At some point, I decided that taking two days off a week from working out was really wussy. In the interest of not overdoing it, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a nice brisk walk on one of the off days. This walk tends to happen on Friday evenings.
Tonight’s walk started as many of them do, with us encountering our neighbors’ dog who likes to jump the fence and run around the neighborhood. (Yesterday she jumped several fences to end up in our back yard, where she rolled around on the ground and refused to leave until I bribed her with a “Sadie get your ass in the house” — I mean a carrot.) After we returned the dog to her rightful home, we set off past what used to be Muhammad Mosque and walked down Curtis Street, headed toward downtown.
As someone who has always considered location (particularly the location of my home) as important as people, going for a walk in my neighborhood and the feelings it gives me have been a big deal to me ever since I started caring about going for walks. I can tell you about walks in Andersonville (Chicago) and, better yet, Oak Park. (Oak Park provided the best walks ever, including one time a little cat followed us all the way home and we drove her back to her house and left her there, but not before I saved the phone number from her tag on my cell phone and then eventually one night when drunk called them up and asked for Levi, who was the cat, and the guy who answered the phone said that the cat got phone calls all the time.) Walks in Nederland were usually too short and/or left you feeling a little like a tourist as you passed the Best Western in the middle of town and walked along the rushing creek before ending up at the reservoir. (Nederland is just as awesome as Oak Park but in a totally different way.) We walked around Wash Park a lot when we lived in Baker. This was before we had dogs. I remember one walk in particular where we spent an hour bitching about the house we wanted to buy and the way we were getting jacked around in relation to an issue with the furnace (the furnace was replaced with an overpriced model, we split the cost with the former owners, and we still live in the house today).
When we take walks, our general habit is to comment on houses we wish we might live in one day, which is most of them. Don’t get me wrong — I love our little house in the ‘hood. But someday, maybe when Soren is older and likes to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, I wouldn’t mind having two bathrooms. Ben really wants a basement (we have a partial basement that’s good for storage only). So maybe one day, we’ll have a house with two bathrooms and a basement. Maybe it’ll be in a better area for schools than we’re in now. Who knows.
We pass lots of beautiful houses as we walk through the Curtis Park Historic District. We end up by the Greyhound place, where things get kind of ugly, and turn right on Park Avenue West. Park Avenue West isn’t a good street for walking (it’s busy and not the most attractive street in the world), so we turn right on Arapahoe, the next street.
We run into what looks like a little bar. It has Great American Beer Festival (the best event in the history of events) postcards and Flying Dog stuff in the window. The door is open. We stop to gape and try to figure out what the place is. Someone from inside says, “Come in! Free beer!”
Okay. We’re out with the baby in a big giant jogging stroller, but if you really want us to come in and have free beer, we can totally accommodate you! I was relieved that the stroller fit through the doorway. There were two awesome dogs hanging out. Ben got Soren out of the stroller and a guy at the bar poured us each a Raging Bitch. For free.
This was the coolest shit, ever.
Apparently we stumbled on the Flying Dog Tasting Room. I didn’t even know this existed. (They have a big bar/restaurant at 2301 Blake Street — we haven’t been there since they moved, but the old location was always awesome, especially before/after Rockies games.)
We also enjoyed some Double Dog (this is the shit) and a little Gonzo Imperial Porter. All for free. Poured by an awesome bartender who played totally random music. Soren got a little stressed out (he couldn’t believe we took him to a bar while he wasn’t wearing pants), then tried to eat a coaster, and then chilled out and kind of had fun. He tried to eat the beer list but nobody minded. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone and couldn’t take pictures.)
According to the bartender, the Flying Dog Tasting Room operates on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4 p.m. until 6-ish p.m. (read: maybe 8:00 or so if people are there drinking). It seems the policy is to offer tastes of two beers (for free!) but I have it on good authority that it is possible to get more.
It’s so random that of all the hours of the week, we happened to be walking by this place during one of the four it’s officially in business. There’s something about really good beer and the people who like really good beer that kind of makes you love the world. We left the Flying Dog Tasting Room with a little hint of a buzz and walked home, amazed by how awesome that was, even if the baby was getting a little grumpy because he was hungry and I kind of felt like an asshole for hanging out at a bar while wearing sunglasses (I just wear prescription sunglasses when it’s sunny and we go on a walk and don’t bring my regular glasses, and I can’t see without glasses so it’s a tradeoff between being the asshole who wears sunglasses in the bar and the asshole who can’t see anything that’s more than two inches from her face).
We stopped at the local carniceria on the way home so we could get an avocado that would be ripe enough to eat right away, and then Ben made killer BLATs. (Is that what you’d call a vegetarian bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, and cheese, plus friends sandwich?) I wait outside at the carniceria because to me it smells like raging death and I suspect the stroller won’t fit in there (Ben is a vegetarian too but not as delicate about it as I am).
Denver is awesome.