Cali Girl Does Denver

10:39 AM

...in a day!

Well not really, but we basically dedicated our last (3/4's of a) day to being extra touristy. If you haven't noticed a pattern, I enjoy doing the touristy things...I'm sure J could care less, but he goes along with my antics, per the usu. So at this point, we've spent 1.5 days (see our first and second here) in Denver and had most of the day to explore, before we caught our flight home.

I intended to pack as much as I could in this time, J was in for a treat!

I didn't want to waste too much of our day sleeping, especially since we had to head back to the airport in the mid-afternoon. So, we slept in a little, then got ready for the day. To say I was starving was beyond true. I used Yelp to find us a breakfast spot, so we cabbed our way toward Capitol Hill to eat at Sassafras American Eatery. J was not very excited, since it was Cajun style. I honestly thought it was American when I read some of the reviews. Oh well, he ended up really liking it, so it was a win-win! This place was as if NOLA met hipster, it was good, but the main courses took a little too long to come out. 
Loved the cuteness in the details!
* Check-in on Yelp for HALF OFF Beignets // French Market style donuts dusted with Powdered Sugar
Top: Breakfast Po'Boy // Scrambled Egg (whites, requested), Sharp Cheddar, Choice of Bacon, Sausage, or Hot Sausage, Toasted French Bread & Bottom: Breakfast Mac // Housemade Bacon, Over Easy Egg, Grit Croutons, Creamy Cheese Sauce, Elbow Macaroni
Afterwards, we saw a pretty Cathedral that we wanted to check out. We happened to walk past a Dispensary and we may or may not have peeked inside to see what the passing of the law entailed. Then we walked toward the Capitol, since it was right there, we thought we'd check it out. Apparently we were a day early for "Colorado Day," but they were celebrating it that day, since it's not open on the weekends!
 
I'm ready for my speech!
Then we went to get our "Tourist" on and check out a few things everyone mentioned we should see. We Ubered down to Union Station, not really knowing what to expect. Well, we should have just ate here. It was a hustle and bustle of a plethora of restaurants with a few shops mixed in. It is also actually where the Amtrak stops, who would have thought...a train station that is still functioning?
From here, we knew we were centrally located near all three sports stadiums and Confluence Park. We decided to walk to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, because we could see it. We walked the few blocks there, to which we came across the rental red bikes (similar to the blue ones in Chicago). J wasn't feeling it, but I wasn't feeling walking everywhere. I'll give you one guess who won ;) After renting the bikes, we rode around Coors Field and checked it out as much as we could from the outside. Originally we were going to pay to do the field tour on Wednesday, but a local told us we should wait until we can see a game there...whenever the hell, that will be, who knows! So we never did the tour, but our outside tour sufficed!
Denver Bikes
After that, we didn't have a plan (again). So I Yelped Confluence Park and we headed there. It was about a mile and a half away. By the way, the weather was still hot in Denver. We were totally winging it and didn't know what we were doing, but we finally made it to the "park". However, this isn't your normal 'park'! It's considered an urban park where Cherry Creek and the South Plate River conflux (HAHA), also considered in the LoDo area. It was kinda neat, two kids were tubing down the small rapids, bikers were everywhere, they had a hot dog stand, and there were a two little 'look out' areas to enjoy the view. Just across the water, or a short bridge crossing, you could see the REI Flagship store, which also housed a Starbucks.
After we rode across the bridge, I parked my bike and we took turns checking out the huge REI. I wasn't that into it, other than to say I went into the flagship. It was huge, but I had no need for anything inside there. After we both checked it out, I went to grab us something cool to drink at the Starbucks. I really liked this one, the ceiling was really high and it gave this location a cool, warehouse feeling. Nothing like your typical Starbucks on every corner. They had tons of outdoor seating, so we took advantage of it and relaxed and tried to de-sweat!
 
After we chilled for a little while, we set off to go find the nearby stadiums. We rode the pathway to see the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos. We attempted to go around the entire stadium, but it required us to climb a hill, so we turned around and headed back to go see Pepsi Stadium.
J thought he would be funny and basically almost caused us to crash into each other. Instead, I went veering off the path and into semi-marshy land and screamed my head off, only to have those at the amusement park stare, laugh, and point to us. Luckily, no causalities occurred, but my feet and flip flops were mud caked. We had a good laugh about it and J will never live that moment down! After we settled down from that nonsense, we tried to find our way to Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets (NBA) and the Colorado Avalanche (NHL). It took us two attempts and carrying the bikes up five flights of stairs, but we made it there. We were determined to see all of the sports stadiums, since we'd seen the others already. Pepsi, by far, was the most boring of all.
Interesting mural under the bridge.
 
After over an hour of riding around in the blazing heat, we decided to head back to the hotel and drop the bikes off for their final return. We were about a mile and a half away, so the ride back was pretty quick. Once we parked the bikes near the Convention Center, we decided to check out 16th street to find a snack to share before we got on the plane. We walked to 7-11 for a Red Bull to share, we were lagging from the heat and the bike ride. We couldn't decide on a place to eat, eventually we found our way to Appaloosa Grill. It's a little on the pricier side, but we were sharing something and it was almost Happy Hour, so we went in. Our server was awesome, she even split our meal in half for us (her own doing) and didn't charge extra. She also let us order HH drinks, before it was actually time. AND she honored the Yelp freebie of a beer, for their sister location right above there's! It was the tastiest send-off snack ever!
Steak Gorgonzola (shared order)  // Kobe flank, blue cheese, caramelized onion, port wine reduction, toasted ciabatta
Cutting it close to our Uber pick-up time, we paid the bill and walked the few blocks back to the hotel. We grabbed our bags and were off to the airport to head home with our favorite Uber driver to date, Randy!
Traveler's Note: An Uber from Downtown to the Airport is approximately $40, tip included and for two people. Probably a better option than a cab or the Shuttle service.

As I reflect on our almost three full days in Denver, we crammed a lot of stuff in there. My expectations were higher than they should have been, but I enjoyed my time there. I actually do want to go back and explore the Rockies as well as the Red Rock Amphitheater. I have a feeling there are some really good restaurants there too, we just need to do a little more research. I'm not sure if we'll ever actively plan a trip there again, but I hope so. I feel like there is still more to be done and seen. Our Denver adventure was quick, yet memorable...you can't really complain about that!

Another week, another state!

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