Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tourism with Tauber

What a fun weekend! Jon Tauber came in town and kept us busy the entire 72 hours he was here! We had a great time touring Denver. There are so many things I have on my list to see and do and I was glad to have Taub here as an excuse to do some of it!

On Friday night we took him downtown. If you know Taub, you know what a food connoisseur he is, so of course he came with plans and reservations in hand of some swanky restaurant he wanted to try. I can't remember the name of it, but it was on 16th and Blake if you are ever here and it was great! Not cheap...but great! The boys enjoyed their extravagant meals of venison and duck, and me? One veggie plate please! But they were fancy veggies I will say! I'm not a fan of gamey tasting stuff or most meat in general actually, and chicken wasn't an option here. They only served animals that still bear their bones and/or scales on your plate (duck, fish, pork, lamb). And I don't do bones when it comes to food. :) We then took Taub down the infamous 16th street mall....a long walkway downtown full of shops, bars, restaurants, a movie theater, a mall, bowling alley, etc. Cars can't drive on 16th street, only the tram that runs back and forth and the buggy bicyclists begging you to pay them to "ride" you where you want to go. We had a great time exploring downtown and even discovered something cool I didn't know about Denver. They have a rent a bicycle system where you put a few dollars in and pull a bike off the rack, ride it anywhere you want, and return it at a different rack. It's kinda like the carts you rent at the airport, only a means of transportation instead! G and I want to try it sometime, just to say we did.

Saturday, the boys went out to Estes Park and fly fished. I enjoyed a leisurely walk around Sloan lake and lunch on a park bench there, then a great girls only afternoon with Brittany...where we learned there is only ONE Yogurtland in all of Denver! How crazy is that! They are running ramped back home! Every other corner in Dallas there is some yogurt place it seems. You'd think they'd be super popular here knowing how green and healthy this city is. But no. They make you work for your yogurt apparently. And although it was a 20 minute drive away, we found that Yogurtland, and it was well worth the trek I'd say.

Saturday night was my favorite! Matt Wertz and Ben Rector concert! If you don't know who Ben Rector is - look him up! He is an Arkansas Alumni who was in BYX with several friends of ours and such a talented, great guy! The venue was smaller than expected, but a cool environment. Ben and Matt are both from the south, went to school in the south, and tour a lot of the colleges there. The concert here was so much smaller than it would have been in Dallas and not near as many people were familiar with them. But they put on a great show together so I'm sure they has some new followers now!

Let me tell you, it was so refreshing to be around southern artists. Matt said "ya'll" about a hundred times in his 1.5 hour set and I loved hearing it every time! What I did find interesting once again, was Denver culture. This is my first Denver concert so it may have been coincidence but Matt took some time out to talk about his mission project in Africa, and he seriously could not get the crowd quiet to listen to his five minute spill. You could tell he was frustrated and many people in the front of the crowd were "shushing" those in the back, but for a brief minute, I was embarrassed that this was my city. I'll have to pay attention in the future and see if it was just this concert or at trend that closely follows the differences I have noticed here resembling a "all about me" culture. Regardless, it was a fun venue, wonderful concert, and it was the first time since we've been here that I have felt 100% comfortable. I love concerts and (other than the crowd) one great thing is the music stays the same. No change there. Grant holding me singing Ben's "Wedding Song" in my ear felt the same as it did a year ago when we saw Ben at House of Blues in Dallas (this song was our recessional from our wedding btw!). I was at peace for those three hours. So thanks Matt and Ben for coming to Denver and bringing me some southern charm!

Sunday was our major touristy day. After church, we went to Golden and took a Coors Brewery tour. What did we learn on this tour? Don't forget your ID and try to get free beer by wearing your wife's 21 and over wristband. They WILL notice you are not Michelle Usry and things will not go well. Hahaha...Grant may or may not have gotten in trouble for this. :) After our eventful tour, we went down to Golden's Heritage Village, which much to our dismay doesn't open for two more weeks but I'm so psyched to go back! It's a cheesy theme park lover's dream! Complete with old kiddie rides, a big corn maze, and an alpine slide we can't wait to try (by we I mean I - Grant has to try it because he's married to me). We then went up to tour Evergreen. How beautiful that little town is! We hiked Red Rocks and visited the amphitheater, and topped the day off with a trip to Park Burger in the Highlands before taking Taub back to the airport. What a very full weekend! And if that wasn't enough...right after Taub headed back to Houston, we got a fun surprise from Elise Williams! She missed her flight home coming back from Houston and stayed with us for a night! So great seeing her as well! I must admit, I was kinda glad she missed her flight. :)

We seem to be a revolving door these last few weeks. Please don't let that stop! Come visit us and we'll do more touristy stuff. I love it! Here's some pics from our adventurous and very busy wknd!

Fancy restaurant downtown!

Cool rent-a-bike system

Matt and Ben playing together

Good times at the concert

Heritage Square. 
My favorite pic from the whole wknd!

Red Rocks Ampitheatre

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