It took me three years to make it to Denver to visit my brother and the first thought to cross my mind after boarding my return flight back to Houston was, “Why did it take me so long?”
Besides having an incredible time just reconnecting with my kid brother – he’s two years my junior and the youngest man in the family – the city of Denver did kind of charm me and my son Edgar into wanting to visit again soon.
This was our first solo trip as father and son, and it was definitely a memorable one.
I have decided, this year, that I want us to take regular father and son trips – before he graduates from high school. My parents couldn’t afford to fly me places when I was his age, and I must admit that once I was able to travel at a later age it did broaden my perspective and view of the world. If I can do that for him at an early age I think that’s an investment worth making. And hey, it’s a fun adventure for both of us too. Next on my list is taking him back to Mexico to reconnect with his culture. I selfishly also want to explore new parts of Mexico I have never visited or experienced myself.
The last thing on my worry list when planning a travel adventure is where to stay. Almost anywhere we go there is always a Best Western Hotels & Resorts location nearby. We opt for Best Western anytime we can because of the quality accommodations, the modern amenities and the free breakfast in the morning.
On this trip, however, it was all about nature. From driving up the often-gut-wrenching road to the peak of Mount Evans, which is the highest paved road in North America; to hiking for seven miles up and then back down the Rocky Mountains; Denver was more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
At close to 2,000 feet above sea level, during our hike, we started taking more frequent breaks just to sit down and catch our breath. The four extra bottles of water I stuffed into my backpack started to weigh on my shoulders. The half peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we had with a side of walnuts and more water made us feel like we had eaten a loaded baked potato instead. Somebody asked the question, “Should we just turn around and hike back down now?” Being among the least experienced hikers in the group, I did contemplate the idea for a moment, but my desire to make it up all the way to see the waterfall we had been promised inspired me to motivate everyone else to persevere.
It was entirely worth it.
There’s an indescribable feeling of accomplishment that comes with reaching the highest point of your hike and sitting there watching a natural waterfall cascade down the side of the Rocky Mountains. We were able to experience that, together.
The city itself was everything you would expect. Modern and cool, with a funky and charismatic character. It kind of reminded me of Austin, Texas, but with a little more attitude. I especially enjoyed Denver’s museums. We spent a little time visiting a couple of different museums, and you could really get a sense of the history of the city there. My favorite was El Museo de Las Americas, which at that time had the “Pachucos y Sirenas” exhibition on display. The Denver Museum of Art is also a not to be missed attraction in the city. The architecture of the building itself is fun and inviting. Once you get inside there is lots to see and do. We played video games and created art and tried our hand at drawing sketches in one of the interactive exhibitions. A lot of museums are adding interactive elements these days, and I for one, really enjoy them.
Denver is a walking city. The weather is usually quite nice in comparison to Texas, and there are lots of options for getting around. Since my brother is a vegan we also ventured out to explore his favorite eateries in town. There were so many spots where he could get a good selection of vegan options. I was glad to see that. Edgar and I tried a few meals with him and then reverted to our non-vegan diets. The prices were affordable too everywhere we went, which was nice for a city with so many tourists.
In the meantime, I am busy planning our next adventure. In Mexico City we won’t have the luxury of staying with my kid brother, but with the selection of Best Western Hotels & Resorts across the globe, I am certain wherever our sense of adventure takes us we will have a friendly and welcoming place to stay and rest. While we do love nature, there’s nothing like coming back to a cozy hotel room that offers the best in modern value, chic design and high comfort.
Take it from me, after a long day of father-son adventure-seeking you’ll both be grateful for modern luxuries like free Wi-Fi and fluffy pillows!