OK, so I’ve been slacking a bit on the blog. My summer has been much more work than it should be thus far, but I’m managing a few trips in there. San Diego, Miami and even a trip back to Stockholm are all on the agenda. But first, a look back at my Denver trip…
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month already since my husband and I had that weekend wedding in Denver, Colorado. Most people forgo urban adventures for the mountains, but they’re missing out . Colorado consistently ranks as the top healthiest state, the top state for singles, the happiest state etc etc. And it has to do with a lot more than skiing.
Hubby and I had lived there for a couple of years so we took a familiar route. Friday morning we drove down to the Colorado Springs area and walked in the Garden of Gods. It’s just about an hour and a half from Denver and it’s a beautiful ride, with mountains on one side and prairies on the other. The Garden of Gods is a great showcase of Colorado’s natural wonders. Bright red rocks against a crisp blue sky . Roaming deer. Riders on Mustangs (the mammal variety) and hikers walking the many trails. In the distance, Colorado’s highest mountain, Pike’s Peak, aka “America’s Mountain”.It’s one of those places where you can snap a million pictures but they never quite capture the beauty before your eyes.
On the way back to Denver, we stopped off at the outlets in Castle Rock. By no means the size of, say, Woodbury Commons in New York, but Castle Rock does have better deals. Hubby walked away with a suit for the wedding, 6 new shirts and 4 ties for under $300.
That night we had dinner plans at the Chart House. Set in the foothills, overlooking buffalo grazing grounds,, the Chart House is one of Colorado’s best spots for steak and fish (despite being an inland state, Coloradoans serve up some great seafood). It also has a most amazing chocolate lava cake that you order at the beginning of the meal, so that it can slowly prep and simmer while you eat your main course.
Saturday it was time for the wedding, but we did manage a brunch at Elway’s in Cherry Creek first. Cherry Creek is the Upper East Side of Denver. People leave their Porches with the valet, run in for brunch and drop into swanky stores like Louis Vuitton on the way out. It’s moms in James jeans and Tod’s and dads in Hugo Boss. Patrons come after a run at the country club golf course next door. It’s fancy but not too pricey and food is divine. Think lobster club sandwiches, filet mignon gyros and French toast with the purest of maple syrup.
The wedding took place downtown and the reception was at Denver’s historic Brown Palace. The hotel is most well known for it’s afternoon tea service, where you witness mothers and daughters dressed in their Sunday Best, sometimes in gloves and hats, sipping on Earl Grey and eating scones. The Ship Tavern serves as a decent after work drink spot, if you’re looking for something traditional (mahogany bar, red/white checkered table cloths, surly old waiters). The reception itself was in one of their many conference spaces – not much to speak of aesthetically, but weddings are all about the people anyway, and we certainly had a blast.
Sunday, our last day back, was filled with more delicious food. After a lazy wake-up, we drove to Red Rocks , an ampitheater carved out of the mountain. At night, this is home to some of the best concerts in the US, but during the day it serves as training camp for college students, amateurs and world athletes alike (the high altitude makes Colorado ideal for training). We mostly watched – we were nursing hangovers after all. Then we headed to the nearby town, a picturesque place filled with bed and breakfasts and tourist shops. We go, however, for the Blue Cow café with it’s amazing breakfast menu.
The Blue Cow is small and homey, with a great terrace for warmer days. It’s a family business and service can be slow, but always friendly. They manage to pull out some of the freshest fruit and vegetables and whip together some really innovative pancakes or eggs. Served with saucer like coffee cups, it’s ideal for a Sunday brunch.
Later in the day, we mused back to Cherry Creek for happy hour at Kona Grill. Kona is a Denver hot spot, where local celebrities, athletes, rockers and business types all converge for under $5 margaritas and fish tacos, or burgers, or sushi. Kona has a kindda quirky but delicious tasting menu. The terrace, with it’s fire pit as the central point, serves as a great people watching spot. You might have to wait for a table but it’s worth it.
We finished off our trip with a quick jaunt to Coors Field, home to the Rockies baseball team. In Denver, you can get tickets in the bleechers for about $5, and get a magnificent view of the field and the mountains. Coors Field is one of those cheery places where the crowd claps and drinks beer and doesn’t take the game too seriously. Plus we always seem to find the section that wins pizza or free drinks or, as in this case, free lottery tickets. It was a nice hour of sunbathing and chit chatting (we ran into friends a couple of rows in front of us) before the journey back the the airport and back to NYC.