Denver Part 1

Sunday the 24th we got up early and took a cab to Dulles, checked in our luggage (and paid the highest fees I ever have, 4 checked bags on United for $100) and headed through security. Our flight was full but we didn’t have a problem – it was bumpy, but got in early, and turbulence is always more entertaining when a toddler is giving play-by-play (“Up!” “Down!”). We got our luggage and our friend Dave was right there to pick us up.

It was a free day and the middle of the afternoon and he suggested we stop at the Yard House for some food and beer. Jill and I split a Caesar salad to start, then she had a Spicy Chicken Breast sandwich and I had the Cuban Roast Pork Dip. I had samples of a couple beers and the Breckinridge Vanilla Porter and Jill had the Ska Buster brown ale. After lunch we checked out rental gear as Jill didn’t bring her skis (they’re not in good shape), but they were expensive.

We headed up the mountain to Evergreen where Dave lives with his wife, Melissa and their son, Sam, whom we hadn’t met before. We socialized for a while, then Dave made Bolognese sauce and pasta for dinner. Unfortunately I (and Jill to a lesser extent) was suffering from altitude sickness (Evergreen is at 7,220 feet) and hadn’t recognized the symptoms earlier (headache and dehydration) and I didn’t have much of an appetite (I’d also only got 3 hours of sleep the night before). We went to bed right after that.

Monday morning we were feeling much better, but not 100% so we canceled our plans for skiing that day. So we headed towards Denver in separate cars, Dave and I checked out a Mile High Comics location and Jill and Melissa went to a yarn shop (Sam has daycare). We met up at the Wynkoop Brewery where we had lunch. Jill had a salad and a Reuben and I had the ribs. I nursed a Chile beer while I was there (interesting – not spicy but has the taste) and Jill had a Railyard Ale.

After lunch we headed over to the Tattered Cover to look around, then split up again. Dave and I hit the flagship REI store where I picked up a water bottle and belt, then went to Red Rocks. Amazing natural theater – I’ve always wanted to go to a show there, now I want to even more.

Red Rocks

That night Dave whipped up a lemon chicken recipe that Melissa sauteed vegetables for. This time we got to enjoy the meal and it was very tasty. We still headed to bed early as we were still tired.

Tuesday was finally the skiing day, and we’d picked Winter Park from Dave’s choices (he has a season pass for two mountains with associated discounts). We stopped in Dumont to pick up skis for Jill, then were at Winter Park within the hour. Jill got a lesson, and Dave and I did one run with her before it started, then wandered off by ourselves.

We skied all over the mountain, including going up to the top of Parsenn Bowl twice, where I had both my favorite run (down Juniper at the bottom) and least favorite run (we were trying for Juniper again, but ended up in the trees for a while). Jill had finished a little while before us and met us in the Starbucks.

We headed back and stopped in Da Kind for soups. I had the garlic leek and the creamy tomato and Jill had the garlic leek and we split a pastrami Reuben, nice and filling. Dave got some more soup for Melissa and we headed back. We played with Sam, then after he went to bed watched 24 (one of their shows) and Burn Notice (new to them).

Wednesday we went to Copper Mountain, the other mountain in Dave’s pass. It took a bit longer to get there, but only a little over an hour. We were soon in our gear and on the slopes. Jill didn’t want to take a lesson, so we skied with her for the first two hours. She’s doing much better, took on a tough, long green first time out. After we parted ways, Dave and I kept going, as high as Union Peak, the tallest place I’ll be this trip at 12,313 feet.

I was tired before Dave was, so he took on the back bowl of Union Peak while I met up with Jill and helped her finish her lunch of chili and hot dog. He wasn’t too much longer, and we headed back to his place with a stop at the supermarket and liquor store. He made a snack of Rochlette cheese that was melted on their wood burning stove and served over pickles, carrots, zucchini and bread, then later on made crepes with asparagus, hot Capicola and blended Swiss cheeses. We had crepes again for dessert: delicious Bananas Foster.