‘Denver, CO’ Category

  1. Denver & Boulder, CO

    December 10, 2012 by Angie

    We flew into Denver on a Friday and were welcomed by beautiful, cold weather. We stayed in Uptown/Downtown Denver at the Warwick Denver Hotel. The parking and breakfast situations there were horrifically priced but other than that it’s a great hotel. Really good and central location, clean, warm, quiet, and we both noticed the elevators there are crazy fast. Here’s a photo of the cozy fireplace in the lobby.

    The coolest part is probably the heated rooftop pool.

    On Day 1 we walked around the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and went to the Yard House there. We love the Gardein dishes they make and they had a lot of local beers so it was a good call. Later we went to Colorado’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Company.

    Robbie enjoying a Mile HIPA at Wynkoop Brewing Company

    We made one more stop at Mellow Mushroom on our way back to the hotel. It’s one of the cooler Mellow Mushrooms I’ve been to with a modern, futuristic 60’s look instead of the psychedelic style most of the restaurants have.

    We started Day 2 with brunch at Watercourse Foods. I really liked my omelet. I also liked that they clearly marked on the menu which items contain nuts. Thank you for not poisoning me on my vacation, Denver!

    While we were eating breakfast it started snowing! Our waiter said it didn’t qualify as real snow but not-rain was falling from the sky so we were pretty stoked. Looks like snow on this dog to me!

    It snowed a little on this dog.

    Later we walked through the 16th street mall and it really started to snow then. We snuck into H&M so Robbie could buy some gloves. For lunch, we walked to Rock Bottom Brewery where we had a huge, very tasty plate of nachos and Robbie tried a couple of their beers. By the time we got back to our hotel there was a blanket of snow on everything outside.

    Snowy view from our hotel balcony.

    Just to illustrate how cold it was, here are photos of two very bundled and layered Floridians.

    It was tights-under-the-jeans-cold.

    Robbie looks a little scary in his snow day gear.

    For dinner, we walked to an awesome vegetarian restaurant called City O’ City. I ordered the flu buster hot toddy. It was my first ever hot toddy. I am now a big fan of the drink as this was delicious.

    Flu Buster Hot Toddy at City O’ City

    Robbie ordered the City O’ Burger which came with vegan Big Mac style special sauce. I didn’t get a good photo of it but he was in love. He has mentioned the special sauce every couple of days ever since. I got the pretzel-crusted tofu which also featured a noteworthy and unique caperberry sauce. It was my favorite meal of the trip.

    Pretzel-crusted tofu

    We had a bad habit of going to sleep early and waking up around 5:00 am hungry. I think it had a lot to do with the time zone difference and that we just changed the clocks back that week. I’m going to mostly blame it on the sun abandoning Denver around 4:30 pm everyday. On Sunday, we managed to hold out until 11:00 am when Jonesy’s Eat Bar opened so that we could enjoy the bottomless mimosa brunch there. We had a great time at that restaurant and the food was really good too.

    Posing with my bottomless mimosa at Jonesy’s Eat Bar

    We were without a car but our friends Lauren and Ryan were kind enough to pick us up from our hotel for a trip to Boulder on Sunday. We went to Rueben’s Burger Bistro for lunch where I had the best cherry coke of my life – local cherry whiskey mixed with Diet Coke. Robbie had some special beers too and we split the black bean eggrolls which were also really good. We walked around some more and ended up at Centro Latin Kitchen during Happy Hour. Robbie got to have a homebrewed beer there that was made in the chef’s garage. You can’t get any more local than that. Lauren and I enjoyed our $2 Cuba Libres. We couldn’t pass up the fancy manchego-chimichurri verde fries. Robbie says they are in the top three fries he’s ever had so that’s quite an endorsement.

    Next we continued to bar hop on foot. It was so cold that day but we had a great time. We went to the Pearl Street Pub & Cellar where people were kissing this bison thing on the wall. I’m not clear on the reason for that.

    We continued on to the Walnut Brewery where Robbie tried their GFYIPA and Lauren and Ryan had their giant pretzels. The last stop was the Sundown Saloon which was really fun. It’s a laid-back bar with pool, darts, and my favorite bar game – tabletop shuffleboard.

    On Monday we got up early for our Rocky Mountain National Park tour which you can read all about here. I’m really glad there are services like this tour because it would have been a shame to miss out on all that nature just because we were too scared of driving in the snow. After our tour we went to dinner with Lauren and Ryan in Denver at the Falling Rock Tap House. Robbie and I split a house-made veggie burger which was quite good.

    Tuesday was our last day. 🙁 We went back to City O’ City for breakfast. It’s a sister restaurant to Watercourse Foods so the breakfast was similar but that’s not a bad thing because both places are delicious. After breakfast we packed everything up at the hotel and left our bags with the staff while we killed some time at one last restaurant/brewery, the Vine Street Pub & Brewery. It’s a really cute place with knowledgeable, helpful waiters (this restaurant also protected me from potential nut-induced death), good food, and beers brewed on site. After lunch it was time to say goodbye to Denver and take a taxi back to the airport. We had enough time for one more drink at the Rock Bottom Brewery in the airport.

    It was a fantastic trip and I really feel like we made the most of it and saw and did and drank and ate a lot. It’s really not a bad flight when you fly nonstop like we did so I hope we’ll get to go back soon and see more. Here’s a shot of Robbie’s craft beer loot – a piece of Colorado to enjoy at home.

    The fruit of the Colorado Beer Pilgrimage

  2. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    November 17, 2012 by Angie

    During our fantastic trip to Colorado this past week, we took a tour to Rocky Mountain National Park. We went with a company called the Colorado Sightseer and were guided by a knowledgeable Colorado native named Tom. Tom picked us up at our hotel in Denver and drove us through Boulder and into the town of Estes Park near one of the entrances to the park. We stopped to admire a big herd of wild elk who had taken over this golf course.

    That’s a lot of elk.

    I wanted to pet them but Robbie talked me out of trying to do that.

    We stopped to take photos with our tour-mates at this nice sign with a nice view.

    Once inside the park we went to see the alluvial fan. Tom was full of information and explained that there was a terrible flood in 1982 when an earthen dam failed. The nearby town of Estes Park was flooded and the force of the water moved huge boulders and trees and everything else around down into the valley. The array of flood debris (mostly rocks) is still visible thirty years later.

    Alluvial fan

    It was quite cold and windy in the park but the sun was shining.

    This is looking back at the walkway to the alluvial fan trail with some mountains behind it.

    Even most of the waterfall water was frozen.

    Next Tom took us up higher into the mountains so we could look out at peaks and over Moraine Park. Longs Peak is one of those I think but I can’t say for sure which one.

    Mountain Robgeleen

    You can see some snow!

    And for our last stop in the park, we walked around the beautiful, frozen Sprague Lake. It was so quiet and peaceful there – definitely our favorite view.

    There was a whole gang of snow by the lake.

    Check out these colorful fish swimming in the frozen lake.

    After the park we ate lunch at a pizzeria in Estes Park. The pizza wasn’t very good so no photos of that. There were a lot of things in the town we wanted to check out but the hour we had there was totally eaten up by the so-so pizza. Tom drove us around a little bit and we were able to see the Stanley Hotel up on its big hill. He explained that Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after staying there. We hope to come back to Colorado and stay at that hotel and have some time to explore Estes Park.

    On the way back to Denver we saw several adorable deer on the side of the road. We also got to see these elk up a little closer.

    A complete account of all the delicious/fun highlights from Denver and Boulder is forthcoming! Also, we got snowed on in Denver so that was pretty exciting.