Denver & Boulder

We’ve visited Colorado (which you’ve heard, of course, because Cute W’s family is from there), but we haven’t spent time in Denver since the girls were born. This summer we spent a couple of days of our vacation exploring.

One thing we noticed right away? There was a ton of non-automobile vehicular traffic. Scooters everywhere. Scooter-sharing and bike-sharing stations hither and yon. We also liked this random fountain.

We arrived in Denver with no particular plan, which is unusual for us. For our big vacations even for our recent long weekend in Philadelphia, I spend possibly too much time coming up with lists of possible attractions and gauging everyone’s level of interest. For this trip I was much more go-with-the-flow, mostly because Colorado is Cute W’s turf, but also because the plan was to be a bit relaxed when we weren’t, you know, hiking up a mountain.

So we woke up and wandered around a bit in search of breakfast and ended up eating at Union Station where we found Mercantile dining & provision. We had a yummy breakfast. This is something one of the kids ate. I have no additional pictures because I was too hungry to pause.

There was also some fun shopping, and the biggest hit was UNIQLO, where M, J and I each found fun stuff.

Then we headed to the History Colorado Center. I, for one, am always a sucker for a history museum, but I think we all found this one especially fun. They had tons of hands-on exhibits, and I think they did a particularly good job of bringing all that old history right up to present day, including oral histories and recent media in their exhibitions. I liked it so much that I took a bunch of pictures.

There was one of those play spaces that was a General Store for the kids. One little kid was furiously collecting eggs to turn in for credit at the store, then running back and forth again.

There was also an outhouse, which I thought was brilliant: kids love potty stuff! But it did kind of make me wonder if any kids ever actually went to the bathroom in there.

They did some fun interactive media stuff, like setting up an old car in front of a screen showing a rolling roadway.

Or, in another spot, you could close yourself into a simulated coal elevator to go “down” into the mines, where a miner was telling stories.

They also had a life-size replica of a Japanese internment camp. Of course as you might have guessed from the last post this just had me bumming out some more.

There was a very cool interactive Dust Bowl story/reenactment, and how about this display with a grasshopper invasion? I’ll always remembering reading about the grasshoppers with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

After the museum, we found a Mexican restaurant with a TV to watch the USA play in the Women’s World Cup. I remember that the food was tasty but I basically wasn’t paying attention because I was too busy watching the game.

Then we headed to Boulder. We were planning to spend the night there to get an early start on our hike the next day, but we also wanted the chance to walk around Boulder a bit as well. Cute W had booked a hotel that was within walking distance of the Boulder Creek Path and the Pearl Street pedestrian mall. This was a fun evening of walking around and shopping.

We followed Yelp to The Mediterranean Restaurant, which served tapas, pizza, and other stuff. We’re all about trying as much as possible, so we got a bunch of tapas plates to share, including roasted garlic with bruschetta, mushrooms, steak, grilled shrimp, and much, much more.

Everything was super-delicious.

After our big ol’ hike on Saturday, I was thrilled for what was next on our vacation agenda: loafing around at the Omni Interlocken Hotel back in Denver. Cute W’s sister and her husband and kids frequently spend a couple of days there on their way to and from family time, so we booked on their recommendation. The plan was to spend the day poolside, the adults lounging and the kids frolicking. It was excellent, and just what I needed to recover from my blisters.

You could also order drinks and meals right from the pool, and the food was pretty tasty.

The next day, we headed off to visit family in Cañon City, and we were there for the 4th of July. One little outing that we took was to the Florence Pioneer Museum, which is especially fun because they have big ol’ ephemera files on Cute W’s various ancestors. Here’s a clipping of his Grandma and his aunt back in the day. These days this little girl is herself a grandma many times over.

Cute, right? The shared recipe, by the way, is for fudge. Wonder if it’s easier than that other family fudge recipe? Gotta hope so!

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