We were on Cloud 9 for an afternoon. Boulder-based Cloud 9 Living specializes in creating memorable experiences. They bill themselves as a “gift company.” But I’m betting more than a few people indulge themselves. The company invited us to pick any of their offerings as their guests. Their website says, “With experiences ranging from thrilling and adventurous to relaxing and cultural, we truly have something for every taste and every budget.” And they do. We were heading to Denver, one of the 43 cities they serve and I clicked on that city. The page had things like Stock Car Ride Along, Scenic Glider Ride, Learning to Fly, Zipline Adventure and more (they offer over 1,700 experiences starting at $50 per person). Just reading these adventures made my adrenalin flow. I was about to say, thanks but no thanks. But then, my eyes alit on this: Top Restaurant Tour. Sold!
Cloud 9 arranged a tour for us with Denver’s Culinary Connectors. Cloud 9’s booking process went smoothly. I was impressed that they asked if we were asked if we had any food issues. I do and they were graciously accommodated. The reservations was made, we received a confirmation number and contact info for Culinary Connectors. We were told that we’d get an email a few days from Culinary Connectors a few days before our tour with our itinerary and instructions for meeting the van. The only glitch we encountered in the entire process was an email issue. We didn’t get it. When I phoned Becky Creighton, CC’s owner, she solved it right away. She gave me the info I needed over the phone and we did finally get the email. She was great to work with. She has over 80 restaurants in her repertoire so if you have a great time, and I’m betting you will, you can do it again and again.
On the day of the tour, we met the van at the JW Marriott Hotel in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood. We were told that if we weren’t there on time, to meet the group at our first stop. All six of us arrived on time and our delightful guide Rebecca, a nutritionist with a Masters in Food Culture got us boarded and on our way right on schedule. Besides Steve and I there were two sisters celebrating a landmark birthday for the younger and an unmarried couple who had dated in high school and reconnected. Everyone but us was local. As the afternoon progressed a number of connections were discovered. The first stop we were at two tables and it was a bit awkward. The ice was really broken around a round table at stop two and by our last stop it was like we were out on the town with friends.
I could recount each stop in great detail, but with so many restaurants in Culinary Connector’s repertory, you most likely will be visiting others, so…. What’s important to know is you’ll visit three carefully selected restaurants on the three-hour tour, you’ll receive VIP treatment at all your stops and that sometimes the restaurant isn’t open for business during the tour and you’ll be their only guests. The afternoon is crafted to create a memorable experience and it did.
If you’re a foodie or have one on your gift list, you or they will love this tour. If you’re not, it’s still great fun; like going to an intimate party and discovering that you really like these total strangers. It’s a great way for visitors to a city to learn about top restaurants and for local people to have a day on the town. When we left the last stop, pleasantly full with wonderful flavors to remember, we all hugged good-bye. As promise, it was memorable experience and we were indeed on Cloud 9.
Author’s note: While we were Cloud 9’s guests for our Denver dining experience with Culinary Connectiors. The tour company had no idea we’d be writing about them and we had a totally authentic experience.