Denver day #1 - Apline Slide, Coors, Casa Bonita!!
Jul 2, 2011
|After a lot of long days driving, it was a welcome change to be able to relax knowing all we had to do is spend a little time sightseeing in the Denver, CO area. Who were we kidding. The first full day in Denver turned out to be one of the busiest! Guess it just goes to show you that there is so much good stuff to do in Denver.
We did however, get to sleep in a bit before waking up and heading out the door. During the previous night’s dinner, we had discussed the plan of attack for the few days we had there with Valerie and family. We determined that on this first day, we would stay local. This meant we would visit a small amusement park that has something called an “Alpine Slide” and then following the slide, we would head over to the Coors Brewery for a tour.
Dirk had to work this first day so we made it a day with Valerie and Skylar! No problem, we knew it would be loads of fun! Dirk drove Scott over to the airport to pick up a rental car we’d be using during our visit. No fun and not much financial sense driving the big RV all over Denver, so Scott got a rental.
We drove to Golden, Colorado following “Lead Foot” (Valerie) again. She was kind enough to again keep us within range. She then promptly got lost (yes the local). Fortunately we used the Garmin to find our way to the park. Turned out she got us 99.9% of the way there and we just missed the entrance. Thanks Garmin!
The Slide was tons of fun for all. Lots of good photos of everyone having a great time. There was a fast track and a slow track. The boys all took the fast track while Valerie and Skylar slid down the slow. So did Diane. Everyone was full of smiles. The track is a concrete covered fiberglass track with a bobsled like cart which you can control as it slides down the track. Having the brake is a nice feature though I don’t think the boys made much use of it.
Scott took photos on the first run. Then he took a turn. He rode up with Andrew who advised him since it was his first time he should probably take the slow track. Taught Scott to listen to Andrew. Scott was behind the worlds slowest man. This guy in front of him inched his way down the track at a speed a fast walker could easily keep up with. Was a real shame. Diane decided Scott should get to go a second time to try for a better run. This time Scott rode up with Valerie and followed her down the fast track. MUCH better.
With this done, we headed down to the amusement park for some rides. Skylar, Valerie, and Diane took turns taking Skylar on all the kiddie rides while Scott took the boys over to the Go-Karts. Everyone had a great time. Skylar must have ridden every ride out there trying out all the various devices and having a blast. The boys had their first Slick track Go-Kart experience.
At this point everyone was hot, sunburned, and ready for lunch. Unfortunately, Skylar was also ready for a nap. So the crew split up with Valerie taking Skylar home while the rest of the gang got a quick bite to eat and headed over to the Coors Brewery.
Ok, so we should have known it would be packed since it was 4th of July weekend! Upon our arrival at the parking lot for the tours, the nice Coors lady informed us the wait for the tour “shuttle” which you have to wait for to take the tour was about 1 and ½ hours long. She was not that far off. We waiting well over an hour for the tour bus. Everyone getting off the buses while we waited kept telling the line that it was worth it. Plus they were all weaving unsteadily so we knew it had to be true. So we stuck it out .
It turns out they were right. It was a nice self-guided audio tour. We wished they were doing more visible activity on the brewery floor but things were pretty slow. It was very interesting to listen to the narration although every once in a while it became a bit too much of a Coors ad. Otherwise after about 35 or 40 minutes of the tour, we got a sample drink. Then at the end we hit the jackpot. We were entitled to three full size beers of our choice. Plus the kids got all the soda they could drink. Woo Hoo!!
So Coors has a couple beers we’d never had before that we enjoyed quite a bit. The first was called Batch 19 and was like a Coors with a bit more robust malt forward flavor as well as more hops. It is a test market beer so not available many places. We enjoyed it.
The other beer we really liked was Coors Colorado Native. Very tasty easy drinking beer. Diane really enjoyed that one as well.
A spin through the gift shop found Scott going Guy gone wild and ending up with a tap handle, some pint glasses, and a T-shirt for Diane. We also picked up a six pack to go.
At this point we were exhausted and the boys were begging to get out of there. While waiting for the shuttle back to the car, one of the Coor’s public relations people was talking with Scott about the “Short Tour” which basically means you park in the non-tour visitor parking. Walk in, ask for the “short tour” and take the elevator up to the tasting room, drink 3 beers and leave. There are over 200 morning regulars who come daily for the short tour. Wow, that’s dedication to a free beer!
Exhausted and all, Valerie called and told us we could all meet up at the world famous “Casa Bonita” for dinner. This was another item we had decided we wanted to cover while in Denver.
For those of you who have never been, Casa Bonita is a don’t miss. You won’t forget it. This is for a bunch of reasons. This place is a real trip. First you walk in and they tell you everyone over 2 must buy a meal. This is because of the amazing entertainment. So you buy the meal cafeteria style. I think they are busy in the back opening up TV dinners and scraping them onto your plate. The food leaves a serious something to be desired.
The entertainment on the other hand is a lot of fun. Where else can you see cliff divers perform right before your table? There are puppets, there’s an arcade, comedy for the kiddies etc. A total sensory overload. So much so that Diane could take no more. We dragged the boys out of there after eating and giving them some time to explore and Diane swore never again! Stay tuned and we’ll see if it’s true.
All in all a great but long and exhausting day. So much for relaxation time!