Thursday, June 4, 2015

Where's Courtney: Welcome to Denver, CO (April 2015)

What better excuse to travel than tag-a-long with your significant other on a business trip, which is exactly what I did when Mikey said he was scheduled to speak at a conference in Denver. I'd never been to Denver except for multiple layovers on my way to other destinations. Let's make a weekend of it, shall we? 

Denver is a pretty big beer city. They have one of the biggest (or maybe the biggest) beer conventions in the nation. San Diego is known for its craft beer, but Denver is no slouch either. We visited a few of the breweries on an informal beer crawl of our own led by yours truly, including Falling Rock Tap House, which is located on Blake St., one of the more popular walking blocks of the city.

We also had to take in a Rockies game, but of course. A baseball game is pretty much a given whenever we travel together. Since Mikey used to work for the Rockies, he scored us some pretty sweet tickets and we enjoyed a fun time at Coors Field where I wanted to trick him into getting Rocky Mountain Oysters. Sadly, he already knew what they were, so my plans were spoiled.

The morning of Mikey's conference, I went to hear him speak and then we met for lunch at Sam's No. 3, a place that's appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and I had the pork chili verde which was uh-mazing!

We also hit up a few bookstores, coffee shops, and I ventured onto Banjo Billy's Tour Bus. Yes, it's a thing. It's nice if you want someone to point out all the main spots of Denver and give you a little bit of history, but I was slightly disappointed since I thought I had signed up for the ghost tour excursion. Apparently, I had not. 

After learning this, I kind of fell asleep for a little bit. One thing I did learn is that there is a park in Denver where there used to be a cemetery. The tombstones have been moved to another location, but the bodies haven't! Also, across from the Holiday Inn Express we were staying is an old hotel that used to have an underground tunnel for gentleman to uh, escort ladies back and forth late at night.

Denver is a pretty short getaway from San Diego. If you wanted to make the trip, you could even leave early on Saturday or after work on a Friday and still plan a fun time. 

Next time I go back, I'd like to explore Rocky Mountain National Park, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and the Stanley Hotel nearby in Estes Park. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

50/50 Challenge: Halfway Mark

June marks the halfway point for the 50/50 Challenge. While I've been behind on regularly updating my progress, maybe it's better that I just do it now and then near the end of the year, I can see if 2015 is the year I accomplish my goal. 

I'm not doing awful, but I'm not doing great either. Since my last update, I've seen the following movies:

#23 - True Story
#24 - Adult Beginners
#25 - Welcome to Me
#26 - Insurgent
#27 - Pitch Perfect 2
#28 - Entourage

A little bit behind on the reading end, per the usual.

#11 - Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives - Gretchen Rubin
#12 - The Violets of March - Sarah Jio
#13 - Into into Wild - Jon Krakauer
#14 - The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League - Jeff Hobbs
#15 - The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
#16 - The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

I wouldn't even be this far on my book reading if it wasn't for my book clubs and being on pace to read something in order to discuss it later. However, of the ones I've read recently, only one was for book club.

I don't know why I never was pulled into reading Into the Wild before now, but I'm so glad I did. Jon Krakauer did an excellent job of mixing journalism with storytelling. I'm eager to read more of his work. The story of Into the Wild reflects many of my own feelings towards "how to live life." I followed up that book by reading a few articles regarding criticism surrounding both Krakauer and Christopher McCandless (whose story the book captures). When someone takes a road that goes so strongly against the norm, it's a given there will be judgment that is mostly based on misunderstanding or non-understanding. These stories are important to tell whether they go against the grain of society or not. Honestly, they're important because they go against the grain of society.

But, I digress. Movies-wise, I'm good. I'll make it to 50 and beyond. I'm confident. Books-wise, it's going to be a struggle. I'm open to suggestions for any must see/must read movies and books.