Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Trip to Denver, May 30-June 6, 2012

Day 1

    It turns out my old roommate Nathaniel and I are on the same open-seating plane!  Muah!  It is awesome chatting all the way.  He takes the plane on to New Orleans and I meet my best friend, Eneri, in CO.  Hello Denver!

   We drop my bags off at her house in the Santa Fe Arts District and head out for drinks at The Sputnik.  First, lavender infused Gin mixed with St. Germain and soda water.  Delcious!   Next, a pickle infused Vodka martini.  Not sure if I'm a fan, but it sure looks pretty.  



Somewhere in between our first few drinks plus the sandwich and hush puppies that we share, I run into one of the bartenders from my favorite San Diego Bar, Hamiltons.
                                          "Wtf are you doing in Denver?"
                                          "Wtf are you doing in Denver?"
   
It turns out Sam's band, The Donkeys, is playing at the music venue next door, The High Dive.   He is so nice to put us on the list and Eneri and I have an awesome time listening to them play.  Nathaniel on the plane and Sam at the Sputnik!  What a great start to Denver!


                                    


                                                                            Day 2

I meet up with my homegirl, Jane.  Jane drives us through the mountains.  I am disturbed by the McDonald's in the middle of the Rockies.   SUV+ McDonalds in the mountains= I guess that's the U.S.A. for you.     



I am definitely a city and nightlife person,  but I am also a mountain, hiking, nature, camping freak.  The drive is awesome!  




 We stop for a quick hike around Lake Lilly, near Rocky Mountain National Park.   


      You can see snow on the higher mountains!



We head to Estes Park, which is where the famous Stanley Hotel, inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Shining, and film location of his mini-series took place.  They say the hotel is haunted.  Hmmmm....








Beautiful bar inside the hotel.  











                                                                           




                                                                          Day 3
The next morning, I wander around downtown and stumble upon this amazing restaurant- Udi's Bakery.  It specializes in gluten free bread and vegetarian food!

I eat a Vietnamese style Tofu sandwich with Quinoa salad and they are so f-ing good, that I foresee dreams of them for weeks to come (proved true)












I


stumble upon The Falling Rock Tap House, a bar with a craft beer selection on par with Hamiltons.
I spend a good hour here indulging in beer and talking about it with other beer lovers <3




They even have free pool tables.  God, I love this bar!


I make a quick stop at the Great Divide Brewery and hop on the last brew tour of the day.  Favorite Great Divide Beer:  Rumble Oak-Aged IPA



My best friend Eneri asks me to join her at her brother in laws restaurant, The Atomic Cowboy, to taste a cheesecake that he wants her to duplicate.

"What?  You want me to eat NY Style Cheesecake and drink Lefthand Milk Stout?...Uh.......Ok, I'll do it."


That night, Jane, Eneri and I go to a strip club (my first time!).  They pick a great one to go to:  Shotgun Willies, one of the only strip clubs in the nation owned by women!  I leave with a newfound respect for strippers.  These women are doing things in six inch heels that I can barely do barefoot in my yoga class.

Yes, this is me wearing a blonde wig for our night out!











































Ha!















                                                                  Day 4
I take advantage of my employee discount with the Hyatt and book a room with a view.  I love my job...





































That night, Eneri and I celebrate her friend Sarah's b-day at JJs Chinese restaurant.



And head to the Lancer's Lounge afterward- a dive with drinks as strong as the Cherry Bomb in San Diego.  Nobody went home sober.   






                                                                        Day 5
Eneri takes me to eat Vegan Menudo- yes, Vegan Menudo!  Holy shit it is amazing.  And vegetarian tamales to boot!   Food porn.  Food porn.


I cruise downtown,



and stumble upon a Chalk Art Street Festival


then make my way to Euclid Hall where I have one of the best cocktails ever:  Appleton Rum, Leopold Blackberry, lime juice, coconut water, and agave nectar.   

My friend, Jose, and I share a beet salad with coconut crusted marshmellows.



I end the night at The One Up Bar, a basement bar with old skool video games.

I used to be good at Off Road...


               

                                                                      Day 6

Eneri and I go for a hike around the Watershed in Evergreen.




Then we drive to Red Rocks.
 


We pick up Empanadas on the way back to Eneri's house.




  Dieting is for chumps.









At Eneri's house,

for community dinner.

Eneri and Danielle have a chicken that looks like David Bowie!


Denver is big on Food Trucks.




                                                                 Day 7

Back at the Hyatt


zzzzzzzzz
1:30 am-  I find a food truck that sells Tofurkey hot dogs.  It changes my life.


               
                                                                Day 8

It's my last day...sigh.

Eneri and I share a spicy Vegan hot dog at Biker Jims.  Eneri tells me that Anthony Bourdain discovered Biker Jim when Jim was working on a food cart.  Now Jim owns a restaurant downtown.






  It's not over until it's over.   Eneri and I drive to Avery Brewing Company,


and try just about everything on this menu.












Ha!














We take all the important stuff home.

On our way to the airport a lightning storm hits Denver.   Everyone is stranded at the airport overnight.   The line for McDonalds is around the corner- gross!




What else do you do when you are stranded at the airport?  Close down all the bars and pass out on the floor!


                                                                         Day 9
Bye Bye Denver.  I miss you!!!  I had so much fun!!