My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

Archive for the ‘Denver area’ Category

While in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted by auntiem10 on November 16, 2010

On the day before my egg retrieval, the hubby and I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. Our drive took us through Boulder, home of CU. A football game was scheduled for that day, so the city was busy. As we descended into Boulder, the view was amazing. And driving right past the football stadium was neat too.

Then we drove through Estes Park, a popular skiing town. Oh my gosh, the drive into this city was just breathtaking. Residents of Estes Park are so lucky to live in such a beautiful locale.

We had planned to stop for lunch here, but traffic was SO congested that we just ended up at an extremely busy McDonald’s. It turns out that there was an Elk Festival occurring that day downtown, which was apparently an incredibly popular event. We had planned to drive through downtown on our way toward one of the major Rocky Mountain National Park entrances, but after sitting at a stoplight for over 15 minutes crawling at a snail’s pace, we decided to go another direction.

Let me just say, the drive to the West entrance of the park wasn’t too scary because at least you are driving on a highway, but there are tons of winding curves, and at times there is no guardrail and you are reminded that you are driving on a mountain. Yikes! I was a very nervous passenger and, even though my hubby is a good driver, I insisted on driving us back to Lone Tree. : )

We just followed the directions our GPS was giving, and we really hadn’t done enough research before our trip, so our trek took us to a not-so-scenic area of the park. The official website lists entrance fees of $20 per car, but when we approached the entrance station, a sign indicated that there was no fee that day. I’m not sure why we didn’t have to pay, but I’ll take it!

We entered the park on a VERY narrow gravel road that winded through about four miles of the park. Blind curves were everywhere, and one car approaching the other would have to pull over to let the other car pass.

Eventually we reached a turnaround point and ended up heading back the way we had come. This entrance was not the best–we didn’t get to see any of the more well-known landmarks of the state park, only trees and trail entrances. We climbed down an embankment to take some pictures of a beautiful spring. A sign nearby warned us of black bears in the area–yikes!

After our four-mile trek, we opted not to find another entrance. It was already mid-afternoon, and I didn’t want to drive home on that winding road too late. Plus I was feeling the side effects of a high estradiol level and wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous or energetic.

We felt ultimately that our drive into RMNP was more scenic than our four-mile trek through the actual park.

Next time, we will choose a different (and hopefully more scenic) entrance!

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While in Colorado: Outlets at Castle Rock

Posted by auntiem10 on October 22, 2010

One day while in Denver, we headed to the Outlets at Castle Rock for some retail therapy.

We were so busy shopping, we forgot to take many pictures!

I took a photo of the store directory, but I wasn’t able to capture both the store directory and the map. Hopefully you can click to zoom in. Otherwise, I’m sure you can find this information online anyway.

Some things we purchased were:

* A new watch and sunglasses at the Fossil outlet
* Socks at the Adidas outlet
* A new wok at the Calphalon outlet
* A dutch oven at The Kitchen Store outlet

If you are in need of some retail therapy while in Colorado, I would recommend this place!

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While in Colorado: Garden of the Gods

Posted by auntiem10 on October 20, 2010

We were so impressed by our first visit to the Garden of the Gods, we decided to revisit while in Colorado a few weeks ago. It is just such a gorgeous and serene place, so natural and picturesque, and I feel a great sense of peace there.

A nice paved walking path leads visitors all around the breathtaking rock formations.

Some skilled rock climbers were scaling the rocks while we watched.

It seems kind of like a magical place.

Posted in Denver area | 2 Comments »

While in Colorado: Manitou Springs

Posted by auntiem10 on October 18, 2010

In April, I wrote a post about the places we visited while in the Denver area for our one-day work-up. Last month, we revisited Historic Manitou Springs, which is located at the base of Pike’s Peak.

It was lunchtime and we were starving, so we sat on the porch and enjoyed some food at PJ’s Continental Bistro. The hubby ordered pierogies, and I ordered a wrap.

After lunch, we walked along the sidewalk, next to some springs… (I don’t recommend you taste-test the spring water… yuck!)

And ended up back in the penny arcade area that we enjoyed so much in April.

There are a lot of fun, old games here…

(My fate landed on Fish Peddler.) : )

Our bellies were too full for ice cream at Josh & John’s (plus we had just enjoyed the cake & shake at d. Bar Desserts the previous day), so we skipped dessert this trip. We did walk up and down the main drag, exploring the stores, before heading back to our car and revisiting the Garden of the Gods. More on that on Wednesday!

Posted in Denver area | 2 Comments »

The 10:45 Trigger Shot

Posted by auntiem10 on October 1, 2010

We got the call about an hour ago… we’re triggering tonight at 10:45 p.m. Interestingly, Dr. Surrey only wants me to inject part of the HCG injection instead of the whole 10,000 units. (I found out later that this decision was based on the fact that my estradiol level was pretty high, and Dr. Surrey was worried about hyperstimulation. Just FYI.) My egg retrieval is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. I shouldn’t have, but I asked for my estradiol level today. It is 4010. O-m-g, that seems kinda high to me. That is quite a bit higher than my level last year; however, the difference is that 1) it seems that more eggs are brewing, and 2) Dr. Surrey has kept me on a relatively low dose of stims so that the level has increased slow and steady. Hopefully these two factors will make a huge difference in terms of egg quality. Now I wish I wouldn’t have asked for today’s estradiol level!

We went to the Outlets at Castle Rock today and bought some neat stuff–a wok at the Calphalon store, a dutch oven at a different kitchen store, a new Fossil watch for me at the Fossil outlet, some new Adidas socks for dogwalking, and a few other things. Then we walked around Manitou Springs at the base of Pike’s Peak, which is something we did in April during our ODWU stay. We also walked around the Garden of the Gods and took a bunch of pictures. I am pooped, so pictures will have to wait! We’re going to our favorite Denver Thai food restaurant tonight, A Taste of Thailand. It is a hole-in-the-wall across from the Swedish Medical Center, but it’s soooo good!

Tomorrow I have to go back to CCRM for bloodwork, and then we’re heading to Rocky Mountain National Park for the day. It’s going to be yet another gorgeous day, so I”m sure it will be absolutely beautiful there. It’s our last real day in Denver (at least until we return in January for the transfer), so we plan to really enjoy it!

Posted in Denver area, Dosage instructions, IVF Take Two | 9 Comments »

The Fountain and Downtown Denver

Posted by auntiem10 on October 1, 2010

Today I’m heading back to CCRM for another ultrasound, blood draw, and our IVF cycle review.

(This is the famous fountain in the lobby at CCRM.)

Yesterday we had a fun day. After spending our morning at CCRM, we ate a quick lunch and then headed downtown. We had reservations to tour the Denver Mint. They are VERY strict about security there, and I wasn’t able to take in my camera, so I have no pictures. Darn! It was neat though. The Denver Mint only makes coins, and the tour includes an overhead view of three of the rooms where coins are stamped.

Afterwards, we drove by the Capitol building…

And headed to our dessert destination, d Bar Desserts. We love The Food Network (this restaurant is owned by Keegan Gerhard, a judge from Food Network Challenge, and his wife), and I’m a chocolaholic, so we had to make time in our schedule for their “Cake and Shake.”

Yep, it was amazing if you like chocolate. The space itself is small, but the interior is very pretty and modern…

We LOVED this mid-day dessert rendezvous. We normally don’t even eat dessert at restaurants, so this was a rare treat. The cake was SO rich, we each brought at least half of the slice home. You can choose between a chocolate or vanilla shake or malt. Yum!

Last night we took Cassie’s suggestion and went to 3 Margaritas for dinner. We went to the Littleton location on County Line Road, and we really enjoyed both the food and the 5-mile drive west toward the mountains. It was a day of great food!!!

Today after we finish up at CCRM, we’re heading back to the Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs. We went to both places when we were in Denver for our ODWU in April, and we loved it. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures of both to share. We’re also planning to explore the Outlets at Castle Rock, which is something we haven’t done before. The weather here has been beautiful, so it should be a nice day!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area | 2 Comments »

A Tour of the Staybridge Park Meadows

Posted by auntiem10 on September 29, 2010

While in Denver, I’m staying at the Staybridge Suites Park Meadows. I figured I would add a little room tour to this blog for future CCRM patients who are considering staying at this hotel.

I chose this hotel because many people on my main CCRM message board have stayed here in the past. It is located in a very convenient area–only about three miles away from CCRM, very near to to shopping, restaurants, parks, highways, etc. The current CCRM rate is $69.99/night for their standard room. With tax and everything, it works out to about $78/night.

Here is a view from the doorway:

When you step into the room, the kitchen area is directly to your right. It features a full-size refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, a stovetop with two burners, and plenty of cabinet space. In the cabinets are pots, pans, silverware, glasses, bowls, and plates:

The “living room” area features a desk, a decently comfortable couch, and a couple of small tables (plus a remote control for the TV and for the DVD player):

Directly across from the couch is the queen-sized bed. It is a little firmer than my bed at home, but it is still pretty comfortable:

The TV and DVD player are in the armoire (which features three drawers) on a stand that enables you to angle the TV toward the couch or the bed:

The hotel leaves a selection of pillows in the room. Here is the little placecard that was on the bed when I checked in:

Next to the bed is the little bathroom area.

Below is a nice-sized closet that can hold your luggage. It also holds hangers, a laundry basket, an ironing board, and an iron:

The vanity area has a few pull-out drawers for your toiletries, a good amount of counter space, and some complimentary toiletries:

The bathroom itself has not impressed me very much, honestly. It is poorly lit, has no ventilation fan, and the water pressure kinda sucks:

The air conditioning unit is next to the couch. You can adjust the room temperature as needed. From my experience, the room was colder during the day than it was at night, so I turned the thermostat way down before bed so I wouldn’t wake up hot. The A/C unit does kick on and off during the day and night, which can be a little distracting if you are trying to watch TV or are a light sleeper. I brought a small desk fan for noise continuity at night.

The windows open, and it’s been nice to have some fresh air:

On the refrigerator, there is a calendar with the month’s dinner menu. A complimentary dinner is provided Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday:

Last night I decided to partake in the night’s free dinner, which was Mexican food from a restaurant called Hacienda Colorado. The spread included a salad bar, tortillas, refried beans, ground beef, tortilla chips, and cheese dip, plus add-ons like cheese and sliced jalapenos. They also offered fountain drinks and water. I didn’t take a picture of any of this, but that is one example of the meals offered. Another example was a burgers and hot dogs spread. They also offer beer (which my husband decided to try–I think it was Killian’s) and wine, served by an attendant.

Every morning, the Staybridge offers a free breakfast. The buffet is set up in a little room by itself and features oatmeal (and toppings), bagels, toast, muffins, yogurt, milk, cereal, eggs, sausage or bacon, waffles, fresh fruit, etc. There are plenty of options for whatever kind of breakfast you prefer. They also offer coffee and juices to drink, and they supply both disposable plates/cutlery/cups as well as dishwasher-friendly. You can either eat in your room or in the dining area next to the buffet. 

This hotel offers free laundry, although you have to bring your own detergent. There are also little storage rooms available if you need extra storage.

Free wi-fi is also available in this hotel. I’ve had no problem whatsoever connecting on my laptop. There is a password needed to log in to their network, and you can just ask the front desk when you check in.

Other features on the hotel property are an outdoor pool, a courtyard with tables and chairs, an outdoor basketball court, and a nice sitting area with big TVs in the lobby.

Inside my room, I haven’t been disturbed by much noise. This is a pet-friendly hotel, so I have occasionally heard a dog bark, and I can hear people talking if they walk by my room. The desktop fan I turn on at night completely drowns out any noise while I sleep. I’ve stayed in hotels with paperthin walls before, and this hotel does not fall into that category at all.

Here is the cleaning policy:

Overall, I have no major complaints with this hotel. Especially considering the inexpensive price, the Staybridge is a great deal. It’s not the fanciest hotel, but it’s definitely nice enough!

Posted in Denver area, Hotels | 3 Comments »

Same Old Dose

Posted by auntiem10 on September 28, 2010

The call came a little late, but my nurse finally let me know that all of my doses will stay the same tonight and tomorrow. I had an appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning, but Dr. Surrey feels that I can take the day off and just come in Thursday morning. I was kinda hoping to be monitored daily from here on out, but I guess they have their reasons for letting me take a day off.  I still don’t know my estradiol level, but it must be rising appropriately since they haven’t adjusted my dose of Follistim. That is good news!

Tuesday and Wednesday: Synthroid, 2 vials Menopur, Antibiotic, Prenatal, 150 units Follistim, 5 units lupron, Antibiotic, Dexamethasone

Thursday I have monitoring at 8am, then my IVF physical while the hubby provides his fun back-up sample, and then we have our genetic counseling session. We should be out of there around 10:30 a.m. and can then go explore!

Today I went to the Park Meadows Mall. Wow, it’s a pretty upscale place! Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn (and Pottery Barn Kids), Crate + Barrel, Armani, Swarovski, etc. Inside it looks like a hunting lodge with skylights and wooden beams everywhere. I bought some fall decor from Crate + Barrel and some carry-along antibacterial soap from Bath & Body Works, and managed to control myself in all of the other stores. : ) This mall has a pet store (which I strongly oppose), and my heart dropped in my stomach to see all those puppies. : ( It has been VERY hot here today, so the best place to hang out was definitely inside. One funny thing: I grabbed a sandwich at the mall’s food court, and they gave me one of those little round discs that vibrated when my order was ready! The mall in my own metropolitan area is considerably less ritzy. : )

Posted in Denver area, Dosage instructions, IVF Take Two | 2 Comments »

On the Sixth Day of Stimming

Posted by auntiem10 on September 28, 2010

I went back to CCRM this morning for my second follicle scan and blood draw. The clinic seemed VERY busy today! The personnel were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The u/s tech saw 12 follicles on my left ovary and at least 11 on my right ovary. Of those, she thinks at least five will definitely be mature on the left, and 11 on the right. She was quick to remind me, though, that more follicles could still catch up as the stimming continues. The largest follicles were 15 and 16mm.

Then I had my blood drawn and am waiting to hear my dosage instructions later today. I also randomly met and chatted with an online friend in the lobby! (Hi, Jen!) : )

My hubby flies in tomorrow! It’s been a little bit neat to just have alone time, but at this point I’m ready for him to get here. The big plans we have so far include a tour of the Denver Mint, a trip to d Bar Desserts for their infamous “Cake and Shake” (we’ve seen every episode of Food Network Challenge, and one of the judges {Keegan Gerhard} owns this establishment), a trip to Rocky Mountain State Park, and probably another trip to the Garden of the Gods. We’ll be taking plenty of pictures, so stay tuned if you want to see more of the Denver area!

Posted in Denver area, Follicle Scans, IVF Take Two, Testing | 4 Comments »

Eggmaker

Posted by auntiem10 on September 26, 2010

This morning I dragged myself out of bed (it’s amazing how wiped out one can be after a long drive) and headed to CCRM for my first follicle scan and bloodwork.

I snuck in my camera and snapped a couple of photos…

Here is one angle of one of the monitoring rooms.

Directly across from the bed is a TV monitor on which you can see everything on the u/s screen.

Here is a quick photo of one of the little consultation rooms in the main hallway, where you meet with your nurse to discuss your cycle.

My follicle scan went really well. The u/s tech saw about 19 eggs this morning!!! I can’t believe it, since I haven’t been feeling much of anything in that region. She measured the largest eight follicles, all of which are 9 or 10mm. She told me that is a little ahead of schedule; they would normally expect the lead follicles to be about 8mm by the fourth day of stimming. The other 11 follicles were smaller and weren’t measured, but they could still stimulate and catch up. My antral follicle count was 19-21 in April at our ODWU, so these results are right in line with what I expected. The nurse cautioned me to drink tons of water because she thinks I may overstim, so that is something we will have to watch.

After my u/s, I had my blood drawn. I won’t receive those results until later this afternoon or early this evening. The nurse said she doesn’t expect any of my dosages to change, so we will see how it pans out.

I picked up a few things at the grocery store and am now back at the hotel. I’m not sure what I’m going to do today. There’s not a cloud in the sky and the high is 88 degrees, so I may find a park and wander around. I also might sit by the pool and read one of the many magazines I brought, or drive to Barnes & Noble to find a book. Tomorrow I am meeting a fellow CCRMer for lunch, and I’m excited for that! : )

On the way back to the hotel, I snapped a few pics of the mountains while stopping at stop lights. They are so pretty!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area, Follicle Scans, IVF Take Two | 7 Comments »

Nine Hours Later

Posted by auntiem10 on September 25, 2010

Here I am in Denver! Whew, what a day. My DH and I woke up early to meet with one of the petsitters who will be staying at our house next week. Then we went out for a good breakfast before I hit the road. I left my house at 10:00 a.m. and arrived in Denver at 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. Mountain Time) I stopped twice along the way to refuel my car and grab a quick lunch during my 599.8-mile drive, but I estimate I drove 8 hours and 40 minutes total (excluding breaks). I woke up this morning in one of the flattest parts of the country, and I will go to bed tonight with the Rocky Mountains hovering in the distance! Pretty neat.

Interesting things I saw along the way: An Oz museum (perfect destination for “Auntie Em,” right?)… a Greyhound Hall of Fame (not at all a fan of dog racing, but I just found this to be really random)… the first section of interstate built in the country. An 1887 opera house. A farm inviting passers-by to see a 6-legged steer and the world’s largest prairie dog. And a whole lotta flat land! When the Rocky Mountains finally appeared in the distance (hazy, but visible), they took my breath away. So beautiful!

I’m staying at the Staybridge Park Meadows. It is nice enough! I am planning to take some photos and write a review for future reference, but it will have to wait until my brain is functioning a little better. It appears to be in a nice area with plenty of businesses nearby, but I’ll wander around and learn more in the coming days. Hopefully it will help those who find my blog in the future.

Tomorrow at 8:15 a.m. is my first follicle scan and bloodwork. Last year, during IVF #1, I could feel my ovaries “brewing” within the first few days of stims. This time, I’m not sure if I feel anything yet. That makes me a little nervous that few eggs are growing, but I know that my current protocol (standard lupron) is a lot less aggressive than my last protocol (microdose lupron). All along I felt that my previous RE fried my eggs by having me stim too quickly and aggressively on MDL, so maybe I should take it as a positive sign that I’m not feeling much yet! Slow and steady wins the race, right? I just hope there is some activity going on in there! I won’t really believe it until I see those beautiful circles on the ultrasound screen.

More tomorrow! Thanks for following along with me on this journey! : )

Posted in Denver area, IVF Take Two | 4 Comments »

Denver Pics!

Posted by auntiem10 on April 20, 2010

Our trip was kind of a whirlwind, and we didn’t quite capture all that we wanted on camera, but we did our best!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area | 1 Comment »

The Sites

Posted by auntiem10 on April 19, 2010

Upon flying into Denver International Airport, fog/snow rendered the Rocky Mountains completely invisible. Lucky for us, Mother Nature decided to cooperate and make our first trip to Denver a beautiful one. The temperature skyrocketed, the sun warmed the ground, and it felt like spring even before we left CCRM. Dr. Surrey joked that we brought spring weather with us!

Our stay in Denver was very short, so we had only one full day to enjoy some sightseeing. We hadn’t made many plans and decided to just fly by the seats of our pants. : ) Since the weather was so gorgeous, we really wanted to be outside, so we hopped into our rental Cobalt and headed toward the mountains.

About the mountains… they are BREATHTAKING. I was blown away by their beauty and by the natural wonders on this earth. I live in arguably one of the flattest areas in the country and was in Denver for the first time in my life, so I thought the mountains were absolutely incredible! I think the beauty of nature is what left the biggest impression on me when thinking back on our time in Denver. It seems like a magical place (hopefully with magical doctors!). : )

Garden of the Gods

Our first sightseeing stop was at the Garden of the Gods. In my head, I was picturing flowerbeds and carefully manicured grass. Wow, was I wrong! The Garden of the Gods is a grouping of 300′ tall sandstone towers and formations, near the gorgeous snow-capped Pike’s Peak. This place is totally au naturale, with not a single greenhouse in sight. We parked near a 1-mile walking trail (which is shaped in a circle so you can’t get lost) and found ourselves oohing and aahing over the wonder of nature. The scenery was almost too beautiful for words, and I’m sure my clumsy paragraph isn’t gonna cut it. I will post photos in my next blog entry!

Additional notes about the Garden of the Gods: entry is free (always good for any couple preparing to shell out $20K!); there are restrooms at the base of the 1-mile trail; its location is 51 miles south of CCRM; the official website is http://www.gardenofgods.com/.

Historic Manitou Springs

Next we moved on to historic Manitou Springs, Colorado. This cute little community is only about 10 minutes from the Garden of the Gods, and it features a great downtown area. We parked for free on the street and spent a few hours walking around. There is a glassblowing shop in which you can watch from behind a window as glass figurines are made, which we really liked. We found a huge penny arcade and spent a lot of time in there. We played Skee-ball and played all sorts of antique games. We are kind of juveniles, but it was really fun! : ) We ate an overpriced lunch at Patsy’s and then enjoyed some awesome ice cream at Josh & John’s.

Royal Gorge

It was only midafternoon when we finished amusing ourselves with the penny arcade, so we decided to drive to the Royal Gorge. Our GPS device indicated that it was less than an hour away from Manitou Springs, so we thought it would be a perfect destination. However, for some reason our drive took about 90 minutes! It was very scenic, don’t get me wrong, but by the time we arrived at the Gorge, it was 3:00.

We approached the admissions gate and were surprised to see that the admission fee is $24/person! To make matters worse, a sign clearly stated that most of the attractions ended at 4:30. For anyone who may not already know (like us), the Royal Gorge is actually a park. It is huge and probably takes an entire day to navigate through. There is a petting zoo, horseback/burro/mule rides, a wildlife park, etc. Given the fact that we would have had only 90 minutes to explore before the attractions closed, we opted not to pay the $24/person entry fee; instead, we took a few pictures of the Gorge from the parking lot, and then headed back to Englewood. Oh well, it was still a beautiful, scenic drive around the mountains!

Additional notes about the Royal Gorge: Parking is free; admission is 1/2 off with one paid admission; official website is http://www.royalgorgebridge.com.

Stay tuned for photos from our short trip, to be posted this evening!

Posted in Denver area | 1 Comment »

The Digs…

Posted by auntiem10 on April 16, 2010

While in the Denver area for our One Day Work-Up (ODWU), we stayed at the Residence Inn Denver South/Park Meadows Mall. We acquired our reservation after trying the “Name Your Own Price” feature on Priceline, selecting the Denver Tech Center area, and specifying a 3-star hotel. We were thrilled when our $45 bid was accepted!

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. The lobby features a fireplace and a nice den-like setting. Our room featured a kitchenette, living room area, and a separate bedroom. The kitchenette was fully equipped with a refrigerator/freezer, stove, microwave, pots and pans, utensils, a table, etc. One bag of complimentary microwave popcorn is on the table. The queen bed was very comfortable. Both the living room area and the bedroom had televisions, which is nice. The bathroom was decent-sized, and we had hot water every time we showered. Shampoo, conditioner, and facial soap are provided. Also, we were happy that there were nice blackout curtains on all the windows. Our room faced east, and it was very sunny in Denver during our stay. The hotel was very quiet, which made us happy. Just a few weeks ago while in a different city, we had to purchase earplugs at midnight because the hotel at which we stayed had such thin walls!

On Wednesday nights, this hotel offers a complimentary dinner in the lobby. When we were there, they were serving pulled pork and beans. There is a monthly calendar on the fridge in each room detailing the events.

Each morning, a complimentary hot breakfast is served. They have a station set up for breakfast burritos, with tortillas, salsa or cheese, scrambled eggs, jalapenos, sausage, potatoes, etc. There is a waffle maker, cereal, muffins and bagels, and a fruit and yogurt station. We took advantage of the free breakfast, and the food was good. There is also a pantry area in the lobby where you can pay for snacks any time of the day or night, although it is pretty pricey. I bought a bottle of water for $3. There are also a couple of vending machines located on the way to the elevator.

There is a small patio area located just off the lobby with a few tables and chairs, as well as a nice grill. My hubby is very into grilling, so he was excited to see that. I could see us grilling out on a nice day while we are in town for our IVF cycle later this summer.

This hotel is located only about 5 minutes from CCRM and is just a few minutes from the Park Meadows Mall. We didn’t go to the mall, but it looked nice and I plan to wander around inside during our next stay. The area appeared very safe, and the hotel was kind of tucked back in a little business area.

The only bad thing I would say about this hotel was that the pool was out of service during our stay. We wouldn’t have used it anyway, but that may be a detracting factor for families with children or those who enjoy swimming. You may want to call ahead to see if the pool has been repaired, if you are planning to stay here and a pool is a priority.

This hotel also has an awesome pet policy. They only charge a $100 (non-refundable) flat fee per two dogs! At other hotels, we have seen charges upwards of $250 per animal. We are waffling back and forth over whether to bring our two spoiled pooches for our cycle, or leave them at home with a petsitter, so we were happy to know that bringing them would be pretty affordable.

We would definitely stay here again for our cycle. If we bring our dogs, we will probably just book it directly. If not, we would try the “Name Your Own Price” feature again, and hope we get the same great results!

Tripadvisor reviews for this hotel: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g33412-d223895-Reviews-Residence_Inn_Denver_South_Park_Meadows_Mall-Englewood_Colorado.html

Posted in Denver area, Hotels | 1 Comment »

During our free time… The Food

Posted by auntiem10 on April 15, 2010

After the One Day Work-Up ended last week, we were starving. All we had eaten that day were a few nervous nibbles of a muffin at the airport and two bags of airline peanuts.

** CCRM apparently has a cart on the premises where someone sells snack-type foods and we would have taken advantage of that, but we never had that much free time between appointments!

We left CCRM, intending to go straight to a restaurant and satisfy our angry bellies, but cuss words ensued when we realized our rental car’s battery was inexplicably dead. We had to call Budget, and they sent a repairman to the CCRM parking lot to jumpstart the rental Cobalt. The repairman was nowhere near Lone Tree, so we sat for 30 minutes and attempted to ignore our growling bellies until he arrived. He recharged the battery pretty quickly, and we were out of there!

Recommended Food

We enjoyed a few great restaurants while in the Denver area, and I wanted to recommend them.

Maggiano’s Little Italy (Englewood)This restaurant was recommended by our nurse, Dawn, and one location is 10 minutes from CCRM. This was our first post-CCRM stop. Lucky for us, it was happy hour, so we sat in the bar and enjoyed a few adult beverages and talked about our day.
Website: http://www.maggianos.com/
Highlights: The complimentary bread (served with a plate of olive oil), the stuffed mushrooms, and the chicken-and-spinach manicotti with to-die-for cream sauce (which we shared because the portions are huge!)

Taste of Thailand (Englewood)–We love Thai food (our Boston terrier Lulu is named after our favorite local Thai restaurant), so we decided to search online for a recommended Thai restaurant in the area. By searching Google, we settled on Taste of Thailand. On the outside, it looks like kind of a dive. However, the food was absolutely delicious!
Website: http://www.tasteofthailand.net/
Highlights: I had Kow Pad Kra Prow, which was an awesome fried rice. K ordered Pad Kee Mao, and he loved it. I ordered mine medium, and the spice made my eyes water! We loved it and will definitely return during our cycle!

Josh and John’s (Manitou Springs)–We decided to just have a free-for-all with junk food during our quick visit to the Denver area, so we sought out great ice cream. While roaming around downtown historic Manitou Springs, we noticed a store that proclaimed to have the best ice cream in the area (as voted by residents).
Website: http://www.joshandjohns.com/
Highlights: K ordered the flavor “Rocky Mountain Road,” and I ordered the flavor “Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.” You can sample a flavor on a small spoon before making your big decision, which is nice. When I tasted mine, I felt like I had died and gone to Heaven. : ) Yum! K’s was also very good.

Not Recommended Food

Patsy’s Candies (Manitou Springs)–I can’t speak for this store’s candy since we didn’t buy any, but I can say that the food we ordered for lunch was not worth the price.
Website: http://www.patsyscandies.com/
Lowlights: We each ordered a cheeseburger, and we decided to share an order of fries. The fries were decent-tasting, but the cheeseburgers tasted like they had been cooked at some earlier point in time, and then reheated in a microwave. There was no seasoning, and the cheese was just a slice of American slapped on and not melted. When we asked for condiments, the woman behind the counter would only give us 1 packet of ketchup and 1 packet of mayo.

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In my next post, I will talk about our lodging! Stay tuned…

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