Monday, August 29, 2022

Denver 2022 day 1: May 4- The Ugly Monkey Revealed

Anabelle completed her first year at Villanova. (Stellarly! Woo!)
Due to having projects and papers instead of final exams, even though her tests and classes finished the previous week, we went to pick her up after work Monday night.
That left one day of feverish packing and very little sleep before waking up at Stupid o’clock in the morning for the flight to Denver on Wednesday morning.

Some day we will start a vacation not totally exhausted.
This was not that day.
The rain was at “cold and annoying” level, but far below “screw up the flight” level. The early flight anywhere out of Newark is always the best, because there is less time for multiple little Newark things to go wrong and cascade.
Thanks to the large number of available ways to shorten check in, those of us who hadn’t used any of them were shunted back down the stairs and around the airport a bit once our baggage went in the little conveyor belt hidey hole. 
(That may not be it’s official name.)
Anabelle and I picked the security line with the broken carry on belt, due to our magnificent selection abilities, giving Rosa the time to make it all the way to the gate, and possibly Denver, if she chose to abandon us.
The gate was one of the downstairs ones, and we were certain it was for our flight as a perfect specimen of “Colorado Guy” was napping on the ground between rows of seats with his long hair, big green backpack and flip flops.
For reasons I am unlikely to have justification for, the Wiggles' Dorothy the Dinosaur’s name spelling song was stuck in my head for the entire day. Feel free to hum along for the rest of the story to share the experience.
We were very fortunate that there were two entry lanes for the plane. This is because there was a woman with a stack of luggage nearly her own height trying to angrily explain to the attendant how she could fit them all in and around her seat. I believe the idea involved the rest of us giving up our luggage and sitting privileges.
The massive amount of room on my last flight before this (to Sweden, no doubt being responsible for the world shutting down) had spoiled me. The flying school bus we were on brought me back to reality. The person in front of me leaned his seat back, making me glad there was no video screen available on the seats, since it would have been at my navel. 

The guy behind us made friends with his neighbor and had loud salesman talks at him the whole trip. Fun.
Rosa kinda slept on the flight. She couldn’t a lot of the way as Anabelle had fallen asleep with her face in Rosa’s hand, preventing Rosa from relaxing for fear of dropping her daughter’s head on the tray table.
I went back to my old airplane tradition of reading Starlog of Fangoria. The modern equivalent was Star Wars Insider’s 200th issue and some old Star Trek comics from between movies III and IV. Anabelle planned to read but her being unconscious meant that she had far too many books with her for the trip.
When we landed, Anabelle pointed to the clouds and said, “Look, mountains!”
She set a new record of making fun of me before the plane stopped moving.
We were welcomed by the Dinosaurs on the bathroom floor, and the little shop where I grabbed a Diet Dew for the upcoming drive. 
The Dinosaurs on the floor outside the bathrooms seemed to be in the process of removal.
The rain soaked bus ride to rental car row gave us our first view of the Rockies. They were far more snow covered than we’d ever seen before, reminding us that college scheduling had led to the earliest trip we’d taken out west.
At the rental place, Rosa and Anabelle immediately spotted a bright red car in the Emerald Aisle.
It was not a Hyundai.
There are two kinds of people when it comes to renting a car.
Those looking for a new and exciting experience…
And me.
I have enough stuff to figure out driving in unfamiliar territory, there is no reason to add to the confusion with vehicular control placement.
We did find a red Tucson…although it was more of a dark maroon than red.
This is why my current vehicle is not red.
We looked to christen it with a name upon pick up.
Anabelle’s first choice was, “Ugly.”
I pointed out we usually used two names, involving colors and the word “Monkey” for this type of vehicle.
She dubbed it “The Ugly Monkey.”
We loaded our bags into the Ugly Monkey and had a nicely dull, yet scenic, drive across the plateau, through Denver and to Titi’s development.
Flying specific clothes were tossed into either the wash or trash. Because it was “May the Fourth” I put on my Fourth Doctor shirt.
(I wear Star Wars on the actual release date May 25…unless I’m celebrating Towel Day more fervently that year.  Being a multi-faceted geek is trying sometimes.)
We made our greetings, and slept on the couch a bit. Titi made shrimp scampi which was welcome to our starving bodies. It’s hard to eat stroopwaffle wearing a N95 mask, you know?
To insure we’d overdress for the rest of the trip, the temperature was in the forties that day. Snowflakes fell on the windshield when we did a supply run to Walmart.  We got Anabelle’s milk, Rosa’s gluten free stuff, my Cube of Diet Dew, and other supplies.
Back at Home West, we inflated the mattress I would be using. (They got a real bed this time.) Then, the three of us watched the wonderfully weird finale of Moon Knight.
When we joined the rest of the group, Titi was prodding Anabelle and me to pick a Spider-Man movie. However, we were still recovering from the couple day fasting involved when we travel. Therefore we were far more focused on our bagels.
Returning to Titi’s trend of selecting either Superhero films or films with The Rock, we watched the second Jumanji film with him in it, again.
They went to sleep at the Denver standard time of “hours before we begin to wind down.”
We played some family Doctor Who Uno to perform the down winding. Mostly they ganged up on me, but I did win a rare one.  Then Anabelle wanted to play just the two of us so she could destroy me, which she did several times.
I started the Silmarillion, being in a Tolkien mood after rewatching the films.
And we all passed out for the night.
I woke up a couple times shivering, meaning changes needed to be made.


Dina Roberts said...

I'm not familar with the Dorothy the Dinosaur letter-name-whatever song so couldn't join in there.

I tried finding it but no luck. What is it called?

I love your description of airplane horrors.

I continue to be impressed with all your elaborate T-shirt collecting, planning, wearing, etc.

Jeff McGinley said...

Thank you, I forgot to put the link on the title to youtube so everyone could sing along. It's there now.

I've had a collection of weird t-shirts my whole life, as people started to expect it of me, I've tried to chose appropriate ones.

thanx again for reading.