Friday, July 16, 2010

Fun with the fam, part II: where is the mummy?

Not in the Denver Art Museum.
So, a couple of interesting things on the way there. First, my scrappy little wagon that is not built for anything but flat city streets put up a good fight the whole time, only going down for a punch once. But man, Interstate 70 running through Colorado is not flat. There were times I was going 40 mph and that was the absolute fastest we were going to go. I asked my three passengers who was going to get out and push -- got no volunteers.
We made it to Denver, found our hotel (across the street from Mile High Stadium, which made my day -- I love sports arenas!) and decided to go to the aquarium, then made our way to what we thought was a cute little shopping district. It was actually a large, big box store-filled mall that was not as easy to get to as the map made it seem. (Thank you, construction. On an unrelated note, I am now completely opposed to ARRA, the economic stimulus package passed a year ago. At least half of the roads I was on were undergoing some type of construction, which I'm loosely defining to include the orange cones of death and slower speeds, even if no actual work was happening.) People are fighting with each other. I understand why my parents didn't always look forward to vacations as much as I did growing up.
Tuesday a.m.: get up, going hiking -- woohoo! Get out to the car and discover a flat tire. Find a tire place that's open at 7 a.m. Can't find it. Get stuck behind the longest, slowest train EVER. Fume. Discover, after waiting for an hour, that they can't fix my tire, they don't have the right tire size and neither does anybody else. I finally agreed to two slightly larger tires, but this means instead of a $20, 10-minute patch I have a $200, hourlong tire installment. Hiking is out. Fortunately, burning off my anger in the hotel's pool helped a lot, as did laying in the almost-record-breaking Denver heat for a while.
We then went to the Denver Museum of Art. I was a little nervous but also really excited; we were going solely because they had a museum about King Tut, and I was fascinated (despite my fear of dead bodies that comes from a dream I once had about mummies) to see the most famous mummy in the world.
Yeah, the mummy stayed in Egypt; it's actually never left. We looked at statues. Still cool, but definitely not as cool as what I was thinking. All the overcoming-fear adrenaline left as I jostled people in the crowded rooms. The art museum was neat, but I am not an art museum girl. I'll be OK never having that experience again.
Back to the hotel, get the car, head out to the theater and to find a restaurant on the way. We found plenty of restaurants: Carls Jr, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and a half-dozen Chinese places. Twenty minutes later, I'm back to fuming and demanding that people make a decision of some kind, because for some reason (my car and I'm the dominant one, perhaps) all the decision-making seemed to be landing right on my head. The reason I waffle on where we all go to eat dinner is not because I can't make up my mind, people! It's because I don't want to subject anyone to a more expensive meal than they can afford or to food that they hate. We ended up finding three restaurants in the same area. One was closed, one turned out to be Chinese (it smelled so good when we walked in) and we finally ended up in this expensive steakhouse that looked questionable but was quite delicious. I'd stopped fuming by the time the sweet potato fries arrived.
We found the theater without getting lost and had no issues whatsoever with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Hi-lair-e-us! Possibly a little inappropriate, but no worries. ("Where are the girls? Where are the girls?") Went back to the hotel.
Wednesday a.m.
Got out of Denver about as scheduled; no flat tires, thank goodness. I-25 was mostly moving, and we got on our way to Rocky Mountain National Park. Got there, saw a deer, couldn't find a single trail we wanted to go on, couldn't read the map, had to leave the park and try again. Finally found a trail, did a little offroading, convinced my passengers a 1-mile hike wasn't a hike. (Sure, now they can make decisions.) We seriously had a beautiful hike, and since I had the only injury (climbed a rock, kind of surfed down it, cut up my hand) no one else gets to complain. Maybe I should institute that rule anyway. It was a good warmup for the 15-mile hike I'm going on in eight hours.
Made it home, had a come-to-Jesus meeting, realized I needed to wash my car, couldn't get so sleep, kind of never wanted to go on vacation again. Good times.

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