We rented a car and headed out to Estes Park to go 4x4ing in the Rockies. What a cool, educational, and fun day for all! I had never seen snow-capped mountains live, and they were majestic. (Also, it was very easy to find gluten free breakfast on the way-a huge win for my celiac self while traveling!) We took a tour with Wildside 4×4, and Dave was an insightful and entertaining tour guide as we climbed up rocks, drove through a private portion of the woods, and stopped in the most incredible landscape to wander around and take photos. We even spotted some deer, and one was smiling at us!
Then, we wandered around the small downtown area, purchased some souvenirs, and grabbed a bite for lunch before heading over to the famed Stanley Hotel (where Stephen King penned The Shining, and which was featured in Dumb and Dumber). Unfortunately, my phone battery died due to the stunning landscape on our off road adventure, and I didn’t get a chance to take pictures in the hotel. Our tour guide, Kate, was deeply knowledgeable about the spirits and the Stanley family history. So cool!
Then…back to the hotel, where we all conked out very early.
The Denver Zoo and Aquarium were the next 2 days, and the zoo was a sight! We wandered through for over 3 hours, and didn’t see all of it! The elephant presentation was elephantastic (I had to, sorry-not-sorry). Billy went swimming and was just charming and adorable. They do a lot for conservation at the zoo. The sea lion show was a bunch of giggles as well-they are such goofballs! We went through a snake/reptile area and 20 panic attacks later, I made it out the other side. I’m so snake-o-phobic!!! The highlight was undoubtedly the polar bear exhibit! None of us had ever seen a live polar bear before and they were so cute swimming laps and chilling!
We wanted to go to the Denver Mint/Money Museum, but didn’t time it right this visit, so we headed to the Denver Aquarium, which is owned and clearly designed by Landry, the same restaurant group who owns Rainforest Café and T-Rex Café. There was even a tiger there. Yes, in the aquarium! We saw Morey eels (I guess that’s amore for our anniversary). The puns just keep on coming! The stingray touch tank was super and the 4D Shark movie was educational and tons of fun, especially for G, who is addicted to the Sharknado movies (and got me hooked when the shark goes down a waterslide at Cabana Bay Resort in Universal Orlando, but I digress.) The entire Denver trip was ranked as 10 stars out of 5! Where are we going next? Stay tuned…