Colorado Trip

Here are the photos of the trip, view and read along. You'll know it's time to advance the frame when you hear this sound.


Let's begin.

First off, I'd like to apologize to Mrs. A's brother to whom I told I would blog while on this trip. Turns out I was busy doing other things. I had thought there would be plenty of free time but I was mistaken.


LMA and I headed up to Colorado on July 2nd. The original purpose of the trip was to see Transformers with my brother. Later we decided I should take LMA with me so the grandparents could see her. The departing flight left just after 08:50 and had a lay over in Phoenix. The first leg of the flight was just fine. No bumps, good landing. PHX was a decent airport. Older, but clean and easy to navigate. It also had the distinction of offering free wifi to travelers on the concourses. Thank you Phoenix.

The leg from Phoenix to Denver was bumpy but otherwise fine. We arrived in Denver at 14:31 to a bright and dry afternoon. It had been raining in central Texas since the Ford administration so we were glad to see the sun. We stayed at my dad and stepmom's for the first couple days and they were nice enough to let us eat their food and drink their booze. The first evening was spent chatting and relaxing. I think we tried to watch a movie but I was wiped out so we turned in early. I'd also worked on getting my laptop to connect to my dad's wireless. I'd forgot my Bill Bryson book at home so I needed something my brain could zone out on before falling asleep.

LMA slept with me the entire trip. She didn't want to sleep by herself, a habit we're trying to break but vacation was not the time. She sleeps sideways and is recorded at 126°F.

The next day we have breakfast and I go off to see my brother and sister-in-law. They have a nice condo on the border of Denver and Aurora. They've done some work on it and it's a cozy place. I'm jealous of my brother because they have one room dedicated to his (and I think some of her) collection of action figures, posters, models and all things geek. They have nice countertops too.

Off we go to the movie. If you're reading this, I'm going to talk about Transformers. I may or may not spoil something for you. But you know what, it's a movie about giant robots fighting over humanity and earth. It's not like there's a huge twist.

Personally, I was entertained. There were bits I didn't like and could have done without, but you know what, I wasn't going in expecting Notes on a Scandal. This is the same people who brought you Bad Boys and Armageddon. I wanted to see Megatron fight Optimus Prime, and guess what, I saw it. I'm going to see it again because I had a very out of character moment during the film. I had a large coffee before hand and a bottle of water, but just before the movie started I went to the restroom. Well, about thirty minutes into the over two hour movie, my bladder starts screaming at me. I kept thinking, surely I can hold it till the movie's over. We don't seem to have much longer. Boy was I wrong. I got up with about 10 minutes to go and missed apparently the best line in the film, a reference to the original 1986 movie. I was literally and figuratively pissed. I was shaking and sweating by the time I got to the urinal. Thoughts of kidney failure, bladder rupture and uric acid poisoning. I get back long enough to see the last throws of the big battle and the denouement.

Was it worth it? No. I enjoyed the movie but I think I caused myself undue discomfort, but I didn't want to miss anything. In typical guy fashion, I'd like to say that's never happened before.

Anycrap. We all enjoyed it and afterward we headed back up to my dad's for some 4th of July BBQ, an exchange of birthday gifts (I got my brother a Mr. Potato Head Transformer and he got me an actual Transformer,) and then off to fireworks. We debated going to Brighton's show (because that's where my dad lives) and Thorton (because my brother heard it was a good show with more festival-ness.) We ended up going to Thorton and had a good time watching parachutists, eating funnel cake and playing ball. The sky darkened quickly thanks to some clouds rolling in, but the show didn't start at the announced time. The wind picked up, the orchestra vamped, people were saying it'd just be a few more minutes, but it never started.

But the rain did.

The group we were with decided it's not worth sitting in a rainstorm, and LMA was getting cold so we all packed up, said our goodbyes and started hiking back to the car. As we got back to the main road (we parked in the neighborhood nearby) we hear the announcer count down and we turned back in disbelief as the fireworks started. LMA and I plop down on the side of the road and watch but my dad and step-mom never sat. They kept edging toward the side streets. My dad (like most dads, like most people) hates after event traffic and will always try to leave early. So we did. After about 10 minutes of firework watching, we left. Yes we beat all the traffic.

The irony was, when we got home, the Brighton show had a rain delay and started 90 minutes late. We were able to see the last bit of it from the loft.

Thursday was a lazy kind of day. LMA played in the little pool the grandparents got her and we all went to see Ratatouille. I liked the movie, Pixar did an amazing job with it, but I honestly still liked Cars or Incredibles better. I was hoping LMA wanted to see Transformers (as she is a huge fan) but at the last minute she balked and we saw the rat movie instead.

The next day was a nice breakfast of fruit face pancakes and bacon and then around noon-ish we headed over to see my grandma and mom and aunt. We had a nice lunch and my mom took me to an art store for my birthday present and so I got a few Prismacolor markers (like the wants over on my Wish List, doesn't mean dear readers should ignore that now, right?) So we hung out at grandma's for an hour or so and then headed out...

...into the worst traffic jam I can remember.

Something hazardous and unknown had spilled on the southbound lanes of I-25, the main north/south artery in Denver. It happened two hours before we left my grandma's but the highway was still closed, but as my mom pointed out, they were still letting people ONTO the highway farther up. Anyway, we had to get off the highway, take a few side streets and try and make our way back to a point farther south. In hindsight there was a better way of going, but by the time we had realized it, there was no way to turn around. The normal 90 minute drive from south Denver to Woodland park took four hours.

LMA slept through most of it.

Woodland Park, Colorado is a lovely little town. It lives about 30 minutes west of Colorado Springs and is virtually in the shadow of Pike's Peak. We got into town just in time to get a pizza and chat a bit. We got a tour of the house (which I hadn't seen yet) and then passed out after trying to watch Spirited Away. (LMA's favorite movie.)

The next day we had a nice breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns and fruit and then headed to The North Pole, Santa's Workshop. This is an amusement park at the foot of Pike's Peak. It's geared toward smaller kids, but we all had a good time. After much cajoling, LMA boarded the gondola, the first ride, and realized there is a thing called "thrill." She then rode every ride, no matter how gut wrenching it was. She is an adrenaline junkie. I think she had a good time. She was allowed to drink a soda, she had lime sherbet (which she called lima bean ice cream) and she wasn't really forced to eat much if she didn't want to. Plus she got to sit on Santa's Lap in July. How cool for her. How horrible for Santa, it's freakin July!

The idea was to go to the park and then a movie, but by the time we were done dragging LMA away from the candy-cane colored splendor, we were all pretty beat. LMA and I had a long drive back to Brighton to make so we all decided to go back and rest.

The rest of the trip was typical. Lots of driving, waiting, boarding, checking in. The flight home was nondescript and I was glad to get home to the smell of my own house and the feel of my own bed. It was wonderful to see Mrs. A and hear G-man's voice. Last night Mrs. A came home from running a few errands with three books of sheet music. Oh, did I mention we got a FREE PIANO!?


Carry on.

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