Four days in Denver. Sounds like a bad political thriller from the 1970s, no? Our weekend in the Mile High City was far from bad movie from my childhood.

The highlights:

  • The girls travelled very well on the way out. S. sat in a row with C. and L., while M. and I sat a row up. We were lucky enough to share our row with a pilot from another airline who was all-too-happy to share information about flying without being asked. He was just on the verge of being annoying, but fortunately didn’t volunteer flying tidbits for the entire flight.
  • Saturday we went out to the famous Red Rocks park and concert site. The place was full of people working out. There were people running the seats of the amphitheater, a group of over 50 people doing various exercises at the top of the seats, a large contingent of kids from the Air Force Academy, and then random folks like us who were walking around. Like most non-Coloradans my age, about all I know of Red Rocks is the classic 1983 U2 concert, during which the video for “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” was filmed. It’s a pretty cool place to walk around. I bet seeing a show there would be pretty amazing.

  • After that we headed higher into the hills to visit two KC friends who are now in the Denver area. We had a fine time with them, and our girls played with the two boys quite well. We headed to the neighborhood pool after lunch. It’s been a very hot summer in Denver, too. But we were just high enough, and enough clouds had rolled in, that the water wasn’t all that warm. Thus we didn’t spend a ton of time in the water. But it was great to see my two friends, Erin and Mandi, and their families for the first time in four years.

  • We descended about a thousand feet, to where it was a normal, hot, summer day and hopped into the pool in my brother & sister-in-laws’ neighborhood. The girls showed off their diving board skills some more.
  • Sunday my brother-in-law and I went to the Phillies-Rockies game at Coors Field. Coors was my eighth big league stadium, which is pretty lame when you consider how much baseball I’ve watched in my life. We had terrific seats, the only downside of which was we were directly in the sun. Each time we’d head up to grab another round, our seats would be blistering upon our return. We watched Cole Hamels shut down the Rockies, drank some beer, and enjoyed some time without the kids.

  • Monday morning we went to the restaurant my other Denver sister-in-law runs, Snooze. It’s a breakfast place that makes some amazing food. We sampled some of their pancakes, which are probably the best I’ve ever had, and I stuffed myself on a massive breakfast burrito.

  • What better way to recover from eating too much food than to go to the Denver Zoo and stroll around in the heat? That was our next stop. Things began to unravel a bit by now, with the girls being tired from three nights in strange beds, a different sleeping schedule, and the weather. I, of course, handled all their moods with absolute aplomb.
  • Monday night we ate dinner at a barbecue place not too far from my in-laws’ home. You can’t really go wrong with barbecue, but my pulled pork sandwich wasn’t quite Kansas City quality. We ordered some wings, too, which my brother-in-law raved about, and they were indeed some of the better wings I’ve had. I’m not sure how they were made, but they were fantastic: a little smoky, a little hot, but not dripping with sauce.

  • The girls had lots of fun with their cousins. Will is 2.5 and loved hanging out with the girls. Anytime he couldn’t find one, he’d start yelling, “Where M./C./L.?” Will’s little sister, Sara, is almost three months old and very cute. The girls loved watching her, trying to get her to smile and make noises back at them.

  • Tuesday we flew home, and we lucked out with a flight that wasn’t completely full. This time M. and I sat a row behind the rest, and as we sat waiting to leave the gate, a girl from across the aisle came over, sat in the empty seat next to me, looked at M., and asked, “How old is she?” Despite being 5.5, this girl was perfectly happy to hang with M. for two hours, so I moved over to the window and let them have fun. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t let any of my daughters go sit with strangers, even if just across the aisle from me, but this worked out ok.

We made it home safe and sound, to a hot and dry home that made sleeping Tuesday night difficult. But at least we were home. Most of our trips in recent years have been 2-3 nights, and I always feel like I could have used one more. This time, with four nights schedule, I could have easily come home a night earlier. But it was still a great trip. I haven’t spent a ton of time in Denver over the years, but I like it a lot. They welcome Indianapolis refugees warmly there, so if we do ever move, that’s a place I could go.

Now we get two whole days to do laundry and relax a bit before we welcome another visitor and spend another weekend in a lake.