Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Day in Denver: Biking, Architecture, and awesome

Although we arrived back in Denver late (like 8:30pm) and I hadn't eaten dinner yet, I REALLY wanted to try out the hotel's rooftop pool (which closed at 10pm). So I headed up there to scope it out. The view was so cool I ran back to my room, threw on my bathing suit and ran back up there. I dove right into the pool, and did a few laps, enjoyed the scenery... and then 5 minutes later grabbed a towel and dripped my way on the elevator back to my floor, joking with everyone on the elevator. :) Good choice to check out the pool, definitely! Then took off for some steak dinner at a restaurant that Ted Turner owns called, creatively, "Ted's Steaks". It was great.

Sunday I took it a bit easier, though I still fit in a LOT. I started the day by buying another memory card for my camera (grand total over 2 days? 841 photos!) and then to the Tattered Cover, a cool old bookstore. I got a ridiculously good cherry pie there. Then adventured around, took a bunch of photos, and found out that 1/2 of Denver bikes around town on the weekend. There was a Starbucks with literally 300 bikes parked around it, and attached to an REI outdoor store with people rock climbing inside. I went straight up to the customer service dude and asked him where I could rent a bike. He pointed me down the street somewhere, and I ended up renting a "cruiser bike", and cruised along city bike paths along South Platte River. Then I went around Confluence Park, and biked all the way down the Cherry Creek Trail from Confluence Park to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

I biked back to the bike rental place, and spent the rest of the day taking more photos before heading back to the airport and back to San Francisco. What a great weekend!

A few details:

Confluence Park: Denver was founded at this site; today, kayaks can be seen in the man-made rapids of the park. Nearby is My Brother’s Bar, the only bar still operating that was once frequented by Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and others from the Beat Generation. Elitch Gardens Theme Park, the Downtown Aquarium, the Children’s Museum and INVESCO Field at Mile High are all located along the bike path.
and about Cherry Creek Trail:

Cherry Creek Bike Path
This paved trail begins where Denver was first founded and runs along the creek for more than 40 miles to Franktown. It is one of the most popular bike/hike/jogging trails in Denver and one of the prettiest. Parts of it comprise the Front Range Trail, an off-road bike path that will eventually stretch the entire north-south length of Colorado, from the Wyoming border to New Mexico.

Hotel rooftop pool at night

I had dinner on Larimer St in the "LoDo" (Lower Downtown) district


Horse carriage outside of... The Cheesecake Factory?!

View from my room during the day

The Brown Palace, a really old hotel in Denver

Inside the Brown Palace

Funniest public washrooms ever

This pie was SO GOOD

At the Tattered Cover book store

Tattered Cover sign

More old buildings in LoDo

This old building is now a bar and restaurant

Legendary "Rockmount" cowboy shirts

Inside Rockmount Store

Sweet hats


These were really cool

Union Station

Ice House

A family of mennonites arriving in Denver

Inside the train station, a lone mennonite girl and boy off on a train trip


Busses and Union Station

This is my "decisive moment" photo entry for Photo Class! Another post about this photo will follow this posting.


Crazy bridge

Loved the architecture in Colorado

Sweet bridge and bike paths

Amazing places to bike

People enjoying the nice weather

Biking along Cherry Creek

Sweet "Cruiser Bike" that I rented

Being artsy (and taking a break from biking)

More bikers

"Obama Stadium" again

Sweet clouds all the time

And finally... the FANCIEST McDONALDS I've ever been into. Flatscreen TVs, news and stock updates, relaxing music playing, scenes of Colorado playing on some of the TVs, sweet furniture, couches/lounge... just insane! Colorado, you are awesome.

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