Monday, June 10, 2013

Denver 2012: Day 2

July 4th 2012

Thanx to jet lag and general vacation excitement, we all arose quite early for our first full day in Colorado. Thanx to Anabelle’s insistence on waiting until I poured milk over my cheerios to tell me she wanted an omelet for breakfast, I had soggy cereal once again.

We walked over and around the lake at a much more leisurely pace this time. It led to a playground where Anabelle battled and defeated her fear of spinning, and worked on her fear of climbing things. The fact that the things she tried to climb were fabricated out of extremely hot, sun baked plastic did not aid in the battle much.

The battle was called on account of two freakishly large elk stags that wandered down from the mountains into the park. To us Easterners, they looked like deer who failed the Olympic drug tests. We watched the impressive beasts for quite a while. At one point a group of skateboard kids went to look at them close up, by surrounding them. Fortunately for the kids, but unfortunately for us viewers, a passing adult informed them it might be a good idea to leave the mighty antlered ones an escape route in case they felt the need to charge.

With the possibility of seeing a thick headed youth trampled by panicked wildlife greatly diminished, we strolled the path that took us back home. On the way were some excessively rude red winged magpies in a small marshy area. They would perch, stone still, atop a cattail, making all sorts of, “Check me out!” noises, until I got close enough to focus my Smartphone camera on them. At that point, they would fly away laughing.

At home we had lunch, and then I demonstrated that I perhaps had not fully acclimated to the travel and time shift yet.

I lay on the floor to do sit ups...and fell asleep.
I sat with Rosa to figure out what we wanted to do…and fell asleep.
I was playing a game with Anabelle…and she smacked me because she couldn’t concentrate over my snoring.

Therefore before heading to Titi LuzMa’s friends’ home for a Fourth of July barbecue, we picked up a double case of Diet Mountain Dew, assuring my alertness for the remainder of the vacation, and a long and headachy weaning process on my return to New Jersey.

Anabelle was happy to see her friend Carly again, and they spent most of the night bouncing around on the trampoline. They were interrupted occasionally by her brother Justin, or her parents hopping in for one of the many games they’ve come up with in there. Amazingly, although their family was very completive, very outdoorsy, and very Catholic, we got along very well together. (Also amazingly, I suppose, is that I didn’t spontaneously combust when I entered their house.)

Dinner was my first Colorado Buffalo burger, and far from my last. Starting with home cooked ones was a great treat. While red meat, it is excessively lean, healthy, and both local and fresh out there. It served as a perfect, “I’m on vacation” food, while still being a viable choice for my needed diet.

They were concerned that the air quality was poor that day, due to recent wildfires. Having flown out of Newark just over twenty four hours previously, we were very puzzled by their statement as we breathed the freshest air we’d smelled in a year.

I was able to make a large contribution to their family gaming ability. We were talking about video games, and Justin and I ended up playing their Atari 2600 emulator for a while before dinner. It had a skajillion games built in, but the family didn’t have any experience with the vintage original. I felt very proud introducing him to the “select” button, expanding their game repertoire almost exponentially.

Due to the drought and an insane amount of wildfires, fireworks were completely illegal. While odd for them, it was the norm for us. They picked up a box of “streamer popper” type items. We shot them off while I juggled to have a semi traditional end to the evening. It turns out we got a big explosive finale after all, though.

As we finished the last popper, the sprinklers went off, leading to much holiday appropriate running and screaming.

Carly gave Anabelle a sizeable Barbie Hand-Me-Download, and after much thanks for a wonderful evening, we drove home to utterly collapse.

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