MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Signs Pointed to Don't Go to Denver!!!!

Ever have that trip where, even before you start, you know the trip is doomed?  Well, that was this trip.  The week after my sister's wedding was a short holiday week and the only time I had before my latest trip to Denver.  I called that office to make sure all was good before I left - and found out they were not.  No problem, right?  That could be worked out.  But, that was just a start.

  • I managed to find the only taxi in the Arlington area that could not get me to Dulles Airport without getting lost.  He took me the wrong direction - practically into DC and then back.  More than doubled the time to get to the airport.  
  • Once there, the world decided to travel all at the same time.  What were all those people doing there that early on a Sunday?
  • And of course TSA flagged me for extra screening.  They kept me so long that I practically missed my flight.
  • Once I made it to Denver, the rental car company I was with for this trip assigned me a car that was no where on the lot.
  • And then the hotel gave me keys that did not work.
I believe in signs and this was definitely not going well.

While in Denver that week crazy "monsoons" hit over and over.  While they are used to afternoon storms in the summer, these were serious, dumping inches at a time, with relentless lighting and some flooding.  While beautiful if you were indoors, safe, driving was a terrible idea.  I got caught in it 2x; I can tell you when you are driving at night in the pouring rain, and the street lights go out and lighting blinds you, have drivers on the highway hit the brakes is BAD FORM.  I would have thought that they could drive in the rain - but no!  It was a recipe for hydroplaning accidents.  No one turned on their hazard lights.  They just kept hitting their brakes.  It was all wrong.  Glad that I have hurricane storm driving experience - I think that people need to learn to drive in the weather of their home area.  Some of those people are looking for trouble; and if they can't drive in the rain, Denver's winter is not for them either.  UGH!

That was not my only unwelcome from the Mile High City... I went to dinner with a friend in LODO and got a parking ticket.  Now, this should not be a huge deal- BUT IT IS IS!!!!!    I paralleled on the street, parking between 2 cars; we fed the meter.  When we can back, the meter still had money in it but I had a ticket, the others did not.  Apparently, Denver is giving parallel parking tickets for people not in their "spots" - and I was sited for the front of the car being over the line.  WHAT LINE???  And the car in front and behind me did not have a ticket... just the rental.  And the ticket is for $50.  Of course you cannot dispute it unless you come to traffic court 20 days after the citation date.  Just perfect for the tourist - that is great money for the city.  And crappy for the visitors.  BOOOOOO Denver.

I tried to relax in some down town. I did see friends when not at work.  I attended a friend's baby shower and "showered her in gifts."  And then I headed to Boulder for some art therapy... the Open Arts Festival was held this weekend, and after the week I had - this was exactly what I needed.  Looked at fantastic pottery, beautiful glass and creative jewelry.  I could not help myself and I picked up a few new pieces; the most unique once was a twisted oxidized silver and glass piece by Wendy Witchner (who also won the blue jewelry ribbon at the festival).  Also found a fantastic artist for kids rooms and fantasy lovers - Randal Spangler.  He created this fantastic world of dragon like creatures that like to read and share cookies.  It is just too cute.  I fell in love with this puzzle like vase, done in a mix and matte and raku finishes by Lance Timco.  And in a strange bit of coincidence, there was an artist there (Prescott Studio) that I had seen and like at the West Palm Beach Arts Festival this January - they make huge yard art that would be wonderful if you had a yard and a sense of whimzy!  At both shows, kids were all over this booth.

Of course this did not go smoothly either as unpredicted storms rolled into town.  The wind was so bad, an artists booth was destroyed.  

I flew back a week after my bad trip began... and the day back was no less eventful.  I got to the airport a full 3 hours early and good thing I did.  I almost missed my flight again.  This time it was not security, but a wrong report that my flight was delayed and a changed gate.  While at customer service to figure it all out,  had a nice friendly customer check other areas for me... no delay.  I had to run and got on my plane right before the gates closed.  

Glad to be home... maybe I will stick to my car and the east coast for a few weeks.

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