Smile #139 – Nice to Meet You, Denver, Colorado! [Part III]

Nice To Meet You, Denver, Colorado!  [Part III]

Bubble and I enjoyed our last complimentary hotel breakfast before making our ways to the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

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Located at the heart of Denver is the Civic Center Park.  Food truck vendors lined the park.  All were busied preparing for the lunch crowd.  The green space is surrounded by government buildings and museums.  To the east, the distinctive gold dome of the Colorado Capitol Building peaked behind luscious green trees.  To the west, a grand neoclassical design Denver County Court Building stood elegantly.

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The Colorado State Capitol offers a historical tour at the top of each hour.  We walked in just in time!  As we flow into each room, our tour lady, a law student at University of Denver, shared interesting facts, history and knowledge of the area.  From the material used on the walls, down to the details on the door knob, the interior is architecturally stunning and rich with history.  A beautiful tapestry hung on the first floor as tribute to the historical achievements of Colorado’s prominent women.  It took over 1500 artisans and 4500 hours to complete!  The second floor is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows.  One of which honors Emily Griffith, the iconic advocate for public education.  We also peeked in the Colorado Supreme Court and the House and Senate Chambers.

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Our favorite part of the tour is when we climbed up the spiral stairs into the the observation deck.  Cool breeze paired with the unconstructed views of the city, it is worth those 61 steps!  Supposedly, the city has placed a ban for no tall buildings can block the sight from the Capitol.  We circled the dome a few times for a full panorama shot of the city.

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The tour ended at Mr. Brown’s Attic, a public gallery dedicated to the history and significance of the Capitol building.  We learned about a tunnel under the capitol!  The tunnel was used to transport coal to heat the building.  It also connects to several of the Capitol buildings.  How I would love to have a tunnel system in Charlotte?!  I could bypass all the traffic!  🙂

It seemed there was some confusion over the years as to exactly which steps is exactly 1 miles above sea level.  As of the latest calculation, the 13th step of the Capitol Building marks One Mile Above Sea Level.  🙂  #milehighcity

We made reservation to the Denver Mint Museum Tour in the afternoon.  But before the tour, it is lunch time!  There was no resisting from the food trucks…especially one that sells lobster rolls.  With so many options, I finally decided on trying a Chashi pork burrito from a Latin Asian fusion truck.  Who knew a combination of traditional Chinese food in a burrito would be so tasty!

Since we still had plenty of time, we wander the street and came across some interesting sights.  We found the Denver Justice Center, the sheriff’s department and the Courthouse.  We even saw a bus transporting detention inmates!

Given Denver Mint is a government money manufacturing facility, it is understandable that security is high.  It is so strict that my purse almost caused us to miss the tour!  Luckily, the guard allowed me transform (pretend) my purse into a clutch to bypass security.

The tour highlighted history of the mint and coin making process. From the glass window, machines were stamping out new shiny coins.  There was even a bucket filled with $220,000 worth in quarters!  The exhibits were very informative!  Who knew the US Mint manufactured coins for other countries, including Venezuela, Taiwan and even China!?  or the true cost of producing coins – only costs 7 cents to mint a quarter and 4 cents to mint a dime, but almost 2 cents to mint a penny and 7 cents to produce a nickel.  Why?  The material cost.  Apparently changing the material used in the coins is easier said than done.  All vending machines will need to be reprogrammed to recognize the new material.  I now understand why the decision cannot be taken lightly!

A trip to Denver would not be complete without at least one visit to a brewery.  We did better, we visited Great Divide Brewing and Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Bar.  2 in one trip!

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Coincidentally, we were in the neighborhood of Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs.  This place was listed as top hotdog place in the nation!  And the were not wrong!  The menu offer a unique selection of exotic meats, including Alaskan reindeer, wild boar, elk, and rattlesnake.  Reindeer?!  I didn’t even think they were real until a few years ago (seriously, no joke!) and now we can taste them?!  I just have to!  Bubble settled with the rattlesnake.  We also ordered a side of fried mac and cheese.  OMG, we definitely achieved food orgasm!  🙂  Couldn’t ask for a better end to our Denver trip.  🙂

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Now we are trapped in the airport for our flight…that is delayed due to rain in Tampa.  Guess I was wrong when I said ‘I’ll be at work bright and early…”


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