Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 9.

This was the final day of our trip. We woke up kinda early (not early for people who wake up early.. early for people who sleep in.) Anyway, we drove back to Golden, Colorado, and took the Coors Brewery tour. The tour itself was pretty kewl. We hopped on a small bus which took us to the plant, and there our tour guide walked us through the stages of beer making, and answered questions, etc. This was far less of a “Our Beer is crafted by the gods, come and worship it” the way the Guinness tour was. It was more of a “This is how you make beer, and ours is good, because we use fresh Rocky Mountain water, and keep this stuff cold. Now.. drink!” So the tour was fun, and at the end of it, we were allowed 3 free drinks of our choice at the bar (Our choice of Coors products, obviously.) They have the “long tour” which is where you actually go on a tour, and a “short tour” where you walk straight into the bar, and start drinking. It’s free, and College kids in the area seem to take advantage of it… often. And that was the Coors tour.

We went straight from Coors to the Airport. We weren’t going to let anything screw up our flight home, so we arrived very, very early, and everything went smoothly and quickly, so we were stuck waiting at our gate for about 4 hours. Rachel slept some of it.. but yeah, we were really tired, and just wanted to be home. Thankfully there was a loud, annoying baby screaming its head off for a good chunk of that time, so we had something to do. (“be annoyed”) Finally we were on the plane, and made it to Midway, where my parents picked us up.. and promptly got us lost on the way home :) [They turned the wrong way onto a street, and we had to turn around.. I thought it was funny] Anyway, we made it to their place, talked a little bit, grabbed something to drink, and then we had to head home. Rachel had school the next day, and I had to work.

The drive home wasn’t too bad. I was super tired, but with no traffic (it was in the 12 am – 3am range) Rachel slept off and on, and occasionally I woke her up so she could take pictures of the license plates on trucks, etc. I am a good boyfriend. And after all that, we made it home… SLEEP!. Yea! Vacation Over’D!!


Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 8.

Today was a full day of stuff. We woke up and headed out to Coors Field for a tour. We were running a bit late, so we had to sprint to make it there 5 minutes late, but we weren’t the only late ones, so it wasn’t a big deal. The tour was made up of what appeared to be an elementary class, and then a few adults. So we started out in the bleachers, and worked our way around the stadium, saw the luxury boxes, the front office (outside of it, we didn’t get to go in there), the bar(s), and then into the Press booth, which was really kewl. Then we went on underneath, and saw the visitors clubhouse. Here’s something for you: The visitors clubhouse has a fridge full of beer, and a keg. I can’t help but think that David Wells has enjoyed that before a game or two. After than we headed into the Rockies’ dugout, then walked around home plate into the visitor’s dugout, and hung out there for a while. It was awesome. After that, we headed out to the gift shop (where I bought a complete set of miniature baseball helmets. Yea!) and then we left.

We stopped for some lunch, where I had the best chicken noodle soup.. then we grabbed my laptop, and headed back out to the street, where they had free Wi-Fi. We got some information about Golden Colorado, and decided to head out there. It was a bit too late to make the Coors Tour, but we were gonna check out the mountains instead.

Getting out of Denver proved to be an adventure. All the roads seemed to be one ways the wrong way, and we ended up doing a few full loops before finding a way (seemingly by accident) to get where we wanted to go. Boo, Denver roads, boo. We then took the short trip out to Golden, and headed up to Lookout Mountain, where Buffalo Bill’s grave is. We stopped a few times on the way to see the view and take pictures, and eventually made it up to the grave site. It was fine, but nothing special, but the fudge at the gift shop there was simply fantastic. As we headed back to the car, it started to rain for a bit, so that timing worked out. We drove around in the mountains for a while more, seeing the sights. We tried to check out a nature museum and a mansion, but both were closed. After that, we drove back to Denver, and to the house… When we made it there, Kaleb was home, and his brother was on his way home, so we decided to all head out to see Ice Age 2. So the 4 of us did that (It was fun), and then made it back home, and I helped install/reinstall Norton Anti-virus and Firewall on their computer, and Rachel, Kaleb and I worked through some rather challenging Sudokus until it was well past time for us to all go to sleep.


Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 7.

So this was our first full day in Denver, and it was a good one. We got to sleep in a bit, then drove downtown, and found Coors Field, and watched the Rockies beat the Astros (5-3). The weather was perfect, and we got a fair bit of sun while we were there. We’ve got the tour coming up later, so I didn’t spend too much time walking around the stadium to see things. Rachel did head off to the Micro-Brewery they’ve got right in the stadium, and we each had a brew unique to the stadium [Rather tasty].

Once the game was done, we met up with Chris, Ken, and their son, Kaleb, and we all had dinner together downtown. Then we took a walk to a nearby pool hall, and we all played pool for a while. Then they all took off, and Rachel beat me in pool, and we played some darts (where I did quite a bit better) and then we headed back to sleep. All in all a very fun day. No major catastrophes, so that was something.


Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 6.

Today was our last day in Phoenix. We woke up, packed up, put the top back on the Jeep, said our thanks and goodbyes to Jean, then headed out to see my brother, Jeff, and Rebecca, Steven, and Emma. Once we made it to their place, we all hopped into their car, and we headed out to have some pizza at a place they really like. Jeff and I spent a decent amount of time talking about pet birds, as I was still excited about feeding the birds at the zoo a few days earlier. It was a good time.

With lunch done, we hopped back into the car, and took a trip to see the area, and see the new house that they were hoping to move into soon. It was a nice house in a nice neighborhood, so that’s pretty kewl. With that done, we were running low on time, so we headed back to their house, said goodbye, and quickly drove back to the airport/rental car agency. We dropped off the car, payed, headed up the escalator, hopped on the shuttle bus, made it to the airport about 10 minutes later, and were all set to leave. This is where things started to go bad.

When we went to the auto check-in desk, Rachel couldn’t find her credit card. This was a problem. We searched her purse, pockets, etc. but no luck. She had just used it to pay for the rental car, so we knew it wasn’t left at Jean’s or anything. Finally, we used our confirmation numbers to get our flight tickets, and rushed to a secluded area to search our bags. A thorough search of our bags still didn’t come up with a credit card. Rachel headed back out to the road, and found one of the shuttle busses, and asked if the driver could call up the other drivers to see if she had left/dropped the card on the bus. We waited… and waited… and waited. The time for our flight was getting rather close. Finally, the driver turned to us and said “I don’t think they’re going to find it.” Problem was, our other reservations (rental car, tickets, etc.) were under that card, and we didn’t know how that’d be affected if we canceled the card.. also, we needed that card. So Rachel called the credit card agency, and eventually got the people at the front desk, hoping she could get one of them to check the escalator or something. Well, with a little talking she found out that the lady at the front desk still had her credit card. Huzzah! Only, now we didn’t have enough time to take the 8 minute shuttle ride to the rental car place, and then ride back.. because the plane would leave. So Rachel asked if someone up there could bring it up to us. They said “they’d check.” More waiting… “Yes.. yes they can.” “Woo”. So more uncomfortable/impatient waiting, and then a man delivered our card, and we ran very quickly to security, made it through in a hurry (Thankfully) and arrived at our gate just in time to hear the announcement that we were boarding my section. The latest airport adventure was over.

The rest of the day was pretty tame. We arrived in Denver, made it to the rental agency, and found out that “Hyndai Accent or similar” means “PT Cruiser” which we found rather funny [in a “man, what an ugly car” kind of way]. After than, we drove to Rachel’s sister and Family’s house, where we’d be staying for the next few days. When we arrived, they cooked up some food for us, and we hung out for a little while, and then headed off to sleep. Another good day.


Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 5.

Well, it’s been a little while.. more on that eventually, I hope. For now, I’d like to finish up the vacation journals. As you may recall, when last we talked, Rachel and I were in Phoenix, and staying with Jean in Sun City. On Day 5 we drove out to Tuscon to see Rachel’s old house and neighborhood, and to see some old family friends of Rachel and her parents.

The trip itself was nothing too exciting. I got to see plenty of desert, some sand storms, a horse trailer, and an ostrich farm. I also managed to thoroughly annoy Rachel by attempting to use the passenger-side brake… and yell for her to stop (Which I maintain saved us both our lives, and she maintains was grounds for an early end to our vacation) Anyway, all that to say nothing too exciting.

We did indeed see Rachel’s old house and church, so that was neat. Then we headed off for what Rachel called “Roller Coaster Road”. I assumed that was the name she gave it when she lived here (and was still like, 3ish?). But it turns out the road is actually named “Roller Coaster Road” so that’s neat. Here’s a fun story about finding that road:

Rachel had gotten directions from her parents, and they said to stay on a certain road for a bit, until we passed “Lockinyada Drive”. Having driven for a while, we still couldn’t find the road, and Rachel felt we had gone to far, so she called her mom. I only heard Rachel’s side of the conversation, but it went a little something like this:

Rachel: How long are we on this road? We’ve been on here for a while, and we still haven’t seen Lockinyada.
Rachel’s Mom: What road are you up to now?
Rachel: Well, we just passed [some street.. I forget], and now we’re coming to… La Canada.
[Long pause… followed by much laughing]

So yeah.. Lockinyada is in fact: La Cañada. Good times!

So after seeing Rachel’s old neighborhood, we headed out to visit Rachel’s family’s friends. They’re big-time into Ford Mustangs, and have quite a collection of cars (in the 20’s I believe). We headed out the their garage to see some that they had at the house.. they have others in storage all over. They attend a lot of Mustang shows, etc., and really get into it. So that’s pretty neat. We sat and talked for a while, and then we all headed out in one of their Mustangs to get some pizza. We order the biggest one they had.. and it was HUGE. We did not come close to finishing it. But still, good times. They were really nice people, and we had a good time hanging out with them that evening. After dinner, we took off back for Sun City, and Jean’s house. It got rather cold, and at one point we just turned the heat on full blast to keep our legs warm (We were in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night, wearing shorts and tank tops in a open top Jeep. Turns out, that gets cold) The trip home proved fun as well, and we were all set for sleeping once we made it back to Jean’s house.