Tourist Trap Worth the Trip: Casa Bonita

Casa Bonita is worth a trip.

Hear me out.

Everything you’ve heard about Casa Bonita is true. The scattered Christmas lights, scrunched tables and outrageous prices hint at a different era of “family” entertainment. The cliff diving is about as impressive as a cannonball off a diving board, and the staff’s skits rely on toddler humor. Even the food rumors are true: the nacho salad I ate there once was comprised of hot lettuce with unmelted cheese. I, however, have two arguments for a Casa Bonita trip.

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My Arrhythmia

Why, two years after her death, I can’t let go of Jessica Ghawi—and don’t want to.

Even here, I couldn’t escape her smile. Denver International Airport’s Terminal C was artificially cool despite the July heat outside, and I tried to focus on the movement of equipment and people—that life-blood flowing around me—but I couldn’t. I just kept staring at that smile, which was plastered, larger-than-life, on a TV screen tuned to CNN, and listening to Anderson Cooper drone on about shootings, and guns, and too-short lives.

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15 Minutes With…Colorado Super-Athlete Ben Clark

Name: Ben Clark
Age: 35
Job: Commercial Filmmaker

In 2002, at the age of 23, when most of us are still trying to find our first real job, Ben Clark hit a career high, both literally and figuratively, by becoming the youngest American to summit Mount Everest. He spent the next 10 years pioneering routes in Himalaya. Today Clark lives in Telluride, with his two-year-old son, Charlie, and looks for new challenges, like his next one: Nolan’s 14.

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Shop Talk: I Heart Denver Store

Sure, the I Heart Denver Store has plenty of Colorado flag T-shirts, but this gift-store homage to the Mile High City has plenty of more subtle displays of hometown pride (think: local artists). Owner Samuel Schimek’s “Snake” canvas print (a baby blue snake, designed in 3D-depth) has eyes that follow you around the store—along with his real-life, furrier friend on four legs. Schimek’s shop began as a pop-up project in 2009 before he settled into a brick-and-mortar location at the Denver Pavilions in 2011. We sat down to chat with him about his store, owls, and the Denver art scene.

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Survival Guide: A Zoo Trip with Kids

The phrase, “let’s go to the Denver Zoo,” should not be thrown around lightly when you have kids. Planning is key: On a hot summer’s day, a misstep could lead to a meltdown in front of the penguins. But when planned correctly, this is an outing filled with stimulation, education, and, of course, good old fun. From sea lion feedings to watching peacocks stroll on the sidewalk, the zoo can be a different experience every time your family goes this summer.

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