Monday, June 24, 2013

Denver - Days 3 and 4

We were determined to get an earlier start to Sunday than Saturday.  We stopped at DJ's Cafe (9th Avenue location) for breakfast. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with my to capture pictures.  When we arrived (around 9am) the place was pretty sparse, but by the time we left it was hopping.  The service was excellent and the food was good, but it was a hard bargain to surpass our expectations after Snooze the day before and DJs just didn't quite cut it.
We drove out to Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Ben had been before (tongue-twister?) but my parents and I had not.  It is astounding.  It makes me almost wish that I had agree to see Umphree's McGee play on Friday night while we were there, almost.
First thing first, we hiked up to the top of the theater for the view (and also noticed an extreme amount of people working out.  There were even a few group classes going on. How cool is that?).
Then we hopped on the trail around the rocks and through the prairies.  Chicago has architecture, but Colorado has this:

Pure, amazing, natural beauty.
Being the smarty I am, I chose to hike in a dress. Really, who does that?!
We came across a bird watching group with binoculars.  They let us take a peak into their high powered gear and we spied 4 baby mountain birds in a nest in the rocks.

After the hike we decided to dry back to the hotel and soak up some rays at the roof top pool. However, first we had a pit stop.  On Friday night we'd had our fill at dinner, but I'd wanted to seek out a local ice cream shop. 

Yep, I'm so obsessed with ice cream that I go out of my way to try out the locals.  Friday night we drove to Little Man Ice Cream in Highlands neighborhood, but were greeted by a line spanning more than one block.  At the time, we decided it wasn't worth the wait, but it also meant it was so popular that I just had to try it.

It turned out, Sunday around 1pm was the perfect time. No line, just bliss. Little Man met all expectations.

We spent the afternoon tanning burning ourselves by the pool for a few hours until deciding it was time to get moving again.  We drove over to City Park for a Water for People (a global organization with a mission to provide everyone everywhere with water) event...only to realize once we got there the event, Festival for Water, was actually downtown at Civic Center Park.

City Park
We went to Civic Center Park for some live music, hoping to grab dinner from the food trucks; but at this point the sun burn really kicked in and we decided loud noise and truck fumes weren't the ambiance we wanted for dinner.  Instead, we headed back to Cherry Creek North and ate at True Food Kitchen.  This place was definitely not picky-eater Ben's cup of tea, as all of the meals are based on anti-inflammatory foods, but I have to say, my parents LOVED it and my fish tacos were divine.
From there we pretty much called it a night; once again too stuffed for dessert (although I did have ice cream earlier in the day, so I really didn't need a second dessert).

Monday morning we had breakfast with my dad and the conference he was there for before heading out on our own a little bit to explore.  We checked out the Highlands a little bit more before finding Sloan's Lake.  Can you imagine if this were your morning view?
Before leaving town we needed one more beer stop and lunch, so we headed to Colorado Craft in the Ballpark area, which is a brew pub of Breckenridge Brewery.
I had the most amazing, cheesy mac and cheese you could find along with a club sandwich. The food, service and space were all impressive and made for a happy choice.
From there it was time for goodbyes with Mom and Pop before heading back to the airport and Chicago. 

Fear not Denver, we'll most likely be back to visit you in July when we head out for an Estes Park wedding! Denver was a lot of eating, drinking, some nature and a lot of fun:)

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