Road Trip Part 3: Jessie's Alive! (also known as, DENVER!)

While we were in Iowa, we were really torn if we were going to go to St. Louis or Denver next.  We had a date we needed to be to Adam's sister Julie's in Red Lodge, Montana by, and we went back and forth for most of the week before settling on heading to Denver for four nights and South Dakota for a night before arriving in Red Lodge on Thursday.

We left Davenport expecting the worst - everyone says Nebraska is one of the worst states to drive through; truthfully, it wasn't that bad.  Having done our food research, we planned to stop for lunch at Crescent Moon in Omaha - the reuben sandwich was invented in Omaha, and Crescent Moon has the original recipe from where it was created (a hotel across the street).  And, well, it was really freaking good.  Not too overstuffed, really good flavors, and just delicious.  The bar was great, too.  It had a decidedly local feel to it, and wasn't too crowded since University of Nebraska's football team was on the road at Oregon that day in a game that wasn't going to start for another couple of hours.  Tummies full, we continued on our journey.

Reuben from Crescent Moon.

Crescent Moon

I have a friend from college who lives in Denver - I had texted her earlier in the week and hadn't heard back from her.  I texted her again when we were in Denver, and she replied immediately, all apologetic.  While we stayed in a hotel the first night (it was late and we just wanted to crash), we ended up staying at Jessie's the next three nights we were in Denver.  She was a wonderful hostess, and it was so good to see her and hang out with her.  The biggest shock I got was that apparently she now loves football, especially Clemson football, and records and watches all the games.  This is a girl who, when we were in college, once wanted to know why Woody (as in Dantzler, the Clemson quarterback at the time) wasn't on the field when Clemson was on defense, not realizing that offense and defense are different players.  It was great to see her and pick her brain about Denver a bit, including cost of living, rent, buying, etc.  For those who know Doc (her cat - she got him when she started med school), he is still alive and pretty well, and has mellowed out SIGNIFICANTLY since I knew him in Columbia.  He took quite a liking to Adam, and I think he misses us.

Doc really liked Adam.

So weird to see places where you can buy weed.  Legally.

Denver was the first of the cities we were visiting that we wanted to check out for livability, and it was awesome.  The weather was incredible - 90 and sunny, but no humidity so it was comfortable.  The people were friendly, the traffic was non-existent (despite what Jessie said about bad traffic).  We spent a couple of days wandering around downtown and nearby neighborhoods, and we spent one day in Boulder.  Boulder was beautiful - a gorgeous college town - and we checked out a brewery that Julie had recommended (turns out Jessie's sister also loves Avery Brewery).  We also found a candy store that had both horchata taffy and horchata soda (we did not drink the soda until our drive from Vancouver to Portland, about 3 weeks later.  It was not good).


Horchata soda.  It was not good.

Avery Brewery

A boulder in Boulder.

Downtown Boulder.  Awesome town.

However, after Boulder, we made the decision to drive down to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see Twister.  Red Rocks is an outdoor amphitheater where they have concerts and movies and other performances.  Every Monday during the summer, they show a movie, and September 11 was the last one of the season.  It was about an hour drive, but we got there with the perfect amount of time to take some pictures, get our seats, and get ready for the night.  They had an opening band play for an hour, and then a horrible comedian, and then, FINALLY, the movie started around 8:30.  Twister itself was pretty good, I had never seen it, but the experience of being outside with a big audience made it that much better.  The crowd was very into it, and it was just fun.  But the best part of the whole night was when we left at the end of the night, along with everyone else, and hit ZERO traffic back to Jessie's - it literally took 22 minutes.  I can't stress how incredible this was to two people who are used to NYC metro area traffic.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Almost time for Twister to start!

And, of course, the state food for Colorado - a green chile burrito.

After a great breakfast with Jessie, we took off for South Dakota and what I was most excited for on the trip - Mount Rushmore!

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