July 15th 2012
Rising on all of our parts was once more slow and reluctant following the unplanned excesses of the previous day. Rosa and her sister were going to climb the 573 steps of the Mother Cabrini shrine and tomb, and then share an early and/or late birthday lunch together at El Rancho.
This left us to have an Anabelle and Daddy day shortly before my leaving. Our first stop was the swimming pool. Since the chlorinated water gave her ear issues the previous year, she was using ear plugs. The issue they caused this year was completely destroying her ability to hear the two kids she met and was playing with. In fact she didn’t even know she was playing Superheroes with them until I told her a couple of days later. We returned and dried off just as the ladies were leaving on their adventure. We’d get the occasional out of breath text message or photo (of steps, candles, cows, whatever) to show their progress.
Since it was only the two of us in the car, Anabelle cranked the Alice Cooper playlist and we rocked out as we drove the Impala to Fun City. As a “Weird Al” Fan, I insisted on calling it the “Fun Zone.” Although she is also a “Weird Al” Fan, she is also a very literal minded and accuracy oriented child, and insisted on vehemently correcting me whenever I called it that.
We got our pass cards and started out at the mini-golf. Anabelle had a much more difficult round than usual. This was primarily because another father was having a day out with his free range children. They were all over the course, choosing holes seemingly at random, and playing through, across, and in some cases over our shots.
Then, we went to the arcade for a bit. The passes we bought allowed unlimited free plays on non ticket games. Therefore the token machine was required to play some of the ticket games first. Anabelle’s skill with the Chameleon Tongue Game was still evident. She also got a couple of lucky drops in roulette type games scoring a hundred and seventy five tickets in two separate drops.
Sadly, they were smart enough not to let two credits be charged off one card, meaning we couldn’t play each other. She had a fun time playing some driving games, but mostly games involving shooting or punching.
That’s my girl.
Her second round of golf, unencumbered by children raised without the ability to notice numerical order or other humans, went much calmer and better. She netted two holes in one!
It was past lunch time by this point. In order to speed up our planned “picnic in the park” we figured take out from the Fun City bowling alley restaurant would help…
Yeah, that worked.
After confirming about sixteen different times that we were in a hurry, and the only way we could order was “to go” the food took forever to come. They were incapable of making a hot dog and not making French Fries, without violating some law of physics…or potatoes…or something. Anabelle’s milk, which showed up at the half way wait point, was sour. When the food finally arrived my order had both cheese and fries with it, which it shouldn’t have, and there was no lid or spoon accompanying the extra delayed arrival of the side of black beans I was supposed to get, causing me to dump some in the trash to prevent spillage in the car. I eventually had to consume it as if it was a “Bean Shooter.”
Anabelle told the story of our order to anyone who would listen, punctuating it with, “Don’t you people serve food for a living?”
The GPS was in one of its usual snits, and made up various locations for parks that didn’t correspond to anything visually park like. Luckily, I kept my brain about me, figured out where the playground we saw the elks at was, and drove to it when we passed home.
Therefore, while my wife was enjoying legendary and authentic local game cooking in a famous and renowned restaurant, I ate incorrectly made and slightly cold bowling alley food. However, since I was sharing a picnic alone with my daughter, clearly, I had the FAR better lunch experience.
She pretty much had the playground to herself, as the recent unusual rainy season caused a bit of wind to scare all the locals away. After some fun, and more confident climbing and spinning, we had to get back home to meet up with the others in time for church.
Titi LuzMa had gone on ahead of us, because she had to be there early, as she signed up for Adoration. I must have been sick that day in CCD, because I had to ask what Adoration was. Yet another example of my being an excellent Catholic role model for my daughter, exactly like later that afternoon when I saw the statue of Christ with his arms extended in a blessing and asked Anabelle:
“Why is Jesus signaling for a touchdown?”
We cleaned up, dressed, piled into the Impala, and got to church early…
IT’S A MIRACLE!
Before Mass started, this younger and more closely interpersonal congregation than I’m used to had a whole beginning section of greetings, community news and open armed welcoming of out-of-towners. I’ll make absolutely sure we arrive after Introductory Rites on our next Denver vacation.
We split up again following Mass. Anabelle and I stopped off in the heavily advertised Church gift shop and I bought her a bookmark and an angel to leave Rosa when I flew out. The women went to the supermarket for some dinner supplies while Anabelle and I hit the wine warehouse. We saw a mint condition Bronco, the same color scheme as mine was, but one year later (the Bronco’s final year) in the parking lot. I was able to show Anabelle what Daddy used to tool around in. The owner came out and chatted to us a bit as well. I think my daughter was even more impressed that Mami had to learn to drive in the beastie.
We replaced the bottle of El Castillo Del Diablo I had been drinking over the vacation, and also bought Titi LuzMa a bottle of Fuego, a weirdly fruit and pepper flavored Spanish wine with a kick that she liked when visiting our home.
Dinner was the side fixings they bought at the supermarket, along with leftover Chipotle’ and Three Margaritas chicken. We had a little Baileys in our coffee to celebrate our calmer than normal day, and someone also accidentally drank the unmarked bottle of Holy Water from the shrine, prompting a return visit after I went home. Surprisingly, those two drinking items were not a cause and effect.
Titi LuzMa had work the next day, and turned in while the three of us watched the Edward Norton Hulk on my computer, to continue Anabelle’s catching up on her Marvel heroes after loving The Avengers.
Based on constantly saying,”The next time we go to Garden of the Gods we should…” about a million times over the weekend, we made the decision to have my last full day in Colorado with my family feature a return visit.
Oh, that's why they HAD to go that day.