Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Anniversary Trip - Part 1

This post is going to be all about our wonderful trip to Colorado.  We've been back nearly a week now, but I still feel like I'm playing catch-up from just the 5 days we were gone.  I'm hoping to get my trip pictures up on Facebook, soon, in addition to this post.  Then, I'll feel like I'm finally getting some things accomplished!

As the day approached for our departure, we were getting increasingly nervous about the ominous weather reports that predicted blizzard conditions.  Paul kept saying he wondered if it was a sign we weren't supposed to go.  I told him that the weather is not always about us, though!  We ended up leaving a few hours sooner than we had planned.  We had to swing by Paul's work and drop off his paperwork for the week.  The gals in the office had been expressing their desire to meet the girls so it worked out well to bring them by before dropping them off at Paul and Jen's house.  We dropped the girls off and we were on our way to Council Bluffs.  We stopped in Adel for lunch.  Oh, we felt flush with the money we dropped in our account and wallets before we left.  It almost felt silly to pull out only $12 for lunch!  By the time we came home, though, we hardly had any left!

By the time we got to Atlantic the snow was coming down at a clip and it was definitely snowing hard by the time we pulled into Paul's parents' driveway in Council Bluffs.  We spent the evening mostly playing with Zach and Elli who had just been officially adopted two days earlier.  I spent most of my afternoon worrying about Will who was working and would be driving home in the snow.  I felt much better when I talked with home and found he had made it home safely.  He told me to quit being "such a mom!"

Neither one of us slept well that night.  Paul always wakes in the early morning hours, thanks to his anti-seizure drug.   I was just too worried that we would oversleep and miss our flight!  I was also worried that we wouldn't be able to make it to the airport, thanks to the 8" of snow or so that blanketed the western Iowa landscape.  But Paul's dad's truck has 4 wheel drive and he was able to get us out.  And, fortunately, our flight was not delayed or cancelled - another worry of mine.  I think I worry too much!

We witnessed a near-fight on our plan, though, as we were landing in Colorado.  The guy sitting next to Paul objected to the way this lady (she was no lady, though) immediately thought she was going to barge through and get to the front of the plane before others.  Boy, did she let him have it!  Some people...

We had no idea the Denver airport was so huge!  I guess in my mind I still think - never having been there, of course - of Denver as being this western, slightly backwards, mining town!  And, actually, the whole time we were there, I never really caught a whole lot of the "western" theme.  The airport guides were dressed up kind of western, but that was it.  We had to take this train to collect our luggage and that thing must have gone 50 mph - whoosh!

We caught the shuttle to our hotel and settled into our nice, normal room.  Peace and quiet at long last!  We eventually walked over to a nearby Ruby Tuesdays for lunch.  Paul saw me admiring the advertised molten lava cake and ordered one for me that we shared - bliss!  I really need to find a recipe for that.  Then we spent way too much time trying to figure out the Denver bus and trolley system.  Our plan had been to rent a car for just one day when we would go up into the mountains.  We got so frustrated trying to figure out that dumb system that we finally just ended up renting a car for 3 days!  That's one of the best decisions we made.  We went through Hotwire, which is what we had booked our vacation through.  It was so cheap!  That decision made, we spent rest of the evening relaxing in the hot tub and watching cable tv - both treats!

The next morning we drove over to the western side of Denver, to the Cherry Creek shopping area and mall.  Ooh, boy - and I thought Jordan Creek mall here in Des Moines was fancy!  I really felt out of my element.  This was a very, very upscale mall, boasting stores like Macys, Neiman Marcus, and Norstroms.  Paul wanted me to get a new nightgown on this trip and we did find one at Macys, but I still thought $32 was a bit much to spend on a nightie!  Of course, it was much better than the $168 gowns we found at Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms!

From there, we went to a 7 block area of downtown Denver called "Antique Row."  That was fun.  I did a really bad thing at one store, though.  I still haven't told Paul, I'm so mortified that I did it.  But I'll just confess to the whole world on my blog!  We were in this one antique store and the guy had signs all over.  It drove me absolutely insane because he had words like sale's, quilt's, antique's, etc.  I finally grabbed one of his sale signs and scrawled, "An apostrophe denotes possession, not plurality!"  I then heard the clearing of a throat and the owner was looking right at me!  I'm not sure if he saw what I did or just thought I was acting suspiciously.  I looked down and what I had just done to his sign and fled the store, just absolutely mortified.  How could I have done that?  Paul didn't even know I had left.  I had to call him and tell him I was next door!  I am a wicked, wicked grammarian...

We had purchased tickets to a murder mystery theater for Sat. evening.  It was held in a restored Victorian mansion in Denver.  We walked in and were each handed a tray of billiard chips.  Now, on the website, they had said nothing about gambling - only a murder mystery dinner show!  So we were a bit mystified.  Then we realized that all the actors, in period costumes, were set up at various gambling tables.  Paul muttered to me, "What have you gotten us into?"  I had the sinking feeling that we had just wasted $80 and our evening!  Obviously, we don't gamble and have a very dim opinion of gaming establishments and those that waste their money at such.  We don't know how to play gambling games and even though the chips were free, it just didn't seem right to participate.  So we sat on a Victorian-era couch and watched everyone else participate.  I'm sure we looked odd, but that was ok, because we were sure feeling odd!  At one point, the "director" asked Paul if he would come do a small acting bit in a movie they were making, and Paul agreed.  I thought it was kind of funny that in the movie, they had Paul pretending to drink bootlegged whiskey - drinking being something else we take a dim view of!  You can't win them all, I guess.

Eventually, though, they did shepherd us upstairs to the ballroom.  I was relieved.  We had a nice dinner and then the fun started.  The actors started doing their thing and then the lights went out.  When they came back on, it was found that one of the cast members had been "murdered."  The rest of the evening was a fun time of trying to figure out "who done it."  There was lots of audience participation and it was just plain fun!  Here is a picture of taken by some of our table mates.  It's one of my favorite pictures of our whole trip:

I'm going to end this post now and continue in Part 2.


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