Denver is known to be a really nice place, and we were looking forward to it, Public transportation was supposed to be good around Denver, with fancy new commuter trains that went pretty much everywhere you would want to visit, and so, in an attempt to avoid the whole parking in a big city thing, we parked outside of town and rode the train in. Once on the train, we noticed the signs advertising that some of the stops were closed for the weekend. Now, this was not highlighted on the website, which we had addressed prior to parking. Basically, all the stops between the last commuter stop and the downtown area were closed and they were shuttling people in by bus, which would have been fine had they known what they were doing or stopped at all the stops that the train normally stops at. Instead, we ended up in the one bad neighborhood of Denver (I'm assuming) on a shuttle bus with our 2 year old, being driving by a lady that continually was consulting a paper with directions on it. Apparantely, since she had no clue what she was doing or where she was going, she only was stopping at the end of the line which was well past the football stadium we had planned to visit. But, rather than try to argue with her or try to get her to bring us there, we got off that bus as fast as we could as being driven around by someone holding up a tattered piece of paper with "left, left, right" written on it was not our cup of tea.
Now at Union Station, with no hope of getting to the stadium, we noticed the free bus which takes you up and down Denver's main downtown shopping area called the mall. It is almost three miles long and has a nice boulevard with cute little cafes, so the free bus seemed like a good idea. Seemed is the operative word here as on that bus I felt more uncomfortable than I ever have on any form of public transportation. That includes Naples and New York, mind you. Some creepy guy (obviously homeless) came up to us and started talking about how our daughter looked like his niece, then he started asking about James' iPhone, at which point I just prayed that James would put it away. (He was trying to figure out where in the world we were going) As more hobos joined the free bus, I just started mumbling to James that I HAD to get of that bus NOW!
Safely off the bus, we saw an oasis across the street (a Chilis) and enjoyed a breather and dessert before just deciding to give it up and head back to our car (which we had to take another crowded, uncomfortable shuttle back to the train, then back to the car) We spent the rest of the afternoon driving through the mountains and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
But, once again, other that New York, America doesn't work for public transportation/walking. Even in a place that is known for being nice. I completely don't understand why you would shut down major train stations in the height of the summer, traditionally known to be tourist season on the weekends, which is when many people would be attempting to do tourist stuff. Sorry, Denver. Somehow, I still prefer Naples.