Monday, May 2, 2011

DECO Adventures

Since NOLA is New Orleans, LA, then Denver, Colorado would be DECO, no?

What a week. I've been on 4 planes in less than a week and Ray has been on 8 planes this month. Yes, each leg is counted as I'm still a crazy wife who gets freaked out the entire time her husband is in-flight.

The trip was great, but quick. It was scheduled because about 75 people, including us, were to attend a surprise birthday party at The Brown Palace Hotel downtown.

Other than not being able to sit next to my husband for either of the legs, I did have nice seat partners. :) I'm a big fan of this stuff:
But since airlines don't carry my favorite carbonated beverage, I must stick with the traditional club soda. If you like club soda or mineral waters with carbonation or "mit gas" (as they say in Germany... much easier than the name for carbonation = kohlensäure, so they use Germ-glish. Not a word so please don't Google it.) Anyway, my little plug about La Croix is this: It's highly overpriced for a Shasta label, delicious in all flavors but the best are grapefruit, orange, and lime, and sold at Costco in only the lime flavor. They also like to give out coupons at festivals and on facebook.

And I digress big time. Here's what I was given when I ordered a club soda on our United Airlines flight:
Once we arrived in Denver, I was asked where I wanted to eat for lunch. Since my husband knows me well enough, he assumed I'd want to eat here:
He was right. Just near the University of Denver campus is this gem of a restaurant. I am maybe Chipotle's #1 fan. Not only do I love Mexican food, but I love his all-natural and sustainable practices. Who is he might you ask? Well, Steve Ells of course-- the founder of this glorious establishment! This is the location of the very first Chipotle restaurant. While we were parking and walking to the restaurant (as there are only a few parking spots in front), Ray asked me if it felt like a pilgrimage. As if I were walking to Jerusalem or Mecca or someplace. Indeed it did. Heart. Heart. Heart.
I have NO photos of the awesome party we attended. There was dancing. There was great food. There were plenty of drinks. There were a bunch of people that feel like family and many I just met that night. During the ol' dancing part, I actually, actually let loose for a bit. We danced probably about 5 songs and one of them was Sweet Caroline. During most of the song, I was carefee. Close to the end, though, I was becoming more and more somber... as I was listening to the lyrics:

Oh, sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
{so good, so good, so good... complete with fist pumping}

Honestly, things have never seemed so BAD. Well maybe if we consider what it felt like 5 months ago, then yes. Those were worse. I think.

But for moments, I actually did enjoy myself. One of the last songs of the night was I've Got Friends in Low Places and I immediately thought of all my baby-loss-mom friends out there. Speaking of BLMs... I met a woman that night who upon introducing myself, knew exactly who I was. She immediately apologized and took my hand before sharing her own story of loss. She told me that though this pain never ever goes away, it does make the love you have for future children that much deeper and sincere.

I had two conversations where the question came up. I'm not pleased the way I handled the situation, but defend my own honor in doing so. In any ordinary situation, I would have been blatantly honest about my son dying as the reason for me not having any children. But this situation was different. First, these relationships are business-related. Not my business, but my husband's business. While I am not ashamed nor embarrassed that people are told or learn of our loss, I do believe that some of these relationships need not experience this somber conversation upon our initial greeting. I also did not want my initial meeting with people I will grow relationships with to be founded on our first conversation being about loss. It just didn't seem right. I don't want to always be known as that girl who lost her baby. In the grand scheme of our business or personal relationships with certain people, our possession of children does not really have a lot to do with our engagement. But for future conversations with these people, I would be inclined to honesty as Molly reminded me of.

I'm pretty bummed I didn't have photos from that night because everyone was looking so amazing, including us! I wore a gold dress I'd bought for our rehearsal dinner cruise in 2008. And I even managed to keep those dang heels on the entire night! I am not the type to wear heels very often. They are dusted off about 3 times a year.

The next morning we headed off for Boulder since I'd never been to the city before. It was just as cute as I'd envisioned. Here's Ray in a Boulder in Boulder. Haha.

 Pretty tulips
We noticed on a tourist map that the very first and only Celestial Seasonings plant is located in Boulder and offers free tours! We promptly made our way to check it out. We're big tea drinkers. We started in Germany and have created quite the collection for ourselves. I still think Germany has the best teas I've ever tasted, but we do enjoy variations from many different countries. Ray is standing next to the exact sewing machine that was used to make their first muslin tea bags in 1969.
We took a tour and it was fantastic! If we're ever in Boulder again, we'll go back when the operations are active. We went on a Sunday afternoon during their low season (peak = Nov.-Feb.). Another fun fact is that they ship to 35 countries but their biggest export is done for Canucks like LJ! Drink up, friends. We like your business here in the U.S. Haha.
We headed toward Estes Park next and stopped off at the haunted Stanley Hotel.

We headed back to Denver to catch our flight and nearly missed it! We rented a car and if you've ever rented a car in Denver, you know that there are only 3 gas stations close to the rental car dropoff. One is located within a block of the rental car places, and the other two are next to one another nearly 10 miles away! Well, we approached the close gas station on time and the gas pumps were down. We had to make a 25-minute detour to fill up our tank! We hadn't checked in for our flights yet because we did not have printer access, so we intended to do so at the airport. That must be done 45-minutes before a flight. We made it with less than 5 minutes to spare. Once we checked in, there was security, the people mover, and finally the walk to our gate. We didn't have time to grab dinner as we'd hoped with that 25 minutes of detour gas time, so we boarded 8:15 p.m. CST with no dinner. Luckily, our flight was short because of tailwind (yay!) and we made it home before midnight.


Keleen said... [Reply to comment]

Ugh...THE question! I agree with you though as much as I believe I will answer it honestly when asked, there are a few situations (like the one you experienced) that I would feel like the way you handled it is best. You have to make that call on the spot, which sucks, but I totally agree with how you handled it! Oh and I am SO glad that you were able to enjoy yourself dancing! How wonderful! You certainly deserve those moments, we all do!

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with you and Keleen. And my grief counselor is always quick to remind me that THE answer can be flexible, depending on the situation. You should hear some of the stories she helped me come up with for an "airplane conversation", etc. LOL! Even though we've talked about every conceivable scenario, I will no doubt be stumped at some point. But I have been answering honestly lately, and I feel so much better about it. I am glad you did what felt right to you. And I'm glad you had a little fun. :)

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Dude! I have like, 5 Celestial Seasonings teas in my cupboard RIGHT now. YUM. :)

Love the photos, super cute photos of you and the mister.

I agree, the professional answer to "The question" is completely different than the casual one. I actually broke my own rule when I spoke to a momma of 2 girls I met in the grocery store. The 4 year old was looking at me so I didn't really feel like I could talk about baby J, so instead I just said I hope to have kids in the future (WHICH I DO!! 12!!!). :)

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so glad you got to have some fun. Isn't Denver/Boulder nice? I like the picture of the "boulder" and remember pearl street. We went to CO in '07 and fell in love with every part of the state. Fortunately the day we visited celestial they were in production mode so it was cool to check it out.

Just the 3 of Us said... [Reply to comment]

I am glad you had fun. I LOVE Chipotle too...especially their guacamole (which I see you had).

I too think the rental car thing is a mess. When we were flying home from Providence the other week the rental car return was NO LIE soooo far well as the gas stations surrounding it.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

About a month ago I was in Denver visiting my sister and I swear went to the same chipotle. And we went to the downtown Boulder area. And celestial seasonings.

I guess it's not as crazy as I'm making it out to seem since that is the tour-isty thing to do, but still.

Love the pictures!

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

Glad you had fun in DECO!