Wednesday, November 7 & Thursday, November 8
I really like the Stanley Hotel so even though we checked out a bit after 10 am I took the opportunity to take a bunch of photos and buy souvenirs in the gift shop including a pamphlet/book about the history of the hotel (even though I already knew most of it). I think one of my favorite features (besides the age which you can feel) is that the windows actually open. How often do you stay in a hotel where you can sleep with the windows open?!
And no we didn’t see any ghosts, nothing even close. I was SO FREAKING DISAPPOINTED!! Breakfast was french toast (and it was some of the best french toast I have ever had) in the bar/restaurant on site – the Cascades. They have an extensive collection of liquor as well.
Can you imagine seeing this view all the time? Wowza. We *must* go back in the summer. I can not wait.
I also used the panorama feature for a few of them so I suggest you click on the photo to actually SEE it! In the first photo the pool is there to the left.
Between the pool and the hotel is this thing. You can spin the dial at the bottom to figure out which mountains are where, how tall, where cities are, etc. Very Victorian but very cool. Click on the picture of the full dial if you want a closer look.
And this framed photo was in our room. Yes I know the man on the bench is just snickering in the photo but boy his eyes are creepy! Creeped me out all night.
After pictures and we just drove back to my mom’s 2 hours to the south and through Denver.
Next up I went to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science with my mom, my aunt and my aunt’s 2 year-old grandson. I have been to this museum more times than I can count. No really. At least 4 dozen times, probably a lot more than that. But they had an exhibit I wanted to see (they get all the good ones) – The Destruction of Pompeii. When I had asked my husband if he wanted to go he said no. His argument was 2 fold – first he hates museums, second he had already been to Pompeii and seen it all. Kind of an unfair advantage IMO. But, eh, whatever. So the plan was to drop my husband off at my mom’s where he played video games and he would meet up with a few more members of my family and us ladies for dinner in Denver.
They had everyday objects, petrified food, gladiators helmets, frescos, models, everything. Including casts of the bodies. This was a powerful exhibit!
We also checked out a few other exhibits and the planetarium. This is a chunk of petrified tree from Arizona. I thought it was pretty.
From there is was crawl through traffic to Casa Bonita! This is the place my husband was most looking forward to visiting all week. Do you know what Casa Bonita is? No? Click on this and watch South Park. Don’t worry I’ll wait. Hum, hum, hum.
Are you back? What did you think?
Yes it really is a giant entertainment palace which serves Mexican food. It’s supposed to somehow represent a happy little Mexican village or something. The food is not great (much much better than it used to be! and the sopapilla are to die for!) but it’s fun and cheesy. Perfect when you are visiting Denver!
In the center of this last photo is a red and white wishing well. Inside is a motion activated video of a man. Thing used to give me nightmares as a kid. Seriously. Scared.to.death.
Then it was back up the mountain for the night.
The next day we did a lot but I took very few photos. We spent a chunk of time getting some of my mother’s IKEA returns ready then drove down to IKEA. This all took a lot longer than I wanted it to but I bought a few things I needed, a few things I wanted and some just for fun. And I actually had the chance to go through the food section! On all my previous trips to IKEA I was exhausted by the time I got to the food and just wanted to leave. This time I stocked up on cookies and lingonberry jam. Managed to eat lunch there while we were at it.
After that it was the Container Store where I bought a few things I have been needing (and the store is much cheaper than buying online). And then it was back up the mountain before traffic really hit.
Dinner that night was at Tommyknocker’s Brewery & Pub. They have a restaurant section but we sat right in the brewery (and bar) section. They make some very interesting local stuff, including root beer and cream soda. You can sometimes find them nationally. Like for example their Pale Ale is on the menu at Old Chicago’s. I strongly recommend it!! I had Pine Bough Ale made with real local pine needles. It was very very rich. I barely drank half. After that I hit the root beer. Had Buffalo Chili to go with it. I have forgotten how much I love buffalo!!
We then headed back to my mom’s where a bunch of us, including my cousin, sat around and played Trivial Pursuit. Most fun I have had in a long time.