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Square State Podcast: Ben Thomsen

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It’s painful to admit that I actually recorded this episode on a beautiful day in November from the patio of one of my favorite coffee shops in Denver. It is one of my favorite conversations on entrepreneurship, drive, and friendship. It’s also painful because Ben Thomson took time out of his day to drop some wisdom my way and then I didn’t share.

Pod Fade 

Is a painful thing. If you are looking to start a business the following story is a great one to learn from.  It is possible to work with friends, it is possible to have more than one project and it is possible to grow creative endeavors.

Ben Thomson

Shamus McNutt, and Mark Grubbs are a trip who aren’t f#cking around. They are making the city of Denver theirs-one business at a time. I look forward to watching their businesses and sphere of influence grow in the upcoming years.

Flow State Marketing

Looking to grow your business and need some help with marketing-Ben Thomson and his friends/colleagues have worked with some amazing brands. Check them out.

Denver Munchies

It blows my mind that Denver now has a food scene…with good food. No more just steaks (even though they’re good) and potatoes. Check out Denver Munchie’s Instagram feed to get some foodie inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yoga on the Rocks: Fun Things to Do In Denver

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

I am actively working through a list of all of the activities that I would like to do in Colorado. There are a ridiculous number of events and fun shenanigans to take part in. In fact, there are so many fun things to do in Denver, it can be a bit overwhelming. And, I find myself having to choose between 3-4 awesome events a day (especially during summer). Here’s a super incomplete list of things that I’m hoping to do this summer. What would be on your list of fun things to do in Denver?

Related Posts: 25 Activities to Do in Denver for $10 or Less

Fun Things to Do in Denver

  • Go chair lift speeding dating at ABasin

 

  • Spend the week at the Rocky Mountain Land Library (obsessed)

 

  • Wrestle with an alligator at Great Sand Dunes National Park

 

  • Board down a Sand Dune

 

  • Hike a couple more 14ers

 

  • Spend some time in Grand Junction/Fruita

 

  • Go to Yoga on the Rocks-DONE!

I love this list of fun things to do in Denver. It is crazy to me that it has taken me YEARS to get to Yoga on the Rocks. For those of you who don’t know what it is, every Saturday for the entire summer, different yoga studios/instructors will run a class at Red Rocks. If you are interested in going for this summer it is already sold out. Yep, for the entire summer. Crazy. In fact, I started looking at ticket purchasing information around March. Because I got sick of missing out. This year, I was able to purchase tickets for a class at the beginning and end of summer. On June 3rd, me and several thousand of my closest yogi friends. Namaste in shape this year and going to Yoga on the Rocks was a part of my plan. It was awesome.

I wanted to share some tips with those of you who would like to attend next year so that you can avoid some of the mistakes that I made.

Begin Planning Early

This is tip is HUGE. Around mid-March like the Red Rocks Facebook page so that you are in the loop and set a couple of reminders in your Google Calendar so that you don’t forget to purchase your tickets. This event WILL sell out (like the Derby Party). Just accept it and plan accordingly.

Day Of: Arrive Early

Once you’ve purchased your tickets don’t forget to set reminders in your calendars so that you don’t forget that you’re going. This year I had two friends who purchased tickets but they forgot and ended up going jogging instead of to the event. They remembered after I texted them asking “where are you?!” Oops.

I made the mistake of arriving late. It said that the class would start around 7:00 am…so I thought that it was a time suggestion vs. the actual start time. No arriving at 7:00 am and mingling. The class starts at 7:00 a.m. Nope, that wasn’t the case. Myself and hundreds of other people were frantically trying to get into the park, park our cars, climb up the stairs (and every time I climb the stairs, I get out of breath.) Find a spot and then get into our practice.

I arrived at 7:15 am (class started at 7:00 am) and ended up right next to the stage. Every single row, every single space was taken. Because I arrived late I was unable to check my space and make sure it was a good place for me to do yoga.

Check Your Space

Red Rocks is pretty clean for a concert venue, but, it’s a concert venue. Which means that smart attendees should always check around their space for:

  • Uneven texture on the ground. This may be hard on your knees-so head’s up!

 

  • Food remnants-I had the misfortune to put my mat next to a jalapeno slice. I kept wondering where the smell was coming from until I was able to figure out where it was. Too close to me!

 

  • Cigarette butts-eww! I also had one cigarette butt near me. If I had noticed it, I would have cleaned the space ASAP. But, I was late, so I couldn’t

What to Bring and What to Wear

Ok, remember, Red Rocks is at the base of the mountains. The temperature can and will fluctuate because of the location and early time of this event.

  • Wear layers! It will probably be chilly earlier in the day, then, it will get hotter. Take off the layers.

 

  • Bring padding to put underneath your knees. I didn’t have one and actually, I would like to always have one in general. Here’s a link to show what I mean.

 

  •  Water! It’s Colorado. You will get dehydrated and you’re working out at altitude-bring a water bottle.

 

  • Snacks-After working out you’ll probably be a little hungry. Don’t forget to bring some fruit, snack bars, etc. for after the class.

Extra Information

Don’t forget to go to the top 0f the stairs and check out the sponsors (usually a couple of food tents and clothing for sale). There also are nice clean bathroom facilities in the Trading Post/Visitor’s Center. The entrance is located at the top of the stairs in a kind of circular structure with stairs leading downwards.

I really love this event and hope that Yoga on the Rocks is one of the fun things in Denver that you get to enjoy this (or next)
year.



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Fun things to Do in Denver

 

 

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25 Activities to Do in Denver for $10 or Less

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

If you’re new to Denver, from Denver, or, are planning to visit this year here is a list of 25 activities to do in Denver for $10 or less. You constantly hear all of the stories about how expensive Denver is. While this is true, there are a ton of affordable (or free) activities that people can enjoy while they are in town.

Related Post: 36 Hours in Denver 

25 Activities to Do in Denver for $10 or Less

  • Visit Boulder-$9 round-trip

 

  • Cup of great coffee at Steam Coffee shop on Pearl Street

 

  • Rent a B-cycle-$9

 

 

  • Free work out at Civic Center Park through the Civic Center Moves program. They offer yoga and fitness classes. Hardcore!

 

  • Watch Twin Peaks Season 3 “Come to the Black Lodge” at Hooked on Colfax Wed or Sunday (Not sure how long this event will last). Buy a drink or two…

 

  • Go to your favorite Farmer’s Market and “sample check”

 

  • Play volleyball with a group of friends in Washington Park

 

  • Workout at Red Rocks (cost of gas)

 

  • Explore RINO’s murals (free)

 

  • Hop on a bike and look for Tiny Free Libraries

 

  • Have a beer and sit on the patio at Avanti

 

  • Free Walking tour

 

  • Free Days at Botanic Gardens/Denver Zoo/Denver Art Museum

 

  • Go to a cool festival: Denver Flea, The Big Wonderful, etc. ($5 dollars)

 

 

 

  • Go Hiking with a Meetup group! There’s a ton of great groups for different types of people.

 

 

 

  • Four Mile Historic Park (bring the kiddos)-$5 but it’s also free every second Friday of the month from 12-4 pm.

 

 

  • Ride your bike to Boulder on the US-36 Bikepath.

 

  • Run with your local running group. Suggestions include: Run the Bird, The Pub on Pearl Running Club (typically on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm), and Park Burger RINO running Club.  (Irish Snug is on hiatus until the end of summer)

 

 

Bonus Suggestions:

  • Grab a meal at Civic Center Eats (Food trucks)

 

  • Hang out at Denver’s Union Station and watch the world go by, stroll down Santa Fe during the next 1st Friday event (art, wine, and food)

 

 

  • Check out the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve (free), and hang out with a ton of other bike enthusiasts during the Denver Cruiser Ride.

 

Additional Travel Resources:

 

 

 

36 Hours In Boulder

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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You’ve probably wondered about Boulder, Colorado. At this point, it seems to have reached mythical Colorado status. Similar to Unicorns, Big Foot, and the Jackalope. This place can’t be real? Can it? It is real, and it’s a great place to visit. In fact, it’s my view that 36 hours in Boulder typically is enough of a taste for many people to fall in love and never return home. I’ve met a lot of those people.

36 Hours in Boulder

Is enough time to have a wonderful experience before going into extreme sticker shock. Almost 65% of Boulder homes are listed at a million dollars, Google is opening a campus on 28th/29th street, and people are annoying fitter than the rest of Colorado…which is pretty fit. Like most kids who grow up in a place, I have things about it that I love and things that make me crazy. For this trip, you’ll get to experience all of the amazing whimsy that is Boulder.

Related Post: 36 Hours in Denver

Tuesday

6:00 pm   You’ve arrived at Denver International Airport…which is not close to Boulder. Fortunately, you can take the aptly named “Train to the Plane” from the airport to downtown Denver’s Union Station for $9. Keep your ticket! You will transfer at Union Station to the Flatirons Flyer Bus (FF) going directly to Boulder. Show the ticket that you used for the train. The bus station is underneath the train platform. If you get confused, just ask one of the security personnel.

Where to Stay

Ok, I’m going to suggest two really nice hotels “read…not cheap.”

  • St. Julien’s-yes, it’s a 5-star hotel, but you’re only there for one night.

 

  • The Hotel Boulderado-Is a lovely historical hotel that also is wonderful to visit during Christmas. 

Both hotels are located withing walking distance of the Boulder bus station which is the last stop for your bus. If you would like to research additional hotel options check out the links below:

 

 

8:0o pm (ish)  You’ve checked into your hotel and are ready to explore the town. Feel like a beer? Check out The Rayback Collective. a multi-use space dedicated to enjoying: beer, food, and fun.  Call a LYFT (use my affiliate code-1st time users get $5 credit towards their first ride). Enjoy some beer, good food truck food, and if it’s a beautiful Tuesday night-sitting underneath the stairs by the fire pit. 

10:00 pm (ish) Ready to head back to downtown Boulder, but not ready to call it a night? Check out one of the following bars for an additional nightcap:

  • Shine-A ridiculously awesome space run by triplets. The food, wine, and energy is always great. Check out the events tab on the website to see what events are being held while you’re there.

 

  • Tahona Tequila Bistro-Head a couple of blocks west (towards the mountains) from Shine to get to Tahona. I’ve spent many hours enjoy Tahona’s great food and varieties of tequilas.

 

  • The Bitter Bar-Is a dark, somewhat moody, space with great drinks, and a wonderful energy that always makes me feel like the man of my dreams is going to walk through the door at anytime.

12:00 am (ish) Head on back to your hotel.

Wednesday

8:00 am (ish) So, it’s a little early. That’s ok-time to rally! Time to eat breakfast/brunch. Check out the following three restaurants. I would recommend giving them a call to see if you can get a reservation as all are EXTREMELY popular.

  • Foolish Craig’s-A long-time Boulder mainstay. Great food, big portions, good (slightly…hippy) service. Meaning, I’ve had a couple of times when what I ordered and what I got were a little bit different. But, still really good. Sometimes you jut have to go with the flow. Located on Pearl Street.

 

  • Snooze-This place is CRAZY popular. There are 2 other locations in Denver and those are also crazy busy. Located on Pearl Street.

 

  • Lucile’s-The original Lucile’s is located one block off of the Pearl Street Mall. Lucile’s specialty is Creole-style breakfast food. Yes, they do have beignets, chicory coffee, and other delicious Creole style foods that will clog your arteries. #YOLO.

10:00 am (ish)  Explore Pearl Street Mall which is an outdoor walking mall. There is a focus on locally owned businesses but over the years I’ve noticed some national chains making their way onto the mall. Typically, though they are of the Patagonia variety vs. Walmart. You’ll see what I mean when you visit.

12:00 pm (ish) You’ve walked around for awhile and need to eat.  Here are some recommendations that happen to be right downtown.

  • The Dushanbe Teahouse-I prefer the tea service personally. But, a lot of people really enjoy the lunch/dinner service. Regardless, it is a lovely space to enjoy lunch.

 

Let’s Go Hiking

Hiking should take at least 2-3 hours. Estimated deaprture time: 1:00 pm (ish) until 4:00 pm (ish). It would be ridiculous for you to visit Colorado and not spend a few hours hiking in the mountains (or, technically, the Foothills). When you’re visiting Boulder it’s ridiculously easy to get a good hike in. I send people to Chautauqua Park which is located at 9th and Baseline.

There are a couple of ways you can get there.

  • Take a LYFT-New user? Get $5 off your first ride when you sign up using this link.

 

  • Take the green Skip bus on Baseline and Pearl street to “The Hill.” You want to get off by the Walgreens and the bus stop with the clock (13th and College). Then, you will walk towards the mountains on College street. If you see the Starbucks on the corner you’re on the correct street. Turn left on 9th street and walk until you hit-Chautauqua Park. You will know it when you see it.

 

  • Take the green Skip bus on Baseline and Pearl Street to Baseline and Broadway. Walk up Baseline until you hit 9th street.

Caution!

Speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have about your health and altitude sickness.

Happy Hour/Dinner 

At this point you’ve (hopefully) returned to your hotel, taken a quick shower, and are ready to eat . There are a number of great places to check out throughout the city of Boulder. This itinerary, keeps it simple for you. Check out the following:

  • The Med (the Mediterranean Restaurant)-Has been my favorite place to enjoy happy hour in Boulder for more years than I would like to admit. It’s still that good. I typically sit on the patio and people watch. I only order the tapas-not the entrees. The tapas are legit.

 

  • The Boulder Farmer’s Market-Every Wednesday and Saturday is open between Canyon and Arapahoe Street. The food vendors are incredible. Seriously. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan there are typically some amazing options for you to enjoy too.

 

  • The West End Tavern-Has some damn good burgers. Dayum! Sit upstairs on the rooftop patio, drink a beer, and order a burger. Enjoy.

 

  • T-Zero-Located at the St. Julien’s hotel. It has a ridiculously good (and affordable) happy hour and St. Julien’s has live music throughout the summer. Eat, drink, stay for the dancing.

Boulder Activities

During the summer there a number of fun and affordable events to check out while you’re in Boulder. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

 

  • Chautauqua Park-Has live music, a silent movie series, and dance performances.

 

  • Meetup.com-Meet the people who live in the town. If you’re traveling on your own, or just would like to live like a local-check out the different meetups that are happening during your visit.

 

 

  • Mountain Sun Pub-I love this place. In my view, it’s one of the most “real, unpretentious” places in Boulder. Get a beer, eat some nachos, listen to some music.

 

  • Go to Denver-Take the bus to Denver and check out the nightlife located in or around Union Station.

Boulder is one of those places that you may find yourself returning to again and again. It may be because of Chief Niwot’s curse, or just because you love the town so much. In my view, 36 hours in Boulder isn’t enough. Let us know when you plan on visiting again!

 

 

 

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Looking for Jobs in Denver, Colorado? Use this Guide!

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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Looking for jobs can be a pain in the butt.  If you’re looking to move to Colorado be aware that there is also a ridiculous number of people moving to Colorado competing for jobs. One of my top posts on my personal finance blog is about moving Denver. Yep, on my personal finance blog. Fortunately,  if you’re looking for jobs here in Denver there are a ton of businesses, organizations, and non-profits to consider. I also get a large number of inquiries from people who ask if it’s a good idea to move first to Denver/Colorado and then look for a job.

Umm…No…

That’s in fact, a HORRIBLE idea. Why? Because you’re just setting yourself up for a huge amount of unnecessary stress, financially and personally as well as potential homelessness. Not even joking. In fact, everytime someone emails and asks me (should I move without a job) I just sit there shaking my damn head. This question came up so often that I’ve written two guides discussing searching for jobs in Colorado.  Don’t feel like couch surfing for the next 6 months while looking for jobs? Keep reading.

Looking for Jobs?

I would recommend creating a job search strategy. Do some research. Find out what the livable wage is in the specific Colorado city you plan on moving to. To keep things simple, I’m only going to focus only on jobs in Denver.  But, be aware that a number of the employers that are listed in this post may have jobs available in other parts of the state.

Here is how this post will work:

  • Basic job search strategies

 

  • Resources to use

 

  • Industry breakdown

 

  • Downloadable Business List

Job Search Strategy

Do you have a well-thought out job search strategy? Are you just throwing resumes anywhere and just hoping that you find a job somewhere in Colorado that pays something? Don’t do that to yourself. Sit down and create a plan. Think about the following:

  • Cost of living

 

  • Benefits

 

  • Possible commuting time (avoid commuting if at all possible)

 

  • Travel back home. If you have relatives and friends in your old state-you’ll probably want to visit them (or not LOL!)

 

  • The potential for professional growth-such as raises or promotions to different roles.

 

  • Look at other organizations where you could work similar roles in case you end up unhappy with the organization you initially sign on with.

Yes, this strategy is a little more fleshed out for those of you looking for jobs, but you’ll probably find a much better position and better pay by taking the time to consider all the items listed above.

Job Search Resources

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many resources available as I would like to see for a city with so much business growth. But, here are a few that you should definitely consider using:

  • andrewhudsonsjoblist.com-This is a comprehensive job list created by a Denverite that is accurate and reflects the changing job scene.

 

  • Hired.com-If you are in the TECH industry you need to get on this site! I met the some of the Denver team and they were great to speak with and fully committed to helping those of you in the tech community connect with your next dream job. Click here to sign up for Hired.com today. New to Hired.com? Sign up via my affiliate link and (if you’re hired) you’ll receive a $300 signing bonus per Hired.com‘s stated new hire guidelines.

 

  • LinkedIn-Don’t forget to take some time to flesh out your LinkedIn profile. Take time to research job listings and what organizations are looking for when they reach out to individuals via LinkedIn.

 

    • Your University’s job center-If you’ve just graduated (or are about to) connect with your university’s job center. Most job centers give newly graduated job seekers feedback on their resume, online presence, and interview best practices.

looking for jobs

looking for jobs

looking for jobs

 

Industries in Denver 

And in the state of Colorado, are wide-ranging and diverse. Colorado used t0 be a boom-bust state in the worst of ways. We would ride high (no pun intended) then crash badly because the state didn’t have a diversified economy. Fortunately, we finally learned our lesson and I’m proud to say that we have a ridiculous number of industries that you could be focusing on as you search for your Denver-based job.

Word of advice:

If you’re looking for jobs in Colorado (or any place outside of your state) I would recommend setting aside money for in person interviews. You may be asked to interview in person.

Here is the list of industries in Denver (Colorado):

  • Education-We have a large number of universities for a state with only 5 million people. Employees a bazillion people in the city of Denver. Be warned-people do not leave these jobs for years. They settle in. It took me 4 months to get my job at a local university.

 

  • Technology-With organizations such as Level 3, Google, and Amazon moving large operations to the Denver/Boulder metro area, Colorado has established itself as a hub of innovation. Denver also hosts Denver Start Up Week-one of my favorite events of the year. Innovators, good beer, and great people come together to celebrate the start-up industry in Denver. This event is also free. Sign up with Hired.com if you’re looking for tech-related work.

 

  • Colorado Local-We make A LOT of amazing products locally. Here’s a brief list: White Wave Foods (Silk Soy Milk), Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups, Coors Beer, Izze, Crocs, Lara Bars, Noosa Yogurt, Made in Nature (CO/Cali), and a ton of other businesses that would take me forever to list.

 

  • Tourism-Incredibly, 77.7 Million people visited Colorado in 2015. That’s a crazy number considering that we only have around 5.5 million citizens. I think it’s important to break down the types of tourism that we’re seeing.
    • Traditional-you know, the trips that you take with family and friends with a limited amount of shenanigans.
    • Skiing and snowboarding-Because we’re known for our winter tourism industry.
    • Sports-We have professional teams for every sport. People visit the state to enjoy: baseball, hockey, soccer, football, rugby, and basketball.
    • Adventure-This is a great state for adventure related tourism.
    • Conferences-We have a ridiculous number of conferences that are being hosted in Denver.
    • Pot-Yep, we get a lot of tourists who want to indulge in the wacky weed.

 

  • Agriculture/Wine/and Craft Beer-I decided to lump these together because I feel like they’re connected. Also, many people may not be aware of the that Colorado has a wine region. Colorado region is located in the Grand Junction area (nowhere near Denver LOL!) We also we a zillion breweries and industries connected to the craft beer industry. This industry also includes the production of large events, conferences, and products. I’m going to be upfront and say that agriculture is a tricky industry to work in. Colorado is known for producing the following products: beef, bison, the Pueblo green pepper,  Palisade peaches, organic fruits, and vegetables.

 

  • Oil/Fracking/Gas-Is literally the stuff that fuels your daily life. Seriously though, we have a huge oil and gas industry in the state. Fracking has also become a hugely controversial and lucrative industry. If you’re a petrochemical engineer or just do stuff with in this industry spend some time researching the different companies out there. Don’t forget to sign up with Hired.com to check out jobs. Get that $300 bonus.

 

  • Green Energy-Because green energy has been keeping pace with the oil industry, there are a ton of jobs.  From wind turbines, solar energy, and businesses focused on other parts of the green energy industry Colorado will continue to be a leader in that field. Again, sign-up for Hired.com to check out job listings.

 

  • Construction-Seems like there is a ridiculous amount of development happening throughout the state. Denver has orange cones, redirected traffic, and crews working EVERYWHERE. Wonderfully, this city is basically a flurry of building activity everywhere.

 

  • Medical-Because Denver has a large number of hospitals and teaching facilities it seems like there are a ton of medical field related opportunities. You may also experience a high level of competition for jobs due to people moving here.

 

  • Cannabis-Incredibly, the cannabis industry is bringing in on average around $100 million dollars a month to Colorado’s budget. That said, I think it’s very important to bring up the following: the current Presidential administration is posturing to shut down this industry. The current Attorney General hates the wacky weed. As long as it’s considered illegal by the Feds-this is a huge issue hanging over the heads of people in the industry.

Related Post: Looking for Jobs in Colorado?

Finally, looking for jobs can be a stressful and overwhelming process. Having a clearer idea of the different industries in town gives the future job seeker a leg up on the competition.

 

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10 Ways to Get Around Denver Without a Car

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

For the longest time I lived a car-free lifestyle. Okay, I’m going to be honest and say that I had an ECO pass from my job and I was afraid to learn how to drive. Ahem. I’ve since learned how to drive and own a car but still love exploring Denver via all of the awesome ways there are to get around town-car free! Don’t have a car? No worries here are 10 ways to get around Denver without one.

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No Car in Denver? 

No Worries! When I was younger having no car would have been a huge problem. Fortunately, Denver has caught up with the times and there are a ton of ways to get around.

10 Ways to Get Around Denver

  • RTD (Public Bus)-I have a very long relationship with the bus system. I learned how to drive as an adult which means I took the bus for a ridiculously long time LOL! I’ve also traveled quite a bit around the US and the world and I feel that Denver has a pretty decent public transit system. While there are a couple of buses that I try to avoid like the: 15 and the 0 after rush hour, in general the buses that people will take in the Central Business District are well-maintained and easy the bus system is pretty easy to understand. The main transit hub in Denver is located at Union Station and you will find the bus terminal underneath the train station.

 

 

  • Denver Bcycle-I love this bike sharing program. If you’re on vacation and visiting Denver/Boulder the B-Cycle program is a great way to rent a bike and explore the town. Bike share stations are located throughout the city and they are adding stations all the time. Click on the following link to get information on the daily, weekly, or monthly rates. Hopefully, we will see you at the next Cruiser Ride that happens once a month from mid-May-September.

 

  • Scooter-I haven’t had a chance to check out a scooter tour but it’s on my list. Whenever I think of scooters I think of my time in Europe. There are scooter tours offered in town and if you’re moving here, there a number of shops that you could purchase your next scooter from. Share your experience with us.

 

  • On foot-I love walking around town and exploring the many different areas on foot. Check out Eat.Walk.Learn if you would like a guided tour throughout the different neighborhoods in the city of Denver. My favorite area to explore is the RINO area because of the sheer number of murals in that neighborhood. I also love exploring the city and looking for Little Free Libraries because I’m weirdly obsessed with them. I love to read! And, free books rock.  Denver has so many Little Free Libraries that it was recognized as a city of distinction. So awesome.

 

  • LYFT-I am a huge fan of LYFT and I prefer to support LYFT because so many people are getting UBER that LYFTS are always available. I’ve had a great experience being picked up pretty quickly and getting to where I would like to go in a reasonable amount of time. Never used LYFT? Get $5 towards your next ride as a new user. Click here!

 

  • Rickshaws/PediCabs-You know, those 3 wheeled contraptions with a ridiculously fit person propelling them with leg power? These are located throughout downtown Denver and are a lot of fun to use. The cost is around $2 a block plus tip your driver. You will find these outside of Pepsi Center, along the 16th Street Mall, Union Station, and other well-known points of interest.

 

  • LightRail-I love Denver’s light rail. To my big city peeps-no, it’s not like NYC’s Metro or Chicago’s L, but it’s a wonderful addition to Denver’s public transit scene. The light rail is clean, has pretty decent security, and affordable. You can get around Denver/Aurora/Arvada (soon) and it’s slated to expanded to other areas of the city in the next 5 years. It costs $5.25 for a day pass and I strongly recommend getting  a day pass because it just makes life easier. We also have the Train to the Plane that takes travelers to Denver International Airport. The cost for that is $9.

 

  • eTuks-There is a wonderful Denver-based company making electric rickshaws. Fortunately, there is a TON of business shuttling Denver people from one fun event to another so they are coexisting nicely with the pedicabs. I’ve included a link to eTuk’s Facebook page so that you can research how to rent them for your next event (or, where to find them-usually in RINO).

 

  • Segway Tours-Ok, don’t laugh, but Segways freak me out. That said, for those of you who aren’t freaked out by them, Segway tours are offered in Denver. You will have to research this one on your own LOL!

Whenever your exploring the town using these alternative forms of transportation always remember safety first. Wear a helmet, don’t act crazy, and don’t drink and ride.

Cherry Creek Bike Path


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10 Free or Ridiculously Cheap Ways to Get Fit for Summer in Denver

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Coloradans are ridiculously interested in staying fit, fitness in general, and random physical feats that many people would prefer to leave to the pros. If you have friends who live here you will hear about a race that they plan on running, a hike they just did or are about to do, or tales of their friend who just did an ultra-marathon. Oh, wait, this sounds like my life LOL! But seriously folks-we love to get fit and fortunately for folks in Denver, there are a ridiculous number of ways to get fit for free or ridiculously cheap. Let’s talk.

The Obvious

Work out at Red Rocks Amphitheater. I try to go every other week and go up and down the stairs. You also get to see the regulars like the guy who we’re convinced was on American Ninja Warrior work out. He’s a beast.  People also do exercises up and down the stairs, run from one level to the other, and the list goes on. Cost: gas money.

Community Minded

Check out The November Project’s Denver crew. They are the nicest, fittest people that I’ve ever worked out with…at 6:15 am. Once you’re done you get encouragement and sweaty hugs from hot people. Literally and figuratively. The November Project was created in Boston and has expanded throughout the United States. If you work out with a different chapter you’re always welcome to join in the fun every Wednesday and Friday at either 5:30 am or 6:15 am. If you’re not used to high altitude workouts be prepared-they are intense. Cost: Free

I also love Meetup.com’s ridiculous assortment of fitness based meetups. There are bootcamp meetups, running, yoga, hiking, and more. I typically participate in the hiking meetups and if you don’t have access to a car, you will be able to carpool. Cost: Free

The Outdoor Afros outdoor community. As the name is alluding to, it’s an outdoor enthusiast community for people of color. I love this community because it fills a need for under-served communities that may want to experience the outdoors but would like to go outdoors in as non-intimidating a setting as possible.

Classpass

For the non-committal fitness enthusiast. I love working out but I really get bored if I’m doing the same thing over and over again (unless it’s hiking and dance). Because of this I’ve fallen in love with Classpass which gives users various levels of access to studios across the city of Denver (and other locales). You can opt to attend 3, 5, or 10 classes a month. New users click here to get $30 off your first month’s access.  I also like that you can switch off your membership if your schedule changes. I travel often so I tweak my membership from time to time to reflect that. Cost: $30-$89

Civic Center Moves

Is one of my favorite ways to workout in Denver. Basically the Civic Center Conservancy partners with: The November Project, Fold Yoga, The River, Fitness in the City, and Pearl Street Fitness to provide FREE fitness classes the end of April until the middle of October. Those classes are legit and you WILL get fit attending them regularly. Click here for more information. Cost: Free

Get Outdoors

There are a number of great bike paths for cycling enthusiasts but the following two are exceptional.

  • The Cherry Creek Bike Path-Ride from downtown to Cherry Creek Reservoir.

 

  • The US 36 Bike Path Between Westminster and Boulder. I watched this path being built waiting for the day that I could ride it. I’ve finally replaced my Cruiser and have a much lighter bike so that I can do this ride.

I love yoga. And, doing yoga outside is awesome. I’m so excited to Namaste outdoors with Yoga Rocks the Park this summer. Finally, one of my absolute favorite ways to workout is to go hiking in Chautauqua park in Boulder.There a number of different hikes that you choose from in varying levels of intensity.

Bonus:

Hip Hop Yoga!

I took a one-off hip hop yoga class at Shine Boutique on Pearl street for $5 dollars. It was awesome. We all begged for this to be a regular thing. Best line of the class “Biggie would tree the sh$t out of this song.” And, he would have.

Related Posts:

Resources:

I am obsessed with The Lonely Planet book series for travel. I’ve used these books for years and love that the books are now available digitally. Click on the image below to check them out.



 

 

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36 Hours in Denver

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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It’s that time of year when people begin thinking about their summer vacation. If you’re like most people, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping that your boss won’t hassle you about your vacation request this year. One of the best places to visit this year is Denver, Colorado! Only have 36 hours in Denver? No worries, here’s a basic guide for a quick trip to Dtown.

36 Hours in Denver

6:00 pm -You’ve landed at Denver International Airport and narrowly missed a bird flying at your head (because cute little sparrows live in the airport-seriously). You make your way to the train that will take you to the main airport terminal and the train to Denver which is affectionately called “The Train to the Plane or The A-Line” It only costs $9 and you can use cash or charge to purchase your ticket. The ticket is good for 24 hours on public transit but you’ll probably opt to use LYFT for tonight’s shenanigans. Here’s the LYFT code for $5 your first ride if you’re a new user (downloading the app is super fast).

Related Post: Why I Love the Train to the Plane: Warts and All

7:00 pm-It’s around 7 pm and you’ve arrived at Union Station. It only took 37 minutes (give or take) for the train to go from the airport to downtown and you did get a glimpse of the famous devil horse “Blucifer” that warmly welcomes visitors to Denver at the airport. Leave your stuff at one of the many great hotels downtown and then prepare to wander around town.

Some Recommended Hotels and Hostels:

  • The Curtis Hotel
  • The Fish Hostel
  • The Oxford Hotel

Or, click here to check out hotels. Check Out Our Roundtrip Fares UNDER $199 at CheapOair

8:00 pm (ish) Ok, you’re hungry. The sunset is pretty legit and people are looking pretty happy for a Tuesday night. Grab a LYFT and go to either Avanti or Postino LOHI. Avanti is a great food hall with a gorgeous view of downtown Denver. It also has a single alcohol license for the entire building. Of course, local beer is on tap. You could also go to Postino which has a $20 bruschetta and bottle of wine special on Monday and Tuesday nights. Yes.

It’s almost 10:00 pm and you only have 36 Hours in Denver so it’s too early to go to sleep. Check out Williams and Graham which is about 2 or 3 blocks from Postino and about 7 blocks from Avanti. Williams and Graham is a speakeasy that actually made a list of the 50 best bars in the world. That’s legit considering how many bars there are in the world.

It’s late enough where it’s time to rest up for Wednesday’s explorations. You return via LYFT and get some rest.

Wednesday

It’s super early Wednesday and you’ve decided to work out with some Colorado peeps. Check out The November Project’s free workouts on Wednesdays. Typically they work out in Civic Center Park on Wednesdays at 5:30 am or 6:15 am but check out their Facebook page to see what they’re up to. Great people.  ***Do research exercise and altitude sickness***

8:00 am-10:00 am Not up for exercising first thing on a vacation. No worries. Have a leisurely lie in and then go to one of the following places for a great Colorado breakfast:

  • Mercantile Dining and Provision-Union Station
  • Stowaway-RINO District
  • Jelly (in the Capital Hill neighborhood)
  • Snooze-Union Station
  • Root Down-LOHI
  • Sassafras

These places are popular so you may have a bit of a wait f.y.i.

10:00 am You’ve had brunch it’s time to quickly check out Colorado’s state Capitol and the City and County Building. Don’t forget to take a picture at the actual 5280 (mile high) marker.

11:00 am (ish) You’ve already packed in a lot into your itinerary considering that you only have 36 hours in Denver. It’s time to embrace some culture. Check out the Dikeou Collection which is a really cool (free) contemporary art collection in downtown Denver that very few people know about.

12:00 pm (ish) make your way down to the Museum of Contemporary Art located near Denver’s Union Station. Designed by David Adjay-who was named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine this year. The building is also the first building in America designed by an African-European architect. You’ll know you’re there when you see a building with a giant heart with a dagger in it. Be still my beating heart.

Take some time checking out the art and then enjoy some refreshments in the rooftop cafe (has WIFI).

Boulder

Huh? Isn’t Boulder far away? Nope. It’s less than an hour away and it would be a shame if you missed it.

1:00 pm Head to Denver’s Union Station and get a $9 round trip day pass. Take the bus that goes directly to Boulder. Check the t.v. screens in the bus terminal to figure out which “gate” the bus is departing from. Show the pass to the bus driver and then you’re on your way. **The bus going between Denver and Boulder is super clean and safe for those of you who’ve never taken the bus before.** 

2:00 pm Arrive at Boulder’s Downtown Bus Station. Walk one block to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. It’s an open air mall with lots of shops, restaurants, and a gorgeous view.

5:00 pm Leave Boulder for Denver and evening shenanigans

6:00 pm  (ish) Shenanigans

Ok, let’s be clear. There is a TON of fun to be had in Denver (and Colorado) regardless of time of year. This post will just gloss over all of the possibilities and then you can decide what you would like to do.

The Cruiser Ride

Make your way back to the hotel and rest up a little bit. If you’re visiting between May 15-Mid-September you can participate in the Denver Cruiser Ride. Ride the streets of Denver with 1,000 + of your favorite new friends.  You’ll have to check out a Bcycle (Denver Bcycle Bike Sharing Program) or see if there is a bike that you can borrow from your hotel. **This is a dangerous activity because you’re riding in the streets of Denver.** You’re an adult just going to put it out there.

Sports

Denver basically has a team for every sport. Let’s go through the list:

  • Denver Broncos-Football
  • Denver Nuggets-Basketball
  • Colorado Rapids-Soccer. F.Y.I. Dick’s Sporting Goods Field where they play is far from Downtown Denver.
  • Colorado Avalanche-Hockey
  • Colorado Rockies-Baseball.
  • Denver Barbarians-Rugby (Boulder is the headquarters for U.S. Rugby)

Breweries

Do you feel like keeping things low-key and having a beer while wandering around a cool neighborhood? Check out the RINO neighborhood and one of the following breweries:

  • Great Divide Brewing CO.
  • Epic Brewing CO.
  • Spanglang

There’s more and I will add to the list later.

Theater

Love the theater? Check out what’s being performed at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. One of my favorite places in Denver. I’ve seen the following shows there:

  • The Color Purple
  • Wicked
  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Lion King

and more!

Arts

Feel like checking out more art? Go to the Santa Fe Art District and wander up and down the street. I do prefer going to Santa Fe on the 1sr Friday of each month when they have musicians, food trucks, etc.

The Denver Art Museum has some amazing art and next to it is the Clyfford Still museum. Both typically close at 5:00 but occasionally have special events.

Restaurants

Just feel like eating after a day of checking out all of the things? Here are some restaurant suggestions:

  • Linger
  • there (yes, that’s the name)
  • Stueben’s
  • Work and Class
  • Uncle
  • Lena

Most vegetarians/vegans will have a couple of options on the menu (except Work and Class-that’s for meat lovers). Check the menu online to make sure they have stuff that you would like to eat.

36 Hours In Denver-Logistics

They will fly by. You’ll have a great time. Seriously. Some basic logistics

  • Water Bottle-Stay hydrated. We don’t carry them around for fun. It’s because it’s so dry here.
  • Read up on Altitude Sickness-EVERYONE regardless of your health. Talk to your doctor about any concerns that you may have. 
  • Bring layers. We have weird weather. Just saying.
  • Good walking shoes
  • Comfortable backpack
  • We don’t judge people (really ) for not dressing up. But, bring one cute outfit because-why not?
  • An open mindset. People are really friendly here. Don’t get weird if people start talking to you randomly. Obviously be mindful of your belongings and safety but that would be in any city. I’ve lived out East and I know it freaks people out. But, we don’t want anything-usually we’re just being friendly.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to take the Plane to the Train back to the airport. It’s great but sometimes has…issues…

4:30 am (ish) Thursday

Time to go home!  Hope this was helpful and we are looking forward to having you visit our wonderful city and state. Welcome!

 

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The Egg and I-Restaurant Review

Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

I love blogging about Colorado and sharing all of the great activities, resources, and cool things happening here. One of the communities I belong to is the Denver Bloggers Club. For those of you who are into blogging join this group. Great people, amazing resources…and free food! The April meeting was held at The Egg and I and I wanted to share my experience.

The Egg and I 

I had the opportunity to eat at The Egg and I as part of a Denver Bloggers Club Meetup. While I knew some things about The Egg and I, I’d never had the opportunity to try it out.

It’s a Colorado-based that started in Fort Collins. I found the food to be similar to what you would get at Village Inn (solid Americana) but better 🙂

There are over 100+ locations across the U.S. These locations are typically found in the Central U.S. not the Coasts.

Highlights:

  • I went insane for the Kale Cooler. Seriously. I had three glasses of it. I actually loved that Kale Cooler (and the Pineapple Tonic) so much that I wanted to suggest that they sell it in stores. That good. By the third glass I just owned my greediness and kept on drinking.
  • Soups and salad dressings are made in-house.
  • The seasonal specials-I had the Blueberry Lemon Curd pancake combo. Loved it. I’m looking forward to trying out their pumpkin waffles.
  • The plating size-No skimping on the servings. You will be full after you leave.
  • You can hold meetings at different locations (with wifi/etc.) Great use of the space.
  • The staff! They are amazing and you can tell that they really care about customer experience and the company.
  • We got some great swag!! I wasn’t expecting that. They gave us hot sauce (I knew then that they understood me) and a gift card for a future visit. Getting my Kale Cooler soon.

If you have those lovely snooty foodie friends that always want to go for fusion food, stuff made with dry ice, and ingredients sourced during a full moon-this isn’t the place for them.

If you have friends and family who want a comfortable and family friendly atmosphere, comfort food, don’t care about calories, and just want to enjoy eating a yummy, unpretentious meal The Egg and I is the place to take them.

I plan on stopping by the Leetsdale location at 560 S. Holly Street to get some more of that Kale Cooler as soon as humanly possible.

The Egg and I

Final thoughts: I would also like to extend a huge “Thank You!” to Summer and the rest of the wonderful crew who made my first experience at The Egg and I so wonderful. The Denver Bloggers Club was hosted at the Lakewood location (7830 W. Alameda). If you love supporting local restaurants doing great things The Egg and I should be on your list.

Related Post:

Need a Great Meal? Boston Market Has Your Back

Resources:

Don’t have a car and want to check out The Egg and I? Use my Lyft Promo code and get $5 off your first ride (new riders only)

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Colorado Rockies Home Opener: Baseball Season Is Here

Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. 

It is a gorgeous day and the Colorado Rockies home opener is this afternoon. I thought it would be helpful to share some tips and tricks on how to enjoy baseball season, have an amazing time, and get a ton of bang for your buck.

Let’s be honest. Denver LOVES opening day. I have the theory that opening day is basically the start of all of the summer shenanigans that we love to get into here. Once Opening Day happens we have the parties up in the mountains signaling the end of ski season, the Cherry Creek Sneak, 420 for the pot heads, and the Derby Day Party (just got my tickets). Basically, the Colorado Rockies Opening Day signals to Denverites that it’s  about to get real fun in Denver for the next 6 months or so.

So, let’s talk about the ins and outs of having an amazing time a the Colorado Rockies Home Opener without losing your mind. First, 50,000 of your closest friends will be inside Coors Field. Then, there’s the other people who plan on watching the game from one of the dozens of sports bars, breweries, and restaurants throughout downtown Denver. That’s a ton of people!

How to Get There

If you’re from the Denver/Boulder metro area or in-town visiting to support the Rockies or a visiting team one of the most important logistical issues you have to manage is how to get to Coors Field to watch the game. Coors Field is located at 2001 Blake and fortunately for everyone is within walking distance of downtown Denver’s gorgeous Union Station.

My favorite option for going downtown during baseball/football/hockey/basketball season is the Light Rail. It works really well and is pretty straightforward to use. Purchase a day pass for $5.20 when you get to the light rail station that is located nearest to you. On game days it will be crowded and rowdy in all of the best of ways.

My second favorite way to get to the game is to take LYFT. I love ridesharing and am a particular fan of LYFT because I’ve had a fantastic experience with them. Click here if you’re a first time user and get $15 in LYFT credit towards your first couple of rides.

If you drive. Ok, if you drive I would still VERY STRONGLY recommend parking at a Park-n-Ride along the light rail or A-Line and taking the train in. It will make your life easier. If you drive in double-check traffic jams, etc. utilizing the Waze app or CDOT’s website.

I also recommend buying a book of round trip light rail tickets a week from the Union Station bus depot (if you’re near there) so that you just have to validate your ticket at the light rail station and get on the train.

But, if you’re honest with yourself…you’re going to want to drink beer. Take public transit and have a good time!

Related Post:

The Ultimate Transit Guide to Denver and Boulder

Colorado Rockies Gear

You’ve got to represent! And, if you’re a Rockies fan it’s always nice to show your support with a baseball cap (it’s going to be sunny) or a jersey. You can order one off of Amazon and save a little money compared to buying in the stadium. Check out some gear suggestions below.

 

Money

In an effort to make things a bit more affordable have a couple of financial strategies in mind.  Use cash. By the time you hit your 3rd beer you may find your financial defenses down. Set aside a specific amount for spending in the stadium. Expenses to consider:

  • Transportation-Light rail tickets, gas, parking
  • Food-Eating during game and potential meal after the game.
  • Shenanigans
  • Whatever your kids may need. You know.

There are, of course, atms located in the and around the stadium.

Security

I’m not sure why but there are still people who seem to be confused by the fact that stadiums have stepped up their security protocols. Don’t be that person. Click here for Coors Field Security information. 

But, here is a quick brief run through of what to expect.

  • Don’t bring a big bag.
  • You will walk through security screening
  • Your bags WILL be searched

Again, read through the Coors Field Security information so that you can avoid being “that guy.” Remember, the staff is working hard to insure that you and other participants have a safe and enjoyable experience. Don’t hassle them.

Miscellaneous

If you’re visiting or new to Denver there are a couple of things to remember.

  • Wear sunscreen! You will burn.
  • Drink water.
  • The people love having a good time and you may find yourself talking to strangers. East Coast people don’t freak out.
  • We love rooftop bars. If you can’t get watch the game in the stadium there are some great venues near and around the stadium.

There is nothing better than watching the Colorado Rockies on opening day. Have fun. Don’t go broke.