We made a beeline for Denver on our third summer road trip out west.  It was 3 long days of driving but once we got out there we spent 10 fun days with Jen and Bill.

On the weekend we had dinner at the Mercantile restaurant in the newly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver.  It’s so popular that Jen had to make reservations 2 months in advance.  Now I can see why!   Union Station is a fun place to hang out and catch a train.

On Sunday we watched the Rockies slam the Reds 17 to 6.  It looked like the home run derby!

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Jen took us on a drive up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountains National Park.  The traffic was heavy even on a Monday.  They don’t even bother trying to go that way on weekends any more because of the traffic.

We had lunch and took a short hike around Lily Lake.

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What do you call a pile of ducks?

20150727Colorado-18We drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park and stopped to view the majestic peaks.

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It was very chilly at the top.  The high tundra was green from plenty of rain.

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Tailgating at Red Rocks before the Lyle Lovett concert.  That group across the road was surprised by a hoard of raccoons that wanted to party with them.

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It’s quite a climb to the top of the concert arena.  The thin air had us all huffing and puffing.

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I refuse to indulge in a selfie stick!

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Red Rocks is spectacular at night.  We listened to our favorite Texans – Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett!

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One evening we visited the Denver Botanical Garden where they had an exhibit of horse sculptures by Deborah Butterfield.  The most interesting thing about her artwork is that she makes the horse sculptures from found objects and then casts them in bronze and adds patina.   They look so much like wood.

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Lotus flowers blooming.

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I love it when Bill wears his Cantler’s shirt!

Another evening we visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary about 30 miles from Denver.  The sanctuary is home to animals raised in captivity, some treated cruelly, giving them a safe and comfortable place to live out their lives.  What an amazing place!  The walkways high above the animal enclosures give you a close look at these beautiful animals.  It’s not cheap to visit; $50 per person gets you entry for a year.  The money is used for education and care of the animals.

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Tiger gives herself a back scratch.

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Let sleeping lions lay.

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One black bear approaches another and takes his sitting spot.

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Long, high walkways give excellent views of the animals.

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Cuddly sleeping tigers.

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Grizzly bear takes a drink.

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Sleeping tigers changed positions on our way out.

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A wolf contemplates his surroundings.

There was also a large pavilion for lions rescued from circuses in Bolivia.  Hearing the lion’s roar was very eerie.  Each animal had a story about where it came from and how it was rescued.  Some were very difficult to read.  Since none of these animals ever lived in the wild, they seemed content in their new homes.

Another highlight of our Denver visit was having brunch at Lucille’s.  Oh my, the biscuits and eggs Rockefeller are so delicious.  We also couldn’t miss browsing our favorite music store Twist and Shout and book store The Tattered Cover.  It’s so nice to know that independent music and book stores are still going strong.

We also enjoyed Bill’s supreme smoked ribs.  My mouth waters just thinking about them!  To counteract missing my usual gym visits Jen took me to her Orange Theory class and several yoga classes.  We also did some long walks around Washington Park.

We were sad to leave Jen & Bill but the road trip had to continue.  Next stop…Durango….

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