Our first day officially we spent the majority of it driving. This was really the only time that Gene got irritated. You see, men have a tendency to want to get there, get there fast, have some imaginary schedule that they must keep. Gene, being the absolute WORST at this ever. Probably because he spends at least 1/2 of his day driving (and speeding). We had a whole discussion before we left that if I saw something I wanted to see, or that I thought was interesting, we would STOP THERE. No arguing about it.
*puts foot down*
When I suggested the scenic route into Denver, he about popped an artery in his forehead. Later he admitted that he caught himself and adjusted his attitude.... but I already knew that. ;)
We arrived at our hotel and it felt soooo goooood to be there. We stayed at a *very nice* Marriott. Can I let you in on a little secret? We paid less than a motel 6! No really.
Me and William Shatner, we named our own price. The hotel's normal rates are $139/night. We paid...... *drumroll*..... $55/night.
I think there were several factors that got us such a good deal.
1. It was short notice on a holiday weekend. We bought it one day before we were ready to travel - I'm sure they were desperate as the hotel was very quiet those 6 days.
2. We were willing to stay in many different parts of Denver. The bigger the area you're willing to stay in, the more likely your offer will be accepted.
3. We were very flexible on our dates (this had more to do with the car). We arrived on a Friday, but left on a Wednesday, instead of say, Sunday. So the we stayed twice as long as probably an average person.
4. The economy sucks. Better to have something than nothing.
I will use priceline again.
After settling in, we went out to dinner at Macaroni Grill. This picture was taken after an embarrassing series of photos of Gene. I'm getting the stink eye. I won't share the others (shhh.. maybe I will. lol)
July 4, 2009:
We woke up on our anniversary day and had some breakfast in bed (see 365 post) and then headed out for our first stop of the day, which was Idaho Springs. We got there around lunchtime, and decided to buy some sandwiches and have lunch in a park next to a creek.
Along that creek, there were many white water rafters. I really want to do that some day, you know, when I go clinically insane.... which is soon.
Since this is Gene's honeymoon too *heavy sigh*, we went on a gold mine tour and panning for gold. It's something that he's always wanted to do, he's definitely a gambler and a treasure hunter.
You can see the gold just LAYING in the water! See all those little specks? Yep, that's gold. I can see a gold miner going insane trying to pick them up. They told us you can make about $200/day with a snifter (??) (sqeezy eyedropper thing) picking up gold dust. Cost to pan: $5 Someone is losing money I tell ya. Or their sanity.
I told you Gene was a gambler. He's been pacifying his love for video poker for a long time with a couple scratch off tickets every week. Central City, CO is a gambling town with like 40 casinos. We hit one, and he got the big Pffft. I think he'll go back to scratch offs at this point. And FYI, that's the first time he's played in well over a year.
We hit the road again, and set our sights on Frisco. There was supposed to be an arts and crafts show, lots of shopping and fireworks over the marina. Sounds romantic eh?
It wouldn't stop raining. We shopped in the rain for a while. Went to Walmart and spent 45 minutes trying to find a jacket because we had none. (duh). This walmart had coveralls, snow suits and bikinis. No lie. Sure, if I wanted to spend $40 on a "Colorado" hoodie (I didn't) I would have been all set.
Finally we decided that we were NOT going to sit in the rain to watch fireworks, even with a huge golf umbrella we toted along, so we went back to Golden where we were staying.
This is the Eisenhower tunnel. It is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world, located at an elevation of 11,013 feet at the East Portal and 11,158 feet at the West Portal. The Tunnel traverses through the Continental Divide at an average elevation of 11,112 feet. The facility lies entirely within the Arapaho National Forest and is divided by two counties, Clear Creek County at the East portal and Summit county at the West portal. (can you tell I copy/pasted that? Yeah, I thought so).
The tunnel is close to 2 miles long, right through a mountain!
(I wrote that part myself)
On our way back, we stopped at the grave of Buffalo Bill Cody. You know, I've been there like 4 times, but Gene never has. It overlooks Denver and you can see forever. Many people were waiting to watch the fireworks from above. I would have liked to, but neither of us was all flippy about sitting outside waiting for 3 hours.
We're old like that.
In the end, we went back to the hotel, changed our clothes, went to target and bought our favorite ice cream (edy's loaded butterfinger) and spoons, took our bottle of champagne and just started driving. We ended up in downtown Golden on top of a parking garage. It was fun, and dry, and we had a close up view.
Happy Anniversary! I can't believe it's been a whole year!