Is there anything more fun than a girls trip? I think not! Two weekends ago, I had the chance to take a trip to Denver with two of my girlfriends from college to visit our other best friend who currently lives there as a travel nurse. We completely packed our days with all kinds of fun things to do in and around Denver, and we left on Monday feeling exhausted but also so fulfilled by our time spent together.
With Friday primarily being our travel day, we only stayed out late enough to grab a bite for dinner and explore a little bit of the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Saturday, however, was filled to the brim with activities. We started out bright and early hitting up Crema in the RiNo Arts District on our way out of town for lattes and sweet potato waffles. With bellies full and caffeine in our blood, we headed towards Rocky Mountain National Park. This easily became one of the most beautiful and also hilarious parts of our trip. The thing the surprised me the most about Denver was all of the extremes. Weather would transition from freezing cold to 80 degrees and back again within a matter of 12 hours, and the elevation was no joke. All of these things came into play in the national park where we went from being relatively warm at the lower elevations to gasping for air and barely being able to stand up on the snow-covered ground against insane wind at the higher elevations. There were moments that we would be standing 3 feet apart from each other yelling and could not hear one another because of the wind. Queue multiple fits of laughter at our general unpreparedness for this kind of environment. As crazy as the mountains were weather-wise, the views were awe-inspiring.
After wrapping up at Rocky Mountain National Park, we stopped in Estes Park for some much needed Mexican food and headed in a long loop back to Denver through Fort Collins. To compare this to something closer to home, Fort Collins reminded me so much of Asheville, NC complete with tons of cute stores (our favorite was Sunday Supply Co.!), tiny local restaurants and coffee shops, and lots of breweries. We wrapped up our evening of wandering around the town at the taproom at Odell Brewing Co. for some craft brews while early 2000s hip hop played over the speakers.
Sunday morning began with another quick coffee run and a stop at Voodoo Doughnuts. From there we headed to Red Rocks. I cannot imagine a more incredible concert venue, and it is already on my bucket list to head back to Morrison, CO for a concert sometime in the near future. After more hiking/gasping for air, we grabbed lunch in Denver's LoHi neighborhood and hunted around for the I Heart Denver store in search of some Coloradical gear. We finally wrapped up our day with some great food including a dinner of street-food inspired tapas at Linger and dessert at Little Man Ice Cream (It's shaped like a milk jug. I can't make this up.).
Monday wrapped up our long weekend with brunch at Olive and Finch and sad goodbyes at the airport. Denver, you stole our hearts! We will be back.