[Day 1 – Friday, 12/19/2008] – Houston, Texas to Denver, Colorado
|After an awesome sushi dinner with a few old friends and a brief night at Sammy’s, I went home to pack. I had flight at 6:30 AM and I had to make sure we (college buddies and I) made it to the airport on time. I almost passed out on the couch when Vikram and Joseph knocked at the door. It was only 3:30 AM or something, but we decided to get to the airport early rather than waiting at my house and potentially passing out. They just had a late night at their company party and I was just out for a random night.|
Where is Sohel? As usual, he made it difficult and decided to take a later flight than us. We even gave him all of our flight information way right when we all booked out tickets to make sure we were all on the same flights. Vik, Joseph, and I took the same round-trip Frontier flight, while Sohel took Continental. Not just that, but he also just got back from his three week trip to Mecca. From a barren desert to snow, that is one crazy fool.
After arriving, we get all of our stuff and head over to the rental car place and pick up our four-wheel drive Chrysler Pacifica. By this time, Sohel landed and we had to go back around and pick him up. We tried stopping in the pickup area, but a cop started heading over toward us to make us move. Since we couldn’t stop and wait, we had to make a few of rounds around the airport. Joseph was driving and we really slow, ten mph and next thing you know, a cop pulls us over. He was really nice and let us go, but all this could have been avoided if Sohel would have just booked the same flight as all of us in the first place.
|We drove in town and found Denver Diner for breakfast and it was damn good! Our hotel wasn’t far away, so we checked in and walked around the area. We had no idea where were were going, but we found Larimer Square and this big blue bear. I still don’t know why there’s a big blue bear in the middle of the city peeking into the civic center, but it is really cool. Larimer Square was fully of independent shops and wired up with lights up and down the entire strip.
The Coors Brewery was the next thing on our agenda, and we took off. It wasn’t a far drive and was a really fun thing to do. We all got three free beers and oh yeah, a tour of the brewery. I never knew Molson was part of the Coors family until that day. If you’re ever in Denver, I highly recommend this tour. Be sure to bring a polarized lens because everything cool is seen through a glass window. I should have bought one.
For dinner, we took a free shuttle from the hotel area to LODO (Lower Downtown?) to find some good food. Going from restaurant to restaurant, we kept going into these really pretentious places that all required reservations or long waits. We finally ended up at the Wynkoop. Good food, but I ended up with a stomach ache after three beers on an empty stomach from the brewery, BOO!
[Day 2 – Saturday, 12/20/2008] – Denver, Colorado to Keystone, Colorado
|Today was the first day for snowboarding and I had no idea what to expect. I’ve never gone snowboarding or skiing in my entire life. The last time I saw snow before this was in Houston a few weeks ago. The last time it snowed in Houston was a few years ago. I’ve only encountered real snow in December 2001 when I went to Paris, so I’m totally a fish out of water. The drive through the mountains was crazy scary stuff. There was a point where we couldn’t even see the hood our vehicle, much less the road. The temperature hit a whopping negative three degrees Fahrenheit (-19.444 Celcius!).
We dropped off all our stuff at the Inn of Arapaho and went back to the Arapaho Basin. After unpacking our luggage, we did hit the bunny hill back at the Arapaho Basin. No lessons, nothing. Just straight to learning from Joseph, which is by the way NOT a good idea whatsoever. We fell so many times, I lost count. The only thing I did learn is how to fall down softly. I was completely shamed by the kids half my height soaring down the hill avoiding fallen first-timers. After getting back to the hotel to rest and heal, we tried to find the jacuzzi and sauna, but ended with failure. They were missing a part, so it was closed.
We wanted to find a place to eat, so we debated for a while and ended up right across the street at the Goat Tavern where they had $1.00 draught beer and really good barbecue. We played Candyland (my first time ever) and made some rules. If you land on your color, you drink. If you land on someone else’s color and they tell you to drink, you drink.
Sohel was sick, so he stayed at the Inn and we brought him some food. What a baby.
While back at the hotel, we were flipping around and found a really interesting news highlight: “Continental Flight 1404 (Denver to Houston) plane skids off runway while taking off.” It’s good to hear that absolutely no one was killed and only 38 were taken to the hospital.
So another night sleep and we were ready for another day of pain and suffering, but well worth it all.