Denver is the Mile High city and a gateway to the Rocky Mountains. I always tell people visiting the USA that if you want a diverse taste of the country in three stops, then visit Denver, Chicago and New Orleans (apologies to anyone who disagrees -- although I have to admit the San Francisco region has a lot going for it).
For me, Denver means Dave. Dave was one of my journalism students back in the 1970s. We've kept in touch all these years. He's visited Australia many times and we've been good about dropping in to Denver.
Dave treated us to dinner at the amazing Cafe Brazil. What a memorable meal! My Angolan seafood dish (with the tastiest prawns I've had in years) was most appropriate given our coming trip to Africa.
We had another bonus this year -- catching up with Kathy of RecipeZaar fame. She agreed to join us on a jaunt to Estes Park. So off we went in Dave's Jeep to visit the windiest town in Colorado -- at least it seemed like it that day.
Lunch was at a great restaurant that served the best reuben sandwiches ever (Kathy and I are pictured ouside the restaurant). If my brother-in-law is to be believed, reubens started at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. A fellow named Reuben used to play bridge there and would instruct the chef on how to make his sandwich. A legend was born. A reuben has corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on rye bread. There's probably something else, but I'm not sure what it might be. The Estes Park version was sensational.
After Estes, we had enough time to make a detour to Golden so we could visit the Coors Brewery. Coors has a mystic importance for anyone my age from Nebraska. Although Colorado and Nebraska are neighbours, back in the 1960s, Coors was the beer you had to 'smuggle' across the state border. Now you can buy it almost anywhere. We enjoyed the tour and the free samples.
Kathy and I sat in the back seat and spent most of the car time talking up a storm about Zaar. We didn't solve any problems, but we had a lot of laughs and gritted our teeth quite a few times. It was funny to realise that John has heard enough Zaar gossip to half-know what we were talking about most of the time. He tried to fill Dave in on some of it. What a wonderful day we had.
And don't forget Herbie. This stoic dachshund joined us on the trip. He looked just too pitiful to be left behind. And his little legs wore out long before ours did.