Trip Start Jul 07, 2007
14Trip End Jul 29, 2007
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We made it to Denver yesterday afternoon. It was a long, uneventful trip from Keystone, South Dakota, with just the requisite stops along the way. Well, uneventful if you don't count the generally rainy conditions and the violent, heavy downpour we drove through just after we crossed the Colorado state line! Man, that was some heavy rain. Some of the cars pulled over to the side of the road, but not us. We weren't having any of that. I was following Elaine's parents and David in a tandem situation and they didn't stop, so we didn't stop. In fact, it was raining so hard that everybody practically came down to a slow crawl anyway, even if they didn't pull over to wait it out.
We went straight to our hotel and we were just plumb tuckered out, so just dinner and then we packed it in
We never did formulate a plan for today in Denver, and with everybody being so strung out from the road last night, we sorta called today a 'free' day and split into two groups. My little group of four thought that we would just stay at the hotel and decompress, but when it came down to it, I decided I couldn't do that. I mean, here we were in Denver, Colorado with a day to ourselves and I just couldn't make myself 'waste' that time, so I convinced Elaine to come with me (and the boys) and let me take us downtown to look around and pick out a nice place for lunch. She agreed to this, provided we come back to the hotel and not commit to anything else for the day except swimming, dinner and packing for the plane ride tomorrow.
So that's what we did. Our hotel is near the airport and it is so far away from Denver proper that we hadn't seen anything of Denver, and I like being downtown in any and every city anyway. To me, that's where the action is and where you can get the 'flavor' of a town the best. I asked her to indulge me in this, knowing that she is not the 'downtown type' and hates the traffic etc..
We found our way downtown and cruised the area and saw something we wanted to explore
We chose a restaurant that had a sidewalk table area and chose to sit outside. I was a beautiful day with moderate temperatures, so we took advantage. Denver has some trollys that reminded me of the old trolly cars in San Francisco, except modernized. They were much longer, for one thing, like two busses put together, but they did run on tracks like a train and they did get their power from an overhead cable. There was one of these lines that ran right past the restaurant where we sat outside and the kids had fun listening to the bells and counting the number of times they passed by.
Also, a fire truck pulled up and parked across the street (in front of a fire-hydrant) and all the firefighters came into the restaurant where we were to have lunch. A few minutes later there was a second truck that parked down the block and they also came to lunch
While I'm at it here, let me put in a plug for this restaurant named The Rocky Mountain Diner at the corner of 18th and Stout. We didn't do any research or ask anybody about it, I just stopped 'cause I liked the way it looked. The food was great. I mean, really good. Especially for a lunchtime situation in a downtown restaurant. Maybe I'm a bit jaded, but I didn't expect anything special. Well, I got surprised. Elaine is a big Ceasar Salad fan and usually gets one with chicken on it, but this time she opted for the Blackened Ahi Tuna Ceasar and LOVED it. Not too much spice, and while she never eats the croutons 'cause they're just too hard, these were obviously made fresh from fresh bread, and while crunchy, they were also soft inside. Yum! She declared this the "best Ceasar Salad I've ever had!". I had the roasted duck enchiladas with Havarti cheese, with red-chile rice and black beans. Awesome!
True to our agreement, I brought us back to our hotel where the others went swimming and I got onto the computer, trying to catch up on my email. Dad and I set out to the airport to return the rental cars and caught the hotel shuttle back.
We're all set up to fly back to Nashville tomorrow. Our flight out of Denver is in the late morning, with a layover in Charlotte, NC. If all goes according to plan, we'll be home by suppertime.
I'm planning to do one more entry here after we get settled at home.
Wish us luck tomorrow with the air travel, and we'll see you on the 'flip-side'. Once again, thanks for all your emails, comments and calls while we've been gone. We know how fortunate we are to have so many good friends.