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Riley Goes to Colorado Day 4: Monday May 30, 2022 – Denver

We “slept in” for the only time this trip. I used quotes because it wasn’t very late. I blame the time change.

One of the great things about technology is that you can now do things you could never before. So Jenn booked us a time at popular local breakfast place and we were able to just walk there when we were ready, rather than waiting outside the restaurant for 30-40 minutes.

The food was quite interesting and I had something I had never had for breakfast. (Same goes for the waffle I had the day before. Same goes for the meal I had the next day.) the place was decorated with very old American cereal boxes which I think meets some older definition of quirky.

I have spent a lot of time travelling in the US. By my count, I have been to 26 US states – 28 if you count airport visits only – and few of those many times. (New York, Florida, Vermont and Pennsylvania the most, and I’ve been to New York State probably between 30 and 40 times.) But I’ve been to very few state capitals. Prior to visiting Denver, I think I’ve spent the night in two US state capitals, Honolulu and Lansing. I’ve driven by a couple of others on the highway. So I was going to write something about US state capitol buildings and their grandeur and then I realized that knowledge comes from Sporcle, not from me physically visiting US state capitals.

Anyway, like many US state capitals, the Colorado capitol building is pretty damn grand

Colorado Capitol

As is the City Hall:

Denver City Hall

We walked around the grounds and then wandered a little bit further, past the US Mint and a government building that looked aggressively like a prison or armory but was, like, a public health building or a museum or something.

Back at the hotel, we only had one full day and we were trying to decide what to do. We were wavering between the Denver Art Museum, the Science museum and the botanical gardens (“botanic” in Denver). It was a really nice day (mostly) so we decided to go to the botanical gardens. (I’ve been to many botanical gardens over the years. They’re always a good option on a public holiday.)

One note about Denver: you know the cliché a lot of places have about “if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes”? Well, that’s Denver. Even in late May, it’s pretty hard to dress for the day. We’d go inside somewhere and come out and the temperature had dropped multiple degrees and it was raining, or vice versa. I later found out a coworker lived in Denver for a little while and the unpredictability of the weather was one reason he left.

So we walked to Cheeseman Park, which was not that far from our hotel on the “uptown” side of downtown. (In Denver, it seems, “uptown” means uphill from the river, which makes sense.) The gardens are on the other side of Cheeseman Park, which has really nice views.

The “Botanic” gardens were quite nice, with lots of relatively local plants and lots of plants you only find in higher altitudes. (This has to be the highest botanical gardens I’ve ever visited.) They were extremely busy, though, so we were happy to be out of doors and we think the choice to visit an outdoor busy place was probably a better idea than one of the museums in terms of covid exposure.

After the gardens we headed to Cerebral Brewing in Congress Park. We had planned to go to either the Black Project, which I had never heard of but been recommended, or Crooked Stave, a brewery I’ve had a few pretty great beers from. But both were closed due to Memorial Day. (This is why you shouldn’t travel during other countries’ public holidays.)

Once we found Cerebral, we discovered what turned out to be our favourite brewery of the trip. This was because their IPAs were better than at other breweries, on the whole, because they had a whacky lager we both actually liked, and because they had a proper BA RIS that wasn’t a sugar bomb. (It was fantastic.)

After Cerebral, we walked across the street to eat frozen custard, finally succeeding in finding an open place. (It was before 8, though.) Then we took a cab back to our hotel.

For dinner we walked back downtown to a brewpub belonging to Oskar Blues. I regret to say neither of us actually ordered a beer from them, and I kind of regret not trying Dale’s on tap. We were a little warn out from all the walking so we just went back to the hotel.

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