I had a great trip to Colorado, some tidbits of which you saw in pictures. I was there for work, but I stayed a bit of extra time to hang out with my brother, who drove down from Laramie to meet me in Denver. The work part of the trip went quite well, happily, and I got to visit a family friend who was a big part of my young childhood, but who I haven't seen in probably 12 or 14 years. That was great, too! And, of course, I got to visit with the new Coloradan heinleinfan Friday afternoon in a cute little coffee shop in the "new" end of town. I'm likely to be spending a fair amount of time in C Springs this year for one of our projects, and I'm looking forward to getting to be in the west a bit. I might even manage to do some skiing!
(I've given up on skiing in the east, for the most part. It's so expensive, and the conditions are so sucky, it just doesn't seem worth the hassle. But in Colorado? Aw, yeah.)
Hanging with Dan was a blast. He drove down Saturday morning and we met in Denver. I went to the Aveda beauty school downtown in Denver to see if they could freshen up my red streak in the morning before he got in, but they had to do a patch test first to make sure I'm not allergic to whatever they use. They could give me an appointment by Wednesday, but, of course, that does me little good from here in Boston!
Once Dan arrived (with dog in tow!), we strolled over to the street festival A Taste of Colorado, where they kicked us out for having a dog. Instead, we wandered the 16th Street mall area and then dropped the dog off in Dan's truck and went back to the street festival, where we were refused entry because we had drinks that we weren't willing to throw away. The man inspecting my bag didn't appreciate the irony of the 4th amendment printed on it. We hid our drinks in our coats and tried another entrance, where we finally made it in.
It was your typical street festival, with a county fair midway with cheesy games and dangerous and sickening rides, and lots of booths with overpriced handcrafts from other countries probably made by people who get paid the equivalent of a nickel a day for their labors. There were some local booths, though, including one selling nifty hot sauces and mustards, which we bought, of course. I also bought a bottle of overpriced water, which the vendor opened for me and threw away the top. I protested, saying I wanted the top, and she told me that they weren't allowed to give people the tops. The police don't want people dropping them or throwing them at each other, she told me. This struck me as a line of bull, since they had people all over the place sweeping up straw wrappers, cigarette butts, and other trash, and, honestly, who the hell throws water bottle caps at each other?
As you might imagine, by this time, I was getting kind of cranky about their stupid rules, so we wandered off to find the guitar store google told us was nearby. After not finding it, we headed downtown again, and I mentioned to Dan my attempt to get the Aveda people to fix my hair, and then I jokingly commented that we could pick up bleach and hair coloring and do it in my room and bleach his hair while we were at it. He, being my brother, thought about it for a second and said, "Yeah! Let's do it!" So we bought all the supplies at the conveniently located beauty supply shop near the hotel, and, of course, you all saw the results in my photo post Saturday night.
We had excellent Mexican food at a place out of downtown (the concierge, when asked to recommend good Mexican near the hotel, hemmed and hawed, saying all the good Mexican was farther away. I don't know if he was right that there isn't any worth speaking of near the hotel, but the place he recommended was excellent. I mostly don't eat Mexican east of the Mississippi or north of the Mason-Dixon, so I wanted to take advantage of being in Denver, which I definitely did. Yum.
Yesterday morning, we were accosted by an overly friendly man on a bike, who liked Dan's dog, and wanted to walk with us and talk about the new pitbull bans lots of area towns are considering, and the rule he thinks towns should make. We tried to get away by going into a coffee shop, but he said, "Oh, I'll come in and see if my German friend is working. Her name is Katia." Dan and I gave each other that look that says, "If you push him over, I'll kick him in the ribs." The guy went in, and as he did, I said, "Oh, look, there's another coffee shop down the way!" And we made a beeline for it. Of course, the guy came out of the first shop and Dan and I wondered how we would escape this time, but the guy got on his bike and rode by us, saying his friend wasn't working 'til tomorrow. Phew. What makes people so desperate for conversation that they glom onto complete strangers, even going so far as almost inviting yourself to join them for breakfast? Baffling.
Traveling back to Boston was uneventful, and I finally got home a bit after 8. It's awfully nice to be here, if only for a few days. Have I mentioned I love my bed? Mmm, bed! I may not get out of it all day.