Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Denver, Colorado

Remember how I went to Denver a month ago? Oh, you don't...probably because I never blogged about it.  But, I think waiting a month is long enough.  So, without further adu, I give you...Denver Colorado!

I went to Denver for one reason, not to see the sights, not just for a fun getaway. No, I went so I could see the  Red Sox play the Rockies.  Guys, this has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.  Okay, actually seeing the Red Sox play at Fenway Park has been on my bucket list, but Denver is closer and less of a strain on my bank account than Boston.

Luckily, I have a friend -Jessica- who is a sports fan, and loves to travel.  Jessica and I left Salt Lake on Monday (September 23) night, arriving to a dark Denver Colorado.  We miraculously found our way from the airport to our hotel with only a few threats of becoming incredibly lost. (Neither of us had really ever been to Denver.). After checking into our hotel room we looked up places to eat that was relatively  close by.  Being 10:00 at night our options were few, so we went with Village Inn and hoped for the best.  We ate a bit quickly due to the fact that we wanted to get out of there and back to our hotel.  (Denver is a bit sketchy, folks.) We only got lost once on our way back to the hotel (score!!) and then quickly went to bed, for Tuesday was to be adventurous.

On Tuesday we woke up and researched things to do in Denver.  We desperately wanted to go on a tour of Coors Brewery but unfortunately they only do tours Thursday-Monday.  We looked up the address for the Denver Temple and Jessica found a park that is home to a giant sombrero that she wanted to go see.  After eating breakfast at Village Inn (it was the only restaurant we knew of) we headed for the temple.  Now, let me tell you, driving in Denver can be really confusing.  One second you're on a normal road, next thing you know you're on a freeway, and I swear they have multiples of the same street name.  We found our way to the temple and enjoyed walking around the grounds, I honestly think it is one of the prettiest temple grounds I have been to. After the stroll around the grounds we got back in the car and headed to find the "giant sombrero park".  I kid you not, we drove around for almost an hour (if not longer) looking for this park. We followed the gps directions to a tee and ended up at the YMCA.  So we ditched the gps and hoped for the best. After two million circles we somehow landed upon the park.  Jessica shouted for joy when she got out of the car!  (Please don't ask me how to find the park, I won't be able to.). We enjoyed the giant sombrero/sleeping cowboy and even contemplated life on the side of the river.  Both of our phones were dying so we hopped in the car in search of a Target to buy a car charger.  We easily found the largest Target in the world, and did a little shopping, buying everything but a car charger.  At the hotel (which we found easily) we relaxed for the rest of the evening because the main event was that night.

We decided we would ride the light rail downtown, instead of dealing with traffic and parking.  As luck would have it, we got lost getting to the light rail, and missed the train we wanted.  But, we finally found the station and bought our tickets.  The whole time I was a bit worried I was going to get jumped for wearing my Red Sox gear, but luckily Red Sox fans are abounding in Denver and I was in good company!  We reached the stop for the field and headed towards the field, when we realized we had gone the wrong way and had to backtrack through some sketchy parking lot to get back on track.  Before we left for Denver I had found out about B's Baseball Park Museum.  It is a museum just up from Coors Field that has a man's collections of ballpark paraphanellia from several parks.  I was like a little kid on Christmas morning!  They had so many amazing things!  Seats from the 14 classic Ballparks.  They had an entire section devoted to Fenway Park and the Red Sox.  Oh I could have spent the whole night there!  But, we had the game to get to!  So much joy was exuding from my body at this point in time.  Minor league baseball games are okay, but there was something about being at major league game that was different.  Maybe it was because I was doing something I've wanted to do for so long, but there was just so much excitement!  The game was wonderful, even though the Red Sox lost.  I feel lame not saying much else about the game, but really, what more can you say about a baseball game?  The walk back to the train was a bit adventurous, and the ride back to the hotel was even better. (Sarcasm folks, sarcasm.  Denver is still sketchy at night).  When we got back to the hotel we both knew we should go to bed, but ended up watching an episode of New Girl, and then another one...maybe another one as well.

Wednesday morning we had reservations for an 8:00 am tour at the U.S. Mint, which turned out to be a lot cooler than I expected.  (If you go, make sure your shoes don't have metal on them...they will set the metal detectors off, yes even if it is just a buckle on your sandals....) It was enthralling to see the process of how the coins are made.  I mean, it's just change,you drop some on the ground and you don't even think twice, but the process is intense!! Even if one penny out of a batch doesn't look good they destroy the entire batch and begin again.  The building itself is gorgeous!  Did you know it is a law that the design of the back of the penny has to be changed every 50 years?!   Did you know an employee of The Mint was able to walk away with thousands of dollars of gold back in the day?  After The Mint, we went on a hunt for the giant chair/horse statue, as well as the giant broom/dust pan statue.  (And you thought everything was bigger in Texas!). We enjoyed a lovely walk around the city center of Denver (which is less sketchy in the day light.) We soon realized we were starving since we didn't take the time to eat before The Mint.  We found a little cafe where we had the most amazing blueberry pancakes with lemon whipped cream on top. Mmm mmmm mmm!!  After we ate we went to the Denver Aquarium.  Before heading to Denver I asked my friend Colby what some must see sights were, since we frequents Denver, and the aquarium is the only place he told me to go.  With a $17.99 entrance fee I was skeptical, but we had so much time and so very few ideas of activities.  I am so glad I splurged and went through the aquarium.   It was by far the coolest aquarium I've ever been to.  With exhibits from all over the world I felt like I was able to visit the desert and the jungle in one trip!  Plus they had a flash flood simulator which was awesome, and the mermaid show sad astounding (even though it was definitely based for kids.) After the aquarium we grabbed some lunch and headed to the airport.  After being delayed for a few minutes we boarded the plane and flew back to Utah, where we were greeted with rain and ridiculously cold temperatures.

I am so beyond grateful for the opportunity I had to take this trip.  I've decided that I don't want to take life so seriously, and as a part of that I've learned that it's okay to splurge sometimes.  I could have saved the money I used for this trip to pay for school, but I'm glad I didn't.  Life is too short not to go after your dreams, even if it is as silly as attending a Major League Baseball game.  Now, I'm itching to go back.  Not to Denver, but to a game... World Series anyone?!!!??

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