Day 12, Denver, CO

After our lunch at K’s, we continued our drive with intentions of going to Rocky Mountain National Park. Not long after leaving Buena Vista, the snow started to fall and continued to do so the closer we got to Rocky Mountain. We had to make a decision, as our flight was leaving the next day and the last thing we wanted was to be stuck on the mountain because our car couldn’t handle the icey roads. We chose to go ahead and head into Denver and spend the night in a hotel.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express East in Denver and it looks and feels like a brand new hotel. They price matched a quote we found online, we have a AAA membership, and then we signed up for an IHG membership so the rate of the room went from $167 +tax to $99+tax which we were happy about! We were also happy to be able to wash all the sand off us from our morning adventure!

After getting cleaned up, we headed into the Northfield Stapleton area for some food. We ate at HuHot Mongolian Grill, which is essentially an all-you-can-eat, create-your-own stir fry. They have tons of protein and veggie options, buffet style, that you put into a bowl, top it off with your selection of sauce, then hand it to the chef and watch him cook it up for you, hibachi style. It was fun, casual, and a nice change of food selection from our sandwiches and hotdogs! After dinner, we walked a few shops down to Funnels, a gourmet funnel cake shop. Need I say more? (We chose the cinnamon roll funnel cake to share!)

The next morning, we had our alarm set to be up at 5 am to make it to the Boulder Flatirons to watch the sunrise. We made it just in time, and although we were both exhausted, the view was well worth it. The sunrise was stunningly beautiful! You can drive to the top, it takes about 15 minutes to do so.

Later in the morning, we met one of Matthew’s friends for breakfast at the Denver Biscuit Company. It was delicious! Matthew got French Toast which was made out of biscuits and I opted for eggs, bacon, and a biscuit. They have all kinds of biscuit options for breakfast and lunch. Later in the day, the restaurant turns into Fat Sully’s pizza, and at night it becomes Atomic Cowboy bar. Definitely a neat place worth checking out!

We checked out of our hotel, cleaned out our van and got all of our luggage organized and headed to drop off our rental car before heading to the airport. We traveled 5,126 glorious miles, across 8 beautiful states, adventured through 7 national parks, 1 state park, and 1 national monument, to make for 12 magical days. We have no regrets, and so many memories!

Now, we want to visit all the national parks…so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading and traveling along with us.

Happy Trails,

Matthew and Katie

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