First, I am one of those airplane passengers who ADORES cloud photography. I take a photo of the clouds in almost every daylight flight I take. I saw the beautiful pinks in the sky and the formation of the clouds and knew I wanted to take a photo.
The flight out wasn't so bad -- there were no turbulence or scary oxygen mask dropping -- but I was unlucky enough to have a rather large man sit in the middle between me and the other man in our row. I'm not joking when I say his elbows were basically touching my ribcage the whole time. Good thing I was able to scooch over toward the window to give him some more room.
Anyway, the flight was about 4 hours and I spent it watching movies and shows I had loaded on my tablet (remember my Nexus 10 tablet nails). I also brought my cross stitch stocking to work on. You are allowed to bring sewing needles on a plane, who knew??
Once I arrived, Andrew started to show me around for the first couple of days. This was his view from his office:
Not a bad view am I right? I could get used to that!
We hiked through the Rocky Mountain National Park, which was neat because it was during its 100th Anniversary. The views were fantastic. I have never been up on a mountain side with such an incredible view. It was truly breathtaking and sharing it with Andrew made it doubly special.
Denver Botanical Gardens and the Denver Zoo. Unfortunately, I do not have any pics of the Denver Zoo which is disappointing because it was Lights at the Zoo... all decorated for Christmas! Anyway, back to the Denver Botanical Gardens. The exhibit featured while we were there was glass work by artist Dale Chihuly. So on top of the gardens being beautiful in general, they were even more beautiful because they had all these stunning and vibrant glass designs placed throughout. How amazing are these photos? They are all colored and handmade glass:
my 21st birthday.
We also spent some time in downtown Denver walking around the Denver Art Museum. Although the DAM had 7 floors of mindblowing art, artifacts, and pottery from all different places (Asia, Middle East, Americas, etc), I was most blown away by the Cartier exhibit! It was called Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century and it was STUNNING. There were original pieces from Maharajahs, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Maria Felix.
For a short clip about the exhibit check out this CBS Sunday Morning clip (once you get past the engagement part it is really fascinating):
We also spent some time walking around downtown Denver because there was an open air market/festival going on. We walked our way to the Colorado State Capitol building with the gold dome and decided to self-guide a little tour of the building. Luckily, it is open to the public! The building was so ornate both inside and out and we overheard an interesting story about some of the building material used in the Capitol. The Capitol includes an extremely rare material, Colorado Rose Onyx (Beulah Red Marble). Story went that the builders used all the known marble in the building and therefore it cannot ever be replaced. The Capitol building took six years to install and polish the marble. It was completed in the year 1900. So there you go, a little bit of history!
While walking through downtown we came upon these lovely
little gigantic cows. It had rained recently so the grass was too muddy for me to walk on -- otherwise the photo would have had me climbing on them!
We also ate at the Buckhorn Exchange....which doesn't sound overly interesting. However, what if I told you that the inside of the place looked like this:
Okay, back to Rocky Mountain National Park for a sec! If you've been there you know that you will likely pass the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, on your way to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Does that hotel ring a bell for you by any chance? Does this photo remind you of something?
We also stopped by Room 217, the room that Stephen King stayed in when he was inspired to write The Shining. The hotel televisions have The Shining playing nonstop on one channel. Creepy.
Enough of that. Our last adventure was to Pike's Peak, one of the 14,000 foot elevation mountains in Colorado. No I wasn't out there schlepping myself and Andrew up the side of a mountain. Pike's Peak uses a Cog train to ascend and descend the mountain. You can drive if you want but that road looked like DEATH so I'm glad we chose the train option. Plus, how cute are these little train cars?
No, I didn't get it but it's worth a laugh or two!
I think that sums up the trip! I'm impressed if you read this whole thing! If you did, you earned a cookie!