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Summer 2014 - Coors Factory Tour, Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory Tour, Buffalo Bill's Museum & Grave, Vail (in the summer), Piney River Ranch, Denver Zoo, Cave of the Winds, East Side Kosher Deli, Brooklyn Pizza and Bonnie Brae Ice Cream.
Thanksgiving 2015 - Denver Museum of Natural History, Bonnie Brae
December 2015 - Denver Aquarium, Bonnie Brae, East Side Kosher Deli, Brooklyn Pizza, Outlets at Castle Point, Monaco Lanes, Colorado Adventure Park - snow tubing
Pesach 2016 - Breckenridge, Grand Lodge on Peak 7
Labor Day 2016 - Seven Falls
Pesach 2017 - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Pesach 2018 - Avon, Sheraton Lakeside Terrace Villas
July 4th 2018 - Garden of the Gods
« Last edited by @Yehuda on July 08, 2018, 10:47:58 PM »

Author Topic: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN  (Read 9629 times)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2016, 04:34:57 PM »
Pesach 2016 / 5776

Pesach once again meant another trip to DEN. SW with the Companion Pass was a no-brainer, and after switching flights options a bunch of times, we ended up going with EWR-DEN on Erev Pesach and returning DEN-EWR on the 3rd day of Chol Hamoed for about 7K SW roundtrip per person. That's literally like paying $80 for a roundtrip flight to Denver. Amazing value. It was also nice to be able to stay for a few days of Chol Hamoed, which helps make a bit more of a vacation. With that in mind, I set out to see if we could do a small trip during CH.


A little ad for SW ;)

My in laws were able to take off from work for 2 nights, so I went about looking for a hotel up in the mountains for us to go to. April is part of the shoulder season - just past the end of ski season, so most of the slopes were closed, and still before the summer season, so rates were pretty low. Since I met my Denver-wife and got into this game, my eye has always been on the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, and with being Hyatt Diamond and 2 Hyatt signup nights already in my account, I thought now would be a great time to use them. However, I realized pretty quickly that between my wife and myself, my in laws, and my 3 siblings-in-law, we'd need 3 rooms. My 2 Hyatt nights weren't going to get us 3 rooms for 2 nights. So, unfortunately, the PH would have to wait for another time. I asked around in the Colorado thread, and Denverite suggested looking into the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 in Breckenridge, a fairly new hotel/timeshare. It seems that all the rooms are owned by people, but are rented out as a "hotel" when the owners aren't around. I sold my Hyatt nights for $500 and was able to book a 2 bedroom suite with 2 living room areas (perfect for my sibs-in-law) for a total of $520 for the 2 nights. What a deal! This was my first time treating family to my points, and it was a lot of fun.

The drive to Breckenridge took about 2 hours, and boy was it beautiful.





When we saw these buffalo just chilling in their reserve at the side of the highway, we had to pull over for some pics.





We pulled off the highway at Breckenridge and drove through the town gawking at the mansions we saw around us hiding away among the trees. What it would be like to own a "house" up here for quick getaways. We soon pulled up to the Grand Lodge and could tell we were in for a treat.



We checked in, and instead of key cards, everyone got a bracelet that swiped at the door to unlock it. Pretty neat feature. The lobby was elaborate and did a terrific job of exuding the lodge feel.







If we thought the lobby was nice, the suite was just gorgeous.

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A second kitchenette

Remember, there was still another living room area, bedroom and bathroom. The place was huge and very comfortable for our family of 7 adults. When we stepped out onto the porch, the view was WOW inducing.



We spent a ton of time in the pools and hot tubs. As opposed to other "heated" hotel pools we've been in, these were really warm and needed to be to compete with the snow that was literally falling on us while swimming. The hotel also has free, cozy robes (and towels) to wear down to the pool area.


The indoor pools (and hot tub) that connect to the outdoor pools by that open window in the back


The blurriness is actually the steam rising from the pool


The FOUR outdoor hot tubs



We may have eaten Matzah for basically every meal, but we also made sure to get in some marshmallow roasting!



At night, we reserved one of the 4 private movie theaters that have about 50 different movie options to choose from. Watching Pirates of the Caribbean in here was a blast!



The hotel also has a game room with free ping pong and pool, as well as arcades (not free).

We took the free shuttle for the 5 minute ride into "town" where we spent a few hours browsing the shops. Basically every shop is a souvenir shop, but they were still fun to check out and collect a few more shotglasses.






Go home shirt. You're drunk.

All in all, we had a blast of a 2 days. While we didn't do any snow activities on this trip, we still had a great time. The pools were awesome, the private theater was a great night activity, and the town was cute to walk through. Comparing the street shopping/experience to Vail, I would say that Vail was a bit nicer. The main street in Vail is a pedestrian street, which adds a lot of the feel to the village as opposed to Breckenridge, which was more of a classic main street.

Well, that's my 13th trip to DEN, and it was as great as ever!

Offline David Smith

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2016, 04:42:09 PM »
Interesting perspective on your "points booking" on the hotel. I guess it goes well with A+ "points redemptions".
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2016, 04:48:54 PM »
Interesting perspective on your "points booking" on the hotel. I guess it goes well with A+ "points redemptions".
Glad you enjoyed!

Offline David Smith

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2016, 04:50:26 PM »
Glad you enjoyed!
My favorite part. CM would be proud.
Others would consider it sacrilegious, but that's their problem.
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2016, 04:54:20 PM »
That place looks really nice! Love the T-shirt at the end.

Offline shmebeble

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2016, 05:31:41 PM »
I stayed there once!
Its very homey and cozy.
How'd you sell the nights? isnt it against T&C?

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2016, 05:44:54 PM »
That place looks really nice! Love the T-shirt at the end.
Ha, yep it was!
I stayed there once!
Its very homey and cozy.
How'd you sell the nights? isnt it against T&C?
Cool! Here - http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=8769.0

Offline Denverite

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2016, 06:40:08 PM »
So glad you guys went and had fun (and good call that sometimes it's worth it to pay)!   We stayed Pre-Pesach to ski those extra few days my kids were off school and are going back in the summer.   I love all the amenities and kitchen.

Offline mgarfin

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2016, 02:38:23 PM »
THANKS.

Im taking my family for 5 days in the end of the summer, these TR are helpful and get me existed.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2016, 04:03:13 PM »
So glad you guys went and had fun (and good call that sometimes it's worth it to pay)!   We stayed Pre-Pesach to ski those extra few days my kids were off school and are going back in the summer.   I love all the amenities and kitchen.
Thanks again for the suggestion! Yeah, it was great.

THANKS.

Im taking my family for 5 days in the end of the summer, these TR are helpful and get me existed.
Cool, enjoy! Glad I wrote it up then. :)

Offline mgarfin

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2016, 03:45:49 PM »
Grand Lodge on Peak 7 offers 2 and 3 bedroom suites,
Is the 2 room big enough for 2 adults and 4 children (11-3)?

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2016, 04:17:15 PM »
Grand Lodge on Peak 7 offers 2 and 3 bedroom suites,
Is the 2 room big enough for 2 adults and 4 children (11-3)?
We had a 2 bedroom. It was big enough for 4 adults and 3 teens/twenties. The bedrooms each contain 1 bed, there are 2 pullout couches, and they provided a cot without a problem.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2016, 12:50:30 PM »
Labor Day 2016

My 15th trip to Denver was for Labor Day Weekend 2016. We flew SW out of EWR on Friday morning and returned out of DEN on Monday morning, landing in the late afternoon. After parking by my mother's house near EWR, she kindly drove us to the airport. As we walked up to the checkin counter, I reached into my pocket to grab my wallet, and my heart sunk. My wallet! After a brief freakout session, I realized I must have left it in my car back at my mother's house.

That moment when you get to the airport and realize you left your wallet at home.

Thankfully, we were there an hour and a half early, so I was able to run back, grab the wallet and make it back to the airport with enough time to still sit around the gate for 30 minutes before the flight. Phew. What a start, eh?

We landed in Denver a few hours before Shabbos, and my father in law graciously picked us up from our favorite door.



After a great Shabbos with family, we went out Motzai Shabbos to our favorite stop, Bonnie Brae.



Usually on a short weekend trip, we like to leave Denver early Sunday so that we get home with enough time to rest up before the week, but on a holiday weekend, we could leave on Monday, which gives us a full day Sunday to do a Coloradan activity. We decided to go to Seven Falls which is in the city of Colorado Springs. The trip took a little over an hour and passed by some beautiful Colorado scenery.


Timed perfectly as 2 trains passed by each other

When we arrived, we learned that you can no longer drive all the way to the parking lot by Seven Falls. Instead, your GPS will take you to a parking lot by the Broadmoor, a luxury hotel in CO, where you can park for free and take a free shuttle for the 5 minute drive to Seven Falls. There was a good 15 minute wait to get on a shuttle, which I have to imagine was due to the holiday weekend.



Once we arrived at Seven Falls, we waited on another line to purchase tickets. There was a shorter line for those who had purchased tickets online, and I was tempted to buy on the spot from my phone, but we decided to just wait it out as the line was moving quickly. The cost was $14 per adult. Finally, we were ready to head in!

There's a 15 minute walk from the entrance to the falls, where you walk along a stream (the resulting end of the falls) in between mountains. Alternatively, you could take a shuttle for about $2 instead of walking.











After the pleasant stroll, we arrived at the base of the falls. Seven Falls is aptly named due to the tall waterfall that breaks down into 7 separate sections. What makes this activity more than just seeing a waterfall is that there is 224-step staircase you can climb from the bottom to the top of the falls.





The climb was a bit nerve-racking as you felt the stairs tremble as you stepped and you could see through the holes in the metal below. We took a break to catch our breath at the halfway point platform and then trekked up the rest of the way.



Getting to the top is a bit anti-climactic as it doesn't end in some "wow" view, but it felt good to get back on solid ground. We sat down to rest up and then explored a bit. There are 2 paths through the forest, with a sign indicating that one takes 40 minutes roundtrip and leads to an overlook, while the other takes 20 minutes and leads to another waterfall. We opted for the shorter path till the waterfall, which was nice, but as impressive as the main falls.







We headed back to the stairs, took them down (much easier!), checked out the gift shop and then went for the second way to experience the falls. Here, you could either take the 100 or so stairs up the mountain or the elevator inside the mountain. We took the elevator, which led to a small platform atop the mountain that had the best view of the falls.

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I'd say it's worth checking out both experiences. We took some pictures and then took the stairs down. We walked back along the stream, waited on line for the shuttle and took it back to the parking lot where we got the car and  headed back to Denver. For dinner, we went out to the East Side Kosher Deli. I went for something I hadn't had before, the Korean Short Ribs. They were full of flavor and not too fatty. That was basically it for the night and the trip.

The next morning at the airport, we picked up some Coffee Bean.



Unfortunately, I realized I had forgotten to check us in for our SW flight, so we got C boarding positions. (The ONE time we flew on a Monday instead of Sunday, so I could have checked in on Sunday as opposed to when checkin is normally on Shabbos. >:() At the gate, I was offered $40 to upgrade one of our boarding numbers to A6. I could have technically gone on my own and held a seat for my wife, but that's never comfortable, so we just decided we'd sit in the first middle seats we found, even though it meant we wouldn't be sitting together. In the end, this was kinda nice because we were able to get 2 middle seats in the first 5 rows. Before we knew it, we were landing back on the East Coast. Realizing we were by EWR at dinner time, we instinctively headed for New Kosher Special for our favorite Chinese food before heading back home.



Another fun trip to Denver!

Offline Denverite

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2016, 11:07:48 PM »
I just now saw this.  I love your TR's where I learn about places I've never heard of or visited really close to my house and that my kids could manage!  :P

Seemed like a great day trip from Denver, thanks for writing it up!

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2016, 06:34:29 AM »
I just now saw this.  I love your TR's where I learn about places I've never heard of or visited really close to my house and that my kids could manage!  :P

Seemed like a great day trip from Denver, thanks for writing it up!
Thanks! Happy to hear it was beneficial.