After two peaceful flights from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta and Atlanta to Denver, I picked up my silver Dodge Caliber (cute, large trunk, and pretty good clearance for a compact) and set off.
I made my way through the eastern and southern suburbs, oohing and ahhing over the view of the Rockies at every turn. Once I made my way to Morrison, I spent a couple hours at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. It's probably the most magnificent thing I've ever seen; photos (even those better than mine) could not do it justice. It's overwhelmingly mammoth and gorgeous. The air is pretty thin at 6,200 feet, so the other tourists and I were so winded that we had to stop every few steps while walking up the amphitheatre; the local joggers, most of whom were accompanied by their large dogs, didn't seemed fazed at all. But by the time I left, I was completely exhausted. After trekking around the park, you can rest your lungs and quads by walking through the visitor's center, where they have on display concert posters, signed guitars and other memorabilia from bands that have played there through the years (Big Head Todd included, of course).
Not too exhausted to head north to historic Golden, which has a western flair (possibly manufactured, but cute nonetheless). This town is also seated right at the foot of the Rockies, so the land is hilly and the views are great. (It's worth mentioning that the sun seems much bigger here in Colorado than at home, not to mention stronger and brighter; I suppose that's because I'm a mile closer to it! :P Anyway, this seems to have created a hazy effect in most of the photos I took today.) The town is adorable, it's full of bronze sculptures, and the creek is populated by what look like Canadian geese; oh, and it has an indy bookstore. Yeah! The Coors Brewery was closed for tours today for some reason, so no free sample for me; ho hum.
I checked into my hotel, took a power nap, and went for dinner at a local brewery called Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. It's a pretty cool place, full of TVs showing college ball games, a very nice cobb salad; their homemade Red Rocks Red was creamy (if you like Smithwick's, you'd dig this for sure). Nice touch: You can see the big beer kettles (is that what they're called?) from the street through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
I capped the night off with a decaf by the (faux) fire at Caribou Coffee. Now I'm going to bed, if I can - seems some of the folks in my building are fond of screaming, running up and down the halls and slamming doors. I need my rest, right? Tomorrow will be a long day, what with the Big Head Todd and the Monsters New Year's Eve show and all. :D