March 20, 2012

Rocky Mountain Memories

Sam and I went to Denver last week to visit Nicholas and his sweetheart Bianca.
They relocated to this beautiful part of the country just two months ago. Our evening flight afforded us this impressive twilight view of the Denver International Airport. The white Teflon-coated roof is designed to resemble the nearby snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
Since Nicholas and Bianca work full-time, Sam and I had two full days to explore this vibrant city on our own. From home base near Riverfront Park, we set out on our first day to see the sights on the 16th Street Mall, Denver's mile long stretch of businesses, shopping, dining and entertainment.
Denver has a great public arts program featuring wonderful sculpture everywhere, which certainly provides a "visually pleasing environment." There is the Big Blue Bear (40 ft tall) peeking into the Convention Center, the playful 60 ft sculpture of the "Dancers" romping in the park near the Denver Performing Arts Center, and the 21-ft tall "Yearling" on its enormous red chair on the Children's Lawn of the Denver Public Library. Look closely. I am standing under the "Dancers" and near the red chair.
Naturally I headed to tour the library the first day we were there. The current Central Library was designed by architect Michael Graves. There are many unique features to this 7-floor building. The very top floor holds the Legacy Table where the World leaders met during the Denver G-8 Summit in 1997. On the fifth floor is the large Western History Collection and Genealogy Department. The centerpiece of the Western History wing is the wood column/ceiling designed to resemble maybe a gold-mine shaft or oil drilling rig (?). And the children's wing is like a storybook castle with an soaring striped story-time room!


Like any great city, Denver has plenty of fabulous restaurants! Within a single historic block in downtown Denver, Larimer Square boasts one of the nation’s most significant collection of regionally exclusive and chef-owned restaurants.
 On our first day, we met Nicholas and Bianca for lunch at The Market,  a restaurant reminiscent of a European cafe. The cases of freshly baked pastries made me drool.
We all shared this towering creme puff for dessert.
At the  Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen, we sampled bruleed center cut beef marrow bones, housemade sausages (including blood sausage), steak poutine, and a s'mores pot de creme for dessert!

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Although we didn't have time on this visit to check out the Denver Art Museum,
the building itself is visually stunning.
The Denver State Capitol Building is a must-see spot. The Capitol building was built in the 1890s and in 1908 they used 24 karat gold to plate the dome to commemorate Colorado's Gold Rush days.
Standing on one particular step on the west stairway, the elevation is 5280 feet above sea level, exactly one mile high! And the view of the Rocky Mountains from there is breathtaking!

Check back tomorrow for more photos of our ski trip to Vail!

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Great photos and descriptions of each place you visited. Denver looks amazing! I can't wait to visit Nick and Bianca! Can't wait for more photos tomorrow! Love you both!

Unknown said...

Great photos and descriptions of each place you visited. Denver looks amazing! I can't wait to visit Nick and Bianca! Can't wait for more photos tomorrow! Love you both!

Liz said...

Hey Sis - that was me that posted the comments. I forget to change the identity and accidentally hit publish twice. Love you, Liz