Wow... The last week has flown by! The Tetons were incredible. Both my dad and I felt our trip saved the best for last. The Tetons were incredible in everyday; the beauty of the surroundings, the peaceful, quite energy, and vast range of wildlife. In contrast to Yellowstone, Grand Teton NP seemed empty. Sure there were other hikers but it was far and few; mostly it was just you and the animals. Yellowstone holds breathtaking treasures like nowhere else, do not get me wrong, but it is pretty much nature's amusement park- you wait in line to park, fight the crowds for the view, and move on to the next. Due to the ruggedness of the Teton trails and lack of fellow hikers I finally was scared enough to throw $50 at bear spray (luckily despite some great bear sightings we never had to use it).
We stayed in Jackson Hole which was GREAT! We were both ready for some relief from Xanterra (the NP's service provider) food and real coffee! Day 1 while taking Stevie on his morning stroll, we were fortunate enough to stumble upon Picnic, a cafe just a few blocks from our motel. Incredibly strong, delicious coffee and homemade breads and pastries like no other. The owners husband apparently studied pastry in Paris for sometime and good god does it show. The croissants were amazing and their cinnamon rolls are literally out of this world. The lack of icing through me at first but it tasted like a perfectly cooked croissant mated with a homemade donut and was then delicately coated with fresh sugar and cinnamon. Our good food luck continued throughout the whole trip including a white pie called the Powder Horn, from Pinky G's Pizza and an amazing burger at MacPhails; MacPhail's also provided the most entertaining albeit odd server named Stephen (seriously) who made the night unforgettable by spontaneously shouting "BALLS on a SHTICK" throughout the dining room while we enjoyed our dessert (which was chocolate covered ice cream scoops on kabob sticks.)
We drove to Denver the next day where I sadly dropped my pops off at the airport and continued on to an Airbnb. After returning from a beautiful morning in Denver's Central Park, I found the place while otherwise great severely invested with ants! I quickly packed up and checked in to a Best Western which was great- clean, pet friendly, and even had a pool which was quite enjoyable after day hiking in Red Rocks State Park. I had dinner and drinks with a friend who just moved there from Brooklyn which was super fun and an opportunity to see more of the city life and different neighborhoods. We ate at Linger, a rooftop bar right in the hippest part of town. Despite it being "sceney" it was great food (killer Chile-Peach margaritas!) and an awesome view of the river and city. I definitely really liked Denver overall and hope to be back for longer in the near future.