So I figured we could maybe park on the outskirts of downtown and walk in.
We left the house around 10:00am and drove towards downtown. As we got close, I spotted a muffler shop! Why is this important?
The little blue car has performed flawlessly over the past six months. But about a month ago, I noticed a little bit of exhaust noise. I checked it out, and it was coming from a clamp where two pipes join together. I figured there's a gasket in there, and the gasket has probably gone. It probably wasn't going to get any worse, but it should be fixed anyhow. So I pulled in to Bud's Muffler to have the little blue car checked out.
And, told them we wouldn't be back until late afternoon. That was fine with them, and so we got free parking close to downtown!
The day started off really nice. Notice that the snow they got at the beginning of the week is totally gone.
First thing we wanted to see along the way was a building we had seen pictures of. Turns out it's the Denver Art Museum. We didn't go inside, but really got a kick out of the building itself!
But I couldn't get a decent picture of it from the ground. Across the street is the Denver Public Library, a seven story building. I figured there's got be be a window up there with a worthwhile view, and I was right!
So we're wandering around inside the library, which in itself is worth a visit. We went upstairs to the administration and offices and there was hardly anybody around. But you could still go anywhere unless the doors were marked "staff only". Hey, it's a public building, right?
So we came across a nice looking meeting room.
Turns out they held a very important meeting in this room back in 1997. Attended by eight heads of state, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Boris Yeltsin, and Canada's own Jean Chretien, this three day meeting was called The Denver Summit of the Eight.
Ruth, looking awfully important in the spot labelled for the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien!
A bonus for coming across this special room, is the beautiful view it afforded of downtown Denver...
Downtown Denver, Colorado!
Leaving the library, I had to make a phonecall back to the muffler shop to find out their price. Turns out it was going to cost $80.82, tax included to repair the little blue car and I told them to go ahead and fix it.
Outside the library, we came across an odd statue. Modern art, I suppose, but there's got to be some kind of meaning behind it. we don't quite get it...
A giant red chair with a horse standing on the chair. Things that make you go "hmmm".
Perhaps he was looking at his horse buddies being ridden by Denver's finest across the road in the park.
We were looking for an aerial view of Denver, so we figured we'd go in to some of the taller buildings and see if we could find a view higher up. We went into the 56 story "cash register" building, actually the Wells Fargo building, but they said all of the floors were private.
We came across a fancy restaurant. I'm sorry, but I don't care how fancy a restaurant is, there is no way you can justify $38 for a pork chop. Seriously? $38??
A long time Denver institution is the U.S. Mint. They been making coins here since 1863! You have to make an appointment for a tour, but we figured we'd just show up and see if they have any open space for a quick tour. Unfortunately, it's only open for tours from Monday to Thursday, and closed on Friday.
The gates are locked on Friday!
In our quest for a higher up view, we found an open seven story parking garage at the Convention Center and went up to the top. Still couldn't get a decent view, but there was a bit of a worthwhile picture of the Denver Performing Arts Complex...
Funny statue of skinny white people. Okay.
There's a giant blue bear peering into the lobby of the Convention Center. Couldn't get a decent picture because they're cleaning it. Someone had dumped green paint on the bear! Apparently the bear has had it's share of practical jokes pulled on it. Kent was telling us that one time, someone made a huge paper mache bear poop and placed in under the bear!
The giant blue bear, getting a bath.
Finally, we found a view. The fancy Hyatt Hotel has 37 floors and sure enough when you get off the elevator on the top floor there's a huge picture window. Tough to get a view looking back at downtown, but you could see a nice panorama of the mountains.
Looking west from Denver.
Interesting art in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel. See now, we thought this was pretty cool! Much better than a giant chair with a horse on it.
Next up, a walk down 16th St. pedestrian mall. It's one mile long and has a free shuttle bus running the length of the mile. We walked all the way down to one end, and then took the free bus back to the other end.
You could almost spend the whole afternoon just exploring 16th St!
The Denver location of the Federal Reserve Bank is located here, and they've got a free "money museum". Good thing it's free, because it's a little lame. You have to go through a security check the same as if you're getting on a plane. Almost not worth the effort, but we did get a free bag of money! Yep, a free bag of money, containing $165 worth of cold hard cash. Shredded cash, that is!
Souvenir cash from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
A fun stop was the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Worthwhile for the free samples alone, but we were almost tempted to actually buy something. Their fudge was delicious, but we exercised some restraint!
Ruth, with her friend at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!
The employees were having fun as well. Too much sugar perhaps!
At the far end of 16th St., there's a huge construction project on the go to modernize the original train station. We wanted to go in to the old Union Station just to see it, but it looked like it was closed due to the construction.
Construction at Union Station.
We made our way to the State Capitol Building in order to get a photo. Not of the building, which is undergoing renovations, but of a sign on the steps of the building...
Can you read what it says under my feet? You might want to click on the picture to enlarge it.
There's a reason they call Denver the "mile high city". Yes, the altitude at this spot is exactly 5,280 feet!
From there, we went to the Molly Brown Museum. Molly was a rich lady who survived the sinking of the Titanic and she lived in a nice old house in Denver. Not sure it was worth the $8 per person admission, but our tour guide was good and it was something to do. No photos allowed of the interior, so can't really show you very much.
The Molly Brown Museum.
We had a great day in downtown Denver. There's lot's to see and do just wandering around exploring. We had to pick up the car before 5:00pm and so we had to walk pretty fast to get there before the muffler shop closed! Made it just in time, and the little blue car is nice and quiet again.
What's on the agenda for today? More exploring, but this time we'll see some things outside of the downtown core. Stay tuned!