Days 5 and 6 (And on we go...)
1:05PM. Rachel. Truckers hat. Barking out orders at me and swear words at other drivers. Definite turn on.
Think I just discovered something very uncomfortable about myself.
4:00PM. So yeah, we’re in Iowa.
5:55. Fun fact for everyone - De Soto, Iowa is the birthplace of John Wayne!
9:30PM. After some fine dining at Cracker Barrel, we decide to crash in Omaha, Nebraska for the night. Problem is the hotel is non-pet friendly. Good thing our ninja skills see us through this dilemma, as we sneak our kitties in...
...and out at 9:30AM the next morning. Rachel tells me she was paranoid about cops busting in our room all night. She was particularly worried about us getting raided and our kitties seized by authorities. Is it any wonder why I love her so?
9:45AM. Remember how we remarked that the good weather is following us cross-country? Apparently Iowa and Nebraska didn’t get the damn memo, because it’s in the 30s, grey skies and blah weather. We’re hoping Denver treats us better.
(Rachel here) Ever wonder where your beef comes from??? Yup, it is the state of Nebraska. All that we can see for miles are vast flat lands and cow pastures (if that is what you want to call them - more like muddy pits with cows sprinkled around them). Anyways, since all Brian has been eating lately is steak - he claims that it is vacation meat - I try to convince him that these are all slaughterhouses. Needless to say it doesn’t scare him. Not even the smell of death and poo that lingers in the air for miles changes his mind about eating this so called “vacation meat.”
....And back to Brian....
On the road again at 3:15PM after a stop at Wal-Mart. Went in for a bed set (“it’ll be cheaper here in Nebraska than in San Francisco,” Rachel tells me. Makes sense).
So here we are with some nice glass jars, a toaster, a blender, some towels and a huge mirror. No bed set.
3:57PM. About to start “Half Baked” on the laptop. Rachel’s idea. Yup, we’re perfect for each other.
The DVD started skipping around 4:04PM, so we put in another - the South Park movie. Which is magnificent timing, since the show takes place in the state we just entered - helloooo, Colorado!!!
4:15: Uh, Colorado so far is pretty eerie. Beautiful landscape, though there’s literally NOTHING around that we can see. Kinda uncomfortable for a city guy. So obviously I start to freak out a little bit...
Me: How much gas do we have?
Rachel: We’re good. Half a tank.
Me: We should pull over at the next gas station and refill.
Rachel: No, we’re ok.
Me: Seriously, I don’t want to get stranded out here. Please pull over at the next gas station.
Rachel: Brian, calm down.
We had this conversation approximately 7 times in the next hour.
7:11. First glimpse of Rockies in the distance. Whoa. The ride into Denver is pretty nice.
9:30PM. We’ve settled in at Shannon and Regan’s sweet apartment, and then we’re off to Lohi Steakbar right on the corner of their block on 32nd Ave in the Highlands. Margaritas, great food.
“It feels like it’s at least 11 o’clock,” Regan says. We all agree, and mind you, it’s a Saturday night. We’re not kids anymore.
Up and out to the Red Rocks theater at 11:15AM. It’s freezing, but we’re bundled up. Just started snowing. And there’s a group of scantily clad exercise crazies there working out - running up and down the amphitheater steps, doing pushups, generally having a “good” time. Regan challenges us all to a race. We decline.
11:17. The place is very beautiful, especially with thesnow - but it’s pretty cold out. Still, it takes Regan about 10 minutes to take 3 pictures of us. His camera-work, much like his speech pattern, is very deliberate.
“He likes to think through completely whatever he’s about to say,” explains Shannon with a smile. Haha!
To Morrison’s Inn at 11:45AM for awesome mexican food. Margarita, please!
4:16PM. Sure, it’s been snowing and raining all day, but we four are pretending it’s 55 degrees and sunny out, like those lying bastard weather people said it would be. Hence the bike rides we’ve just taken around Regan and Shannon's neighborhood.
The result is us now being soaked with smiles on our faces as we order hot toddies and hot cocoas (with Bailey’s!) at a local spot, Root Down (very cool, at 33rd Ave and Osage).
It should be noted that Regan never wavered in his bike-riding plans, despite the non-bike-riding weather. And we all had a great time. Kudos, friend.
We return home at 6:10PM, and everyone immediately dons sweatpants and other comfy clothes for a movie. At Regan’s insistence, we put on “Inglorious Basterds.” He’s asleep 4 minutes later.
Grill some pizzas and have 3 bottles of wine...Denver has been good to us.
Day 8 - the journey continues...
We’re up and on the road at 10:57AM.
Ever gracious and kind, Shannon thanks us for staying with them during our trip. We assure her we’ll be doing them the same favor sometime soon.
12:17PM. While driving through the town of Pueblo, Rachel screams “OOOHH, CAN WE GO TO CHILI’S FOR LUNCH???” Why sure we can.
4:03. The drive into La Veta is breathtaking. Snow-capped mountains everywhere. As we drive into town (population: 900), we see a man doing yard work. He’s dressed in a red shirt, with a full white bushy beard and hair. He also has a Frosty the Snowman “Merry Christmas” sign in his front yard...in March. Rachel blurts out “so this is where Santa Claus lives during the offseason.”
8:17PM. After a terrific dinner with our hosts - Rachel’s aunt Marty and uncle David - we retire to our very nice garage apartment to have a beer and look at mountain-view stars while sitting next to our outdoor fire.
Oh, and we forgot to mention that they own 3 dogs, 4 cats...and 13 alpacas and llamas.