Sometimes having no plans is the best way to vacation. Fly by the seat of your pants. Just wing it! Very simply going with the flow or wherever the wind takes you.
With out hike under our belts, N and I opted to allow our gracious Denver experts drive much of the itinerary for the remainder of our visit. It wasn’t a tough sell.
Relaxing in their cute backyard with a cup of coffee in hand, trying to coax Bain, the fearsome house protector, into the shade for a little belly rub (for him, not me) could very well have satisfied me all afternoon.
The guys on the other hand tried to rally for a friendly breakfast badminton game.
With coffee in one hand and a racket in the other, it was no surprise that what started as some fierce competition trash talk, turned into more of a pose-off.
Slightly more motivated by the caffeine coursing through our veins, we weighed our options. See another rugby game?
(Did I mention I got to see my very first rugby game?? It was AWESOME! I’ll take watching a good contact sport any day over players standing around, waiting to hit a ball.)
Or explore the city on foot?
Well, we didn’t go entirely on foot. We took advantage of Denver’s great bike-share, B-Cycle! Swipe your credit card for a day’s access to the many convenient bike stations around Denver and its suburbs.
A bike path along a river cuts through and under the busy city streets like a central artery, making it a breeze to get from one side of town to another. It’s definitely a great transportation option if the weather is sunny and mild!
We road across the city and hopped off near Confluence Park. Some of us were more excited than others to get our feet back on the ground…
The weather was a sport in the beginning, giving us warm sunshine and a light breeze, but as we made our way into the city, it whipped up a wicked wind that had us ducking into Union Station for refueling. Where I discovered boxed water, which is starting to pop up everywhere I look, wherever I go!
Facing the unforgiving gusts that swept up dust cyclones in intersections, we braved a trek across town again, to the legendary Great Divid Brewery. It’s hard not to step food on Denver soil and not find yourself tripping into this place. It’s a great craft brewery that has turned out some fairly famous beers and is a great stop to recharge.
It’s located a hop, stumble and a jump away from the stadium as well, so you can expect to see some sports fans on game days!
One drink only though as we had some big plans ahead for the night…
After we got back to headquarters and cleaned up a bit (and I managed to turn the wind-blown mess of hair into something a bit more respectable), we headed down to Adrift for some early drinks.
Our lovely hosts, Mike and LA, are crafty mixologists in their own right, so they knew all the best spots where thirsty patrons could find some expertly crafted cocktails. Adrift may hit you like a cheesy tiki hut at first, but upon closer inspection, the black and white old movies they project on the wall behind the bar…
The friendly staff, such as our server whose sparkly eyebrows immediately caught my attention…
And even the table lamps that previous visitors customized (probably after a few) revealed that there was a lot more to this little treasure!
The drinks were absolutely delightful as well.
Warmed a bit by our first stop we hopped in a rather interesting Uber ride back downtown to Union Station.
We skipped the more hectic first floor and followed LA trustingly down a hall to a podium at the base of an average looking staircase lined with photographs. She whispered something to the woman who nodded us all up the stairs.
Now, Union Station also now acts as a hotel following an extensive remodel years back, so we weren’t sure if we were being led to a private banquet room or a cubby-sized bar. We did entertain ourselves on the journey though, stopping to… appreciate some of the antiques stationed around the halls…
Turning a corner, we arrived at The Cooper Lounge, a terraced bar that overlooks the entire first floor.
A tall slim ballerina-looking hostess showed us to our booth, where we served sophisticated libations on our own personal silver tray… complete with our own little pot of nuts. Fancy.
We chatted, drank and watched the array of customers come and go, catching up on the two years since our last visit.
There were some more drinks and laughter, some funny stories, and updates on life.
At some point, and a couple pitstops later, we finally arrived at Osteria Marco for dinner.
And if you can maneuver the steep steps down to the dining room, let me tell you… worth it.
Ordering for the table, we had plates of amazing and fresh food. Calamari…
Cheese and cured meats…
Bread pudding [sigh].
And after all that, bellies full, giggling as we decided whether we could master that steep mountain of stairs, we departed with hands on our stomachs and smiles on our faces.
Check out Osteria Marco if you’re in downtown Denver, but make a reservation as their tables are a bit in demand during peak dinner hours.
Satisfied and exhausted after such a full day we finally headed back home, glad for all the new memories we made on our Denver trip while simultaneously making plans to meet up somewhere in between Tampa and Denver as soon as we can work it out!
Thanks again to our hosts for showing us such an incredible time!
Going with the flow has never been so much fun.