Our Denver trip has come to a close, after spending over a month in the Mile High City. For those of you not familiar with Colorado, the ‘Mile High’ part refers to its altitude of over 5000 feet… not the recent(ish) legalisation of weed.
Here’s one of its more famous pieces of public art: a giant blue bear staring into a building.
It’s been a good month, but tough at times. It was always going to be emotional going back to Grace’s hometown and then leaving again after such a both short yet extended stay. Saying goodbye is hard for everybody, and with that in mind there comes a lot of expectations, and pressures.
This wasn’t exactly a surprise though, and we both knew that the difficulties of having a trans-Atlantic relationship wouldn’t end even when the physical distance itself did. In marriage, you never just come together as two people in isolation, but along with two totally different sets of different cultural understandings, loved ones, and foibles. Understanding that, and balancing everything is something that’s no mean feat to master – and I’ve definitely gotten it wrong more than once.
At the end of the day, I just want to be with the girl that I love.
Despite all of that, even with the hard parts, there’s a lot to be said for having (at least) two cities in different parts of the world where you have people ready to make you feel at home.
Even if one of them is Kayla.
Halloween fell whilst we were here, and it meant I got to get a taste of what the Americans do for the holiday – particularly as they have a reputation for celebrating it more than most other places in the world.
Perhaps because of this, a fair few people asked if we celebrated Halloween in Scotland. I thought that was pretty amusing, given that the festival comes from the Celtic tradition, and the word ‘Halloween’ itself is based on the Scottish phrase ‘All Hallows’ Eve’.
Despite that, I’m not really a huge fan of Halloween. It’s hard to dress up when you already look like a freak for most days out of the year. Try covering up a big ginger beard and white glasses and see what happens. Grace, on the other hand, is a big fan. She dressed up as a ‘Cool (but realy uncool) Halloween Mom’.
We got to see our pals Kodi and Kevin, who were up visiting from Albequerue in New Mexico.
The bar we went to first had an old guy sitting in the middle of all these folk in costume, shouting at the bartender to ‘turn over the Goddamn television’ to some oh-so-important baseball game that he wanted to watch – despite it already being shown on 10 other screens around the place.
Come on America, it’s time to ban these bloody TVs from pubs.
We went to Grace’s sister’s party afterwards, and there were a fair few good costumes.
I didn’t take too many pictures, but particularly liked this fried egg and bacon costume. Note that it’s American style bacon – not the British kind. I liked to wind people up by telling them that the latter is better, but truth be told I don’t really care about bacon either way.
One of the other highlights from the past few weeks was getting to visit a brewery called ‘Crooked Stave’.
They specialise in sour beers, and we visited along with a guy called Danny, who is the head brewer.
He sorted us out with tasters of all of the different beers they had on tap that day, which was a fair few. The colours were amazing.
We don’t get a whole lot of sours in Scotland, but in the dry and dehydrating climate of Denver, they were perfect for quenching thirst – and definitely some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The wild sage one in particular had the most splendid balance of savoury and sweet/tart but smooth as well. Also notable are the red and black ones on the far right – brewed with a ridiculous amount of cherries. I’m drooling
The good beer wasn’t restricted to that occasion though. Colorado seems to be over-run with great breweries, and I wish we had been able to get around some more of them… but it would have taken weeks.
Even when we went out for some good old fashioned American chicken wings, the draught beer was top-notch. The pitcher of Avery Liliko’i Kepolo passion fruit was my personal favourite.
Oh, and the raspberry habanero sauce on the wings was pretty good too.
I love how this lens captured the light in there.
There never seems to be a whole lot of walking around when I come to Denver, so the pictures always end up just being of people in bars and things rather than out on the street. Thankfully, I’ve gotten more than a fair bit of practice at that.
I got to hang out with some colleagues from Automattic again before I left, and enjoyed the awesome view from Michael’s flat.
The city seems to just go on for miles and miles, seemingly as far as Athens does… but with a far lower population density. It looks amazing outlined by the mountains in the distance, particularly when there’s snow on them.
Bye for now Denver. It’s been good getting to know you a bit better.