Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Our quick trip to Denver (but a long blog!)

Just a quick note here, before getting into the Denver thing. It's just unbelievable, so I have to mention it. Five days later, and Greg is still asking me for money. Asking, begging, lying, threatening, insulting...anything he can think of to get me to send some cash. Some of his tactics I don't get, like threatening to not speak to me if I don't send something. He even tried, "I want a day off. Send me something so I don't have to work today." Really, dude? I mean...really? Grow up.

All in all, Denver went well. We had a rocky start, though.

See, I finally got my car back from the collision repair place on Friday. Yay! It was 56 days at the shop....yikes.

Saturday morning, there's a big puddle of transmission fluid under it.

Back to the shop it goes. They couldn't finish it on Monday, so they got me a rental again. A little GMC Canyon pickup truck. Ranger was about beside himself with I pulled up. "Oh my God, you look so sexy driving a truck!" he said as he got in the car and nuzzled my neck.

Off to Denver we went. I hate driving long distances myself, but in a rental, I have no choice. The pickup makes my back feel weird because your feet are out in front of you, rather than in a more chair-like position as in my little SUV. Took some adjusting, but I managed! Every once in awhile, the bottom of my foot would go numb, so we'd stop and walk around until it came back.

We made a rest stop at the top of Vail pass. It's so lovely up there! So breezy and cool. When I left the bathroom, I found Ranger looking at a map on the wall. "Hey, on the way back, want to stop in Central City?"

"I've never been there," I said.

"It's a refurbished mining town," he said. "Wooden boardwalks and all. It's like stepping back in time. You'll love it." And it's true. That sounds like my kind of town.

Usually, I like to stay in an extended stay hotel in Aurora. I like the kitchenette. Sunday night, though, I got looking at that plan again. Ranger's court time was 8:30 on Tuesday morning. How early did I want to get up to drive through morning rush hour to get there?


And my back needed a better mattress than previous trips, so I went hotel deal hunting. I found a discount site running 40% if you booked over the weekend. I looked up the court building on Google maps, then matched the downtown hotels to that. Well, the ones I could afford. The court building location wasn't precise, but I knew I was closer than Aurora!

And then I found the Hotel Monaco. This is what the room looked like:

It's a funky hotel. They describe it as "whimsical." And here's an unusual amenity. Look what you can request to have in your room, during your stay (for free):

Yep. A pet goldfish. You just gotta love that.

We finally made our way into Denver close to 8:00 Monday night. Thank God for GPS routing us through traffic and to the hotel. You have no choice but to valet park your car, but they let us take about 20 minutes to get freshened up and snag the car again for dinner.

I've been dying to try this place in Denver. It's the oldest restaurant in the city, established in 1893. The Buckhorn Exchange. The walls are covered in game trophies and signed photos of famous people who have visited there. Among the appetizers are a rattlesnake dip, alligator tail, and Rocky Mountain Oysters. Guess what I had?

Yep. Bull's balls. Sliced up and fried, dipped in horseradish. Yum!

And beer cheese soup. Oh yum.

Ranger had buffalo prime rib and I had elk medallions. The most amazing flavors you can imagine! We about rolled out of that place.

By the time we made it back to the room, I was about to drop. I decided to shower while Ranger watched some TV. I got undressed, then realized I'd left my toiletry bag on the other side of the room. I had to cross between Ranger and his show.

"Pardon me," I said. "Sorry about that...."

"Wait a minute," he said. He turned off the TV. "Did you just apologize for walking naked in front of me?"

I nodded.

"Let's get something straight here and now," he said. "Never apologize for that! Just make sure you do it more often."

I had to laugh. The shower felt nice, and I climbed into bed sleepy and happy. I made a conscious effort to not think about the morning. I welcomed Ranger's hands sliding across the sheets to me. I let him just take me away in sensations. He was in a pleasing and teasing mood. One of the things I like about him is that he's not at all intimidated by sex toys. He's completely into the playfulness of all things sexual.

Things were going just fine when suddenly he dialed the intensity of the thing way high. I yelped and noticed the bizarre look on his face. He held up the buzzing toy.

"'s stuck."

And sure enough, he's pushing the button on the thing, but it's not helping. It was an absolutely hilarious picture...Ranger trying to calm the thing by madly pushing the button, while the buzzing was going off the charts.

So, he turned it off and abandoned the thing. Fine with me!

But it would not be ignored! As Ranger and I engaged in our delightful maneuvers in the dark, a sound came from the sheets beside us.

Buzz. (pause) Buzz. (pause) Buzz. Buzz.

We had a haunted sex toy.

That was just it. We busted out laughing. And this is another thing I love. The ability to laugh together during sex, and not take ourselves too seriously.

We lounged against each other until way too late, watching "Futurama" and "King of the Hill." We finally drifted off, but morning came way too early.

Time to face the reality of this trip. We were both pretty quiet that morning. We had a good breakfast. Dressed nice for court. I repacked my purse, to make the security entry easier to manage. We headed to the valet to get the car, and get directions to the court building and public parking.

I handed the tag to the valet guy, and told him where we needed to be. When I asked for directions, he blinked at me.

"You're going where?"

I repeated myself.

"Uhm," he said. "It's right there."

I turned to see where he was pointing. Two blocks away.

"Seriously?" I said.

"Yeah," he chuckled.

I got the car tag back from him. "Thanks." Ranger and I were laughing, too, as we started down the sidewalk.

"You didn't know you'd gotten us that close?" he asked me.

"Nope. I knew I was closer, but not that close!"

In the court building, I hung back and let Ranger take care of things. I sat in the courtroom and listened to them reiterate everything. I listened to the possible sentence, the recommended sentence, and finally, the real sentence.

Five years probation. Pay restitution. Don't incur any debt until restitution is paid. No halfway house recommended. Congratulations, you're now a sentenced felon. All rise.

My brain was screaming. My chest felt tight. But I sat quiet. I waited while all the paperwork and red tape traipsed by.

Ranger was visibly relieved when we left. He hugged me tight. "Thank you so much for being with me here," he said. We walked back to the hotel, holding hands. It was 9:30. Checkout time was 12:00. Time for a nap.

As we got undressed and slipped back into bed, the words in my mind were burning a path to my mouth. "I need something from you," I said.

"Anything," he said, as we pulled the sheets over us.

I turned to face him, looking straight into his eyes. "I need a promise," I said. I felt my throat constricting, forcing my voice to a whisper. "That nothing like this will ever, EVER happen again."

Tears came with the words. I'd been strong and supportive, but I needed to fall apart a little. I'd held it in, and now it was time for it to flow.

I could see this register on his face. He watched my fascade crumble, and it broke his heart a little to know it was for him. He held my face in his hands. He wiped my tears with his thumbs. He looked into my eyes, and said with a solid resolve, "I promise. Never again. It's all over."

The words kept tumbling from me. "Because I can't see you like that again. The man in the courtroom is not the man I know. This was a really bad decision, but it's one that put me and us and everything on the line. You risked it all. I can't be risked again."

His eyes were welling up now. "I know. And I'm so sorry. I won't every do anything to risk us again. I promise."

So, I let it all out. I cried into his shoulder until I fell asleep. We napped, then we got ready to check out and get some lunch. We had our stomachs set on burgers and wings at The Cherry Cricket. I got some special dog treats for the four-legged kids at home at Three Dog Bakery. Then, we hit the road.

It's a pretty short trip to the turnoff for Central City. And they want to make sure you don't miss it:

The town itself isn't too far off the highway, as the crow flies. But this is the route the Parkway takes from I-70 (near the bottom of the pic):

But what scenery! I wish I hadn't been driving, so I could have looked around some more.

Central City is kind of compact. Many buildings, most original to the town, and narrow streets. Here's a look at Main Street:

The fronts of the buildings are protected as historical landmarks. The insides are another story. While the town has kept it's wild-west-mining-town flavor, the old boardwalks that Ranger remembered are now paved. As you pass what you think might be quaint storefronts, only a few have merchandise. Through the others, you see the flashing lights and quietly desperate faces scattered around casinos.

The gamblers have taken over the mining town.

We spent a little while in the Visitor's Center, talking to a very enthusiastic woman who was an absolute fountain of knowledge. We'll do some research on the area and the history before we go back. It's a good place to still experience a chunk of Colorado history and explore what had been a very rich mining area. We'll plan a getaway, some quiet weekend.

Then we headed home. The truck turned out to not be too bad on my back, but I was glad to see the massage therapist the next day.

And now we start putting together the pieces of what make become a life together. We have many ducks floating around, and have yet to see if we can get them in a row enough to turn fantasies of life into realities of life.


Ronjazz said...

So now you can turn the page at last. I'm proud of you and am reminded about commitment. I appreciate it...and I appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ron - I am glad it is over and that you and Ranger can move on.

And despite the circumstance for the trip, I am glad that you both had such a lovely time! I think I have been by the Buckhorn at least a hundred times, but have never eaten there! And glad you enjoyed Central City - the drive up there is killer, and I don't think I have ever made it up there without turning 5 shades of green!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

What a great trip despite everything! YAY for probation btw, it's a wonerful thing ! (i know that sounds krazy but you understand right? as apposed to the alternative it's freaking great!)

So the Rocky Mountain oysters are really good? Afrodisiac??? :P

OMG I love the toy story btw, that's too funny. :)

Blogget Jones said...

Ron - thank you so much. I really do appreciate you, too!

F and F - so, now we see where it all goes. I need our relationship to be low-stress for awhile, to achieve some normalcy. And you gotta try the Buckhorn! It's expensive, but worth it. And that drive to Central City probably would have done me in if I hadn't been driving!

Gringa-chick! yes, MUCH better than that alternative!! And yes, those Rocky Mountain Oysters were great! I want more ;o)


Angella Lister said...

I'm so happy that now you can finally move on from this. It sounds as if your relationship might even have been strengthened by the adversity. When something precious is at risk, you treat it with great care, as it seems you both have been treating your relationship. Oh, and what a great Toy Story. Lol.

Blogget Jones said...

Thanks, Angella! Yes, it feels like we've turned a new corner. We need some time without serious stress to see how we are together.

Glad the Toy Story gave a laugh, too!

:o) BJ

Walker said...

It's over and done.
The easy part is staying out of trouble and i hope Ranger remembers that.
Central City sounds like a nice place3 to visit.
I am a old west buff and love places like that.
One day if they ever left me in the States I plan to see a few places after i go to see the Alamo that is.

Blogget Jones said...

My dad is an Old West buff too! Our shelves are stuffed with books on gunslingers, outlaws, and lawmen.

I've been to the Alamo a couple of times. Very impressive piece of history! The only thing tough to get used to is that it's tucked in the middle of downtown San Antonio. I'll be there again around New Year's this year - daughter's band marches at halftime during the Alamo Bowl!

You should have Lincoln County, NM on your list, too! The Lincoln County Wars and Billy the Kid are fascinating!