Weekend Trip to Denver

When I told people I was headed to Denver, most questioned: “Why?” I know it’s not the typical go-to destination, but Denver is a major city that’s on the come up. To be honest, I probably would’ve never visited if I didn’t have a conference that I was attending. A few of my Lyft Drivers mentioned that there has been an influx in the rates of tourists since marijuana became legal there.

Denver is like any other city. It’s mostly filled with suburban neighborhoods but has a downtown element that’s charming. As a solo traveler in Denver, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Aurora Conference Center, which was located in the town of Aurora. The hotel is only 2-years old but my stay was superb. The color scheme was burnt orange and blue, with hints of wood. It has a pool and a full functioning gym. I chose this hotel because it was near the conference that I was attending.

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Most of the people in Denver were actually quite friendly. I only had one horrible encounter on my third day there, when a crazy (racist) man came into my Lyft and got mad at me because I sat in the front seat. When I offered him the seat, he said he didn’t want it, and threatened to choke me…it was odd. That was the last time, I did a Lyft-Line for the rest of my time there; I almost forgot that I wasn’t in Kansas (aka New York) anymore.

The day before the conference started I decided to explore downtown Denver. I came across a few gems. The first being the Denver Museum of Art. There was a powerful exhibit at the museum, which explored the plight of Native Americans and their culture through the eyes of artists.

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My art museum visit was followed by a stroll down 16th Street. 16th street is a strip of stores and food establishments, kind of like an outside mall. I went inside stores like Victoria Secret, Bare Minerals, TJ Maxx and H&M. After that, I ended up on 15th and Larimer, but it was blocked off due to a food festival they were having.

One of the primary reasons people visit Denver is because of the mountains, however, since I was alone it was not something I wanted to tackle solo. I will be back next year (God’s willing) and will definitely add an exploration of mountains to my list of things to do.

Weekends By Ky: Philadelphia

So often we look across the world to experience history and culture and never in our own backyard. This past weekend I decided to visit my friend Brittany in Philadelphia. We spent the first-night having careless fun which included fish tacos at a Mexican restaurant and Korean Karaoke. The following day I felt a little under the weather, so we got a bunch of snacks from the grocery store and watched Law & Order Criminal Intent all day. Finally, she convinced my sick self to get up and catch a movie which we did and it was awesome. Luckily for me, I got a double deal. We went to see the movie on the UPENN campus and I got to experience life as a Penn ivy leaguer, well sort of. That night, Britt made delish spaghetti and I called it a night early.

Kydee WilliamsThe next morning I felt so much better. We got an early start and headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. I ran up the Rocky Balboa stairs like I was the champion himself. I had no idea about the significance of those stairs as it related to the movie. I saw people line up just to get a picture with the Rocky statue and I eventually put two and two together. We headed straight to the museum and luckily for me my Penn State credentials granted me access to the museum at a discounted student rate.

Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsThe museum was amazing, filled with a lot of antique furniture, portraits of George Washington and breathtaking artwork. What captivated me most was the medieval room which was an exhibit filled with military armory from the middle ages. As someone who is always assuming that this part of our history was somewhat fictional, it was interesting to see the steel army wardrobe of the past on display.

IMG_7615 IMG_7616 IMG_7618Kydee WilliamsOutside of the museum was The Oval, which is a seasonal local festival. Brittany and I watched performances and drank apple cider while sitting on a haystack. We enjoyed taking in the amazing sights of this beautiful fall afternoon.

IMG_7606I felt fulfilled as I headed back to New York. Who knew that the Philadelphia Museum was the first museum in the United States? I didn’t. Not only did I experience the culture, and a lot of history in a short 2-days, but this weekend seemed longer than ever. I was totally ready to head back to work and finally have something great to say when someone asks me the quintessential “So how was your weekend?”

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