Mia Alexis Lama
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Hi friends! In my previous post I talked about our very memorable arrival to Denver. It's pretty funny if you ask me and I think you'd get a kick out of reading it. But to briefly recap, Nick and I flew to Denver to surprise my best friends for their birthday. We had an absolute blast!
Day 1: I mentioned in my previous post that I have an incredible internship this summer. That required me to work during the first half of our first day in Denver. I want to add that I absolutely love my internship. I work remotely, love my team, and love the work I’m doing. I already have so many projects completed and tangible deliverables to be proud of. After the gang all wrapped up work for the day, we headed into Downtown Denver. We drove by the US Mint which blew our minds (money is actually made there?!)
on our way to the most beautiful rooftop lounge any of us have ever seen, 54thirty. The view was ridiculous! We waited around 45 minutes when the manager came over to us and said that the table they were going to sit us at was the worst table in the house and he wanted us to have a better experience so it was going to be 10 minutes longer. We appreciated that so much! During our wait, we walked over to the 16th St Mall. When we finally got up to the rooftop and saw the view, our jaws dropped. We had one of the best tables in the house. It was just before sunset so the colors were incredibly yummy and decently priced around $10-$13. We ordered the Avocado Hummus with extra pita and pretty much drooled over it and nearly licked the plate. Our waitress was so sweet and accidentally brought me the wrong drink but let us keep it (free drink!). Our tab came out to $45.
After soaking in the view at 54thirty, we drove over to Confluence Park and vibed out there for a while. It was so nice to see a river with little waterfalls in the middle of downtown. There were people around but it felt so private and relaxed. We had the intention of going to get Little Man Ice Cream after Confluence Park but we were all pretty sleepy and my bestie had work the next morning so we’ll come back another day this weekend for the ice cream.
Day 2: Time to brag some more about my internship. Friday, I don’t have any meetings. That means I got to grind out work on my own time on Friday and work from anywhere without worrying about hopping on a call at a certain time and needing to be in a professional space. After completing one of my projects, we headed into downtown again for a bite to eat. The original plan was to go to Denver Biscuit Co on the way but we passed it accidentally. Then we tried going to Black Eye Coffee but upon arrival we discovered that it was temporarily closed. Luckily, I had a bunch of spots saved in TripAdvisor(my new favorite app for vacation planning) so we went nearby to Avanti F&B and I’m so glad we did. Avanti was a cool food hall with about a dozen restaurants and a beautiful patio with a view of Downtown Denver. We ate at Bistro Georgette and were blown away. I had the chicken parm sliders, Nick had the chicken parm sandwich, and we got a side of truffle fries. They gifted us a free cookie! It was absolutely delicious. We could all taste the fact that they made it from scratch. So tasty!
Thankfully, when we got back to my best friend's house as she had gotten off of work, our order from Arrive had arrived. That meant we could head out camping! I was so happy with my Arrive experience(click here for $15 off your order). We rented hiking shoes, a tent, two sleeping bags, two self-inflating pads, two inflatable pillows, two flashlights, two headlamps, two lanterns, two backpacks, and a portable battery. It came out to only $140 for two full days of rental for all that camping gear. I also ordered hiking socks for me and Nick from Amazon and they were a great purchase.
We headed out to Roosevelt National Park in search of Pingree Park Campground. The drive was majestic to say the least. We passed beautiful creeks, drove through rolling hills, and saw countless awesome campsites. We decided on a spot that had an unbeatable view and set up camp. Our site was super easy to setup and all of the gear seemed brand new. We soaked in the sunrise on the whitecap mountain backdrop of our site. After the sun had set, we got a little paranoid and decided to hit the hay. The number of stars visible in the sky blew my mind. The night was pretty tough if I’m being honest. There were occasionally a pair of lights we could see in the distance wandering in the forest that kept us on our toes. We didn’t get much sleep but the sunrise view made the experience worthwhile.
Day 3: We woke up with the crack of dawn and it was so chilly! We anxiously awaited the sun to peek over the mountain and warm us up. We packed up camp and headed out of the mountains. We had seen a really cool wooden bridge over the river and were able to find it again on our way down. We stopped and although the bridge was private, we were able to climb down the rocks to the river bed and we sat there for about an hour skipping rocks and soaking in the sun.
The drive back was three hours long and we stopped at Chick-fi-A. We all took big naps then had a really nice barbecue dinner. The evening weather was perfect for sitting outside and just hanging out.
Day 4: My bestie’s birthday! We woke up before dawn to drive an hour to Red Rocks Amphitheater. We jammed out to Dave Matthews Band Live at Red Rocks album and it was such a perfect vibe. The view was mind-blowingly(pretty sure that's a made up word) beautiful. The sun rose between the downtown Denver skyline and rolling hills and shone brightly on the beautiful red rocks. It was easily my favorite sunrise ever.
We headed down Red Rocks Trail and turned around when we reached a beautiful vista. The entire trail was full of vistas. It got pretty hot and by the end of it, I was pretty dizzy but it was so worth it. We had walked three miles before 10am. It’s safe to say we deserved another nap and that’s exactly what we did. We took a big nap before heading into town for brunch at Snooze Union Station. We had an incredible experience at Snooze. We received a complimentary cinnamon pancake and our meals were delicious. Would you believe that someone at a nearby table picked up our entire tab?! We were mind-blown by the kindness. For dinner, we went to Benihana as it’s a birthday tradition for my bestie. The waitress was so sweet to bring us each our own complimentary ice cream to celebrate. I opted for the green tea flavor and can't say I regret it. However, I do regret forcing down the whole cupful. I was stuffed! Then we came back and had her boyfriend’s homemade cookie cake(make that SUPER stuffed). I hope she enjoyed her birthday as much as the rest of us did!
Day 5: Our last day! :( Nick and I headed out to downtown Denver to explore on our own a bit while our friends wrapped up work. We had our ride-share drop us off at Larimer Square. This area was so cute with its hanging lights and Colorado flags. We wandered past the restaurants, through some boutique shops, and into a hidden plaza leisurely until we stumbled upon what turned out to be a basement speakeasy! Wednesday's Pie turns into Green Russell hidden bar! We didn't stay for a drink but it was such a cool find. We then walked over to Euclid Hall which was unfortunately closed due to COVID-19.
We ended up walking along the South Platte River all the way to Confluence Park again. We sat and watched as families sunbathed at the small beach area and couples rode tubes down the small waterfalls. We then ventured into the REI flagship and our minds were blown. Let me be clear, Miami has nothing anything like REI and Nick and I are pretty big fans of the outdoors. Their selection of outdoor gear is undoubtedly unmatched. It was incredible.
Nick works up an appetite rather quickly so we walked over to Carbon Cafe & Bar where it was luckily happy hour! We had small bites so we could save room for the donuts and coffee from Habit Doughnut Dispensary. Oh my goodness everything was so good! From the service to the food quality and price tag, I was so happy to have found this place last minute on Yelp.
Because we're crazy(and sometimes cheap) we decided to walk all the way to RiNo where I was meeting some of my new co-workers at Ironton Distillery. Well, we walked most of the way then hopped onto one(yes, both of us on ONE) Bird scooter. *lifesaver* Ironton was really cute with a beautiful outdoor patio area where I'm told they used to have games(pre-covid). I got the Sandia Mezaloma which was a tasty and very boozy $10 tequila cocktail. My best friend met us there while the boys ventured around Larimer Square. I forgot that I wanted to hit up Frozen Matter ice cream shop which has another speakeasy called Retrograde hidden behind it's big refrigerator door. Instead, we headed home like the old people we are and knocked out for our very early 5am flight. Hey, in our defense, we woke up before the sunrise on like three different days and that NEVER happens. This is how we slept on the flight:
It's safe to say that our vacation was fun-filled and made tons of amazing memories that we'll always cherish. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about or recommendations for Denver!
Check out this short recap video I made!
p.s. You can check out my full itinerary on TripAdvisor here . Please be sure to like, comment, and subscribe!
Thanks for reading!
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