exclusively as beef cattle and are not used for milk for human consumption.

Angus cattle came the United States from Scotland. The breed was originally called Aberdeen Angus because the cows were native to the Aberdeen and Angus counties of Scotland. In fact, Scotsman Hugh Watson is often considered the founder of the breed. He selected the best animals for his herd and it is believed that most Angus cattle today can trace their origins back to Watson’s cattle.

The cattle breed first came to the United States via Scotsman George Grant in 1873. He transported four Angus bulls to the Kansas prairie. Two of these bulls were exhibited at the Kansas City Livestock Exposition. Because the dominant breed of cattle at the time was the Shorthorn, many people considered the hornless cattle strange and unusual. By crossbreeding the Angus bulls with native Longhorns, Grant was able to produce cattle that wintered better than regular Angus. During 1878 through 1883, the popularity of Angus grew and thousands of cattle were transported to the United States directly from Scotland. The popularity of the hornless Angus has grown exponentially since the early years.

Today, because of the recent spotlight on the inhumane nature of some cattle farms, many natural cattle farms have come into existence. They feed their cattle only natural feed and grains and use no added hormones or antibiotics. Most of these natural farms use only Angus and Angus cross-bred beef. Today, because of the quality of beef, Angus is the most popular breed in the United States.

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Watch the Wizard of Oz – A Classic For All Times on Satellite TV

Those ruby red slippers, the munchkins and the wicked witches – who can forget the wonderful tale of Dorothy Gale? The film is a perennial favorite. First released in 1939 by MGM at the height of the studio’s golden years, Oz wasn’t a great financial hit, but critics hailed it as outstanding and the movie has since become a classic within the film canon. Since its initial release over fifty years ago, the Wiz has been aired regularly on satellite TV and cable. It is a rite of passage and most likely has been seen by more people than any other movie over the decades.

The films ‘there’s no place like home’ images-the yellow brick road, the Emerald City, etc. – and characters have become permanent staples of popular culture. There have been hundreds of references and tributes in books, TV shows, songs and art. Over the years, Dorothy has become an archetype, representing a character that, in some respect, we can all relate to.

The plot of the movie itself closely follows that of the novel by Frank L. Baum. A lonely, young Dorothy Gale dreams of escape from her dreary Kansas farm life. She lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, constantly thinking of ‘somewhere over the rainbow”. One day, during a rough tornado, Dorothy is struck unconscious and is transported along with her little dog Toto into that land beyond the rainbow. In the Land of Oz, Dorothy meets the Good Witch Glinda who tells the young girl to head to the Emerald City via the Yellow Brick Road. There she is to encounter the Wizard of Oz who can transport her back to Kansas. Along her journey, she meets a series of fantastical characters: the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. They all join her on her trip to the Emerald City, hoping to find what they themselves lack-respectively, a heart, a brain and courage. All the while, they have to fight against the Wicked Witch of the West who sports a twisted nose and has flying monkey minions to do her evil bidding. The path is not an easy one. In the end, however, Dorothy gets some lovely shoes and her wish comes true.

As stated earlier, the film wasn’t a commercial success; it did however, garner nominations for its music, namely the title song, ‘Over the Rainbow’ which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Picture. Judy Garland was catapulted into the limelight for her role and will forever be known to young and old as Dorothy Gale.

Today you can watch the film in all its Technicolor glory in high definition or HD. It is a great movie for the whole family and has been listed as one of the top movies of all time. It is indeed America’s best-loved fairy tale. The film frequently airs on Turner Classic Movies and TBS Superstation. If perchance, you’ve been living under a rock and you haven’t seen the film, check your satellite TV listings-it’s definitely a movie that shouldn’t be missed.