Monday, May 4, 2015

Visit all the cities (Denver and Charlotte)! March 2015

March 2015

Sometimes you just have to cram in as much as possible in one big trip!  In under 2 weeks I visited 5 cities, three groups of friends and three groups of family.  

First up, Denver.  Friday afternoon, fun bunch arrives-you know we will be having a great time if it is the fun bunch!

Downtown Denver is great-food, shopping and entertainment all reachable by free tram service.  We ate at Mellow Mushroom-nice!  We needed the snack to sustain us on the way to getting drinks at ChoLon :)  Of course once we were there we couldn't turn away a few snacks.  My personal fave is the Kaya Toast.  While travelling for work in Singapore I came to love their concept of breakfast, crustless toast with way too much butter and a coconut spread (kaya) served with a barely cooked egg and tea.  The geniuses at ChoLon (disclaimer I know the chef) have turned this into crispy toasts with kaya and an egg cloud that is so light....sooooo good!

Then we went off to have dinner by helping taste test the now open Cho77.  So much fun! 

We barely rolled to the home of friends up near Boulder and the next day woke to such a nice day

that we had to go hiking at Heil Valley Ranch.  Such a mix of hikers and bikers, nice to see everyone respectful of each other on the trail.
almost spring!

The evening light is amazing.  Back into Denver for dinner at the Union Station bar.  We were here a couple years ago and the train station was basically abandoned but now it is a happening place and the trains actually arrive here.

And the food and drinks at the bar were just lovely.  Of course those were just pre-dinner snacks because now we go eat actual dinner at ChoLon.  The lamb just fell off the bone and the lemongrass cheesecake with spicy cotton candy?  Genius!

Did you know that there is a brochure about the art in the Denver airport?  The blue horse with glowing eyes is the most famous, but we were taken with the miniature cliff dwellings.

E- and I are now off to Charlotte NC, a new place for us, but with and old friend-yeah!  Although I like to do off the beaten path stuff, sometimes you really should do the most touristy thing available.  Charlotte?  The NASCAR museum-we had to do it though I have never been to a race in my life.  The main hall has an excellent exhibit of tracks across the country

Here you can see the steepest banked track

and you can get all the info on your local track.

Nicely put together exhibit-informative and fun.

They also do a nice job with the history of the sport,
both the people

and the machines.

Oh hey!  Go visit my friend Amy's page where she talks about cycling across the country and Be The Match.

When you first enter the museum, you will get a plastic card, like a credit card, and add some info about yourself.  Exhibits throughout the museum are interactive-trivia games, build your own car, learn to be a ref, and pratice being a pit crew!
 This is a ton of fun and if you go on a slow day they will let you do it a couple times to improve your performance.

The final stop is a race simulation, pitting you against up 15 others.  I moved up from 6th to 3rd, not bad, not bad.

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