I had a hard time thinking about how to celebrate my 30th birthday party this year. I haven't done much to celebrate my birthday the past couple of years, but turning 30 seems to have a certain importance to it that can't be ignored. I also wanted to do something that was accessible to a lot of people and above-all would be fun. Finally, after discussing it at length with Erin, I came up with the idea of having a pub crawl that would use Denver's light rail system. The resulting night was one of the best birthday celebrations that I can remember. Click here to see pictures from the night.
We started our adventure at Dave & Buster's on Colorado at 4pm. This gave us a chance to play some games and have some snacks while everybody gathered. After about two hours we moved on to our next stop, Hanson's on the corner of Louisiana and Pearl. Upstairs they have a smaller bar which we had all to ourselves. As more people arrived the night started to get into gear.
Our next stop was for dinner at the Blue Bonnet a short walk from the Alameda stop. They have some great Tex-Mex food and margaritas. I was also glad that they were able to accommodate our group of eight people even though we arrived an hour after the time for which I'd made our reservations. The only downside was that they had a policy against splitting up the check so we each had to mark on a copy of the check what we had ordered and hope the waitress added it up correctly. The difficulties were soon forgotten though as we were back on the light rail to our next stop.
Just outside the stop at 10th and Osage is a Denver landmark called The Buckhorn Exchange. It is the oldest restaurant in Denver and feels like your stepping back in time. As a pair of mustachioed gentleman played cowboy songs and sing-alongs in the upstairs bar the eyes of countless mounted animals looked on. By itself the place would have been an experience, but we had more places to get to so we went back to catch the next train.
While I had initially planned on catching a train to Union Station and walking to Fado, an irish pub, we grabbed a train heading to 16th street instead. Getting off, we took a long walk down 16th street to the Red Square, our favorite vodka bar. The Red Square specializes in vodka infused with different flavors including pepper, pickle, and my favorite, pineapple. After a round there someone mentioned Nallin's just a short walk away. We walked in and almost immediately walked out again as it was more of a country bar than an Irish pub (at least based on the music).
After several more blocks of walking we finally made it to Fado for Irish coffees. One could tell that the nights activities were getting to us when a breakdown in communication brought us about twice as many Irish coffees as we wanted. Still, they were delicious and I, being the birthday boy, had no qualms about drinking extras.
The rest of the night is a little hazy for me. Our friend Neil recently got a condo in the glass house not far from Fado, so we made our way over there. I think some of us were actually doing some crawling by this time. Up in Neil's condo, overlooking the city, we had our last drinks of the night. Around 2am someone called a cab and Erin and I made it home safely. She tells me that I stayed up chatting with her for another two hours though I can't remember any of it.
The next day we woke up late and spent the rest of the day recovering. It was quite a wild experience and I think everyone had a great time, especially me. However, I don't think we'll be doing anything like that anytime soon. I'm incredibly thankful for everyone that came out and that all made it through the night safely.