Doubled Down Out West
Rocky Mountain Hiatus
July 3, 2012
Having learned the previous year that the Denver area contained far more to offer than we originally thought, a double sized vacation was planned. All of us would be there the first two weeks, while my family would remain for two more while I came home and returned to work.
Our nephew was gracious enough to pop into the world a little early, allowing us to visit him, and the rest of my sister’s family in the hospital the night before we left. We ate at a diner, both to prevent the creation of any new garbage, and to drop the small bag of trash we already had in a random and unsuspecting public can, instead of letting it ferment in my garage for almost a month.
Some final luggaging was the order of business before a late bedtime, followed all too quickly by an early awakening to load up the limo for the trip to Newark Airport. Early flights are the best (once you stagger into the airport that is) and we had a quick and easy check in, gate arrival and boarding, with time enough to snack a bit while waiting.
The flight was mostly uneventful. We brought Dramamine for the trip because the previous year we learned Anabelle gets both car and altitude sick on occasion, and food intake suggestions that help one accelerate the other. We wondered in flight why she never got air sick. That is, until somewhere over the Midwest when we discovered it was due to her never being in buffeting turbulence while eating pizza goldfish before. The Dramamine wasn’t quite on time, but she made it to the bathroom and then was fine for the rest of the flight.
This is mostly because excited kids are darn near indestructible.
Rosa and Anabelle each picked something to watch or play on their personal screens. I started trying the Mummy game I briefly attempted on our last Disney vacation flight. After finally solving the entire pyramid, the game informed me I had finished one of FOURTEEN pyramids. As the flight was not scheduled to reach Denver after a side trip to the Andromeda Galaxy, I shut off the game and read my George Burns book for the remainder of the flight.
Landing brought the chaos of luggage retrieval, phone tag and wandering that usually occurs, until we were stable, settled and on our way to Titi LuzMa’s car. One of the first vehicles we saw driving down Interstate 70 back to the greater Denver area (from the “Middle of Nowhere Area” they store the airport at) was a Stanley Steamer truck. Dad was watching us once again.
On this first drive we realized Anabelle’s “spot the license plate” game would be both easier and harder:
Easier due to the large amount of tourism Colorado attracts from all over the nation.
Harder due to the INSANE amount of Colorado license plates there are…a veritable rainbow of colors celebrating schools, animals, professions, and some, I think, that acted as mood rings.
Following the trip and time change we were suitably starving, causing us to choose fast, safe and relatively healthy for lunch over adventurous and local. Subway take out accompanied us back to Titi LuzMa’s. I managed to fall asleep on my face reading while Rosa started unpacking, followed by walking directly into a wall at bone jarring speed shortly thereafter. Rosa was equally awake, losing the key to one suitcase which was stealthily hidden…
Out in the open in the middle of the bed.
We piled into Titi LuzMa’s car to hit the local GINORMOUS Wal-Mart for a supply run. By the point we finished navigating the monstrous store, we were crazy hungry yet again, and following a brief stop to dump off the refrigerated items, sampled a Three Margaritas Mexican restaurant.
While a chain, it is only in Colorado. (Although there is a sister chain near Seattle for some family traveling reason I am not privy to.) This is very sad as it quickly became all three of our favorite Mexican restaurant in the world during our stay.
I initially thought of having a beer with dinner to kick off my vacation, but decided to show resolve, strength and will power. Then I walked Anabelle to the rest room and learned I was in the first place I’d ever visited with Negro Modelo on tap. The whole resolve, strength and will power thing went straight down the toilet and I returned to the table with both a Marvel toy from a vending machine for my daughter and a dark and frothy pint for myself.
Returning home (“Wherever you stay on vacation is home.” – Anabelle) we organized the food and some of our stuff. Following the clean-up, we walked to a nearby lake at sunset which afforded us our first impressive Colorado scenery views, as well as our first views of plants that looked remarkably like the ones the spores shot out of causing Spock to hang upside down in a tree, fool around with Jill Ireland, and tell the Captain, “I didn’t want to, Jim.”
Shortly after walking back, I fell asleep again somewhere. The night’s kind of a blur of exhaustion. Anabelle slept with Titi LuzMa when she was off from work. I read her a story before she spent the night stealing covers. Rosa and I went downstairs for something before retiring, but I was zonked enough that the collections of letters in my notes do not resemble words in any recognizable language.