Saturday, January 08, 2011

National Western Rodeo + Casa Bonita!

While we were visiting Romy's family in Colorado, we happened to be in the right place at the right time to go see the largest rodeo in the nation! Every year, cowboys and cowgirls convene in Denver for a two-week long rodeo and stock show, and various other competitions. Romy and I have never been to a rodeo before, so this was going to be a new experience for us! I was really excited about going to see a rodeo in real life, after Jerraline told us about it earlier this week.

A high-scoring cowboy riding a bucking bull.

We got tickets online for the opening day rodeo, which was in the convention center in downtown Denver, right off of I-70. The tickets were almost sold out by the night before, when we finally got around to buy them, and they only had the cheap nose bleed tickets left. But we didn't care! I was really crazy excited for some reason! We went to the rodeo with Romy' second cousins, Alyx and Alyssa, who oriented us once we got there. They've been to rodeos before, so they told us all about the rules of competition. When the cowboys ride on the bucking horses or bulls, they get points not only for how long they can stay on the animal, but also for how good they look doing it! I tried taking pictures while we were watching, but video turned out better. Here are my two favorite videos I took.

A cowboy riding a bucking horse which jumped really high into the air while bucking!

After the rodeo, it was about dinner time and a Saturday night, so Romy's second cousins (who we went with to the Rodeo) suggested we go to Casa Bonita to eat. Casa Bonita is the place that was made fun of on South Park because of how epic it is. Its basically a huge Mexican restaurant, but its so, so, so much more! Its a place that's hard to describe, but I will try. To get in, you need to purchase a meal, which they serve cafeteria style. Then, they seat you inside, but this restaurant has no ordinary seating. There are three levels, and multiple themed rooms. We were seated inside the depths of a gold mine, where deitz lanterns hanging over each table provided mood lighting. There is a roaming mariachi band, and tall sculpted cliffs with a two story waterfall. Cliff divers jump from the top of the falls and plunge into a seemly shallow turquoise pool, lit from the depths. There is the scary Black Bart's cave which you can explore, and try not to pee in your pants like all the little kids running wild inside. Or you can watch a choreographed gun fight, or a man in a gorilla suit and pirates. This is all after you eat of course. The food was so-so (we got the cheapest thing on the menu, which was the taco salad), but you can order unlimited sopapillas and honey. Mmmmmmm.

Jenn 1.8.2011
Me and Alyssa getting our taco salads at Casa Bonita!

Going into Casa Bonita was like entering a time warp. We spent 4 full hours inside. We didn't wait very long in line to get our food (~15 minutes), and it didn't take us that long to eat either. We literally spent 3 hours exploring the place, and at the end, we sat down in the 'theater' for a real magic show! The magician was casa bonita quality, but still entertaining! If you're ever in the Denver area, I recommend going to check it out with a bunch of friends. Oh yeah, and pre-game before you go in, because the beer is kind of expensive inside.