Denver’s Already Amazing!
Some days are better than others. Today, March 23, 2017, has been a great one, and it’s not even half close to being over.
I woke up at 4:30, after a surprisingly restful sleep, and the flight non-stop from Hartford was a cinch.
The train is a very short walk from where you get your baggage in the massive Denver Airport, famously located way, way too far from the city.
But that’s why they built the train! Opened last year, the RTD has been delighting passengers, and even the way they handle tickets feels like, 2017 vs Amtrak’s 1953 feeling.
A guard just has to glance at the top of your ticket, and you’re in. No swipe, no other hassles, quick enough so that he has time to chat a bit.
Our guard said he was about to retire. “You’ll enjoy the pungent streets of Denver,” he said, of the marijuana-infused local air.
“It is what it is!” He said in 30 days he’s retiring to Florida, but he said that one of the stations on the train, Panasonic, was built by the company. Their plant is now served by light rail!
I arrived at the elegant circa 1881 Union Station, and the Crawford is right inside the station! Just like the old days. In fact, so much of what I love about Denver is a combination of the future, and charming things from the past.
OLD A hotel right in the train station? A train that departs in the morning direct to a ski mountain, Winter Park?
NEW Sleek and simple ticketing using bar codes, smartphones and other tech for a totally easy experience. Electrically driven trains that glide at fast speeds, only one operator, no army of brakemen, conductors and other personnel.
Of course, as this is my first visit to the state post legalize, I wanted to see where the pot shops were. It doesn’t take long. There are 82 to choose from, 11 ‘rec’ and the rest ‘medical’ requiring residency and a card.
The shop was full of friendly people, cash only, so learned about edibles and then I got a little bag and set out in an Uber. Tonight we’ll visit one of the city’s best restaurants, Acorn, and we’ve got a whole big slate of fun things to see and do over the next five days.