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Civic Park on April 20th…located between the Capitol Building and the Court House in downtown Denver

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I went to Denver last Friday to visit my dad. I’d gotten my plane flight booked a couple months prior when my visit worked best for both my dad’s and my schedules. It was only a few days before I flew that I realized I’d was flying in on April 20th. That’s 420. It’s an annual festival day in Denver.

My routine is to fly to DIA then take the light rail from there to downtown. It costs $9 and its a nice ride on clean trains. There are two cars on each run which occurs every 15 minutes. On each train, there is a security guard so it’s always safe. On this particular day, when I got off the train at Union Station at the west end of downtown, there was a throng of people. These folks were making their way to Coors Field for a baseball game. At the other end of downtown were 70,000 gathered at Civic Park for the 420 festival. I figure that all accounted for at least an extra 85,000 people downtown that are not normally there. I hadn’t seen downtown this crowded since the Democratic Convention in 2008.

My full routine is actually to get off the train at Union Station then walk a block to 16th Street which has free shuttle buses. I take that all the way up to Tremont and 16th where I get off. When I got off the free shuttle, it was 4:20 PM. Right there is Euflora, a cannabis dispensary that was featured prominently on Rachel Maddow’s mini-documentary a few years ago titled “Pot Barrons of Colorado.” I typically get some gummy worms that are sold in lots of ten. Each gummy worm has 10mg of THC. The cost is about $20. On the day I arrived, there was a line that would take at least an hour to wade through to make a purchase. I decided…nope. I brought my own chocolate candies anyway, so the point was moot.

Inside Euflora in downtown Denver. You can use these things to digitally decide what strain you want and place your order. Then you get in the line to pay. You can also just simply get in line as well. I just get in line and buy gummy worms as I don’t smoke weed anymore.

The next thing I do is walk one block from Euflora to The Brown Palace Hotel (it’s really famous) to grab a taxi to dad’s house. Since Uber and Lyft came on the scene, taxis have been forced to charge the same. Long gone are the days when taxis charged by the minute. They just have one fee which is comparable to Uber prices with the caveat they don’t change their fees during high volume times. It costs me about $20. I called my dad and told him that I was going to be getting a taxi. He insisted on coming to get me. I told him, “It’s 420!” That didn’t deter him as he had no idea what that really meant. I told him the Civic Center was packed. He told me to then meet him at the Denver Athletic Club between 13th and 14th on Glenarm. I tried to dissuade him. He insisted on coming to get me.

1 ½ hours later he finally showed up. Before he’d arrived, I was talking with one gentleman who told me it took him 1 hour to go the six blocks between Union Station and Glenarm Street. I believed him. Dad was frazzled by the time he could get to me because it normally takes 15 minutes. He’s 91 years old.

I had a good visit. On the second day I was there it snowed. So pretty. All the trees, which haven’t leafed-out yet, were covered with snow as was the ground. The next day it was 70 degrees and sunny. That’s the way the weather is there this time of year. As always, since cannabis was legalized, you can feel the energy in the city. It’s just booming. Unemployment is 3% as there are bunches of jobs in the cannabis industry. You can just feel how energized that town is which is wonderful compared to cities you visit that feel dead or depressed.

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