Ah, December! The month of holiday cheer, cozy sweaters, and… a spontaneous trip to the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado? Yep, that’s exactly what my husband and I decided to do. But why Denver, you ask? Well, let me tell you a tale of bare-knuckle boxing, spicy ramen, and chocolatey delights.

This trip all started with our friend, Mark the Shark. Yes, that’s his nickname, and no, he doesn’t actually fight sharks. Mark had a bare-knuckle boxing match lined up in Denver, and being the supportive pals we are, we knew we had to be there for him. Plus, neither of us had been to the Mile High City, so why not?

The Beginning

So, off we went from John Wayne Airport on a Friday afternoon. Now, I’ll admit, I’m not the calmest flyer in the sky. But with a Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich for Dana and a glass of Prosecco for yours truly at the Ducks Breakaway Bar, I managed to keep the pre-flight jitters at bay. Well, mostly.

Prosecco

Once onboard our Southwest Airlines flight, it was a whirlwind of activities to distract myself from the fact that I was hurtling through the air in a metal tube. Sleeping, music, games, and a bit of video editing – you name it, I did it. I’m also not sure if I would fly Southwest Airlines again, only because the seats are first come, first serve. If I wasn’t able to sit next to my husband, I probably would have been freaking out the whole flight.

We touched down in the Mile High City around 5:35 pm, and let me tell you, the Denver Airport was a pleasant surprise. Clean, spacious, and oh-so-easy to navigate.

Outside, we were greeted by crisp, cold air – a welcome change from the California sunshine. Our Uber ride to the Grand Hyatt Downtown was a bit pricier than expected, but hey, it’s all part of the adventure, right? Despite some initial doubts about our hotel’s neighborhood, we soon discovered it was the perfect home base for our weekend escapade. I should have taken video and photos of the room, but I didn’t think of it then. I’ll keep it in mind next time. However, I did get a photo of the view from our room.

Mile High - Grand Hyatt Day
Grand Hyatt Night

First Dinner In the Mile High City

Once we were settled in the room, we started looking for food options nearby. Since the weather was nice and cold, we decided on going to Menya Noodle Bar. We decided to walk and I was worried at first since from the hotel room, it didn’t look like anyone was out. I felt better once we were outside and I started to see people roaming around. Maybe they come out after a certain time? Haha. Either way, the walk to Menya Noodle Bar was a nice one. It wasn’t too far from the hotel at all and we were there within minutes.

The inside of Menya Noodle Bar was nicely decorated and warm. Which was appreciated after walking in the freezing cold. We were seated quickly and given a few minutes to look over the menu. I think I gave the employees a sense that I would be posting on Instagram because one of them noticed I was taking videos of the restaurant space. I think because the employee noticed, the service we got was top notch. We were constantly being checked up on compared to the other tables, which honestly was nice, but other tables should have gotten the same attention as well.

We ended up ordering a spicy ramen and a shoyu ramen along with an order of pork buns and gyoza. The pork buns and gyoza came out first. Both items were delicious and was instantly devoured. Then came the piping hot ramen. The spicy ramen had a nice kick to it that I wasn’t expecting, and my husband thought the same. I could have easily just drank the broth and been content with just that. It warmed my stomach, and I was eager to dive into my shoyu ramen. The shoyu ramen was just as good, however I think if I went back, I would pick the spicy ramen over the shoyu. I felt nice and warm after this meal.

Mile High - Menya
Pork Bun
Spicy
Mile High - Shoyu

Post Dinner Shenanigans

Towards the end of the meal, we were thinking of getting dessert but we weren’t too interested in the options they had to offer. After doing some research on Yelp, we decided that we would go to Kilwin’s Chocolate and Ice Cream, which we would hit on our walk back to the hotel.

The moment you open the doors to the shop, you’re hit with that sweet, sweet smell of chocolate. This shop is great if you are wanting to bring some sweets back home for your friends and family, or even yourself.

We treated ourselves to their hot chocolate and it was delicious. The hot chocolate was nice, thick, and creamy. Definitely much better than others I have had. We also got a hazelnut truffle and a chocolate s’mores. Because if you know me, I love s’mores and I will never pass up an opportunity to try anything s’mores. Haha. The hazelnut truffle was a bit of a miss and unfortunately so was the s’mores. There are plenty of other options where I would come back and try something else, so no worries there.

Winding Down In the Mile High City

After Kilwin’s we took the long walk back to the hotel just to see what else was around. When I say we picked a nice location, it really was. There was plenty of food places to choose from, a Ross if we needed extra clothes, and a Target for anything else we needed.

Once we got back to the hotel, we stopped by the Courier Market Bar and Kitchen for some light snacks just in case we had some late night munchies. After that, we went back up to the room, got ready for bed and got some rest.

As the city lights twinkled outside our window, we drifted off to sleep, eagerly anticipating the adventures that awaited us the next day.

Stay tuned for part two of our Mile High City escapade – trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

Other Fun Reads

First Foodie Event – King’s Hawaiian – This isn’t a travel piece, but this is another fun one to check out while you wait for part 2!