Friday, March 29, 2013

Day Nine: Coins, Beer, Estes Park and a Nap

I’m not sure why, but the quote wall has remained empty this trip. Probably because until now, our cell service has been spotty not allowing me to immediately capture one of my favorite things about our adventures; the quotes that come out of the mouths of my traveling team crack me up.

This morning my alarm went off at 5:30am so we could get ready for the Denver Mint Tour at 8:00. When I rolled over, Scott said "They better have some cool coins if we have to get up this early to see them!" And they did.

Our girls collect coins. It started with my mother collecting the State Quarters for them, including the Pennsylvania Mint issue which she got from a Pennsylvania bank she wrote to for every release. She also got them started with penny collection books. Currently they are collecting the America the Beautiful quarters.

A couple months ago, when working on details for this trip, I casually looked up information for the Denver Mint tour. That day I was fortunate to grab the last four spots available this whole week, and they were at 8:00am. These tours are free, but are limited so fill up quickly.

Security at The Mint is tight, due to the fact it holds over 6.5 billion dollars. You were allowed an umbrella, and 3 ounces of hand sanitizer. Really? Anyway … three minutes into the introductory movie, an alarm went off alerting us of a tornado. No, the weather wasn't bad in Denver. It was a drill. However, before they could figure out what to do with all of us tourists, we made it into the basement of The Mint, saw the Inspector General (which Scott and I thought was cool), and were able to see the jail cell they use to hold people. What an adventure.

Unfortunately we weren't able to take photos during the tour, but it was cool. The girls enjoyed seeing how the coins were made, and hearing all the stories. Annelies isn't in the photo, because she was sulking after Scott and I refused to buy her a $59.95 silver dollar released last year in honor of the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary. I mentioned every moment of our adventure isn't perfect, right?

From downtown Denver we traveled to Golden Colorado, just 30 minutes west. Yes, you guessed it … we went to the Coors Brewery. Coors is the largest single brewery in the world. The tour was free, and well organized. You were given free audio sets for a self-directed tour, which allowed you to walk at your own pace.

At the end of the tour, you received free beer samples. Scott and I could have sat in that lounge for hours, but samples weren’t the highlight of the girl's day so onward we went.

From there we drove to Boulder, where we stopped for a couple burgers. It was either the small amount of beer Scott and I drank that morning, or the craziness of the last few days catching up, because we were tired after just a two hour drive. Maybe altitude affects alcohol intake. Either way, we checked into our cabin in Estes Park located just outside the Rocky Mountain National Park (thanks to our friends Pat & Ron for suggesting Rams Horn).

I unpacked while Scott took a little nap. We drug the girls out of the cabin for a short drive to the Visitor Center where we talked to the Ranger before they closed, and stopped at the grocery store for dinner.

The four of us spent the entire evening watching movies. I took a nap, and knit. I didn’t even blog. It was lovely.

Tomorrow (Friday), we plan to return to Rocky Mountain. I’m hoping my travel team has caught up on sleep, and we are ready for our last three days of this adventure.

Update: My friend Kris commented on the post showing my sand boarding crash, “You don't count it as an injury in your stats? Headfirst into sand has to count!” I agree. So today I’m adding one injury to the stats on behalf of my crash (although I’m feeling great today).

Day Nine: 101 miles (1,408 total); $0 on gas ($185.27 total); 0 states (5 total); $124.00 Lodging  ($1,223.88 total); $13.38 Souvenirs ($661.37 total); $0 Tourist Traps ($167.80 total); $1 Redbox ($9 total); 0 fights (0 total); 1 injuries (2 total)

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