Perfect weather greeted us as we landed in Denver to embark on four days of fun and adventure, making new friends and cherished memories along the way.
Kickoff! Our group gathered together in the SpringHill Suites Denver Airport lobby at 7 PM for our first activity together - dinner at Pho 92, just across the street from our hotel. The walk gave us the opportunity to acquaint and, for some, to reacquaint, as we always have many returnees back on tour again. (Shout Out Sherry-- she just made her 3rd trip of 2022 with us!)
Then Dinner was served: first came the traditional Vietnamese egg rolls - chả giò, fried to perfection - which we wrapped in lettuce, pickled carrot & daikon, cilantro and mint leaves. They certainly readied are palettes for what came next: the soups, curries and rice dishes we could smell on the way in. It was nice to wash it down with some boba slushes too!
🎥 Check out a video from dinner that night here.
After breakfast at the hotel and a short ride across town to the city of Golden, we started our first big adventure of the day: the Coors Brewery Tour. Once you park in the lot, you board a shuttle bus that takes you directly to the front lines of this working plant. From the start, you are learning the finer points of brew-making & the history of Adolf Coors and his journey to the US during the gold rush era.
And, of course, you are tasting some of their products right from the start. From the limited edition, craft stuff to Coors Banquet, their signature beer, which is only produced right there at the largest single operating brewing facility in the world because of the fresh water that comes down from the Rockies.
By the end of the tour, we got to go home with three aluminum cups, all at one point had been filled with beer during the tour. Many of us went for the Coors Light--no where else can you drink it colder on the planet!
🎥 Watch a video of all the fun we had at Coors here.
After the tour was the perfect time to take a stroll a few blocks to Downtown Golden, where we had lunch at very popular local deli Snarf's - where Wayne was gifted a new scarf - and where we could pose with one of the most photographed landmarks in Colorado, the Golden Arch. Spot Guy below showing off our tour swag, the Green t-shirt that everyone received.
Our expedition journeyed further into the Rockies from there, as we headed to Georgetown, home of the Loop Railroad, which was completed in 1884. We first made a stop in its quaint little town and beelined for the candy shop! The fudge, ice cream, and other confectioneries hit that sweet spot we'd been craving.
Before we knew it, it was time for our 3:50 PM departure, as temperatures finally started to dip a little on us.
Hopping aboard our 100 year-old train and barreling - leisurely - down the narrow 3-foot gauge was like stepping back in time, especially when you're being powered by steam engine.
🎥 Check out all the amazing views in our video here!
After disembarcking, we headed north into the hills, zig-zagging around mountains until we reached Winter Park, about 24 hours early for ski season. The ghost town was our playground for a few minutes, frolicking in the patches snow and gazing at the hues on the horizon.
From there it was off to dinner at Mondo's Pizza, serving authentic NY style pizza with sauce and dough - hand-stretched right in front of us - made daily. Rated one of the top 50 places to eat in Colorado. 'Ono!
GAMEDAY! And even more exciting than the game itself-- the tailgate! With kickoff set for 2 PM, we enjoyed a restful morning with breakfast and a short drive up to Fort Collins around 10 AM. We had a solid three hours - more if you missed kickoff, and yes, some of us did! - to party and wala'au - talk story - with fellow Locals from the 808 and new friends we met from the opposition. One of the absolute best traditions of College Football is the tailgate, and no one does it like the folks from the Islands.
#HawaiiFB dropped a last-drive heart-breaker to the Rams, 17-13, but we'll remember the day for much more.
🎥 You gotta check out all the fun we had in our IG video here!
Losing a close one is always a tough pill to swallow but burgers and shakes are not! Today, even after the tour, some are still talking about those milkshakes at this fun 50s-style diner right next to our hotel.
NFL GAMEDAY! We left our hotel after breakfast around 10 for the short ride over to Empower Field at Mile High. With our club seats, we were able to enter the stadium an hour early and take advantage of the emptiness before the crowds poured in.
We spent most of our time at the United Club, a climate-controlled lounge area with TV, tables and chairs and even a fireplace you would warm up next to.
At halftime of the game, the 1997 Broncos were honored; they were the first Super Bowl-winning squad in franchise history and featured Mililani and UH football's own, Ma'a Tanuvasa.
The Broncos had a chance to steal the win late in the 4th, but it was the Jets behind QB Zach Wilson who prevailed, albeit without having to face Russell Wilson, who was injured this game. (Not that this season has been positive for Russ thus far.)
We enjoyed pork nachos, loaded sweet potato fries, more fresh Coors beer, hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels and a nice rest from the outdoors if you wanted to spend some time inside the club.
And for the finale-- Denver's oldest restaurant, and one of our favorite's, Buckhorn Exchange. Holding Colorado's Liquor License #1, the restaurant has been serving steak, lamb, elk, quail, buffalo and other meat for over a century. We sampled all of that plus some alligator, artichoke hearts, cornish hen, ribs and so much more. Some of us opted for the White Beand & Ham soup in place of the salad, a recipe that was been served since the doors opened. The menus look like a newspaper and even contained some articles detailing historic events that took place there over the decades.
The most fun part of the experience is being surrounded by hundred of taxidermy and artifacts from a bygone era. The old telephone was pretty cool too!
ALL PAU. It's really incredible how many memories you can cram into four days. We will miss our friends and our adventures. See you all on the road again soon!
Got any ideas of where you want to go on your next adventure? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll offer an over-the-phone free consultation. We may even come with you too!