Day 22: Denver, Colorado, Part 2
Our second day in Denver only reaffirmed my love for cities. We spent the morning at the Hammond Candy Factory, which produces handmade candies (mainly candy canes and lollipops, many of which are filled with chocolate or peanut butter). We took the tour of the factory and bought far too much candy. Ben’s blue jawbreaker made him look like he was turning into Violet Beauregard, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The machine below is stretching about 50 pounds of candy.
We wear cool hats.
We tried to go to the Coors Brewery Tour, but the woman at the gate told us that there was a 90-minute wait for admission, so we gave up and ventured over to Red Rock instead.
Red Rock was fantastic, especially the amphitheater tucked between two Pride Rock-esque (from The Lion King) formations. It puts every amphitheater I’ve ever seen to shame. You can’t even see it from the ground below, but looking down on it is incredible—just like the Roman amphitheaters, every seat in the place has a clear view of the stage.
Caroline and I are not amused.
We had lunch at JJ’s, a dim sum place, then went to the State Capitol, the thirteenth step of which is exactly 5,280 feet (one mile) above sea level. From there, we perused a used-and-rare bookstore, where I bought A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. Earlier this trip, I finished his book What Is The What, which I highly recommend to anyone and everyone. AHWOSG, which I am currently halfway through, is exactly what its title says it is, despite being a work of jest. If you have not read it, you must.
From there, we went to the famous 16th Street Mall, which (thankfully) had a shuttle bus traversing the mile-long shopping center. Having been ensconced in the Capital Region for so long, with Crossgates and Colonie Center, suddenly being surrounded by boutiques was foreign and wonderful. We went to a few boutiques in Larimer Square, most memorable of which was an adorable doggie spa shop that had bedazzled dog carriers, rhinestone-emblazoned doggie jean jackets, dog tutus, and (best of all) a minimalist dog bowl with “dog” printed all around it in Helvetica.
“It’s totes the best hun cal froyo.”
“Hun cal? HUN CAL? I am mad, mad I didn’t know about that!”
No idea what I’m talking about? Watch the video here.
The street had brightly painted pianos placed strategically on the dividing median, on which we played happily, despite them being horribly out of tune. Classical music also seemed to float down from the sky, which was a lovely touch.
We went to the Tattered Cover Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in America, where I bought a copy of Room, by Emma Donoghue. As I’m writing this, I’ve already finished the book, and it is one of those rare books that you absolutely hate to put down, even when you’re done with the last page. Ben wrote a three-page-long list of the books he’d like to read soon (I noticed that he wrote down Game of Thrones, an excellent choice). Caroline got The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, and we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some dinner before heading back to the hotel.