Mile-High Adventure

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I regularly attend conferences, so I can be updated on the latest practice trends, new researches and studies, breakthrough treatments, and recent technologies.

In these meetings, I have the chance to meet and listen to very smart people. But in the same time, it gives me the feeling of how inadequate and ignorant I am compared to them.

ATS (American Thoracic Society)

This conventions also give me the opportunity to travel and see other places. This year brought me to Denver, Colorado.


Denver is also known as the Mile-High City, for the obvious reason that it has an elevation of 5,278 feet above the sea level, or about 1 mile. It was the capital and the most populous municipality in the state of Colorado. It was founded in 1858 as a mining town during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush.

Since the school is out, I brought my whole family along with me. It was a business and a leisure trip, at the same time. We also have some really good friends that lives near Denver, so we had the chance to visit with them.

We stayed in an old hotel, and I mean really old. The hotel was built in 1892. Stepping inside is like going back in time.

Atrium of the Brown Palace Hotel

This hotel also pride itself that every U.S. president has visited it since Teddy Roosevelt (1905), with the exception of Calvin Coolidge. Now they can add that Pinoytransplant was a guest of them too!


Back to the conference, the meeting was a 6-day affair and was held in Colorado Convention Center. This center is unofficially known as the Big Blue Bear Convention Center. Why?


Here’s why.


This art piece is a 40-foot steel sculpture and officially called “I See What You Mean.”


The big blue bear peeks at the lobby of the convention center. Now I see what they mean!


Besides very smart people, I also met this fellow.


This is what they do to you if you sleep in the meeting. Just kidding!

It is not a real cadaver but a synthetic one. It is called “syndaver.” I met him in the post-graduate course I attended, where we placed catheters on him to learn ECMO*.

I walked from the hotel to the convention center, as it was just a few blocks away. Here are some photos I took on my daily walk.




There are even pianos in the middle of the street that anybody can play. My daughter found it irresistible not to tinker with.


Our friends brought us to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This is where I met big creatures.



Their current special exhibition is about mythic creatures. So I encountered a dragon…..


And a unicorn. For real!


The only downside on our visit to Denver was that during our stay there the weather was not so cooperative. It was raining 5 out of the 7 days we were there. It was even snowing in the mountains.

But on the day it was not raining, we escaped into the mountains.


We drove to the Rocky Mountain National Park, which was about an hour and a half drive from Denver.


Since it still has deep snow on the top of the mountain, we were not able to reach the peak, due to road closure.


But the trip was worth it. We even spotted a young grizzly bear.


For sure, it was a mile-high experience for us. I hope you enjoy the photos of our trip. And speaking of photos, though I am not fond of taking selfie, I cannot resist this.

Here’s my very hot selfie!

Infrared photo (thermal imaging). Taken at Denver museum.

From Denver,



* ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation): a technique to deliver both cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life.

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