We have really enjoyed the cool weather and all that the Denver area has to offer. We call the weather cool here in comparison to Texas, as it is usually at least 20 degrees cooler here. To the Denver natives, however, any time the temperature gets to 90 degrees, they pretty well freak out. Several locals we've met, upon finding out that we are visitors, actually apologized for the "hot" 90-degree weather, saying that this is an unusually hot summer. We just smile and think, "You don't know what hot weather is..."
When we spend a couple of weeks or more at a place, as we have in Denver, we don't try to see everything at once. Some days are spent doing everyday errands like grocery shopping or getting the car serviced. On some days, we don't do much of anything but be a drain on society. Toward the end of our stay, however, we visited a few more places worthy of mention.
First was Denver's Union Station, the grand train depot built in 1881 for $525,000. After a fire in 1894, it was rebuilt, and its current facade was completed in 1914. The railroads were largely responsible for Denver's growth into a large city, landlocked as it is and, at one point during WWII, there were no fewer than 80 passenger trains a day arriving here. Nowadays, besides being a downtown terminal for Denver's light rail system, only Amtrak's California Zephyr maintains a daily schedule. In 2014 ,the terminal was completely refurbished, adding a hotel, restaurants and shops, at a cost of $54 million. Here are a couple of photos:
The sconces along the upper walls are original to the building; the huge chandeliers are copies of the originals. We love these old train depots, and we like to imagine what they must have been like at the zenith of the popularity of train travel in the U. S.
We also took in the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science, a massive three-story edifice that housed some very nice exhibits, our favorite being the gem and mineral section. The enormous building housed not only the museum and special exhibits, it also contained an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Even with these extra features occupying the building, there still seemed to be a good deal of underused space. While it seems a bit ungracious, considering the excess all around us, we have to admit that we enjoyed the Albuquerque museums much more. Even the planetarium here was a bit of a bomb, showing nothing but animations in the depicted journey among the planets.
|The Denver Museum of Natural History and Science|
|This exhibit alone would have been worth the price of admission.|
Open only for breakfast and lunch, the place specializes, of course, in, well, biscuits. But not just any biscuits; these things are piled high with whatever you want, but the menu sets forth some righteous combinations. I had the Franklin, consisting of a biscuit, the two halves separating fried chicken, cheese, bacon, sausage gravy and a fried egg. We could easily have split it, but we didn't realize how large the servings would be. Sandy had a biscuit club, consisting of chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato with a chipotle mayo aioli. These things were so large that they had to be deconstructed in order to eat them. To make matters worse, we ordered a biscuit cinnamon roll to go. There; I've said it, and I'm not proud of it.
As far as the food goes, the biscuit conglomerations were good, but the breading on the chicken cutlets was a bit heavy. The cinnamon roll was only fair, as it was overcooked and a bit too dense for our liking. This place was good for perhaps a one-time shot to see what can be done with a biscuit, and it wasn't bad for people watching. To that end, witness a couple seated at the bar nearby:
I asked Sandy if part of the young girl's dress was missing, and she informed me that a visible bra is considered fashionable in some circles today. Well, this is the first circle in which I have noticed this, so I figure I may have a circle deficit of some kind.
There were mostly young folks in the place, including the gentleman in the photo above accompanying the young lady with the exposed bra, and I couldn't help but notice that he was sporting an interesting haircut. I asked Sandy if I should get my hair done like that, and she replied that it probably wouldn't be a good idea this side of an asylum. The only thing holding me back right now, in my way of thinking, would be my gray hair (I could dye it), but I'm not sure what I would do about the gap that would be sort of noticeable in the vicinity of my bald spot. Oh, well, there goes my chance to be hip, I guess.
Here's another visual: We were sitting on bar stools at an elevated round table, a pose that requires a bit of stamina to park comfortably our lower extremities and the remanufactured parts thereof. Contortions of this type are not usually associated with senior citizens, and we probably looked as out of place as we felt.
Another thing that took some getting used to in Colorado was the preponderance of marijuana shops that have popped up everywhere with names like Rocky Mountain High and Herban Underground, to name a couple we saw. Although we haven't seen anyone smoking what we would think is a joint, it's still a bit jarring to think there is so much demand for a mind-altering drug that is legal. But then I'm a neanderthal, I guess; we're so euphoric about having a life to live that it's difficult to understand why that mental state would need to be altered. And yes, I'm aware that our circumstances are not shared by all, but the miracle of life itself is something to celebrate. I don't think many people realize what a gift their life is nor do they comprehend the magnitude of the improbability that they should exist at all. And as far as our own blessings go, it was not due to our sitting around and smoking marijuana that helped us achieve the lifestyle we enjoy today. But, I digress.
The bottom line on the Denver Biscuit Company is this: I'm not sorry we went, but we probably won't go again. Oh yes, I almost forgot--it was pretty expensive. It won't, therefore, go on our list of favorite restaurants.
We also had a nice lunch with friends Dave and Martha Jo at the Sherpa House Restaurant in Golden. Good Indian-style food and even better company. Thank you, guys, for your friendship and your guidance in visiting the area.
|Dave and Martha Jo|
We stopped by the Taste of Denmark bakery again. We have given this place our official designation as the best bakery in the U. S. (Not because we've visited them all, but because none could possibly be better.) You've already seen photos of some of their offerings, and I'll leave you with a couple more:
|Almond shortbread ring and cranberry scone|
|This multigrain bread is the best I have ever tasted, bar none. Notice how much is missing!|
This tiny place does one thing extremely well, as you might imagine: Chowder. They had three kinds available, of which I had the New England version, which was delicious. Sandy had a shrimp po-boy that was just as good. In my creeping dementia, I forgot to take a photo of the food. We went here during happy hour, so we got a discount off food that was already reasonably priced. I'm only sorry we didn't find this place earlier; I would like to have tried the other chowders.
Tomorrow we're off to Colorado Springs and more adventures. Stick around!
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.