Day 26: Finally getting to explore Denver.
We decided that we would stay 3 nights when we checked into Clear Creek yesterday. That means we need to use the days we have left in Denver wisely. We have a lot of places we want to see and today is our first chance to check some of those items off of the list. First stop, we are off to the REI store in Denver we have heard so much about.
This is one of REI’s flagship stores located near downtown Denver. It is housed in the old Denver Tramway Building located at the confluence of Platte River and Cherry Creek. It was originally used to generate electricity to power the Denver electric trolley system.
The building has been completely restored and turned into a 3-story outdoor gear haven complete with a small playground for the kids.
We were lucky to leave without completely emptying our wallets but we were happy to finally find some flip flops for Mila before they disappear when summer ends.
After REI, we headed to the other side of downtown to take care of something for Luka. He just turned 4-months old which means he is in need of a few vaccinations. Being on the road, we are not able go see our pediatrician. The next best thing is a visit to the Denver Public Health Clinic where Luka got 4 needles stuck in this chubby thighs. He was not very happy about that. But at only $12 a shot, it is much cheaper than going to a regular doctor. I wish we had been doing this for all of our kids.
While we are in Denver, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to eat at the original Chipotle Mexican Grill by the University of Denver. It is one of the most successful fast food restaurants to come about in the last 20 years. From this modest little corner location that started back in 1993 with only 2 tables inside, they have grown to selling over 2 billion dollars a year worth of burritos, bowls, tacos and salads. They have also grown to more than 1,200 location and over 30,000 employees.
As you would expect, the food here tastes exactly like any other Chipotle around the country. What is interesting is that the cashier’s counter, burrito making station, and kitchen area, looks more like your neighborhood taqueria than that assembly line we have come to know so well. Most of us who went to college on the west coast had at least one burrito shop like this by our school. Many of them were probably just as good, but the fact that Chipotle, of all of the burrito joints, was the one that made it makes this a pretty special spot.
As if all that wasn’t enough for one day, we have yet another destination on our agenda. I told you we have a lot to do in very little time. With full and satisfied bellies, we headed over to the Denver Zoo.
We have gotten more than a few recommendation to come to the Denver Zoo. It is $15 per adult and $10 per children 3 and over. That is a pretty decent price for a zoo this size. Since today is Tuesday and the first week of school for most kids in Denver, this place was pretty deserted.
Of course we had no complaints. We are even looking more forward to next week after labor day when the rest of the kids are going back to school so all the campgrounds around the country will be freed up.
After being at Alumafandango for the last week with all the Airstreams, this flamingo exhibit looks like it is missing a few silver trailers.
Look at these two and their night-night fingers. I can just tell they are going to be so much trouble together once Luka grows bigger.
One of the new exhibits at the Denver Zoo is called the Elephant Passage. A lot of the animals have been moved from their former locations to this newly constructed habitat.
This gibbon looked like he is really enjoying his new digs.
And of course, the Elephant Passage wouldn’t be complete without an elephant or two.
Even at 5,500 ft in elevation, Denver can be pretty warm this time of year. It was about 90-95 degrees but with hardly any breeze today, walking around for a few hours like we did became a bit tough. But of course that isn’t the only reason why we got the girls ice cream. They would eat ice cream in the middle of the tundra. It however was some of the most expensive ice cream I have ever bought. At $4.50 a scoop plus tax, we shelled out nearly 10 bucks for these suckers. I think I will retract what I said earlier about this zoo’s prices being reasonable.
Some of you may have noted that since today is a Tuesday, it is a school day for Ava. This is homeschooling at its best. She is getting hands on learning experience about how these animals live, where they are from and why one is different from another one.
Like this wolf, he will eat your grandma and dress up in her night gown and wait for you to come visit her.
This sea lion, she is real prima donna.
And these giraffes, they are the inspiration for many Star Wars creatures. Can you see, we are bestowing her with lots of useful knowledge on this field trip.
But really, aren’t these giraffes amazing creatures? They have special muscles in their necks that tighten up when they raise their head from the grass to the tree top. Sometimes that can be a swift 20-ft elevation change in about a second. Any human being would lose blood supply so fast from their brain and become instantly unconscious. Not these guys.
It was a long day for all of us and especially for Luka after his 4 vaccination shots. For most of the afternoon, he was not a happy camper. We’ve got even more activities planned for tomorrow so let’s hope we all get plenty of sleep tonight.
over and out,
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