Denver Trip Report - Day 1

Jan 15th, 2013, 05:58 AM
  #1  
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Denver Trip Report - Day 1

I recently returned from a girls’ trip to Denver on what was probably the coldest day of the year. However, our 4 days there were great, and hopefully this review gives some helpful tips for a long weekend/ski trip.

We flew in Friday morning and took a cab from Denver International Airport to the Congress Park area where we were staying with a friend. The airport is somewhat removed from the city, so a cab for 2 cost $60, a bit pricy. We met a friend for lunch at Café Bar http://www.cafebarcolorado.com/, and it was delicious! Upscale American food with many local beers to sample. A definite theme of Denver – local, craft beers. I had the Hanger Steak Sandwich, which was excellent. Apparently, they change the menu pretty frequently, but it had a fun vibe.

After lunch, we decided to visit a local brewery, the Great Divide. Coming from the Midwest, I could not believe how cheap craft beers were. We sampled several ($3 = 3 samples). We did not take a tour, but they were offering free brewery tours at 3 and 4 for anyone who was interested. We ended up buying a growler of beer to take home with us and give to our hostess.

After our afternoon of beer tasting, we got ready for dinner at Sushi Sasa http://www.sushisasadenver.com/. The sushi was fantastic! I highly recommend the restaurant. It was crowded, and our host had made a reservation – so I’m not sure how easy it would be to just stop in. However, the sushi really was incredible. The Dragon Roll was a hit: crab, shrimp tempura, eel, avocado and strawberries. The strawberries were a great touch.

Next day… skiing in Breckenridge!
lor41886 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Skiing Breck

We decided to go skiing on the absolute coldest day of the year. We woke up early, left Denver around 8 and stopped at Breeze’s on the way to rent skis. Breeze’s has locations all over Colorado, so you can return your skis anywhere. The staff was friendly enough, but for a novice skier, they definitely made you feel out of your element. They constantly kept trying to get us to buy the right kind of ski socks or the right kind of ski pants, etc. However, for the price, it was pretty reasonable (about $30ish). We headed straight to Breckenridge and bought day passes ($92, discounted with our host’s buddy pass). Honestly, I had a great time skiing Breck. There were lots of green runs for beginners (such as myself), but our more advanced skiiers had tons of blues and blacks. It was just bitter COLD – which obviously Breck couldn’t control. However, it got to -17, which was just miserable weather. We still had fun, though! I would like to add that every single employee at Breckenridge was so incredibly nice! I could not get over how helpful and kind and genuinely enthusiastic they all seemed to be; especially, considering there was no way they could feel their feet or fingers.

During our skiing we ate at one of the cafeterias there; nothing to write home about – just overpriced cafeteria food. However, we were so hungry anything was delicious. The free granola bars they pass out when you buy your pass really did come in handy; one friend got light headed from the altitude. I definitely recommend staying hydrated (luckily, there is water available everywhere).

After skiing, we stopped in Breckenridge and tried out the Breckenridge Brewery and Pub.
http://www.breckbrew.com/food/breckenridge-brewery-pub The selection was great, and of course, beer was cheap ($3/glass). I had the Agave Wheat (great, light beer) and I tried the Pecan beer as well. Very interesting taste, however, I would recommend sticking to the sample. An entire glass of that beer was a little overkill. However, it was like drinking liquid candy.

At this point, we had some quick Mexican food at Carlos Miguel’s (nothing fancy – totally expected Mexican food) and crashed before waking up the next day to go… SNOW TUBING!
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Jan 15th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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Day 3 and 4

Since it was still -17 up in the mountains, we decided there was no way we could last an entire day skiing. We headed to Keystone for snow tubing. It is exactly what it sounds like. They have turned part of the mountain into lanes that you sled down in tubes (similar to the tubes you use for water sports). Again, it was absolutely freezing, but we really had a great time. For $31 (http://www.keystoneresort.com/activi...ture+point.axd) you received an hour of tubing, and you could go inside and warm up when necessary. At first, I was terrified, but after a few rubs, we had a great time! [HINT: do not sit all the way down, lift your butt up slightly or you will be sore!]

After snow tubing, we packed up and headed back to Denver. On the way, we stopped at Beau Jo’s (http://www.beaujos.com) at the Idaho Springs location. It had a ton of variety, and we were overwhelmed by what to choose. However, the pizza was great, and the suggestion was to dip our crust in the Beau Jo’s brand honey. Yum!

That evening, we had a low key afternoon, just sitting inside trying to warm up again! We ended up renting a movie and eating in at Swing Thai (http://swingthai.com). I love Thai food, so I can be a little picky, but this restaurant was great. Their vegetarian egg rolls were delicious, and the service was so quick. It was very moderately priced, so it was a great value.

Our flight was Monday evening, so we woke up and went to brunch at Snooze. This was by far my favorite restaurant of the trip (http://www.snoozeeatery.com). This brunch place was slammed on a Monday morning, and for good reason. The food was inspired and delicious. I tried the pancake of the day: salted carmel with chocolate chips and pretzels. I was in heaven. I also had the Sandwich I am, a pretzel bun with egg, sausage and cheese. Very impressed.
The rest of the day we hung out at a coffee shop, nothing too exciting to report.

In a sentence or two: my trip to Denver was fantastic; excellent craft beers and food. Specifically, for anyone with dietary restrictions, almost all restaurants were very knowledgeable about ingredients, gluten free, etc.
lor41886 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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Nice report. Just so you'll know, it doesn't have to be winter to hit that temp. Our son was married in October in Denver a few years back and the day of the wedding it was 75* and beautiful blue Denver skies. Sunday, our local friends went to Breck for a nice little vacation. That morning there was already 6" of snow on the ground in Denver. By the next morning in Breck, it was -15* !!
Never have had such a shock for weather!! AND we went trout fishing.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I'm also happy to learn about Snooze. I want to get to Denver to see the new Clyfford Still museum, well new to me because I haven't been there yet.
sheri_lp is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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Our Denver kids LOVE Snooze. It isn't a tourist only attraction--it's THERE.
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Thanks everyone! Snooze really was incredible, and I cannot recommend it enough. Enjoy!
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