Day Fifteen: We walked to the South Pearl Farmer’s Market in the morning. The Colorado markets are exponentially better than any markets we have in NY. We walked, we sampled, we bought, we left. We even purchased a cup of lemonade from young entrepreneurs on the edge of the market.
Afterwards, we went to brunch/lunch on Broadway at Moxie. Quite delicious. (Fair warning: There will be many good photos in this post, and likely the next post, too.) After Jackie’s phone had an unfortunate swim and a new home in a bag of rice, we got ice cream at Sweet Action. As always, such a nice treat.
We relaxed for a bit, then walked to get sandwiches to bring to Red Rocks. Janice and I tailgated in the comfort of the air conditioned car.
For those who have never been to Denver, my best travel advice is to find a concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater and build a long weekend around the show. It is most deserving of all of its accolades and any pictures simply do not do the venue any justice. The acoustics alone are worth the trip! Also, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Janice and I saw the band Shovels & Rope open up for the Avett Brothers. Both bands played sets that felt at home in Colorado.
Day Sixteen: With Janice only having a few days in Colorado, we wanted to try to visit as many places on her wish list as possible. We drove up to Boulder to have brunch with Jackie’s friend Hannah. Snooze is by far my most favorite breakfast place in the entire world! (Jealous much, Andrew?) After breakfast, we wandered around Boulder for an hour or so. When we headed back, I began the process of furniture building. After all, I have to earn my keep.
After some sweat equity, we ordered sushi for take out, and perhaps got some ice cream to take in, as well. After dinner, we ventured over to IKEA to get some additional storage solutions for Jackie’s home. Any guesses as to what I did when we got back to her place? (Furniture tally: II)
Day Seventeen: Unfortunately, storms kept us from hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Instead, we were able to have breakfast with Ali, then made our way up to the Butterfly Pavilion. Janice was quite nervous about holding Rosie the tarantula, but got a pep talk from a three year old boy. Despite the humid environment, we stayed over an hour in the butterfly habitat and snapped photos.
We then drove to Ft. Collins to visit some breweries. I’m so glad that we stopped by New Belgium, as they have completely redesigned the entire front area and built a new part to the tasting room since I last visited two years ago. The employee at the bar was also a guide who gave me a tour about five years ago. We chatted for a minute, talked about the new Asheville brewery that we had just toured, and wished each other well. The next stop was the Odell tour that I had booked months ago. I was pleased to learn that they have become an employee owned brewery, too. After our small sample, we headed for a happy hour mini-dinner at Ophelia’s near Coors Field in Denver. As having a “gastrobrothel” label, the decor matches the colored past of this building. The food was quite delicious. There may have been a return visit to Sweet Action on the way home. When we pulled up, the meter still had time. It was meant to be.
Day Eighteen: We had a much quieter day. I walked to get coffee, and made some morning phone calls. For lunch, we walked to Kaos pizza before Jackie and Janice had nail appointments. (A drive to Cabella’s twenty miles north was my alternate afternoon activity.) We met up with Kelsey for dinner and then stopped at High Point Creamery. (Bananas & Honey ice cream!)
Day Nineteen: Janice and I got her bags in order. We had breakfast with Jackie at City O City, then made our way to DIA. We checked her in, and hung out in the airport together for an hour or so, before I waved farewell to my excellent travel partner.
When I got back to Jackie’s, I rested. (After two and a half weeks of non-stop travel, I was exhausted!) In the afternoon, her good friend from Wyoming paid a visit and helped with tasks beyond my current comfort level. (Read: electrical wiring) Lady, his dog, kept us company.
Day Twenty: The majority of the day was a perfect lazy day! At night, we met up with Carrie and Kaye for dinner at a restaurant called Annette. It is found in the Stanley Marketplace located on the site of the old Stapleton airport that existed as the main airport before DIA took that spot. The building is quite interesting and has many unique shops and restaurants. As always, I love spending time with Carrie and Kaye.
Day Twenty-One: Jackie and I walked the mile to Einstein’s Bagels before I got ready to go on an adventure for the day. I drove to Golden and placed some cards in the library. Afterwards, I enjoyed watching the kayakers and tubers navigate the rapids in the river. (Some didn’t do so well.) I then drove to Red Rocks to meet up with Lauren and her family. It is always so much fun to randomly see friends for a quick visit as our paths may cross on our separate adventures. (Am I correct Leslie, Laurie, Rose, Theresa, and Anne Marie?)
On my way back, I stopped at Stranahan’s to sample a Snowflake edition whiskey. These batches are only released once or twice a year, and people literally camp out to buy the two bottles that you are allowed to purchase. As I’m in NY, paying for a sample was a much better ordeal for me than attempting a journey just for whiskey. Later on, Jackie and I went to Finley’s for salmon fish & chips and Italian sausage mac & cheese. Our evening concluded with a Target run for a bookshelf. (Furniture tally: IV, when you include the crib from a few days earlier.)
Day Twenty-Two: Uncle Geoff and Aunt Paula drove down this morning to join us for breakfast. Afterwards, we explored the farmer’s market. Paula and I each filled our $10 bag of produce. When we got back, Geoff, Paula, and I caught up some more over another cup of coffee. On the walk back, we admired the various houses along the streets. (A separate blog entry will follow in the next days as I document other awesome homes in the coming days.) It is always a special treat to spend time with them when I visit. We even got to text with other family members who are having a reunion in South Carolina. (Hello, again!)
I am now writing this blog entry at Jackie’s. My near future will hopefully include a haircut, a nap, some leftovers, and some random adventures. Until next time…
Final Thoughts: Traveling is a catalyst for personal growth and learning.
Janice clearly became more comfortable with camping and road tripping on our way out here. I am so proud of her for taking that risk!
For me, traveling has given me the perspective of how insignificant I am in the grand scheme of the planet. Finding the time and financial resources to visit and explore will always be a top priority for me in my life. These trips are not vacations in the traditional sense. They are journeys that help shape who I am. For those who have never been away from home for more than a week and have never bounced around from place to place, I simply encourage you to give it a try. Your whole perspective on your world and your place in it will likely never be the same.
Seems like you are having a great time! Glad that you got to see Paula and Geoff too! Your pictures and blog is fantastic! Enjoy your new adventures ahead!
Awesome entry, Greg! Thanks for having me along with you. I had sooooo much fun! Can’t wait to keep following your journey this summer. Have tons of fun!
What an amazing trip! Your advice for visiting Denver (Red Rocks concert) is helpful since I want to visit Denver in the near future. Honey and banana ice cream sounds delish! I agree with your point about traveling as an opportunity for personal growth. That’s what I’m hoping for when I go to Spain next Spring.