I recently returned from a trip to Denver where I spent a delightful evening eating with friends before meeting up with people that I’ve known for a few years via an online chat group. Of the twenty-eight people in the group, about half were able to attend this meetup. The composition was different from our previous event, so it was a good mix of new and familiar faces.
Given my other experiences with getting a group of adults to do anything, I continue to be surprised by the unique ability of this group to get together in person.
Because the meetup was happening two days after our return from Poland, I decided to only stay a single night, taking an early flight to Denver a late flight back home.
I used the travel credit from my Venture X Business card by booking through the travel portal.
- 344.80USD per person
- LAS-DEN in UA Y
- DEN-LAS in UA Y (upgraded to J)
- 344.80USD per person
Most people in our group decided to stay at the same hotel located in a nice part of Denver. It was relatively cheap, in terms of points, and the rooms were large. I, and most other people in our group, were upgraded to a room category above the standard room. Staying at the same hotel makes it easy to socialize at the bar and meet up for various activities.
- One room for one night at The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection for 60,000 Hilton Honors Points per night
June 2, 2023
After being home from Poland for less than eighteen hours, Angela drove me back to the airport for my flight to Denver. I was able to select preferred seating because of my status with United, so I had some extra leg room even though I was seated in economy.
I arrived in Denver at the same time as my friend David, and we took the airport train to Union Station before hopping on a local train that took us the rest of the way to Meow Wolf Denver at Convergence Station, an interactive art exhibit. Angela and I visited the Las Vegas location of Meow Wolf last year with a couple of our friends, and I was interested in how the Denver location would differ.
The exhibition probably isn’t for everyone, quite frankly. The items on display are, to put it mildly, eclectic and taste-dependent. I had a good time wandering around with David, though, and thought it was worth the price of admission.
David was gracious enough to let me take some pictures of him in the exhibition.
He was also gracious enough to return the favor.
After exploring the entirety of the exhibition, we picked up some scooters and headed to the hotel. This was my first time using an e-scooter and I really enjoyed it. We made sure to ride responsibly, though, along the roads, avoiding sidewalks, and parking in a designated spot.
Check-in at the hotel was friendly and straightforward and I was informed that I was upgraded to a suite. We were each informed of the food and beverage credit we were entitled to as Hilton Honors Diamond members. I loved the room that I was put in and, if the rest of the hotel is as well-kept as the part that I enjoyed, I have no hesitation recommending this property to others.
After resting for a while, I met my friends at the hotel’s bar. Luckily for me, the menu had a nice selection of mocktails on which to use my dining credit. I chose a virgin espresso martini which was quite tasty; a cold salty-vanilla double shot of espresso that I’ll take any day.
After a round of drinks, the five of us who had arrived by this point headed to Cholon for dinner. Someone reserved an Uber XL for the ride to the restaurant, but it didn’t feel very XL to those of us in the third row!
Dinner with the guys was great and, because we’re all big eaters, we ordered one of everything from the Small Bites section of the menu, one of each soup dumpling flavor for each person, an order of fried chicken, the family style Korean pork, and a few desserts. The dishes ranged from good to great, with the exception of the French onion soup dumpling, which I found repulsive. Shockingly to me, I was alone in this opinion.
We walked back to the hotel to work off some of the calories and I was able to grab a picture of the lit up Denver City and County Building.
When we returned to our lodgings, we spent about twenty minutes chatting before we all decided to head to bed.
I woke up early, likely thanks to lingering jet lag from our time in Europe, and decided to get a quick lift in. The gym at the hotel was well appointed, with plenty of cable and cardio machines alongside a respectable set of weights.
When I was done, I walked with the other early risers to Roostercat Coffee House where I ordered a flat white to get the morning started right. There was some interesting art on display.
We continued onward to eat breakfast at Snooze A.M. Eatery. I ordered the French toast, which was delicious, and also got to try some of my friend’s OMG! French Toast which was legitimately amazing tasting.
After breakfast, we grabbed a few scooters and headed back to the hotel for a brief break before the meetup. It was raining a bit and I was giving off shades of a wet t-shirt contest by this point.
About an hour later, we grabbed some more scooters and made our way to The Denver Central Market where everyone would be meeting. The following picture is from our ride there, featuring the three Nicks of the group.
The Denver Central Market is a vibrant and happening place with a large bar, a coffee shop, and various eateries. We slowly took over one of the central tables and chatted the afternoon away.
I was still full from breakfast, but I was happy to drink a couple cortados during my time at our chosen venue. Towards the end of the meetup, one of my fellow Nicks was kind enough to buy me a non-alcoholic beer, my first one ever. While it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m thankful to my friend for the experience of drinking it.
In the mid-afternoon, I said goodbye to everyone and walked back to the hotel. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the walk through Denver and loved this mural painted on one of the buildings along my route.
Picking up my backpack from my friend’s room, I set off to the train station to hitch a ride to the airport. I hung out in the Centurion Lounge and ate a large dinner before boarding my flight. Before long, I was home and absolutely exhausted from a whirlwind of a trip.
I’m so glad that we’ve got such a solid group of people who care about one another enough to travel from all over the country to meetup and chat about life and our common interests. Having known most of these men for multiple years now, I feel comfortable claiming them as true friends and I treasure the time we spend together.