?

Log in

I went on vacation!

« previous entry | next entry »
Jul. 7th, 2007 | 03:03 pm
mood: lovedRocky Mountain High

Colorado

One month ago today (yes, I'm a slacker), Sam and I left for Colorado. Here's an entry about it, with many photos and more words than you probably wanted to read:





We flew to DEN on AA on Thursday, June 7. And I did not want to misconnect in Chicago, so it was a three-hour layover that allowed us time for a nice lunch at the Wolfgang Puck's franchised location #49034523^205. We made it to Denver slightly later than planned, and it was 54 degrees! Because their airport is both new and in the middle of nowhere, I'd booked a rental car at a downtown Hertz location for much less $. We hopped on the public bus to downtown with mostly airport employees, and watched the dreary skies for an hour before finally arriving and schlepping our stuff to our teeny Chevy Aveo at the Hertz place.


Skyscraper pr0n


From there we found Sam's aunt Karen (and her partner Sandy)'s house and talked to Sandy, then Karen as she arrived home from work. And they cooked us tons of food: steaks, corn on the cob, guacamole, and baked taters. Wooo. Later that evening, we went out exploring for gay nightlife! After driving around bewildered for a while, we happened upon JR's, a big old gay bar with giant rainbow banners running across the porches on both floors. And they had 50 cent Bud Lights! And a good mix of boys and girls! And a Mini Cooper outside that was tricked out like a giant cocktail with Grand Marnier! And a woman with a clipboard registering people to vote! It was all pretty swell, but with that comes a lot of people so we left after being very crowded for a while. Also, I was convinced I was going to see people I had gone to high school with, but did not. :P

On Friday, June 8, we roused ourselves in K&S' very dark guestroom and did some more online research, then awayed to Dozens for breakfast. It was super good, especially the coffee, and Sam and I drank 3342 cups each. Then we tottered across the street to see the Public Library and run through it, followed by the Denver Art Museum; we spent a few hours wandering around in the Western American and contemporary collections in there and playing an impromptu game of chess at a board we found, and I only got yelled at for looking too closely at the paintings once! :D


Public Library



DAM! Best acronym ever.



I don't remember who painted these. I'm a bad art patron.



Looking down from the top floor



Sam, disappointed with the sculpture deck



View from the sculpture deck



We also had some fun running around the super-touristy pedestrian mall on 16th Street and riding their buses on that route (YAYAAYYAAY light rail, except not really). While taking a break in an Einstein's Bagels, a surly young woman got into a screaming match with the manager; but at least the bagels were good! :P Then we explored a bookstore and went on an adventure to find a map store, which turned into a 2-mile diversion in the wrong direction, but in a pretty neighborhood! We finally met Karen and Sandy for dinner at Dixon's Downtown Grill after unsuccessfully trying to see good art in galleries (most were closed, the one that was open had creepy paintings of George Washington decapitating Stalin). We had some great mojitos and chile rellenos while chatting and witnessing another moment of rage: an angry young woman who kept screaming at her boyfriend, left and slammed the metal patio gate really loudly, came back, yelled some more, slammed the gate again, hit her boyfriend, and jumped on the YAAYAYAY light rail and left. It just wasn't a good Friday for some people, I suppose. :)

Following that, we picked up our lonely little rental car and arranged to meet up with Sam's friend Beth, from his days in France. We got there, parked, changed clothes, Sam checked his grades on his laptop with someone's wifi, and we went to her apartment. She then took us down the street to a bar that was offering 2-for-1 drinks; that ended up kind of dangerous as our server convinced us not to use the free drink chips until later, and we had a pile of them to demolish. But we did! With good local beer, and only had three extras by the time we left.


Sam and Beth in front of her apartment building


On Saturday, June 9th we had very different plans: mountains! First, though, we had shopping to do and so went to Cherry Creek to glass stores and a mall and some galleries. My apartment complex called me while we stopped to get a soda about my lease, because apparently they can't read (I sent them a letter weeks ago; jerks). Finally we met Karen at a Wendy's to give us keys to the cabin and we drove down to Westcliffe, Colorado.

We stopped at King Soopers in Cañon City on the way for provisions, and an awesome woman gave us salsa recommendations ("That's why I'm buying three tubs of it!") and the deli people tried to find the good cheese we sought, to no avail. We arrived at the cabin around 8:00, almost sploded ourselves lighting the water heater, and then settled in to play rummy, fiddle with an oil lamp, eat cheese & crackers and chips & salsa, and watch Munich. :)


Triumphant upon arrival


The next morning, Sunday, June 10, we ate a massive breakfast, digested, then went out on an extended hike. It was gorgeous country! Finally, we packed up, turned off the power and gas, and drove into the town of Westcliffe. There were antique stores and galleries, and we topped off the exploring with lunch at a cute little pizza place. (I should have taken a picture of Main St., as kishenehn has done in many tiny Western towns, but I forgot.)


The cabin and our long-suffering rental car



Breakfast on the porch



Creek



Beavers built this bridge.



Aspens!









Sam photographing cows. He's gonna kill me for posting that. :P



Finally, we said goodbye to the purty mountains and headed back northward on a construction-laden I-25. We stopped briefly at a giant outlet mall in Castle Rock, but only made it into a couple of stores before the 5:00 p.m. closing. Then we finished our trek back to Karen and Sandy's house and returned their keys. They also recommended us a place for dinner, so off we went to the giant shopping area Belmar. I fancied eating at Ted's Montana Grill (and, really, why is Ted Turner in the media business at all? He should stick to restaurants. :D), so we did that, on the patio. I got a wonderful Bloody Mary to go with my bison burger, then we wandered over to the large scary theater complex to watch Ocean's 13. It was completely mindless and kooky, but I did like it, particularly the new fake casino featured in it. Las Vegas will someday have a 100-story monstrosity of its own! (Also, Ellen Barkin is 55! She looks about 35 in this film, and her boobs about 25.) Anyway, the movie had me anticipating the crazy and tasteless life of Las Vegas even more, and we went back to the house to pack and sleep from there.

We awoke on Monday, June 11 to Karen and Sandy already gone to their adult lives, so we packed everything up and finally found the map store downtown that Sam wanted to see. He found a swell map of the Carolinas, and then we awayed to lunch at Noodles & Company, where Efrain used to work! The pad thai was wonderful, and we were crowded by tons of workers on lunch breaks. A working city! Imagine that. Following that, we walked around downtown, received a parking ticket from a surly meter man, and returned our car to Hertz. After speculating exactly where the magical bus to the airport would stop for a long while, we boarded it and rode back out to DEN. And my favorite little airline, Frontier, transported us to Las Vegas from there. I'll continue there soon! A couple more photos:


The lake behind Karen and Sandy's house



Denver Art Museum

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {12}

mark

(no subject)

from: kishenehn
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
Link

About damn time. :-p

Great post and great photos! I'm jealous of your trip ... I love that part of the world, though I haven't been there for ages. And that cabin looks pretty wonderful. I really want to go to the new building at the Art Museum, too ...

One of Ted Turner's buffalo ranches is like 15 miles from my house, but did he build a restaurant for us? Nooooo. :(

Oh, and the Dirty Old Man in me feels obligated to point out that your traveling companion is cute. :)

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 9th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Link

Now it will probably take another month for me to write about the Nevada and New Mexico portions of our trip. :)

Go go to the Art Museum! It was amazing.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Christina

i love bison burgers

from: cllort
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Link

Nice pictures! Denver looks gorgeous (I've only been to the main airport). Glad to see someone else who also likes checking out the main public libraries and museums of big cities. :)

And "surly" is one of my favorite words. It's up there with "fisticuffs" and "peruse".

It looks like you had an amazing time! But when did law students start finding time to take trips....???? :P

Reply | Thread

jonathan

Re: i love bison burgers

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 9th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Link

You should definitely visit if you have a chance. And yes, I love public libraries and art museums. Denver clearly takes pride in both.

Sometimes law students have to take vacations too. :D

Reply | Parent | Thread

Stephen

(no subject)

from: twencenboy
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
Link

I love Noodles & Co! I want to eat the whole menu at one sitting. Twice.

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 8th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Link

I have a NM friend who worked at various Noodles & Co. locations in CO for almost four years! I should have asked him to mail me some. Did you ever try their mac & cheese? We didn't, but everyone around us was eating it. (:

Reply | Parent | Thread

Southleft

(no subject)

from: southleft
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Link

you have an amazing memory. I'd forgotten about 90% of that.

And I agree with kishenehn--your traveling companion is cute. However, I see a total of 1 picture of the other hottie on that trip. You'll have to remedy that with Las Vegas (I'm assuming there will be sequels).

Reply | Thread

(Deleted comment)

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 8th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Link

Sam came up with the beaver thing, yes.

And do you remember the awesome cucumbers that came with our food at the beefalo place? They're soooo good and they never give you enough. :(

Reply | Parent | Thread

Christina

speaking of cucumbers

from: cllort
date: Jul. 8th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)
Link

This is going to sound really weird, but you gotta try it:

Put cucumbers ni your next glass of drinking water. Like, just a few slices. They'll sink to the bottom. Let them sit for a bit, and then drink. The water will taste sooooooo good and refreshing.

I have a friend who would do this all the time at restaurants (ask the waiter to bring a plate of sliced cucumber) and would put it in his water. I hated all the weird looks we got, and always felt embarrassed. Then I had a sip one day...WHOAH.

Reply | Parent | Thread

jonathan

Re: speaking of cucumbers

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 9th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
Link

I shall try it! (First at home, to minimize the stares.)

Reply | Parent | Thread

zobra

(no subject)

from: zobra
date: Jul. 11th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
Link

DAM!, that's the most beautiful library I have ever seen in me life

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 15th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Link

It was pretty awesome, indeed. I'm used to public libraries that are perpetually underfunded and thus not so impressive, but Denver sure seems to care about theirs (at least the flagship location).

Reply | Parent | Thread