Wednesday, June 4, 2014

6-1 to 6-4-2014 Westward Bound

We left Indiana Saturday night, drove all night, took turns sleeping on our camping mats stretched out in the back of the car, and arrived in Denver, Colorado in time to meet Cara's cousin Lindsey and her boyfriend, Damon.  We got a quick tour of Lindsey's house, then headed to brunch at Lucile's Creole Cafe on the river in Littleton.

Cara and Lindsey at Lucile's Creole Cafe

After a delicious and filling meal (which started with beignets),
we decided to walk it off a little on the riverwalk that runs right behind the restaurant.

Lindsey and Damon on the riverwalk

Eric and Cara on the riverwalk

Cara, Lindsey and Eric on the riverwalk

The river was almost as popular as the riverwalk.  We saw these rafters, as well as kayakers on the river that day.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out - it was hard to decide what to do next.

We considered staying the night in Denver, but we opted instead to drive on and get through the mountains in daylight.

We decided to stop in Vail and walk around since it was right off the highway and we'd never been there before.

This is the main courtyard of Vail.  It's where you first come out when you exit the parking garage.
We paid $18 just for the privilege of walking around Vail for 2 hours!

Vail really is a beautiful little town.  Expensive, and exclusive, but beautiful.
I can only imagine how busy this place is in the winter!

This is just one of several nice water features throughout the town.

Lots of streets are for pedestrians only.

Who would have figured Einstein for a Vail ski bum?

We did stop in Grand Junction, Colorado for a little bit after we got through the mountains.  It's where Cara's Uncle Rick used to live.  We walked around the cute little downtown area to see what was going on.  It seemed like they roll up the sidewalks early there, but I guess it was a Sunday night.  In any case, we enjoyed a drink at Rockslide Brewery, and a nice dinner (sitting outside) at Naggy McGee's.

Amazingly, it worked out that Eric's brother Greg was going to be in Las Vegas for a poker tournament during the time we would be passing through, so we were able to stay with him at the Rio Hotel for two nights.  We walked all over, saw lots of stuff, and left with more money in our pockets than we arrived with, so it was definitely a good visit.

We caught the amazing water show of the Fountains at Bellagio.

We walked The Strip with Eric's brother Greg. 

We saw the big ferris wheel and new promenade.

We loved the atrium at the Wynn!

Continuing our drive west to L.A., Eric did spy this heliostat system, which focuses solar energy to heat water.

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