Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some Really Big Rocks.

Our first evening in Denver, we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater for music and a movie.   We saw 2 local bands including Matt Morris and the original Footloose.  Matt Morris has an amazing voice and he has been making a national name for himself lately by singing on talk shows.  Footloose was more fun than expected because the crowd really got into the movie.  They boo’ed the bad guys, cheered when something went right, and made jokes at the cheesey parts.  The star of the show, however, was the amphitheater itself.  There are red rocks jutting out of the earth hundreds of feet into the air.  Somehow they jutted up in just the right spots to make an amphitheater in the middle.  If you sit high enough, you can see the lights of Denver and amazing views of the entire valley.

We had a lot of fun playing and walking Kelley and Tim’s poodle mixes, Patton and Monte.  Another set of pets that we fell in love with!  The second day Kelley took us downtown to explore.  The light rail in Denver is widely used and the best way to skip the constant Denver traffic and parking issues.  We grabbed a quick, lunch at a café downtown.  Then we checked out the pianos on the street mall, the capitol building and the federal minting building.  Of course the mint had no tours available until the following week, but we tried to get on one.  My favorite place was the independent 'Tattered Cover' Bookstore. (By the way, the blog background is a close up of a strange statue we saw in Denver.  I think it is supposed to depict water balloons stacked into a tower, but I'm not sure.)
Kelley and Tim, our great hosts in Denver.
We spent lots of time relaxing on Kelley and Tim’s great patio.  They are in the process of landscaping their backyard, and it will be a masterpiece when it is done.  Their yard is completed by a beautiful garden that makes us miss our community garden in Portland. 
The last night in Denver, Jarrett and I took the light rail to Lo Do (lower downtown) to have a drink with some more friends who live in town.  We met Jarrett’s longtime friends Kelly and Trevor at Blake Street Tavern, a sports bar, for some wine and great conversation.  Then we headed to another bar to play flip cup with Jarrett’s friend Clint and his kickball team.  Playing flip cup in a bar felt the same as buying hard liquor from a grocery store, quite odd but convenient.  After we left the bars, we did get a bit lost trying to find the light rail again.  Eventually we did find a stop for the rail and made it home safe. 

Kelley and Trevor suggested that we hit up Boulder before we leave the area.  They said it sounded a little like Portland, had a different flavor than Denver, and was worth checking out.  So, on our way out of Denver, we drove up.  Driving into the city was magnificent; it was laid out with brick buildings, and set just below the grand Rocky Mountains.  We (of course) stopped at REI to gather our senses and a couple items we were running low on.  Then we went to Pearl St., the touristy street in Boulder.  (Not to be confused with “the Pearl district” in Portland. This is upscale, but not to that degree.)  The first restaurant we came to served gluten free pasta and pizzas, (AWESOME!).  So we did a little walking around and ate a quick lunch at that restaurant, the Goldolier.  There was a lot to explore, but we decided to head out since it was nearly 3PM and we still had a lot of driving to do.  Our next destination was Des Moines and we hoped to get about half way there that day.

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