Travel, Uncategorized

Mermaid In the Mountains

It’s been two months since I traveled to Colorado for the first time ever to visit my longtime friend Mark, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to remember to post about it.  Well let’s fix that right now.

The trip actually got off to a bit of a rough start.  Although my friend Mark instructed me to try to get a few hours of sleep before my early morning flight, I stayed awake all night packing.  Despite his recommendation to get some sleep that night, my intent was to stay awake all night and then sleep during the plane ride.  But I ended up dozing off for an hour or so, and by the time I awoke, I had only 30 minutes to call an Uber and get to the airport before my plane left.  Despite rushing to get there at warp speed, my plane had already left by the time I arrived to check in.

Fortunately, American Airlines was able to immediately put me on another flight with no waiting time and at no extra charge, and I would arrive in Denver at the same time as my original flight.  WOO-HOO, crisis averted!!

Since I had to rush out of my house that morning and immediately board an alternative flight, I didn’t have time to eat breakfast.  So I had to make do with the little juice and cookie snacks they pass out on the plane.  I didn’t have time to stop and eat during my layover in Houston either, since I had to immediately board my next plane upon arrival.  So after several hours of traveling on an empty stomach, I started to get one of my usual and dreaded migraine headaches caused by my sugar levels dropping.  By the time I landed in Denver and took the Light Rail train to Mark’s house, the pain was unbearable.  As I was unpacking my suitcase and making myself at home, the migraine pain suddenly made me very nauseous.  As hard as I tried to hold it in, I started to violently throw up.  So Mark, being the caretaker he’s always been for me, put me to bed so I could sleep off my migraine and get some rest while he went back to his office to finish some work.

When I awoke a few hours later feeling much better, we drove to Red Rocks Amphitheatre to see Thievery Corporation perform a concert.  I had never heard of them before, but they are Mark’s favorite band. I found that I really liked the song “Indra”.

Red Rocks was DEFINITELY the hi-light of the trip.  I had never seen such an awesome, beautiful looking concert arena in my life.  And the sights I saw during the drive over there were something else, too.  During the half hour drive from Mark’s house in downtown Denver to Red Rocks, we traveled a little over 1,000 feet up in elevation.  And then after we parked the car, we had to hike on foot all the way up to Red Rocks.  It’s a good thing I wore tennis shoes, because that was one Hell of a steep climb!!!

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The lights and scenery at Red Rocks was simply AMAZING.  I just couldn’t get enough of looking at it.  According to an online review of the concert we read afterwards, there were approximately 10,000 people in attendance that night.

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And here’s a video clip I shot during the concert. Great natural sound acoustics, great lighting, and great scenery!!

I definitely felt as if I were in an episode of South Park though, because there were lots of hippies everywhere. LOL!  And since weed is now legal there, EVERYONE was smoking it.  Mark and I probably got high just from standing there and breathing. But the people in Denver seemed to be very nice, though.  It certainly was nice to not see anyone walking around with way too much plastic surgery, big fake butts, super long hair extensions, and several pounds of makeup caked on their faces like I was used to seeing all over Florida.  My brother lived in Denver for several years, and I remembered him talking about the hippies there a lot.

On Day 2, Mark took me on a several hour long drive through the mountains, since I had never seen the Rockies before. It was unreal!!  The elevation in the Rockies is so steep that we would ascend or descend several thousand feet in a matter of only minutes while driving on the freeway.  We drove up to over 11,000 feet elevation through the mountains, stopping at various locations to sight-see and take pictures.  I snapped so many photos from inside the car while we were driving.  I marveled at the quaint, picturesque little towns nestled among the 14,000 foot high mountains.  They literally looked like something you would see in a movie or a storybook.

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We drove 90 minutes up to Lake Dillon and then Frisco, where we stopped at a local Western bar and antique shop called the Frisco Emporium.  I REALLY enjoyed browsing through all the antiques and Western themed items in there, and at one point I nearly teared up because it all reminded me so much of my beloved family home back in Illinois that is now gone.  Grandpa’s area of our basement was entirely designed in a Wild Western theme complete with saloon doors, antique train lights, and even a huge mountain scene mural behind a fake window pane.  And of course, we had old family antiques all throughout our home as well.

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On our way back to Denver, we stopped at a weed dispensary where Mark purchased several kinds of edible marijuana candy for us to try later that evening while watching TV.  I had never before been to a legal marijuana store, and it was definitely an interesting experience.  It’s highly regulated, and they have these employees behind the counter who are like weed experts or connoisseurs and can help you find any type of weed you are looking for.  They had weed in literally every form you could imagine in there from grass to candy to liquid drinks; it was crazy!!!  All I could think was “WHY are we not legalizing this nationwide?!?”  With all of the revenue Colorado is raking in from taxation on legal weed sales, this could help save our economy if legalized in every state!  Mark purchased a few different flavors of sweet and sour weed gummy candy that we sampled while watching Family Guy and Bill Mahar….and burning through several bowls of popcorn.

On the third and final day of my trip, I requested that we go to the Denver Aquarium so I could see the live mermaid show.  Unfortunately, we missed the mermaid shows that day, but we did get to see all kinds of cool and beautiful marine and wildlife, including some Bengal tigers.  Below are a couple of video clips I took at the aquarium and edited with some background music and a video slideshow I created with an app on my iPhone using the photos I took at the aquarium.

It had been a little over a year since Mark and I had last seen each other when he and his family came to my city in Florida to attend the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team training season games, and it was so nice to be in the company of a normal person again.  Since I am surrounded by so many fake shallow people, ghetto hoodrats, and white trash in Florida, it was a breath of fresh air to spend time with someone who had lots of class, acted like a responsible normal adult, and never used words and phrases like “bae”, “ratchet”, and “turnt up”.  It was so wonderful to be around a NORMAL person again that I almost didn’t want to leave to return home!!

But like it or not, I did have to return home to the land of sun and palm trees when the weekend was over.  I had been missing my Lexi, and I KNOW she was missing me while being babysat by my friend Emilie.  She was so happy to see me when I came home.

Mark keeps urging me that I need to leave Florida and move to Denver.  He thinks I would be happier there.  I don’t know about that.  I DO love my year-round warmth, ocean, and palm trees.  But you never know where your path in life may take you next, and I always say “Never Say Never”, so who knows….

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