On the Town

I'm a terrible vacation planner. Deep in winter, I'll turn to my husband and say, "Hey, let's drive to Taos this fall." Or one fine, rainy spring day, he'll turn to me and ask, "When was the last time we went to San Francisco?" Yes, yes, yes! We're both all gung-ho to go when the idea first pinches, but like phone bills and dust bunnies under the bed, our grand (or, fer crissakes, not-so-grand) travel schemes disappear into the murk of day-to-day life until the whole process begins all over again.

I'm beginning to wonder if we should just take a siesta without leaving town — and I'm not talking about those at-home vacations when you clean your house and go to the movies. I mean, why not call the cat-sitter, book a hotel room downtown and enjoy the city like a tourist? What would it be like to eat fancy, catch a show (Spamalot, which opens in mid-September, comes to mind) and stroll through downtown afterward to a hotel with — how shall I say it? — oomph. Pizzazz.

Thanks to a minor hotel war, stepped up since the reasonably priced, well-located Curtis Hotel opened its pop-culture-powered doors across the street from the Denver Performing Arts Complex (1405 Curtis Street, 303-571-0300), I have a choice. I could stay there, where every one of its sixteen floors sports a different theme (I'd have a hard time choosing between the sci-fi and dun-dun-dun/thirteenth-floor levels) and eat at the newly opened Oceanaire, which provides a neat retro seafood experience. Or I could opt for the still-fun-after-all-these-years pet-friendly Hotel Monaco (1717 Champa Street, 303-296-1717), where I could ostensibly bring my cats along and stay in the '60s Classic Artist Suite, replete with an in-room CD player and original artwork by John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Groovy.

Should I call for reservations? Just a minute, let me ask my husband…


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