Saturday, 29 April 2006

Even though I didn’t really do anything yesterday, I was pretty beat after the show last night (review forthcoming), yet I still had a hard time sleeping last night. Most of it is due to being an insomniac in a strange bed, but having a hotel downtown with a room on the first floor didn’t certainly didn’t make it any easier.

After an extra nap in the morning, I finally rolled out of bed around 0900 and headed over to Delectable Egg for breakfast. The place was listed in the rental car city guide and I didn’t really want to think about where to go. I kept it simple with French toast and bacon and a huge glass of orange juice. Nothing much to say about it because how hard is it to do routine breakfast food correctly?

After breakfast, I decided to try to hit a couple of the sites I wanted to catch yesterday before it got rained out. First on the list was the Denver Botanical Gardens. I was pretty impressed — 23 acres (according to the guide) with tons of stuff going on, even this early in the year.

They have several ponds and reflecting pools spread around the site along with some interesting sculptures and, as you can guess, tons of plants. Unfortunately most of their Japanese garden, the one thing that actually drew me there in the first place, was closed off. They were working on the water feature in that area and had it surrounded by a 6-foot tall fence. It occurs to me I didn’t see any cherry blossom trees either.

The rest of the garden, however, was quite lovely.

Either it wasn’t in bloom or I managed to completely miss their rose garden, but it’s no big deal as their perennial walk more than made up for it. They had a spectacular assortment of flowers (none of which I can name), including several varieties of tulips. Another area of the garden had several beds in full bloom with still more tulips; it was really quite the site.

It took a couple hours, but I managed to see the whole place with the exception of the ornamental grasses display. I got nearly 400 pictures there, including several of a small arboretum with some Japanese bells. The bells made up for the Japanese garden being closed.

After the garden, I really wanted sushi for lunch. One place that came recommended was Hapa Sushi Grill. My guide said it was at 1117 Pearl St. No mention of North or South. After 45 minutes trying to find it, I gave up and went back to the Hotel. Once there I tried finding them in the phone book without any luck. Then I jumped on CitySearch and looked it up. They’re in Boulder…30 miles away. Sure, I have the car, but I’m not going 30 miles for sushi in a strange town — I have my standards.

The place that Jill said was pretty good doesn’t appear to be open for lunch on Saturday, so it was back to CitySearch where I saw that Mori Sushi Bar got good reviews. Off I went.

They weren’t bad, but I don’t know that they deserved the good reviews. The decor was kind of lacking but the food was decent. In the Twin Cities, I’d compare then to Sushi Tango, but not as bright-shiney-Uptown. I tried their California roll, plus some tuna and salmon nigiri. It satisfied my urge for sushi, but made me wish I was back home at Origami.

Appetite sated, I took a jaunt over to the Colorado State Capitol so I could stand on the mile-high step and take a few pictures. Then it was off to Union Station so I could bask in it’s old-train glory and snap a few pictures along the way.

By the time I got back to the hotel, I was hungry again, and in the mood for Italian food. With a bit of searching, and a lot of luck, I found the perfect place. One that was so good, it deserves a post unto itself so I can do it justice.

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