|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Sept. 29, 2015 - 10:15 a.m.
Getting Lei'd in Colorado
My faith in humanity has been restored. The traffic tie-ups in Denver caused by people trying to get to the Great American Beer Festival were much worse than the traffic tie-ups in New York caused by people trying to see Pope Feelgood. We apparently have our priorities straight, finally.
Ok, a little backstory first. When I wrote my previous entry, someone - and I'm not going to say who - was screaming the entire time in the background, "We have to leave for the airport in 9 minutes and you decide that's a good time to WRITE A FUCKING DANGERSPOUSE ENTRY? ARE YOU INSANE?!" So I had to keep the details rather sparse.
In a nutshell then: a while back we accepted an invitation to attend the nuptials of one of NewWifey(tm)'s many midwestern nephews. They spit 'em out like watermelon seeds over there. I like this particular branch of the family kudzu tree, though. There's three dudes, two of whom went to my own wedding (the other couldn't make bail). They're all a hoot, in that classic American "Good ol' boys guzzlin' beer while shootin' 'possum from the back of a pickup truck at 90 mph with no one steering" kinda way. And now one of the three is gonna tie the knot with a staggeringly beautiful Hawaiian goddess with peanut butter skin and hair down to her ankles.
When we accepted the invitation I didn't realize we'd be flying out of New York the same day the Leader of the Deluded World was flying in. My only real concerns at the time were 1. midwestern wedding food, 2. the always enjoyable TSA experience, and 3. it's Colorado. If it weren't for the fact that an actual honey skinned Hawaiian goddess with hair you could trip over was going to be in attendance, I might have stayed home and marathoned "My Mother the Car" episodes again.
But we did go, and I'm relieved to say my concerns were for the most part unfounded. Yeah, I got a full cavity search by a very nice TSA agent with a lisp for no apparent reason. But at least he didn't hurt the gerbil. And the food was...well, I'll get to the food.
Finally, it was still Colorado. But that didn't turn out to be the problem I was most worried about. See, I'm rather a Puritan when it comes to drug use, and since CO decriminalized recreational cannabis use I struck them off my list of vacation destinations. Credit being raised by a hematologist father whom I adored and actually listened to. I never experimented with any - any - substances growing up, from tobacco right on down the line. My ancestors spent 2 and a half million years evolving my lungs to work best - and longest - when processing 100% unadulterated air (insofar as NJ has any). I'm not gonna mess up their gift by doing otherwise. But I called both our hotel and the wedding venue, and each said they have a strict "no smoking anything" policy on their grounds. So that took care of that.
Speaking of the hotel, it was waaaaaay above my station. Normally when I travel I look for places that charge by the hour, or a sidewalk. But thanks to NewWifey(tm)'s regular cross country jaunts to flog her wares and staying at every Hampton Inn along the way, she's accumulated so many "H-Points" that she can stay free at any of their various incarnations for quite some time. So many, in fact, that we decided to blow it all out and upgrade to a stay at the "Homewood Suites by Hilton". Ok, it's not the Waldorf Taj Mahal, but...IT HAD A KITCHEN! Fully stocked!
Oh. My. God.
Thanks to 2nd Amendment nuts, if the reception food was bad I could run down to the local Chuck E. Cheese, win a Glock G40 at Skeeball, step outside and bag an elk, drag it back to hotel, and prepare it right in my room using the stove and cooking implements provided! Suddenly those guys didn't seem like nuts any more.
Fortunately...I suppose...I didn't have to put that plan into action. (I guess it was fortunate. Animatronic mice make me projectile vomit.) The food turned out to be great, even at the pre-wedding reception held at this place called the "Golden Corral". It was more like the "Golden Trough", being a cafeteria style eatery where people jostled up and down the line trying to balance as many deep fried shrimp onto a plate that was already dangerously overloaded with deep fried okra and cotton candy. I was able to find some actual good, and not deep fried, food by aiming for all the place where the locals weren't headed. It was nice seeing completely untouched platters of...well, anything at all with green in it, really. I ate well. And the place was cavernous enough that the entire 100 or so guests, 80+ of whom had flown over from Hawaii, fit comfortably in one section that we had blocked off.
That was Friday night. The wedding was Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning NewWifey(tm), her sisters, her mother, and I, all did some sightseeing. The menfolk - NewWifey(tm)'s brothers-in-law and cousins - all took off to play golf. Since I had my elbow surgery and can't swing yet I had to pretend to have a vagina and hang with the ladies. Which was fine with me. They smell better.
We saw "Garden of the Gods", which is a bunch of rocks with a visitor's center attached. I was surprised that the display inside the center had an informative "How These Rocks Were Formed" display that didn't include a likeness of Jesus and a caption that began "Around 6,000 years ago...." Go figure. The curator must have been educated back East.
After that we went to nearby Helen Hunt Falls, which was not, sadly, named in honor of the "Mad About You" thespian, but rather after some dead lady who really, really, liked looking at that particular stretch of falling water and left all her money to insuring it was never bulldozed into something useful. Like a Homewood Suites by Hilton. Seriously, as far as waterfalls goes this thing was kind of a dud. I'm almost certain it would have been named after the actress Helen Hunt, since there were hardly any curves. Just a gentle downward slope, with one brief drop at the end where everybody gathered to take selfies before rushing back to their cars so they could go somewhere good.
Probably the best part of the sightseeing portion of the trip for me, though, was that it all was in sight of Pike's Peak. I have no particular interest in the mountain itself, but for one exception: the Pikes Peak offroad race course has featured large in every version of "Gran Tourismo" I've ever played, and I've played every version since Playstation-1. It was really cool seeing it up close. I even paid a quarter to peer through the Tourist Scope for 2 minutes so I could get a good look at the winding path that I knew by heart, and imagine I was rocketing white-knuckled up to the summit in a twin engined Suzuki Escudo Time Trial Death Machine. Best quarter I ever spent (other than the one I used to get NewWifey(tm)'s engagement ring from that arcade claw machine in Seaside Park).
Saturday afternoon, then, came the wedding.
Mill around, small talk, pictures, ceremony, yadda yadda yadda. Who cares.
The bride was SMOKIN' hot. I mean, whoa! How the hell did a backwater bumpkin like him even MEET an Island sylph like that, let alone get her to agree to marriage? I would have assumed she was trolling for a green card except I'm pretty sure Hawaii is still part of the United States. Maybe he made a fortune in the elk skinning industry or something. I'm at a loss. Either way, they did the deed, and it was worth traveling all the way from New Jersey just to see her macadamia nuts spilling out over the top of that low cut white gown. Aloha, ladies! Whew.
Right behind that in terms of salubrious pleasures was the post-ceremony feast. I am so sick of cookie cutter reception dinners in NJ. They almost invariably consist of: limp, overly dressed salad, choice of overcooked salmon, overcooked chicken-something, or overcooked ziti, plus "mixed vegetables" (Birds Eye frozen) and a square of fondant-covered Costco sheet-cake the size of a Monopoly hotel.
I am glad to report this shindig was at the complete opposite end of the culinary bell curve. One thing I appreciated also: buffet line. Table service for 100 almost guarantees you'll get cold food set down in front of you, or shriveled and crusted from sitting under a heat lamp. A correctly done buffet is the way to go, and they did it great. Just a few highlights, other than an assortment of salads, fresh fruits and rolls: heritage pork with minced apples, velveted chicken in an herbed veloute sauce, picked-that-hour (it seemed) green beans simply blanched and shocked and tossed in butter, and possibly the best pureed potatoes I've ever had, infused with roasted leeks. AND an open wine bar.
Did I make a crack about jello molds in my last entry? I forget....
After dinner came dessert. And by dessert, I mean an equally smokin' hot Hawaiian dancer they flew out to perform a few numbers for us. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, baby. How is this kind of dancing not the only kind of dancing in the world? I never thought anything could top twerking, but how wrong I was. How wrong I was. I was literally vibrating from the effort it took to supress the tidal wave of horniness. I looked over and saw NewWifey(tm) was having the same problem. Now THAT'S a dance. Plus - we all got to wear leis! REAL leis! No jokes were cracked at all. Nope. Uh-uh.
Afterwards we went back for a final night at the Hilton - where yes, lei'd - and the next morning we loaded up our dinky little 1.6 liter Nissan Versa Note rental, which was a great car unless you wanted to get from zero to sixty in less time than it's taken you to read this entire entry so far (compounded by Colorado Springs' 6,000 foot air loss), and drove the hour and a half back to Denver for our flight. The airport was JAMMED with fat, bleary eyed masses heading home from the Great American Beer Festival, most of whom were wearing brand new t-shirts featuring logos of various breweries all trying too hard to come up with witty and sexually suggestive names ("Beaver Breath IPA"? Really?). The TSA lines stretched almost out into the long term parking lots. But we got to our gate in plenty of time regardless.
Note to fellow travelers: if you ever fly Frontier Airlines, pack a chiropractor. In return for reasonable airfare you must put up with sitting on a metal folding chair that doesn't recline and is so close to the row in front of you that your breath condenses on their seat back. It was agony the entire 4 hour flight. Other than that, they do deserve kudos for on-time arrival and departure, cleanliness, and a funny as hell wisecracking steward on the way out. If I wasn't in so much pain I would have laughed.
The drive home from LaGuardia to DangerHouse went smoothly, with no Pope, beer festival, Yankee game, or other traffic anomalies to contend with. We packed light - just one carry on bag and one rolly checked luggage - which meant we were inside and unpacked in record time.
So we decided to get lei'd again.
Yay, vacations! Even mini ones.
Now, back to the grind. Tonight my alarm goes off at 3am again, followed by the hour drive to my place of employ. Big wheel keeps a' turnin'.
I guess that's it. Oh, except for the video of a certain Hawaiian hula dancer I have to upload to Red Tube. Yeah, she was THAT hot.
G'night kids. Pass the poi.