Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Last Days in Denver

At Dakota Ridge RV Park, Golden, Colorado...

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.
We have some new foodie places to review for you. One was the Denver Biscuit Company, one of three food and beverage venues under one roof in a building on East Colfax Avenue. The sign outside says, "Atomic Cowboy." Inside is the Denver Biscuit Company, Sully's Pizza and the Atomic Cowboy Bar. The biscuit place was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and that could be part of the reason it is so popular; we waited for 45 minutes before being shown to a table.

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
Okay, foodies: Here's another neat place we patronized on South Broadway:




Yes, the name of the ice cream shop says it all: Sweet Action. They have lots of unusual homemade ice cream flavors, my choice of which was peanut butter and jelly (strawberry preserves, actually). Oh my, was it good. Sandy had Chocolate Whoopie Pie that she proclaimed to be divine. The most unusual flavor I saw was Olathe Corn. I can't imagine what that would be like. 

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!
Since I'm on a roll, I'll mention one more mom and pop eatery that makes our list of favorite restaurants, and that is the Chowder Room.


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.

10 comments:

  1. We will have to visit that train station. I am pretty sure I am multi circle deficit and happy to be so:)

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    1. I guess I'm just an old fogey, but a woman's attire that leaves something to the imagination has always been more attractive to me.

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  2. Thanks all the wonderful pictures of Denver, we hope to drive by there this fall with out stopping, but then that all depends on the weather. Keep on enjoying more fun places looking forward to more great pics.

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    1. The Taste of Denmark bakery is not far from 470, which joins up with I-25 south of Denver. A visit to that place should be on everyone's bucket list, in my view. Also on 470 is Chatfield State Park, with lots of full hookups at a cheap price.

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    1. I'm learning how to say "chowdah." We're planning a trip to New England next summer, and we want to be able to speak the language!

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  4. That place is out of our circles as well as smoking the funny stuff but the rest looked like it was right up our alley.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. We have a good time wherever we go--as you do, I'm sure. We're honored that you spent a little time with us. Happy and safe travels, friends.

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  5. You'll have to try the Plucked Chicken in Columbus, Georgia for brunch. It was really good and reasonably priced.

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    1. The Plucked Chicken, huh? Well, I hope so! Thanks for the tip, Jan; I'll put that one on my to do list.

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