Part I: Things to do in Denver when your phone’s dead
I can’t say I was all that excited that this year’s National Convention of Appellate Court Clerks, hearinafter referred to as Lawyer Con, would be taking place in Denver, Colorado. All I know of Denver is John Denver and “Rocky Mountain High” and really, I’ve had my fill of the mountains for a good long while. At least until someone invents mountain escalators.
But then I learned that dinosaurs were big in Denver. And then I remembered that Mile High Comics was in Denver. And suddenly Denver didn’t seem like such a bad place to visit after all.
Day One: Saturday
How I hate travel days. They are usually a totally wasted day. You spend morning worrying about dying in a fiery plane crash. Then you drive to the airport and spend hours going through baggage checkout and security and then waiting for departure. Then it’s a couple hours on the plane. Then you land and you have to find baggage in a strange airport, then find a cab, then the long drive into town, then the check-in. By the time you get to your hotel room you’re exhausted — and you haven’t done a damn thing all day but sit and stand in lines and wait.
This year our first travel day wasn’t all that bad. The plane was delayed for 35 minutes, which of course turned into an hour, but we didn’t have a connecting flight to catch and were in no hurry, so no problem. I was unaffected by the descent, which is always nice when that happens.
We spent the week in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It was nice. The room was smaller than usual and made even smaller by the fact that instead of two medium-size beds there was one large one. Now, no matter how large a bed is, we’re not sleeping three people in it, so they had to bring in a roll-away bed for Andrew. This took up what little free space we had left. But then, who ever uses that extra chair they have in a hotel room anyway?
The hotel offered free HBO which had the movie “33” on a continuous loop.Sigh. So much for lounging in the hotel room all week. Once we settled in it was time to eat. The folks at the front desk recommended a burger joint down the street. The 5280 Burger Bar served some decent burgers. I had the “Ring of Fire” burger and yes, it really was hot. Very, very hot.
After dinner we went for a stroll downtown. 16th Street is the big pedestrian walk street — lots of restaurants and shops and whatnot. Random pianos and other things in the middle of the street. Plenty of people holding signs asking for food. The occasional crazy yelling person. Had a nice walk then went back to the hotel and called it a night.
Day Two: Sunday
Got up, got dressed, made our way back to the 16th Street Mall and found ourselves at The Corner Bakery Cafe where we had a nice brunch. Walked back to the hotel where Laurie had to get ready for the first meeting of the day. While she was in the meeting, Andrew and I checked out the outdoor pool on the 6th floor. It was crowded when we got there and the only shade was in one small corner which someone else had already staked out. I settled in for what I feared would be a long, hot afternoon.
Andrew got in the pool and was soon befriended by a nice old lady and someone I assume was her grandson. Most strangers leave Andrew well alone so it was nice that they were so friendly. In short order it began to rain — not really rain, just sprinkle. Everyone took off. I figured we could wait it out and sure enough, after a few minutes the rain stopped. I moved over to the now empty shady spot and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.
Sunday evening is the traditional happy hour/dinner followed by a silent and live auction followed by a slide show of photos from the previous year’s conference. The event usually takes place in the hotel but this year it was at the new Justice Center which meant walking. Laurie was already going to be there for the meeting so Andrew and I would have to join her later. The plan was to use our new, exciting cellphones to text each other as to when it was time to hook up.
At time to hook up I sent Laurie a text. It wouldn’t go through. I called Laurie. “I’m sorry, you do not have access to make a call. Please call Customer Service.”
I hate cellphones.
Luckily we ran into someone in the lobby from the conference and walked over to the Justice Center together. Had some drinks and odd appetizers until time for dinner. Dinner was OK (LawyerCon sponsored meals are rarely delicious. Think wedding dinner). Went upstairs for the auction which went on way too long but our Andrew Roy Original Hand-Painted Christmas Ornaments went for $200, so we were pretty proud. I should get him an account on Etsy. It was late by the time they started the slide show and like most everyone, we left before it was over.
Coming Up: More Pool Time! Dinosaurs! AT&T Customer Service Sucks!