Q in her element:
The Q loves Denver's REI flagship store.
REI is an outdoor sports outfitter which has pretty much anything an outdoor enthusiast could possibly yearn for. From camping to climbing gear, bikes to running strollers, kayaks to hiking maps, REI has it all. (Q calls it "Ooh-ahh")
It's also a sort of meeting place for all those like-minded people from the Western Slope to the Front Range, and I always seem to run into an old friend from some previous era of my life when we stop in there.
Located in a repurposed 1901 tramway building, the whole space is a bit of an architectural masterpiece.
It's also conveniently located on the confluence of the Platte River and Denver's Cherry Creek, right between LoDo and Old North Denver (our 'hood).
And that's not event to mention the amazing and elaborate two-story indoor climbing wall, along with the indoor playground that has been Q's fallback entertainment during the long, chilly winter months.
After sliding and climbing to her heart's content, she always signs "bike" and points to the cyclist's end of the store. "Bike" is a word that she could potentially pronounce, but she has never switched over from the sign language on this particular word. It is, after all, quite eloquent.
In the bike section, she loves to fondle the beautiful beach cruisers, and then pick out a tough-looking helmet to wear, and hop on one of the toddler bikes for a test drive. On this occasion, as she sidled over to this BMX-inspired model, a salesperson rushed over to tell me in hushed tones that they did have a "pink one" for the girls. I quickly informed the salesperson that Q had chosen the dangerous-looking one for a reason, and that she was not likely to be tempted by the "girlie" version. (and yes, that is a faux-tattoo on her arm)
On this day, thanks to the unseasonably warm weather (100-year record), I was able to introduce Q to a new and delightful discovery, the outdoor free-climbing rock.
Q enjoying a refreshing snack and watching the older kids free climbing.
As anticipated, it was an instant draw for the Q, who wandered about trying to figure out how to follow the big kids up the rock.
So I showed her a first climbing trick: how to wedge her fingers into a convenient vertical crack. This may come in handy when we finally have the time to take Q on one of our desert walkabouts to place like Moab and Joshua Tree.
True to form, Q got the concept straight out of the gate, and ran with it. (Look at the fingers of her left hand in that last shot, automatically finding the horizontal crack as well. I think she's a natural! Can't WAIT until she ages into rock climbing classes!)
Here she is really getting the hang of it! Anyone know where I can find toddler-sized rock-climbing shoes?
BIG success of an afternoon.
btw these American Apparel suspenders have been our saving grace this year. Tall and lean, well above her agegroup in clothing size, Q is unable to keep any pants on her hips...even lean, mean jeans like these. Thank goodness for the return of "braces"!