Monday, June 8, 2009

Denver Day 4 (Sunday, May 23)

Sunday we drove to Breckenridge for Dave and Jim to use a workout facility there. They took us the scenic route across Loveland Pass which used to be the only way across the mountains until they built the Eisenhower tunnel back in the 70s. The tunnel is about a mile long and goes straight through one of the mountains. We drove through the tunnel on the way back and it was pretty impressive. However, it was nothing compared to the beautiful views of Loveland Pass. One thing Michael and I found really interesting was the lack of guardrails all throughout Denver and the surrounding areas. I guess they think you'll drive more carefully if you can very clearly see how far you'd fall if you didn't!
When we left Denver, the temp was about 65 degrees. By the time we got to Loveland Pass, it had dropped to 40 degrees...solely because of the elevation - amazing.
We finally had someone to take pictures both of us together!

Isn't God's creativity and beauty in nature amazing? We couldn't get enough of it and were in awe the entire time we were in Colorado.

Michael made Jim pull over so we could get these pictures. Definitely worth it. Glad we were driving the Subaru though and not the hybrid Civic. We may not have gotten stopped!

While Dave and Jim trained at the rec center (Dave did a half triatholon in Hawaii the week after we left), Michael and I explored Breckenridge. Breck used to be a mining town (like I said - most towns around Denver used to be mining towns), but is now a ski town. After the freak ice/hail storm, we went to the visitors center/museum and learned about the history of Breckenridge. Then we walked along the streets and checked out some of the shops. We bought two Christmas ornaments as our souvenirs for the trip and then found this amazing cookie shop!
Even between the two of us, we couldn't eat this cookie all in one session. It was two chocolate chip cookies with chocoloate chip cookie dough sandwiched in between and dipped in chocolate. Only thing that could have made it better was if it were dark chocolate. That was one intense cookie. Mmmm...cookies. These pictures are making Baby Payne want a good homemade chocolate chip cookie. :) You know, or any cookie for that matter!

After we left Breckenridge, we were going to head over to Vail, but it was getting late and it was kind of cloudy and we were afraid we wouldn't truly be able to appreciate it. Dave and Jim have access to a house in Vail where we were going to make dinner and hang out...but they forgot the key...darn.
Instead, we headed home, threw together a picnic of wine (water for me!), cheese, crackers, and Fig Newtons and headed out to Washington Park for a picnic. Evidently, Wash Park is like the Central Park of Denver. On pretty days, it's so crowded, you can't find a picnic table or BBQ open. There's a lake there that used to be open for public swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Now people just fish there.

We were enjoying our picnic when some very curious squirrels headed over to see if we'd relinquish any of our cashews. Well, the guys were suckers for the squirrels and tossed them a few nuts to enjoy. Here's the first squirrel enjoying his cashew in the tree!

The squirrels in Wash Park must be very used to people because this one sure got pretty close to Dave and Michael! I thought he was going to eat a cashew out of Michael's hand!
Below is Dave watching the squirrel enjoy his cashew.

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