A fantastic week in Denver! While it may be the 21st most populated metropolis in the country, with 2.7 million people, it doesn’t feel like it. Denver is a great city, with character, culture and friendly people. We felt at home instantly.
Arriving on Monday and leaving on Saturday, I was able to attend a trade show, seminars, meetings, listen to amazing speakers, enjoy the Denver Botanical Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, 16th Street Mall, hear James Taylor at Red Rock, and visit Boulder (including a Celestial Seasons Tea Tour). It was really tremendous. Throw out the travel days and you realize all that happened in a 4 day span!
Several years ago when we visited Denver (from Florida – sea level), we got off the airplane, into a rental car and drove almost directly to the top of Mount Evans just outside Denver. Mount Evans is the highest peak you can drive to in the continental United States. Don’t do that. In our excitement to be adventurous and see mountain goats, we didn’t drink water or eat. Sea Level to 14,240 feet above sea level, in just hours. Really not a good idea, both my husband – Mr. Perfect, and I got altitude sickness. Blue lips, head ache, nauseau and all. At least it was a beautiful drive and we got to view the amazing mountain goats – so close you could touch them. With a good night’s rest and breakfast we got back on the road to enjoy 4 days driving through Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Estes Park, Boulder and back to Denver. We had such a good time and witnessed so much beauty in the nature of the mountains. This year, to avoid being “green”, as soon as we got off the plane we drank a nice cool bottled water before moving on!
Our first fun on the Denver 2014 trip was to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens - which happened to have a Dale Chihuly Art exhibit throughout. Dale Chihuly is so talented, his glass accented an already beautiful garden. We have enjoyed seeing Dale Chihuly exhibits in the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas, in the museum he founded in Tacoma, Washington, in Sarasota, and St Petersburg, Florida. The Denver Botanic Gardens has to be my favorite so far. It is magical the way the glass sculptures seemed to fit so naturally.
We also got to see James Taylor at Red Rock. If you have never been there, it is definitely something that should be on your bucket list. James Taylor’s voice is still as pure as it ever was. To have the privilege of listening to him at the acoustically perfect Red Rock Ampitheater was really a joy. We sat on the 67th of 71 rows, it was the most clear concert ever. Imagine this spectacle of an amphitheater cut out of the red rocks outside of Denver. There was subtle lighting to illuminate the huge red rocks around the theater. In the mountainous area outside Red Rock Theater, deer and other wildlife played. The seating looks like giant curved steps, by themselves a form of art. Underneath the theater is a museum to tell the history of Red Rock. Included are photos of everyone from musicians in the 60’s to Hip Hop Stars of today. As you sit in the seats, looking down upon the stage with a simple but awesome light show and the sun sets, the lights of Denver begin to twinkle. You think it can’t be any better, then the stars come out. Imagine James Taylor singing “Sweet Baby James”. When we got to that point in the evening, I thought I might just cry it was such a special moment!
We spent one afternoon at Denver Art Museum. The Denver Art Museum includes two buildings (one 7 stories, the other is 4) and a nice park/outside mall area. WOW. The variety of art was exceptional! There was everything from African art, Native American Art, Remington Brass Sculptures, quilt exhibit, video art, a children’s “Create” area, protest art posters and so much more.
While I was attending my conference during the day, Mr. Perfect was figuring out the public transportation (great). So on one afternoon we took the bus from beautiful Denver Union Station (neatly hidden underground) to Boulder. Boulder has the lovely Pearl Street outside mall (everything in the Denver area is focused on enjoying the outdoors). Of course there were restaurants, shops, a grassy area and entertainment. We enjoyed a meal at Oak. Mr. Perfct had shrimp and grits and I enjoyed Ramon noodles and pork belly. Yum.
We read in the Southwest Airlines, Spirit magazine that a visit to the mint room at Celestial Seasonings Tea should not be missed. So we hopped a cab from Boulder to Celestial Seasonings Tea for a tour of their facility. Located in the countryside near Boulder, the Celestial Seasonings Tea building barely seems to impact the landscape.
And the people that work there were so friendly and genuinely kind! Hanna greeted us as soon as we entered. She won our hearts with a great smile and customer service heart (maybe she should come to work with Camden someday J). Right way we were offered to enjoy different teas in the Celestial Café. My favorite was Tangerine Orange Zinger! Next up, Hanna and Nathan took us on a great tour of the factory, where we learned about Celestial Seasonings Tea from start to finish. We toured through rooms that house all the flavors, we could not believe how distinct each aroma was. Probably everyone would agree that the best part of the tour is the Mint room. The huge room where they keep Peppermint and Spearment, smelled delicious. After spending an hour and half there, it was easy to see that the people at Celestial Seasonings Tea are passionate about having a positive impact on people’s health, offering a quality product and connecting with people.
One last fun piece of the trip to Celestial Seasonings Tea is that we called for a cab and they just never came! I called to follow up and even referred to the cab app and no one ever picked up the trip. Oh, and it was too late to grab the bus shuttle! Shandra in the gift shop tried to help, but nothing. We just sat outside (beautiful) and relaxed. Liz came strolling out the door and for some reason I felt perfectly comfortable asking “Are you going to Boulder by any chance?” To which she replied “Yes, do you want a ride?” Did I mention that these people were nice? Well actually everyone seems nice in Colorado. We had a nice chat with Liz along the way, she dropped us off right at the bus station and back to Denver we went. Thanks Liz and all the nice folks at Celestial Seasonings Tea. We will remember your kindness!
Other highlights are the 16th Street Mall, Snooze, Union Station, Yard House, Train (yes, we saw them!) and the Wazee Supper Club.
And imagine this, Camden has 7 apartment communities in the Denver area! This includes our newest apartment homes at Camden Flatirons. Camden Flatirons of course includes views of the majestic Rocky Mountains. And yes, you can live there with your pet. At Camden Flatirons, you will have Quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and large floor plans with wood plank floors. Also featured at the community is a gaming lounge, an internet café, a high-endurance fitness center, a sparkling pool, hot tub, fire pit, outdoor retreat and a dog park!
Fun trip, we can’t wait to go back.