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Downtown Doings

A Friday with the government

sunny 5 °C
View San Diego to Denver, April 2011 on darrenesl's travel map.

Crisp mornings in April are a beautiful thing when you are exploring a city that is rich in history and scenery. Starting the day off bright and early at the home of the money in Denver it was a brisk 42 degrees when we arrived to the Denver Mint at 7:45 a.m. After getting very friendly with the Federal Police who had us disrobe and go through security all that was missing was a cup of coffee, prior to the groping. Actually it wasn't that bad, if you don't mind those airport searches.

The Mint has expanded its visitor center, but still, unless you have never been before, all you really see is federal workers attempting to look busy by checking coins and shuffling paper from one desk to the next. Between looking up to see if the visitors were watching on worker on the floor, continuously walked back an forth between coins spewing out of a machine and his clipboard. Would have photos for your enjoyment, but that is strictly forbidden. The Pennies are too important to be photographed.

From the mint, we made our way to the Colorado State Capitol building where the big decisions for the state are discussed and compromised on. The capitol modeled after our nation's Capitol in Washington D.C., only one-third of the size, is definitely a beautiful site to see. Along with the marble floors from Marble, Colorado, Red Onyx from the state, white oak, polished brass and gold leaf are all a spectacular feast for the eyes. Not one detail is left unfinished.
Touring the capitol added a nice touch to the morning, but was definitely highlighted by a special tour to the top of the dome. No need to worry about your cardio workout when visiting the dome, as after ascending four floors from the basement where the visitor's entrance is located, you will enjoy 99 more steps up a narrow staircase to the observation deck.

Finally, finishing our time in the halls of the capitol, we stepped out into the crisp air to be greeted by an April 15, Tax Day Tea Party rally on the west steps of the state capitol. Always interesting to see the various groups that make up supporters of the tea party.

Posted by darrenesl 23:22 Archived in USA Tagged skylines colorado denver mile_high_academy escondido_seventh_day_adventist april_2011 darrenesl tljohnson tlwforgiven darren_johnson terri_johnson denver_mint Comments (0)


Slowing down

semi-overcast 10 °C
View San Diego to Denver, April 2011 on darrenesl's travel map.

The flight and trip out of San Diego would turn out to be an uneventful flight from sunny and nearing 78 to a chilling welcome with the temperature in the 40's and finally making it up to the 50's. Of course with the new airport being where it is, located well east of town, coming in it was hard to tell if we were landing in Denver or Dallas. But, that aside, it certainly was nice to return to the Mile High City after 20+ years.

One thing of note that jumped out at Terri and I was the slower pace of things here as opposed to Southern California. Even on the freeways, cars were rarely surpassing 70 MPH. Maybe it was just the time of day, 3:00 p.m., but even the grocery store and Panera seemed fairly quiet at 4:30. Of course, that may all change once the weekend rolls around. Anyway, it will be an early day tomorrow and I will try and post some pictures from Thursday asap.

Posted by darrenesl 21:35 Archived in USA Tagged colorado denver mile_high_academy april_2011 darrenesl tljohnson tlwforgiven darren_johnson terri_johnson Comments (0)

The Bad and Ugly

Things of the past

View San Diego to Denver, April 2011 on darrenesl's travel map.

Well trying to make a list of things to do in Denver, I couldn't help but remember some of the places I would go to as a child. One of the places we would go growing up was "The Organ Grinder." Unfortunately I read that the Portland location and the Denver location have both closed, The Organ Grinder was part of growing up Denver. I also thought of other places we would go and things that we would do while living in Colorado. So, upon an exhaustive review, I decided that one place Terri and I would have to go just to remember how horrendously awesome it was must be added to the list.

I hope this synopsis from a review posted online begins to evoke the memories of it. "And there is an "event" every 5 minutes at different locations in that labyrinth. Their shows consisted of teenagers in the worst costumes ever hamming it up (my daughter is still talking about the mangy gorilla that chased after the kid in banana head gear) and eventually falling into the water. We went to the cove to hit the pinata only to find that it wasn't filled w/ any candy. No, that's too predictable! After 2 or 3 kids beheaded different pinata, the nice pinata lady through a few pieces of tootsie rolls on the floor and told them to take 1. Brilliant! I loved how in the cowboy show the "bad" guy couldn't afford an actual black cowboy hat... instead someone wrapped a piece of torn black felt around his head. This has to be intentional, right? But my absolute favorite part of the evening was the puppet show. I almost peed my pants. It is the single worst act of puppetry I've ever witnessed. Even my two year old looked a bit skeptical. Ahhhhhh Casa Bonita! It must be experienced to be believed. This leads me to the fantastic Mexican band. I felt a little upset that there was something so genuinely great at Casa Bonita until it occurred to me that those delightful musicians were actually the ONLY thing w/ any Mexican heritage in the whole place. And with that, the flawless genius of the place was completely realized. Not to be missed if you have a sense of humor. If not, stay as far away as possible."

Yes, we are going to pay a visit, just for the photo opportunity and cheesy experience. The cartoon images here actually seem fairly accurate if memory serves me right. Casa Bonita through the eyes of South Park

We will let you know how accurate the memories of it being so corny that it was awesome are.

Posted by darrenesl 18:50 Archived in USA Tagged denver bonita casa mile_high_academy escondido_seventh_day_adventist eaa april_2011 darrenesl tljohnson tlwforgiven darren_johnson terri_johnson Comments (0)

Visiting Denver in April

Returning in 2011 after 20 years

18 °C
View San Diego to Denver, April 2011 on darrenesl's travel map.


Welcome to the story of our trip to Denver, Colorado. We hope you enjoy this trip as much as we believe we will. It has been 22 years since I (Darren) moved away in December of 1988 and have only landed at the Denver airport on travels to other parts of the nation. Terri and I are going back to spend six days seeing the sites and attending a class reunion at Mile High Academy. Terri has never been to Colorado and is looking forward to experiencing a new place and seeing where I grew up.

We have a few things already planned and will continue to play it by ear on some days while we are there. We will try and include daily updates for those of you who are watching or trip and give you the highlights and low-lights of our trip. Today is Sunday, April 10 and we are departing on Thursday, the 14th for this journey. We hope you enjoy this site and feel free to comment and communicate with us as we travel.

Posted by darrenesl 10:10 Archived in USA Tagged colorado denver mile_high_academy escondido_seventh_day_adventist eaa april_2011 darrenesl tljohnson tlwforgiven darren_johnson terri_johnson Comments (1)

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