I love to host “surprise dates,” nights in which Dan has no idea where we’re going. Of the two of us, Dan is the one who routinely has his sh*t together, so it’s refreshing for both of us to flip the script once in a while.
Then the main event: the monthly meeting of the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. The Society’s meetings are held at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery a mile from our house — we had been looking for an excuse to visit the museum anyway. We didn’t see much of the museum this time around, though we did sneak up to the rooftop deck to gape at the foggy mountains.
NoCoAstro meetings are even held in the museum’s Otterbox Digital Dome Theater, which came in handy when the guest speaker was running late — they used the screen to project enormous-format videos of a shuttle launch and a trailer for the Extremely Large Telescope.
Dr. Stephen Mojzsis visited from Boulder for a guest lecture on ancient Mars. We never got as far as discussing, per the abstract, how “asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life” (hey, you pick your surprise dates and I’ll pick mine), but ended up with a lively and interactive discussion about how Mars is fundamentally different from Earth and how forced comparisons between the two can slow down our understanding of each.
Fun, fascinating, would attend again. NoCoAstro’s December meeting will focus on the end of Cassini.
Afterwards we headed south for a reservation at The Chocolate Cafe. This mom-and-pop gem is tucked around a dark corner and it might have taken me eons to stumble across it on my own — luckily I had a housewarming gift from my lovely friend Melissa to point me in the right direction.
In case you haven’t clicked through to The Chocolate Cafe’s menu, here are a few highlights:
TRIFECTA: A three layer dessert with a bittersweet chocolate cake-like base, followed by a bittersweet chocolate mousse and topped with white chocolate mousse
CHOCOLATE CRÈME BRULEE: A smooth dark chocolate custard served with wafer cookies
CHOCOLATE RAVIOLI: Milk chocolate and hazelnut filling sealed in a wrapper and served warm with rich, butter pecan ice cream
And on, and on…
You can also order a dessert flight. Heavens.
I opted for the Ultimate Chocolate Cake and Dan had the Toffee Chocolate Brownie. We waddled the 2 miles back home.