denver getaway

This past weekend, with Danny having a surprise Monday off, we took the opportunity to go to Denver for a couple days.  We left Sunday after lunch and came back late on Monday.  In just over 24 hours, we went to the Colorado State Capitol, swam in our hotel pool, toured the Pepsi Center, got Danny a haircut, went shopping, played mini golf, and in between it all, ate a lot of delicious food, among other things.  Some highlights…

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^^ Mini golf, thanks to a sweet Groupon deal. ^^

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^^ Two hole-in-ones for Danny! ^^

Danny was finally able to spend some of his birthday money while on our trip, picking up a classy new pea coat, a pair of khaki pants (a steal at $2.99!!), and some jeans while at the Park Meadows Mall.

For dinner, we checked out Thai Basil, one of the top rated vegan restaurants in Denver.  It did not disappoint.

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After about ten minutes at our original table, this ‘booth’ opened up, and Danny asked our waiter if we could be moved.  It was a slow, Sunday night, and so our waiter kindly obliged.  The food was excellent – the best eggplant we’ve had outside of China – and Danny’s lo mein was top notch as well.

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Our hotel was just a couple minutes away and we spent the rest of the evening swimming in the (indoor) pool and soaking in the hot tub, as well as reading Awkward Family Pet Photos (not as fun as the game, but still good for some laughs).

The morning found us taking advantage of the hotel’s fitness room and fancy breakfast (homemade waffles for all!) before heading downtown.

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A tour of the Colorado State Capitol was our next stop.  The dome is being redone, so it looks a little funny right now, but the inside was still as beautiful as ever…

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And then while we were taking the last picture, we accidentally ended up in a press conference.  Thankfully the governor wasn’t at the podium yet or we would’ve been on TV…and also really embarrassed.

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Lunch at Tokyo Joe’s across the street followed, because they give free meals on your half birthday (Monday was my half birthday), and it was delicious.  Love that place.  The associate at the counter was so kind, and gave us two free drinks and a cookie two.  Best half birthday ever!

At 2pm we went to the Pepsi Center for a behind-the-scenes tour (thanks to another Groupon, this time gifted to us by my parents).  We had an excellent tour guide and really enjoyed seeing the inner workings of such a big and complex place.

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^^ The banner where Nuggets’ coach Brian Shaw conducts his post-game interviews. ^^

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^^ Showers for visiting NBA teams ^^

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^^ Michael Jordan’s locker when he played at the Pepsi Center.  Also, don’t you just love Danny’s  new jeans?! ^^

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^^ In a private box that runs for ~$30,000 when stars like One Direction are performing. ^^

Then came the strangest part of the weekend.

Danny got his haircut at a place we found via Groupon.

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We followed our faithful GPS, Minerva, to NY Cuts Barbershop which is located on Colfax (if you are familiar with Denver, you know that mentioning Colfax will explain some of the sketchiness of the place).  As soon as we spotted it, Danny’s face said it all.  And I responded by saying, “We don’t have to do this.  We really don’t.  You can get refunds on Groupons.”  He was resolved to get his hair cut, however, so we ventured through the adjoining used car lot and pawn shop and tried to relax.

I wasn’t brave enough to take any pictures while D’s hair was being cut (or shampooed or doused in gel) but I can tell you this: we were in the minority.  In more ways than one.  Also of note was the fact that a group of random fellas were playing a very frighteningly violent video game in the middle of the barbershop.  That was hooked up to a surround sound system.  Oh, and you can purchase cell phones from the glass case at the register, if you want.

We felt like we were in a foreign country.

Needless to say, we escaped, and Danny is coming to accept his new haircut, and never again will we buy a Groupon for a barbershop we have never been to before.

We felt much more at home at City o’ City, a vegan restaurant located right by the state capitol.  It was the first vegan restaurant we’d ever been to, and we fell in love.  Being able to choose from anything on the menu is a treat we’re just not accustomed to.

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Now, if you’ll excuse my non-existent food photography skills, we can continue.

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^^ Here are the barbecue seitan wings we had as an appetizer.  Because we arrived during happy hour and they were a great price.  And I thought Danny would love them.  He did, but I might’ve loved them even more.  Which is truly the surprise of the century. ^^

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^^ Danny’s combination platter consisting of vegan mac and cheese, sauteed greens (the best part in my opinion), and barbecue.  I am pleased to report that Danny joined the clean plate club after this meal. ^^

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^^ My meatless loaf on a pretzel bun with fries and gravy and greens.  I in no way imagined all of those things coming heaped on top of each other, but they did.  The fries and the bun, and obviously, the greens, were the best parts. ^^

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^^ While we tried to make a decision on dessert (should we or shouldn’t we?) Danny made this cootie catcher.  It was tiny and precious and the best ‘fortune’ inside was this one: “You will meet Kate.”

As in Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge.

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^^ We finally settled on City o’ City’s version of a Hostess Cupcake.  It was awesome. ^^

So there you have it.  A snapshot (or twenty) of our super fun getaway to Denver.  We’re already plotting another one for sometime in the new year!

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