Last night I returned from my spontaneous trip to Denver. As I mentioned at the end of my last post, the main reason for the trip was to join Meg and their Allstate colleagues as they marched in Denver's 2016 Pride Parade, but I did lots of other fun things as well. I'm fairly certain it's impossible to have a bad time in Denver.
I arrived on Friday, and I immediately trained/bussed my way over to one of my favorite bookstores of all time, The Tattered Cover. (A kind stranger gave me his extra RTD day pass, so I didn't even have to pay for the ride!) While I was waiting for Leta to finish work, I did some work of my own and drank the first of many spicy bhakti chais, as is my personal Colorado tradition. I crossed the grassy expanse of City Park to meet Leta at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and then we headed to our hotel downtown. (Hotel party!) After dinner on the 16th Street Mall, Nick came over and we swam in the hotel pool, which was weirdly warm, like a not-quite-hot-enough bath. Still enjoyable, though. Considering that I live in Vegas, I don't take advantage of swimming pools nearly enough.
Saturday was strange, because Leta was at work again and Meg's flight didn't arrive until late, so I spent most of the day by my lonesome. Probably because I'm an anxious mess, I tend to fill whatever spare time I have with extra work--I'm well aware that I don't give myself enough time to rest. I'd left my computer in the hotel room, so that day I was forced to rest. I walked to Civic Center Park, where the PrideFest was being held. I pushed my way through the crowded pathways, passively accepting free samples of lip balm, beer koozies, salad dressing. (Yes, salad dressing.) I sat beneath the shaded colonnade and read 2/3 of Does Not Love, a book I had purchased at the Printer's Row Lit Fest the previous week. (I'm way behind on my book reviewing--I'll get there soon.) Later I met Leta for dinner at Steuben's, which is apparently a Denver institution. They serve skinny fries, so you know it's good. Leta and I were going to try to meet with Meg and their friends later, but we were exhausted, so instead we flopped into bed and watched Oklahoma! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on PBS, because we are still musical theater geeks at heart.
I woke up early on Sunday and made my way to Cheesman Park, where everyone was lining up for the parade. I was wearing my rainbow dress, but I still felt outdone by Meg, Tami, and KJ, who had tons of temporary tattoos and beads and glitter. I was pleased to discover that Allstate was marching directly behind the Rocky Horror float--good music was assured. It was 100 degrees that day, and based on my knowledge of the Chicago parade, I was hoping I wouldn't faint after 4 hours on the route. Fortunately, the Denver parade was much shorter--same distance, but less than half the time. I surprised myself with how much energy I had. I was smiling and shouting "Happy Pride!" and handing out pens like I'd trained for months to do it. It was a lovely experience, and I'd be happy to repeat it in the future.
Meg, Tami, KJ, Cici and I braved an hour-long wait to have tasty brunch afterwards at City O'City--I had my second spicy bhakti chai of the weekend while I waited. Then it was back to their hotel room for a brief pseudo-nap, and then on to X Bar. I wasn't quite in the mood for loud dance music, so I met Leta at Tom's Diner, another Denver institution, whose menu lists a 48-cent charge for Stupid Questions. It's right next to X Bar, so we headed over there to meet everyone else once the sun started setting. That night we all had dinner at Blue Sushi, which was absurdly yummy. If you're ever in Denver, I definitely recommend it. After dinner, Leta and I had a late-night bus adventure as we made our way back to her apartment in Aurora, where I'd stay for the rest of my trip.
Monday morning it was back to The Tattered Cover for breakfast and more spicy bhakti chai and some work--Meg & Company were there working, too. I bought a book, because of course I did (I'd nearly finished the one I brought! I had no choice!), and then Leta's friend Eric came to pick us up in his fancy sports car (like, seriously fancy) and take us to lunch at Watercourse and dessert at High Point Creamery. Back at Leta's apartment that night, we made dinner and played Bananagrams and Taboo. Everyone went to bed at 10 and I was wide awake and listened to podcasts for hours until I finally fell asleep. (For the record, More Perfect, the new podcast from Radiolab about the Supreme Court, is fascinating.)
Tuesday was my last day in Denver, so Leta and I kicked it off with a viewing of But I'm a Cheerleader, which I had somehow not yet seen despite the fact that 90's teen comedies are my favorite genre of movie. If you haven't seen it either, think Edward Scissorhands meets Empire Records meets lesbians. It's delightful.
Leta had a job interview that afternoon, so Eric picked us up again, and he and I got--can you guess what we got? Yes, it's chai--while Leta dazzled her future employers. The three of us got lunch at Park Burger, and then it was off to the airport so I could return to the 100-degree-plus temperatures of Las Vegas. Ugh. LeeAnn picked me up, and we promptly got Indian food at Mint.
I love how this is mostly a record of where I ate over the past five days. I ate well and overmuch, I assure you.
In other news, I am typing this blog entry on my BRAND NEW MACBOOK! Her name is Delphi, and she is rose gold, and she is the best graduation present ever. Thanks, Mom and Dad!