Denver recap

I'm back, and I'm tired, but it was definitely worth it. Denver is an absolutely lovely city; one which felt completely comfortable at the get-go. Everything was very walkable, and the people were so friendly it was a bit off-putting at first. I guess it's hard to be crabby and rude when you live in a city so lovely. Hell, even the homeless people there were pretty impressive; I swear that every one of them played a musical instrument of some sort, or was an amateur comedian - every single person I saw on the street had their own unique angle to the panhandle, not to mention nicer, more well-groomed dogs than most of the people that live in my condo building. This is not to make light of their situation but, rather, to point out that the City of Denver (from what I was told by locals) has an excellent social services program to take care of their homeless.

Aside from the people wandering the streets, with and without somewhere to return to, the city attractions were pretty great as well. I got to tour Coors Field, which had the most stunning outfield view of possibly any stadium in the continental US, and check out the Avs/Wings game at the Pepsi Center, which made the United Center look just a little bit shabby. I was a huge fan of the Colorado Historical Society, and wished that I could have spent a lot more time looking at all their exhibits. By far my favorite site was City Park, which engulfs the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (where my former boss now works). This park, along with a lot of other features in Denver, was apparently inspired by Chicago's 'City in a Garden' aesthetic. Now, while I think Douglas Park in Chicago is one of the coolest spots around, it can't hold a candle to City Park in Denver, which has as its backdrop a range of snow-capped mountains, rather than some sky scrapers. The paths were winding and inviting through the crab apples and other trees in full bloom, and I desperately wanted to go for a run; next time I will have to bring my shoes and make the time!
Our final night out was spent getting a paycheck-bruising, but well worth it, dinner at the Brown Palace Arms Restaurant across the street from our hotel. This was followed by much snooping around in the old ballrooms, which led to us getting an impromptu tour from one of the hotel's staff that discovered us. This same guy actually had worked at the Stanley Hotel, which was the basis for Stephen King's The Shining, so we got some awesome ghost stories out of the experience as well.

So, I will most definitely be going back to Denver some day - perhaps for an extended weekend when I have the luxury of some vacation days and some money to boot. It's an awesome little city to poke around in, and then use as a base for trips out to the mountains.

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