Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back in the (mile) high life again

Greetings from Colorado Springs, which oddly enough is located in the great state of Colorado. It's not just a clever name. And it's been roughly 25 years or so since my last visit to Colorado (that involved leaving the Denver Int'l Airport at least). This morning, i arrived on a browntail bright and early at about 4 AM local. Ok, it wasn't bright, but it was damn sure early. I attempted to catch some zzzz's on the flight, but about halfway through, right as I'm snoozing quite well, I'm awakened by a bright flash of light (through my eyelids mind you) followed swiftly by a sudden, oh lets say 500 feet, drop. This process was repeated a few times, followed by the sound of heavy rai against the plane. All while at 30,000 feet or so. Exciting.

Well, we landed, parked, made it over to the shuttle, got my rental car... let me pause here. I rented thru Avis, and I'm usually happy with them. This time, after ponying up the extra $1 a day for what I expected to be a "intermediate size" car, i was given three options.. a Suburban, a Expedition, or a Santa Fe. All SUV's. I kinda wonder what a full size car is.. a tour bus? So my Santa Fe and I set off for the Springs (i picked the best gas mileage)

I reached my hotel about an hour and half later, and after scanning the local radio, I decided to listen to some CD's i bought (note, i discovered much later that afternoon I actually have a car with XM radio... good to know, the coices of programming are significantly better). Seems I found a lot of radio that was either in Spanish (fine, Colorado is a spanish name I think) or contained names like "Faith" or "Praise". I've got nothing against Christian radio, I just wanted some variety... and not in Spanish.

I digress. The next issue is now my hotel has no room I can check into early, so I drive of to check out the surroundings. Up into the hills I go. I briefly thought of reliving the family trip up Pike's Peak from 25 years ago. But, I didn't have mom to make sick from altitude, and I was kind of tired and there are no guard rails on the road up. So I took a slightly less challenging road, and just enjoyed some scenery, and then breakfast at Sonic.

Not a bad morning, but I really just wanted a bed to sleep in. I checked in around noonish (after a brief visit to Sean's new house) and crashed. ANd it was everything I dreamed it would be.

ON another note, I have chose to stay at a different hotel form the rest of the wedding. Why, number one is price, I got a good deal on the Springhill Suite thanx to my marriott hook up. And number two, I was being a little snobbish. Its a nice room with a lovely flat screen TV i may make love to later. It's hot!

After a nap, i met Sean and some family/friends for dinner. He found this nifty little mexican place here in a part of town that, really I just kinda really dug. Why?? I've been on a lot of road trips in the great land, and seen a lot of interstate. But when you get off an I-whatever road you can really see some fun stuff. This place was on an old US highway that was once the only link up to Pike's Peak and beyond into the Rockies. As such, was apparently a tourist haven in around 1963 (when Kennedy was in Life magazine, and everything was aquamarine - a free beer to nyone who knows that song). So, in a very Kitchy (I guess that's the right style, Charles.... help me out) or old school Americana, there as some fabulous old motels, all still working.

SO, while driving down the road checking out the Swiss Chalet Inn, the Mecca Motel, The Lodge (complete with TeePee esque cabins), and the Buffalo Inn, among others. All motels were appropriately styled to reflect their names. I loved it! I haven't seen such fun stuff since I took a few back roads to Orlando, where hotels still have advertising to promote their new "Color TV's" and Conditions Air. I was almost tempted to check into one of these places, but I've already paid for the Marriott room and started lusting for the TV

After returning to my hotel room and conversing with Susan (who I'm also lusting after), I decided to walk to the only restaurant withing 6 miles and find a Fat Tire, but alas it was closed. So I return to the hotel, buy pint of Cherry Garcia and here I am. Lucky for all of you reading that I'd decided not to venture out to locate Fat Tire.

Other than that, I do kind of dig the scenery. I don't know if I could live here, but it's neat to look right and see the tallest mountains in the conterminous (yes thats a real word) United States. And then look left and see... well, you can pretty much see right over Kansas to Missouri and the big Arch. The other neat thing is you can see rain showers and thunderstorms for 40 miles. It looks really neat. I can just imagine the first explorers reaching the Rockies after weeks crossing flat plains, and pretty much say "F__k That, we're done right here. Lets build a town, and name it after my favorite folk singer, John Denver".

I'm sure that's exactly how it went.

Well, I'm finishing up the ice cream and it may be time for bed. In other news, I found a place to garage my bike in Louisville, and its next door to my residence. I love it when a plan comes together

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