30 Before 30: Well here is #13 [Denver & Boulder]

I have officially checked off my first task on my 30 before 30 list! [Go Holly, it's your birthday!]

This past weekend Luke & I traveled to Devner, Colorado. This trip was rather spontaneous, as we didn't do much planning beforehand. We saw that Southwest was having a Fall Sale & offering some ridiculously outrageous reward deals for flight, rental cars and hotels in Denver - so we booked a trip only a few weeks in advance! Usually when I book a trip, it's anywhere from a few to many of months away. So I considered this one to be spontaneous [plus it falls right in line with completing my 30 before 30 list, hehe].

Luke & I arrive at the airport within 5-10 minutes of each other on Saturday morning. We hop on a shuttle to retrieve our rental car & then drive straight to LoDo for our Brewery Tour! We find an amazing parking garage right across from Rock Bottom Brewery [1st stop on the Tour] & wander around the 16th Street Mall for a bit. On our tour we make stops at Rock Bottom Brewery, Wynkoop Brewery, Breckenridge BreweryThe Great Divide Tap Room. We learned a lot about the history of beers in Denver, got A LOT of samples & even took a tour of a brewery & learned the scientific artform of how beer is crafted.

After our tour we checked in at our hotel & then ventured back to town. We stopped by the Southwest Porch [after reading about it on the Southwest blog & decided it looked too fun to pass up] but it turned out that we were the only two people in all of Denver that showed up :(

We found a great Mexican restaurant, Rio Grande, in LoDo! We had a great meal [including margaritas] but headed back to the hotel shortly after due to first day travel exhaustion!

We awoke early to make our way to Boulder for a little sightseeing around the city & the CU campus! When we arrived in Boulder we drove up Flagstaff Rd. to capture a great view of the city! On the drive to & from Flagstaff Rd. we passed some of the most beautiful houses, ever! Boulder is home to the most eclectic collection of homes I've ever seen! There were English style, craftsman style, spanish style, brick houses, colonial style houses... you name it, it was there & gorgeous! When we made our way back down, we went right for the campus & what a beautiful campus that was! The buildings, the landscaping, the football field... wow! I'm wondering why I didn't go to school here, this town is amazing! After wandering around campus for a bit we found ourselves a Pei Wei [YES!] then ventured over to the Pearl Street Mall and walked around for quite a bit, just taking everything in.

After some time on Pearl Street, we left to go visit the Avery Brewery. This place was so cool - very laid back, features live music & $1 delicious beer tasters! Luke had been here last summer with a friend when they met some of the brewers - so it was a must to return here!

We later found a great place for a margarita happy hour, Tahona Tequila Bistro! It was too early for dinner, so we thought drinks with chips & salsa would tide us over for a while. The Tahona Tequila Bistro featured delicious blueberry & strawberry tequila infused margaritas for under $5! But after this long day we were exhausted - so we decided to go back to Denver for dinner, where we found yet another Mexican place to eat, Crocs, in LoDo! It was delicious, but entirely too filling. It was definitely now time to go back to the hotel & sleep!

This was our last day in Colorado :( We woke up early & went to breakfast at Snooze [a recommendation from Katie Moreland!] We had about a half hour+ wait for a table, but it was SO worth every minute we had to wait. The food was to die for! After we finished up breakfast, we walked over to Coors Field to embark on a ballpark tour. I was super excited about this because I work in a ballpark, so I love to see what other teams' ballparks look like. It's actually on my 30 before 30 list [visit more ballparks]. Coors Field was nice; it looks a lot like Safeco Field. A LOT. I still think Safeco is more beautiful, better designed and we use our space better from a visual standpoint - still a fun experience though. After our tour we went to check out the Capitol Building & all the other surrounding buildings. These were are gorgeous inside! Unfortunately the Mint was closed... who closes at 1:30 p.m. on a Monday?!

We hoped back in the car & drove over to check out Invesco Field, the Pepsi Center & Elitch Gardens. Unfortunately we couldn't experience these places... I just took pictures instead. Just a little north of all of this is a great little Mexican place, Lola. We had our last margarita happy hour & headed towards the airport to start our journey back home!

If there is one thing that I learned about Denver, it is that you can always find a margarita happy hour! Just kidding! [actually I'm serious...] Denver & Boulder were both beautiful, laid back & full of fun things to do for people around my age. This is definitely a town that I will want to return to in the future!