Tag Archive | Denver

Mile High Hijinks

October 13-19, 2010 – Denver, Colorado

I was graciously invited by Regina and her sister Claudina to visit Denver, CO.  And Regina has been quite persistent. She’s been trying to get me out there for YEARS. 5 years to be exact. Rob and I shied her off with a variety of excuses.  Then, I divorced Rob and ran out of excuses. I hadn’t seen these two since my wedding in 2007. I love them to pieces. They’re like long-lost sisters or cousins. On occasion, I’ve even told people we were cousins.

Regina, me, and Claudina - August 2007

I cashed in my Frequent Flyer Miles and booked a flight to Denver. Regina has had slightly ulterior motives. She’s trying to get me to move to Denver. Since I was in the midst of my city search, I added Denver to the list. What did I have to lose? By many accounts, Denver would be my kind of city. It’s accessible to the mountains where you can enjoy as many outdoor activities as you can stomach. It has an art scene and an award-winning restaurant scene.

Regina's dog Bruiser - Jr. Host

I couldn’t have asked for better hostesses. I stayed with Regina and Claudina in their cozy townhome/railroad-style apartment. I wish I had taken pictures of the place because it was so cute and chic.

I did a lot of exploring while I was there… most of which was by choice on foot.  Denver is a very walkable city with wide well-maintained bike/walking paths. You can definitely feel the altitude difference, especially someone like me who lives at sea-level and has asthma. That didn’t stop me. My only disappointment is that I didn’t get to go out to mountains and hike. I suspected that happened as a ploy for me to plan a return trip.

Invesco Field, which was literally right up the street from Regina's house

A view of the Millennium Bridge in Downtown Denver

Night view of the same bridge

Larimer Square

Falling Rock Taphouse

Big Blue Bear: Colorado Convention Center - "I See What You Mean." 40-foot high steel sculpture, encased in a fiberglass and cement composite, by artist Lawrence Argent.

Denver also has a thriving art and craft scene. It’s a little on the hipster side, but I can’t help but envy them for it. Claudina and I perused much of the Craft and Yarn stores in the immediate vicinity.

Crocheted public art adorning construction site near Union Station

Fancy Tiger - Craft shop

Fancy Tiger Craft shop

Local Craft Show

Of course, I ate like someone who was just rescued from a desert island. I do this every time I go out-of-town. It’s now part of my modus operandi.

Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Iced Coffe, and Phở from Phở So

Tom Ka Kai and Thai Iced Tea from Thai Basil

Drunken Noodles with beef from Thai Basil

There was also some drinking involved… I shan’t disclose exactly how much except to say the margaritas were fantastico.

Margaritas from Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - They packed a big punch. The little one in front was mine.

Out of all the eateries, my favorite was Snooze A.M. Eatery. By Saturday, Darius had arrived. Snooze was recommended to him. We waited over an hour for a seat, but it was oh-so-worth it.

Circular Booths at Snooze

D's Pancake Flight - Buttermilk, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin pancakes

D's Chorizo breakfast taco

My "Sandwich I Am" - soft pretzel roll filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a sausage patty, served with a side of smoked cheddar hollandaise & house hash browns.

I was also there to run Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon with Regina who was running with Team-in-Training.

Regina and reminder of who she was running for

It was freezing at the start!

Regina, me, and Darius freezing at the start of the race

The Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon was a great Half Marathon. The course was very scenic. It brought you past many of Denver’s landmarks like Pepsi Center and Coors Field. My favorite part of the course was in City Park. There was a point in the park where you had breath-taking vista of the city and the mountains. Unfortunately, my ankles were not fans of the crowned roads through the park. I learned the hard way not to run on the outsides of crowned roads.
Darius started well ahead of us. Regina and I kept a good pace… until we needed to take a potty break. There wasn’t nearly enough portapottys along the course route. We eventually stopped at a coffee-house to use their facilities. The wait cost us about 10-12 minutes on our overall race time. It did give us a nice opportunity for a photo-op.

Regina and me at our Potty Stop

Somewhere in city park, Regina had some hip troubles and I continued on without her. I was doing well until I got to some of the uphill sections around mile 9 and 10. After that, it was a struggle to finish. The altitude didn’t help with my asthma. I did finish. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.

Sprinting to the finish - photo by Darius Daniel

Darius and I at the Finish

Regina and I at the Team-in-Training tent - photo by Darius Daniel

After the race, we had my favorite post-race meal – burgers! Don’t ask me why I love burgers after a race, but with a 1900 calorie post-race deficit I’m not going to question it.

Citygrille Burger from City Grille - Half lb. freshly ground sirloin, melted Swiss, bacon and the Grille's zesty Caesar dressing

This was a good trip. In case it isn’t obvious, I really liked Denver. If it was the 27 year-old version of myself who was an avid climber and outdoorswoman visiting, I’d probably just have Myles and my things shipped to me in Denver. I wouldn’t even bother with my return ticket. However, my current incarnation is very gun-shy about moving halfway across the country again. As much as I love Regina and Claudina, I think they’d get tired of me quickly… hahaha. So, Denver is going to stay one of my favorite vacation destinations. Besides, I have some mountains I still need to explore 😉