St. Patrick’s Day in Denver

I’ve always had this vision of Colorado – beautiful red-rock landscapes against blue skies – and it’d been on my mental list of places to visit. When I studied abroad in Costa Rica, I met quite a few students from Colorado, all of whom had so much pride in their state and adventure packed into their Chacos. I admired all their outdoor photos, so I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t experience the Colorado that I’d seen in pictures.

Highlands Ranch
Highlands Ranch

We stayed in Highlands Ranch, about an hour outside of downtown Denver, by car then train. Downtown was cold and dull on St. Patrick’s Day. We caught a glimpse of the parade, but decided to find warmth in Starbucks, instead. We wondered where the crowds were, because the streets looked a little empty (for a popular holiday). Apparently, we were on the wrong streets. Maloney’s Tavern on Market Street was packed with dancing feet and loud music. We hung around for a while, splitting our time between the crowds and popular music on one side and country music and water pong in the adjacent bar.

I separated from the group to meet up with a friend at Sam’s No. 3, a very popular diner in the city. We waited for about a half hour to be seated and were almost denied a table, since the other 2 people of our 5-person party had not yet arrived. Thankfully, our waiter quickly rescued us from waiting once again. As I often do in diners, I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, which was alright, from the little I remember – not at all bad, but not the best, either. The other meals looked great, though. Sam’s is obviously a popular place, so they must be doing something right. Right?

When I rejoined my group, we found ourselves in the company of all the party-going people on this fine St. Patty’s Day – in line for LoDo’s, across the street from The Tavern Downtown. On the rooftops of these venues were screaming, dancing crowds.

By that point (only mid-afternoon), we were tired and ready to turn around, so when the girl at the door prompted us to pay, we gladly hopped off the line and made our way back to the train station. I understand that this outing was just one of plenty, as are many of our stops on this road trip. So, Colorado, you’re still on my list.



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