Adventure · Gratitude · Personal Story · Ramblings · Yoga

Destination: Denver, CO: Holidaze

“Denver is a city that will be far more defined by its future than its past.” – John Hickenlooper

IMG_3877At the top of Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, CO. Tree pose ❤

Last summer, I bought a one-way ticket from Denver to Grand Rapids, MI. I was hoping that I could get dropped off in Wyoming, on the way home from Idaho, and catch a bus to Denver. One of my best girlfriends moved to Denver a few years ago and I really wanted to visit her. I had been to Denver a few times – twice for bar mitzvahs, and once for an internship where I worked 90 hours over 10 days at the convention center. Needless to say, I didn’t get to explore Denver much, and well, I wanted to. I’ve been told that I’d “fit in” in Denver and should probably make plans to move there. As much as I do like the city, I’m not sure if really is for me. Nevertheless, it is a really fun and progressive city! So, that original summer trip to Denver didn’t work out, and well, I had a $150 airline credit to use before April 27, 2013…the day I graduated from college.

IMG_3767Went to the airport a bit early, partially due to my ridiculous thought that South Bend was EST not Central…but also to get some work done…right.

What could I do? I put off using it towards any family trips in 2012/2013 and finally, I decided that I’d go to Denver on 4/20/13…the Pot Smoker’s Holida(ze)y. I could stay with a friend for free, we could wander around town and see hundreds of thousands of people smoking weed, in the open, and on government property. This past year, Colorado passed legislation that made marijuana for recreational purposes acceptable. However, for years and years, Denver has been a progressive city and has been known to have some of the best 4/20 celebrations in the nation. This year, they hosted the Cannabis Cup.

The day I arrived, we headed straight downtown to wander the streets, checked out the 16th St Mall, and then head to Pho Ta where I tried this divine Vietnamese soup? dish.

IMG_3779My first taste at this delicious Vietnamese dish: Pho (pronounced, fuh)

After a relaxing evening in, we woke up early and headed to Boulder, CO. We drove up the scenic view mountain and walked out to Flagstaff Summit.

It was a beautiful view and I felt higher than I had been in my life. It was a spectacular moment for some introspection, deep breathing, and yoga. We sat up there for a little over an hour – walked around for a bit – and headed back down the mountain.

IMG_3882Snow specks in April, a t-shirt, and this view. Perfect.

Boulder could be a cool city…the trails and scenery are amazing, but I don’t know if I could live there.
IMG_3895Any place called “Realization Point” is somewhere I want to be.

Granted, I was only there for a few hours, so maybe I just didn’t get a good feel…but the “downtown” area is just a big walking mall filled with chain stores and gimmicky souvenier shops. I like vintage, local, and eccentric shopping, so it just wasn’t for me. We headed back to Denver for some more Holidaze activity.

IMG_3905Sculpture work on the pedestrian mall in Boulder.

That afternoon, we got a call from my friend’s boss who invited us to come work at the Cannabis Cup passing out fliers. Well, could we really say no!? The first year that recreational use of marijuana is legal? I think not. So, with our opportunity to get paid to attend this event, we couldn’t say no!  I won’t go into detail of what happened when we got to the event, as it may not be the most appropriate. I will say that I had an amazing time. I will say that I’ve attended a handful of highly-populated, enclosed location festivals, and I had never felt safer.

IMG_3821

I’ve been to music festivals and expos before. I’ve never experienced this sense of cohesion before. At music festivals, you’ve got a lot of different types of people – some people are mostly sober (like me) enjoying the music, some people travel the country following these bands and may be a little trippy, and

then you’ve got some people who are trashed out of their mind (combination of drugs, alcohol, and lifestyle) and tend to scare me. Those people were missing from Cannabis Cup. At one point, I went in the bathroom and walked out, expecting to be taken back by the loud, crowded space (where alcohol was being served, all day), but I wasn’t. There was this beautiful sense of calm, quiet, and happiness in the venue. It was just lovely. We walked around the event, handing out fliers for a restaurant and bar right around the corner. It was a cool place – so if you’re ever in Denver, check out Jake’s Bar, Track’s, and EXDO! We saw a lot of crazy smoking gizmos, had a lot of mechandise given to us, and met a lot of really cool people.

IMG_3837An assortment of goodies!

I left early Sunday morning and had a LONG trip home. I took a Frontier flight straight from Denver to Chicago-Midway. This was the easy part and Frontier is the best airline I’ve ever been on! Thanks for having healthier snacks, craft beer, and fun flight attendants – you’ll get my business whenever possible! The worst part was dealing with getting back to my car once I landed in Chicago. Thinking that I’d safe some hassle and money, I took a bus from South Bend, Indiana to Midway in Chicago. This bus took almost 2 hours, smelled funny, and was uncomfortable. On the way back, it didn’t get to the airport for an hour after I had landed…

IMG_3937…so I sat outside pouting, thinking about how I learned my lesson. 

But I did learn a lesson and had a fantastic weekend in Denver! Just a week alter, I graduated college…and here I am, finally categorizing all my amazing adventures! Next up, Washington, D.C for the 4th of July!

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