Day 1 - 10/10
Chris and I were able to get off work a little early. We were packed and on the road by 6:30 with the north side of Nashville as a target for the first night. We made Joelton, TN around 9:30 and stayed at the Days Inn.
Day 2 - 10/11
It was a typical blue-collar motel...no frills, but a bed to sleep in. Not sure which continent the "Continental breakfast" was imported from...
The video camera is giving us fits, something not right with the viewfinder and the LCD screen, so not sure if its the lense or what...going to get it checked out in Denver...can stills take some still though.
If we can get 12 hours in today, we'll be within 3-4 hours of Denver on Friday, we can board the dogs a day early and not worry about them in the Hotel. They bark at anything that walks by the door...
Stopped in Hays, KS. A little bigger than Joelton, definitely better accomodations at the Holiday Inn, complete with free wireless! Got some steaks from Whiskey Creek and some beer/wine from the local store. We've crossed the Fat Tire demarcation at least...yummy stuff. Also tried a Boulevard Stout, from Kansas. It was decent, if it wasn't ice cold, it may have tatsed a little better.
Day 3 - 10/12
Short drive today, arrived in Denver around lunch and headed to the kennel to drop off the dogs. They love the kennel....not...but the owner was a really nice guy, they seem to be in good hands. 32 dogs and barely a bark to be heard, so the atmosphere seemed really calm.
Then to check into the Loews Hotel, took a few minutes, they seemed to have misplaced our reservation, but got us in. After a quick change and unpack, we headed out to meet Jay and his buddies downtown at the Rocky Mountain Diner. Had some good lunch and a Great Divide DPA, tasty. Next stop was the Adam's Mark where Jay is staying for a minute then off to the Falling Rock. Great beer house, tons of good brews on tap and it was the place where all the beer folk headed before the festival. had a Strong IPA, Hercules IPA, and a Double Bastard '05. All great beers. Also lucked into a guy selling 2 tickets to the festival for face value...woot. Just before leaving, some guy was walking around pouring shots of some local whiskey, a 2 year old single malt. The distillery was right down the road...maybe we'll check it out tomorrow. They get their malt from the Flying Dog Brewery which is just next door also.
Day 4 - 10/13
Big night last night, slow start this morning...
Checked out of the Loews and headed to the Residence Inn. Too early to check in though, so we head into downtown for lunch. Rock Bottom looked good, there was a band out front. Tried a number of good beers there. 2 cask conditioned beers, an IPA and Bitter, both great. Chris got the specialty sampler, which also had a few good ones among them.
After lunch, Jen came down from Breckenridge for the rest of the the afternoon. We caught up for a while when we got checked in. Jay called when he finally wrapped up at the beer fest, his pub won 2 gold and silver medal. We went back to LoDo and checked out a couple of places. Cru was the first stop, a bottle of Catena Malbec and some fondue...yummy...Then to the Capital Grille for dinner. Jay met us there. I ordered the Seabass, it was simply grilled and layed on a bed of butternut squash and wild mushroom puree.
Then back to Karen and Evan's house for a bit. Nice relaxing evening. Karen whipped up some chocolate fondue...perfect decadency to end the night.
Today, Chris is hanging out around the room while I head back out to visit with the guys before Jay leaves. The weather is really nasty, raining all over and chilly. Lots of traffic downtown for the Denver Marathon. I meet Jay and Greg at the Adam's Mark then we head out to the Gaslamp Cafe for brunch. The owners are friends of Greg. Alsol get to see Mike and his daughter Sydney...what a cute little girl, very happy. Probably the best bloody mary I have had in a while here...and a guacamole burger with green chile relish. Perfect brunch food.
Headed to Evan's and stayed around there until about 4 and said all the good-byes. What a great weekend of catching up with the Tampa crew. We really could not have planned it that well. We'll certainly have to get together again more frequently.
Grabbed Chris back at the hotel and headed in for dinner. Stopped at Marlowe's, the place looked really cozy and turned out to be a great dinner. Had the Great Divide DPA and the 90minute IPA, both on tap, both excellent. Also had a butternut squash soup, spiced and seared ahi tuna with a mild red curry sauce, and a watercress and feta salad. Ready for a night of relaxing back at the room...