Day 2





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Denver sightseeing

8 am buffet breakfast The Corner Office Restaurant Curtis Hotel
Plentiful fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, meats, assorted bread, rolls, pastries. Full and hearty – to our preference. The dining room is sedate this am.

9:30 am explore downtown Denver on foot this sunny day.
Historic Larimer Square only a few streets away. Red brick 2-story buildings, built 1858 when nascent Denver was a gold mining camp, now house unique specialty shops, quality clothing stores, top-notch restaurants. Busy streets, people watchers in sidewalk cafes. Animated shoppers chat and scan the shops searching for treasures and hidden gems. High mountain peaks provide a backdrop to the city. Quite a show!
Next stop – the Performing Arts Complex. We saw it lit up last night. Very visually exciting. Large and dramatic, it feels intimate, friendly with its 10 people sized spaces. Symphony, opera, ballet and touring shows appear regularly so any given night you can expect a great production.
Denver’s nightlife filled with dance, comedy clubs, live music, great food. Savor farm-to-table cuisine, authentic Southwestern or Mexican recipes using fresh locally sourced ingredients, or locally brewed beer. 200 different beers made here each day, distributed in tap houses, brew pubs, breweries, gastro pubs. Denver: the Napa Valley of Beer. Distillery scene has grown side by side with 40 producers of rum, whiskey, brandy, vodka, gin.

11 am walk 16th St. Mall from end to end
This very popular pedestrian promenade has a lot going for it. 1.25 miles long, running along 16th Street in downtown Denver, it is lined with over 300 stores, over 50 restaurants, outdoor cafes and the Denver Pavilions. Walking on 16th Street is an invitation to stop or shop. Public art is very present in Denver. Most iconic is the 40 foot Blue Bear, entitled “I See What You Mean” but there are many artistic creations, sometimes in unexpected places! Look up, down and all around. Just don’t miss them.


1 pm ride RTD’s free 16th Street MallRide from end to end
This most convenient service with stops at every corner is a great way to get off your feet for a few minutes. We rode a bit, walked a bit, and rode again, end to end. Love to do this on first visits to new city. Helps to get oriented. Finally exit and walk toward the Civic Center Plaza and the State Capitol. The Civic Green is welcoming. The buildings are stately. Blankets are spread for readers, eaters and photographers. A man is practicing hand stands while balancing his bag on his shoe. Grand sculptures: cowboys and Indians. Shade porticos, held by a line of columns, cast patterned shadows on the walkway. A castle-like structure comes into view: the Clyfford Still Museum housing nearly 2,000 pieces done by the American abstract artist.

3 pm visit Denver Art Museum
Amazing architecture of this striking building creates interestingly shaped galleries displaying a comprehensive collection of Native American art works. There is a visiting show of works by Henri Matisse and his associated artists, “The Fauves”. Some were new to us, others we knew. Small but delightfully colorful artwork. A bridge connects the DAM with the Still. We walk through for a sense of both museums and browse until 5pm.

7:30 pm group dinner at Rioja restaurant
We meet our group in the hotel lobby and walk back to historic Larimer Square. Lights strung across the road create a festive atmosphere. We’ve come to dine at Chef Jennifer Jasinski’s much acclaimed Mediterranean-influenced eatery, Rioja. Jennifer won Best Chef Southwest medal at the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards (the Oscars of the food industry) and was featured on the Bravo network TV show Top Chef Masters. Recently expanded and redecorated the feel is modern and chic. Booths with velvet fabric are a nice touch. Group dinners are such fun. We each order a different dish to share and taste. What a good idea. Appetizer presentations are dramatic and delicious. Wine pairings are excellent.

9:30 pm wander slowly back to hotel
Lots of young people outside hotel and in the lobby. Something going on – all having fun. Their energy is infectious and for a short minute we think about joining in.

overnight The Curtis Hotel
Our snug hotel room is comfortable with fast internet that makes it easy to stay in touch while on the road. Today we learned and experienced so much and we are very tired.


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