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after some pancakes and bacon, it was off to brave the 60mph winds and take mdog up into the mountains. but: not before a quick trip to the zoo. well, maybe not THE zoo. but, A zoo. animals made of old metal gidgets and gadgets, springs and cogs; anything you could theoretically stick your magnetic poetry to, really. feeding was allowed, but there didn't seem to be much point. we browsed, then hopped back in the car and continued westward.

we passed through loveland. the mountains approached steadily. and suddenly we were there, driving along the big thompson, surrounded by sheer rock walls on either side. we wound our way up to estes park, and although i was doing fairly well on the curvy road, i was very very glad to not be in a moving vehicle any longer. a quick lunch and we explored some of the local shops before journeying farther up the mountain. we visited the ymca of the rockies, a familiar place for tiff from various camps and conference activities. after i vainly tried to come up with interesting shots of the area, we warmed up with some coffee and browsed through "who pooped in the park?" soon it was time to head home for dinner. we took a different path back down to loveland, a trip including but not limited to: elk ass, bovine guessing games ["he's a cow in drag"], newly built structures ["did you say... a nude little ranch?" "um... no. new. a NEW little ranch"], and lots of pictures of big tall rocks and things, some of which were taken just after a seven hundred mile an hour wind gust CUT THROUGH TO MY VERY SOUL.

finally home, we were greeted by jean and the glorious smell of green chiles [smothered burritos, again!]. mmmmm. the remainder of the evening was HIGHLY entertaining. byron semi-reluctantly gave up the thought of monday night football so that we could watch old home movies of tiff and her sister. and IT. WAS. SO. AWESOME. just as we were about to witness her sister's dancetastic moves circa 1990ville, we found that the remainder of the video had been recorded over by an old arsenio hall episode. unfortunate, in SO many ways. byron flipped over to pbs and it was there we discovered... qi gong. now, supposedly, it's this ancient chinese discipline of relaxation and stress relief blah blah blah. basically, it's yoga in the forest. so anyway, there's this narrator, all hopped up on valium, soothing voice, that kind of thing. and then there's this guy. and he does these... movements. and they're sooooooo unintentionally... suggestive. and he keeps doing them. over. and. over. and then there's this one part... well... you know that scene in the little mermaid? yeah. I KNOW. and then the narrator, MY GOD THE NARRATOR. he could have been reading a grocery list with that voice and it would have been wrong ["it's like subliminal porn!"]. i never thought watching pbs could be so much fun.

tuesday morning it was time to say goodbye to this little town, and just our luck: the snow started somewhere between the time we woke up and the time we started packing the car! fabulous! iced up windshield wipers! fantastic! despite the weather, we made it back to denver with no drama. we arrived at chris's school in hopes of watching the high school teacher in action; alas, it was a day to work on research papers. tiff helped some of the seniors with revisions while i helped with cutting out party favors for the weekend's homecoming festivities. chris spent her planning period chatting with us and OH MY GOODNESS is this just not the cutest picture ever? we left chris to her computer instruction class, had a late chick-fil-a mini-lunch and brief mall browsing, and rendezvoused back at her apartment. after a little oprah and discussion on what tiffany is NOT in charge of regarding wedding plans, we headed out to meet angie at the melting pot in celebration of chris's completed master's thesis from denver seminary. tiff did some conjuring while angie did her best surprised ninja impression. aside from a slight wine mishap and a vomiting waiter, the evening went without a hitch, and i thoroughly enjoyed dining out with these lovely ladies. due to our hostesses' early morning vocational duties, we were forced to say our goodbyes before heading to bed.

the morning and afternoon of my departure date found us touring denver's downtown areas, parks, and points of interest from tiff's time living in this city. it was far too cold for any 16th street mall action, although tiff willingly accommodated my documentation needs, circling the block so that i could get a few pictures of the downtown area. ever the multitasker, at one stoplight she snatched my camera and snapped this lovely shot of the brown palace hotel out the driver's side window. impressive, no? alas, the inevitable approached, and my flight time marched ever closer. after a surprisingly simple rental car return and examination of what are essentially two Weird Tourist Attraction Maps of America at the airport, it was time to cross that Ticketed Passengers Only line. tiff and i hugged and parted ways... the end of yet another vacation trip. a couple of slightly delayed plane flights and several hours later and i was back in ohio.




home sweet home. 

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 at 11:22PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments5 Comments

Reader Comments (5)

I used to live in Loveland.

Good times. A little too small/closed of a town for me at that time, but I hear it's been really built up even in the two years since I moved back to Chicago.
Dec 16, 2005 at 11:05AM | Unregistered Commentermeegs
you said "elk ass".
Dec 16, 2005 at 11:09AM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
Yea, I can't believe you said "elk ass!"

Nice narritive. Felt like I was there...without the wind, cold and elk ass.
Dec 18, 2005 at 09:06PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
Welcome home. You should really consider writing for Loneley Planet or something.
Dec 21, 2005 at 02:24PM | Unregistered Commenterjared
thanks. is it anything like "the hitchhiker's guide"? THAT would be fun.
Dec 21, 2005 at 02:39PM | Registered Commentermdog

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