Friday, December 26, 2008

The mountains' call

The mountains are calling, and so here I am, packing for a nine-day trip to Colorado. I'm not all that experienced with dead-of-winter vacations in the Rocky Mountains, so filling the suitcase has been interesting. But I haven't had too much trouble creating a Wish List of places and things I don't want to miss during my stay.

I'll be spending most of my time in the Denver/Boulder area, winding my way through the surrounding towns of Morrison, Golden, etc. There will also be a two-night side trip to Aspen, with stops in Breckenridge and Vail on the way in and out. I was hoping to visit the Garden of the Gods and ride the cog railway up Pike's Peak, and maybe take a drive up over the Wyoming line to Laramie; but if the weather is as snowy as it's been lately, my lack of winter driving skills will preclude me from taking those side trips this time around. I'll just have to come back during the summer sometime soon - perhaps in early June when Big Head Todd and the Monsters open the concert season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre!

All in all, I won't be taking as many "chances" as I normally would, because I will have my 14-year-old cousin with me and have to play "grown up" - that means a skiing lesson is likely out, too. But that's all OK with me, because, as most of you know, I'm not terribly adventurous when it comes to activities that could, ya know, compromise the integrity of my spinal cord, and I'm really stoked about spending tons of one-on-one time with my favorite mini-me. :)

I'm bound to miss some of these things and discover places I didn't plan on, but here's what I've got so far...

I'll keep you posted with photos, videos, and updates here throughout my trip.

WISH LIST

Denver
Tattered Cover bookstore
Colorado History Museum
Mt. Evans Scenic Byway
16th Street Mall
Larimer Square
State Capitol
Blue Bear at the Convention Center
Molly Brown House Museum
Twist and Shout record store
REI Outlet (namely, the mammoth rock climbing wall)
Denver Museum of Nature and Science (only for the view from the 3rd floor)
Coors Field (perhaps best left for the summer trip)
Invesco Field at Mile High (unfortunately, I'll be there just days after the Bronco's final home game)
El Chapultepec restaurant and jazz venue
Herman's Hideaway (this likely won't happen - no shows are scheduled during my trip)
Mezcal restaurant
Cry Baby Ranch store
Common Grounds coffeeshop
Spicy Pickle Sub Shop (OK, some things on this list are based on friends' recommendations)

Boulder
Hotel Boulderado
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art
Pearl Street Mall

Aspen
J-Bar
Woody Creek Tavern
Funky Mountain Threads store
Silver Queen Gondola (if non-skiers are allowed in the winter)
The Popcorn Wagon
ride in the Ultimate Taxi

In general
try buffalo meat
take a horse-drawn sleigh ride
go snow tubing
ride the Pike's Peak Cog Railway
climb around the sandstone at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
get a photo at the Continental Divide
dinner at The Fort in Morrison
tour the Coors Brewery in Golden
shop at Weber's Books and Drawings in Breckenridge
make a snow angel :P

Holiday lights!
Union Station
Brown Palace Hotel (the huge tree in the lobby)
D&F Tower
the city and county building
pine trees in the mountains!

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