Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Great American Road Trip, Part XIII: Denver,Colorado

The day after our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, we spent the day in Denver. Denver is known as The Mile High City, so I was picturing it IN the mountains. It's not in the mountains. It's near the mountains. This really blew my mind. Who knew? It looked a lot like Minneapolis to me. (My husband didn't get that same Minneapolis impression.)



The week before we were in Denver, when we realized what exact day we'd be in Denver, we tried to get tickets to tour the U.S. Mint, but, sadly, all tours that day were already completely booked. You can do this complicated thing at the Mint to get on stand-by, but by the time we got there, we were too late even for that. This was extremely disappointing to our children. We asked the security guard how far in advance tickets get claimed, and he said in the summer, about one month. There's just no way we can be that organized, not when we are making up our itinerary as we go along!!



We didn't have anything specific in mind we wanted so see in Denver, so we just strolled around town. The sun felt piercing to me, not really hotter than usual, just stronger.


We visited the library, and admired this beautiful wall of books outside.










We wandered over to the capitol area.






They had their own little mini Mall (ala Washington, DC) in the capitol area. I can't remember what this building was opposite the capitol, but see, they even have a tiny little Washington Monument.






Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C., not stand for District of Columbia, but Denver, Colorado, instead??? One wonders.


We found out later that things carved in stone aren't necessarily true. The REAL spot on the capitol steps that is exactly one mile above sea level is up another step or two. Oh, well, close enough.


We went inside the capitol building.



















We got to go inside the dome. The views were lovely.










After leaving the capitol we walked around a bit more and found ourselves near the convention center, where this giant blue bear peeks in the windows.



Kinda cute, kinda weird!

We wanted to find someplace local for lunch, but sadly, the pedestrian mall where we looked was all chain restaurants. I'm sure there are fabulous and unique restaurants in Denver. We just couldn't find them, so we settled for a chain we'd never eaten in before. We strolled along the pedestrian mall for awhile, but I didn't take any pictures. I remember they had painted pianos scattered along the way for anyone to sit down and play, which seemed whimsical and festive.




We left Denver mid-afternoon. It was time to say good-bye to the mountains as we began our eastward journey in earnest on I-70. Sniff, sniff. Good-bye, Rockies! I can't believe how beautiful and dramatic you are!




Shortly before our trip, I heard of the I-70 Diner in Flagler, CO, and was excited when I realized we'd be passing by it. Good timing had us arriving in Flagler right at dinner time, so we knew just where to go to feed ourselves.




Cute, cute, cute, and the food was delicious!!! I would go there all the time if I lived there!
I think my children agree!


We crossed into Kansas as the sun set. Kansas was yet another new state for me. Poor Nebraska. I've never been there, and on this trip I just circled right around it!